Fitbit Review

Fitbit
By Jared DiPane on 27 Feb 2012 03:11 pm EST
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It's Health & Fitness Month at Mobile Nations 

"With Fitbit you can track your steps, sleep and much more by simply remembering to carry one small unit with you."

In Short:
"Kickstart your workout routine with ease."

Should I Buy?
"It is a great device, as long as you remember to use it."
BUY NOW

One of the hardest things I have done in my life to date was trying to get back into shape; I have tried to change nearly my entire lifestyle to become much healthier. I don’t know about you, but for me, finding motivation  to get back into a normal exercise routine and eat healthier was something I would always think to do.  I would usually try for a week or two and then fall back into the same old rut of not following through. When looking around for various ways to try to kick start my health and get myself more active I began hunting a pedometer – something to raise my awareness around how much I walked (or didn’t for that matter).

While there are plenty of options -- many ranging widely in price from as low as $10 to others that are up and over $100 -- one that continued to stand out in reviews and advertisements was the Fitbit Ultra Activity/Sleep Tracker. So, like anyone else who is intrigued and looking to try something out, I went out and purchased one. Could a little companion that you clip on your belt really kick start a healthier lifestyle and make things change for the better long term? Let’s hit the break and take a look at how this small object made such a huge impact in my fitness success this month.

The Review

Setting it up

After immediately unboxing the unit as soon as I got home I was a little disappointed to find out that I had to sync it to a computer in order to get started. Included in the box is a USB connected dock into which the Fitbit slides.  Then,  you are required to download their software, which is a rather small file that is required for set up. Once you install the software and plug your Fitbit into the computer you are required to set up an account. It asks for personal information like height and weight (don’t lie about it because that helps track your progress). Once you walk through all of this the unit will display a unique code on which you need to enter into the computer and then it will sync your Fitbit unit to your created account.

Fitbit

After creating your account and completing the setting up, your Fitbit unit it is ready to go. Time to strap it to your hip or toss it in your pocket and get going, right? Well, you will want to charge it up for a little bit before you begin.  Fear not, however,  because a single charge will easily get you through nearly two (yes two) weeks of use.

As far as  where to place the Fitbit,  it is recommended to have it on your hip, in your pocket or, for the ladies, you can actually clip it right on your bra if you desire. The unit itself is rather small and extremely light which is great because you hardly realize that it is there. Included in the packaging is also a belt clip. If you happen to wear a thick belt, or fear that it will break while attempting to get the unit over it, you can simply slide it into the clip and then clip the whole piece to yourself. Once it was all set up and I figured out the best way to carry it with me, it was time to get up and test it out.

Tracking your motions

When first looking into the Fitbit I was a bit skeptical as to why I was paying $99 for a beefed up pedometer with a few extra features.  Since so many people had such positive things to say, I knew it had to be a good investment. The first few days will be used to set your baseline, this will give you an idea of how many steps you are taking, how active you are during the day, how many calories are burned, floors ascended etc. Once you have a baseline,  setting the challenge begins -- like breaking the previous day’s record in one way or another.

The Fitbit has one button on it and pressing it will flip you through the options that are available such as showing the time, your step count, distance traveled, calories burned, levels climbed and a few others that can be added as well. While strapped to you the unit will automatically count your steps, and judging by your height, it can help you determine the distance in which you have traveled that particular day. And while you (like me) may be skeptical about the calculations, the folks at Fitbit have said that the counter is 95–98 % accurate.

Fitbit 

The counter continues to monitor your activity throughout the day and will display your current totals. It is also possible to start an activity during the day which not only will count towards your daily goals, but will allow you to track that specific time frame separately. To begin an activity all you have to do is simply press and hold the button on the unit for a few seconds and then it will blink and a timer will start. When you check your stats during this time frame it will only show you the stats since it began. If you want to see how many steps you take while shopping, taking a jog or anything else in similar nature you are able to do so easily.

With each passing day you will likely find yourself continually checking your stats, trying to beat the previous day and walk further, climb higher or burn more calories. Beyond tracking your physical activity the Fitbit will also track your sleep patterns, since rest is equally as important as the physical activity itself.

Tracking your sleep

This is the one part of the Fitbit that I found to be the hardest to comprehend, how could a pedometer also monitor my sleep pattern? How would it know how long it took me to fall asleep? How did it know I woke up at 2AM and again at 4:47AM? Well, tracking your sleep is extremely easy, much like operating any other aspect of the Fitbit unit.

Included in the packaging is an adjustable wrist band that is made out of a very comfortable fabric. There is a small slit which half of the Fitbit slides into and it sits just like that while you sleep. When you get into bed you press and hold the button, starting the timer. From here you do nothing, just relax, do whatever you do before you sleep, and then sleep your night away. When you wake up you press and hold the button again to end the activity, and that is it; just like that, you tracked your night’s sleep.

Fitbit Dashboard

Once synced to your computer you will be able to view all of your sleeping results, included in the breakdown is how many times you woke up, how many hours you slept and how effective your sleep was (based on wake up count). In addition to this there is also a chart that shows how many times and at what time you were active during your sleep, whether it be waking up, tossing and turning or getting out of bed to grab a drink.

Odds and ends

Beyond simply tracking your data and keeping it stored in one easy to access place for you, the Fitbit has a few other neat features as well. If viewing your step count is not enough to keep your motivation up, how about some badges to unlock? In similar fashion to foursquare, Fitbit has included some badges that can be unlocked for reaching various achievements; some of them are for things like walking your first 50 miles or climbing 10 levels in one day and plenty of others as well. Trying to unlock new badges keeps you pushing a bit further and ultimately, that is the goal -- to continue pushing yourself harder to do better.

Fitbit Achievements

While the Fitbit is a standalone unit, there are a bunch of API’s available for developers so they can tie their application into use with the Fitbit. If you are tracking your food with an application like MyFitnessPal, or tracking your runs with Endomondo, you can tie your Fitbit account right into those accounts with just a few simple clicks. Fitness is always better when you are able to share the stats with your friends and challenge them to beat you. You are able to do all of this with ease right from the Fitbit site.

Syncing your information to your account is extremely simple and luckily not something that you need to do every day. The unit itself will hold your data back for days, so, if you are not able to reach a PC to sync the data that day, don’t worry it won’t be lost. As long as your computer is powered on and connected to the internet with a dock connected to it, the Fitbit will wireless transfer your data from the unit to your account anytime you are within 15 feet of the base station and relatively motionless. If you want to sit down and sync it, all you have to do is place it on the dock and press the button. Check the site after you hit the button and your information will appear nearly instantly.

Conclusion

Whether you want to easily track your daily activity, or you are looking for a way to kick start your physical activity, the Fitbit is a great choice that allows you to easily do just that. As with any other aspect of getting in shape, this will take dedication.  You will need to remember to bring it with you daily and you will need to strap it on your wrist before heading to bed. Tracking the data is only the beginning, it is completely up to you how you react to this data;   you can decide to challenge yourself and take it to the next level, or you can remain content with what you are doing and not try to better yourself.

Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker
by Fitbit

The Good

Tracking your steps, sleep, calories and more is extremely easy. You are not required to remember to do anything daily except to carry the unit with you.

The Bad

Unfortunately there is no BlackBerry application currently available, and the unit does not tether. After weeks of use the novelty wears off a little, unless you push yourself harder.

Conclusion

Personally, I fell in love with the Fitbit and found it to be a great tool to kickstart my fitness for the month. It won't be for everyone, and if you are not dedicated to remembering to wear it and push yourself each day, this may not be the best tool for you.

Fitbit

Learn More and Buy Now

7 comments

djtaube

While this is true, the description begins with "The first unofficial Fitbit app for BlackBerry® PlayBook™" so it would seem that it's not from the company.

However, that doesn't mean you can't benefit from it I guess.

ewraight

This is a great little product. I use the app from appworld, plus you can access your account on PlayBook, with no problem.

UnknownError507

OK! this is voodoo...
Yesterday i was browsing the web page of crackberry.com and some how i came across to a ad about.me page. So said oh long time i dint go there on my page lets do some update to it, and as soon as i landed on my page i saw one of my link on the page doesn't work so i add it again (yeah now is working) but the point is not about me going to my page, the point is i came across to this new future/link you can add called "Fitbit" with a nice looking logo so i end up clicking on it to see what is all about as soon as i click it i lend on the login future. But hey im not here to login im here to see about this new future called Fitbit so i was browsing the page back and forth, up and down to finally see what is all about, i didn't find any good reasons to join that site so i wanted to see more and by more i mean in action, opened a new tab on my browsers and YouTube my friend i went. First thing to pop up was the review of this product (here is the link in case you wanna see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Qj02A3URo ) and as soon as i started the video i was yeah this is a good product to have so some where on the video he mention the price and i was OH ok 99.994 is kinda pricey so i was ok maybe in future. Then i realize hey how about an app for my awesome BlackBerry i went back to the Fitbit page to see if they have one there yeah unfortunately they dont have one :( i know lame.
So in final i ended up not adding my link to my page cause is not form me and i dint think so i would keep up with the device.

Now back to my voodoo thing and all about the little device called fitbit this is pretty funny,
My GF called me and asked me if is ok for her to buy this new fancy device called fitbit, and my first reaction was, HO snap really ? i just closed the web page of that little fancy device you talking about, so our conversation ended in not buying it at all.
Now this morning coming to work i meet a friend at our usual Starbucks and what to see that fancy device called Fitbit attached to his belt, so i was OH you kidding me eh? when did you buy that little device. he was ammmm a week ago i just receive it this morning...i was like ohhh OK so is this a sign or some one telling me to buy this new fancy gadget what every body is talking about !? i ask hey some question about the device. He said is a good device and started to tell me all this futures i already saw online i was ok now i rally have to buy this device.
So i went back to office i did some work around then i totally forget about my goal and about the device NOT. TILL. NOW. when i came on Crackberry.com to realize and see with my own eyes a review about this device called Fitbit. im like yea good trick mr. GOD you really want me to buy this fancy little device eh? so i end up reading the review and post this new comment here and as soon as i see my GF we will gonna buy this little fancy Device.

Just cause i seen to much already, and to be honest you dont see this device every where like you Iphone or android or even Blackberry, is a little device who made me think for a moment to buy or not to buy.

So in final im gonna buy this Device cause Mr GOD trew to many little or to much at me with this little fancy mancey Fitbit.

Cheers!

djtaube

That's a wild comment. . . where are you from?

k.house

I've been using my Fitbit since September and I love it. Wearing it has become routine.

I did not consider myself a sedentary person but I was shocked as to how little steps I would take in day. Most days I would only clock 3000 steps when the average is 10,000!

It was a wake up call that my desk job was really limiting on my step count. In the last few months I have really tried to get my quota of steps throughout the day. I started going for walks at lunch and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It made all the difference in the world. Personally the cost of the Fitbit has already paid for itself in the change in my daily activities.

Sharadchandra Bagde

How can I download fitbit on BlackBerry Q5