Fitbit One Review

 Posted by on December 18, 2012  No Responses »
Dec 182012
FitBit One

In November of last year, after a failed trial with the Jawbone Up, Steve and I became Fitbit converts, and for the next 12 months, I diligently used my Fitbit Ultra to record essentially every step I had taken (over 2 million!), every staircase I had climbed (over 4000!), every minute I slept*, and, through their online interface (and LoseIt!), every meal I ate**.  Of course, as you might imagine, a device that is on your person during every waking hour, can start to show some wear and tear, especially when it belongs to someone like me who has a propensity to bump into things (sometimes hard enough to knock the device off of myself).

So, with a Fitbit Ultra that was cracking at the hinge, and starting to act a little weird, I was pretty excited to find out that two new Fitbits were being introduced in October/November, and, as I noted in my earlier post about their release, I set my sights on the Fitbit One. I’ve now spent a month with the device, and, although the Ultra and One are, at their cores, very similar devices in terms of how they work and the data they collect, the One boasts several new and improved features that are worth considering if you are in the market for an upgrade.

*At least, I did, for about the first 3 months, until my armband fell apart, and I got tired of seeing the same data night after night.

**You say I skipped entering that pint of ice cream because I felt guilty about eating it? I admit to nothing… Continue reading »

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Fitbit One and Zip Announced

 Posted by on October 5, 2012  No Responses »
Oct 052012

Welcome to October, readers! Fall has finally arrived and brought with it crunchy leaves to run on, wonderfully cool temperatures, and something else I’m really excited about: new Fitbits! Two new models were announced on September 17, the Fitbit Zip and the Fitbit One, the former of which is available now and the latter which is set to ship out in early November. Both models bring some great new features to the Fitbit line, so, as a current Fitbit Ultra (and former Jawbone Up) owner, I wanted to offer up my thoughts on what’s been added and improved.

First, though, let’s go over the state of my original Fitbit, the Ultra. Purchased last November, my Fitbit Ultra has definitely taken on a well-worn appearance over the past 11 months. It still functions normally, but the finish is showing significant wear and the plastic is cracked and chipped around the hinge. The fabric wristband that came with the device is long gone. It started to rip after a couple months of use and I didn’t really have any great need to continue to track my sleep habits since the data didn’t change much or help me out on a day-to-day basis. Continue reading »

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All-Day Tracking Comes to Nike+

 Posted by on January 19, 2012  2 Responses »
Jan 192012

Image courtesy of

It looks like Nike+ is jumping on the Jawbone UP/Fitbit bandwagon and releasing its own version of an all-day fitness tracking device. This morning, Nike+ announced the Nike+ Fuelband, a device meant to be worn on the wrist that uses an accelerometer to track the user’s daily calorie burn, steps taken, time active, and NikeFuel earned. NikeFuel is a new metric created for this device that normalizes a user’s weight, age, and sex, so that different users will receive the same score for doing the same activity (e.g. running 30 minutes at a 10 min/mile pace), regardless of their physical makeup. This is unlike calorie expenditure, which is incredibly variable based on age, sex, and weight. The NikeFuel metric would be especially useful for someone trying to compare the effectiveness of different types of workouts. A runner, could, for example, compare their NikeFuel earned by going for a run, to their friend’s NikeFuel earned from playing basketball to see how the two activities stack up. It could also lead to some fun competition if you happened to have multiple friends using the device! Continue reading »

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Basis: The HRM Without a Chest Strap

 Posted by on January 15, 2012  1 Response »
Jan 152012

Basis Heart Rate WatchThanks to our friends over on Pinterest, we came across one of the coolest upcoming fitness products we have seen, and a new entry into the 24-hour fitness-tracking arena, the Basis heart monitor.  Basis is able to record calories burned and sleep habits by using a 3D accelerometer, a heart rate monitor, and both temperature and galvanic skin response (yeah, I totally had to look that one up) sensors.  These sensors, along with the heart rate monitor in the band, remove the need for a chest strap and increase the accuracy of calories burned.
Continue reading »

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Fitbit[s] & Pieces

 Posted by on November 28, 2011  11 Responses »
Nov 282011
Good things do come in small packages!

Get ready for a lot of Fitbit Ultra love, readers! After our less-than-satisfying experience with the Jawbone UP, I was eager to try another activity tracker, as, at the very least, the UP managed to peak my interest in tracking my daily activities. Enter the Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Tracker. Since purchasing my Fitbit Ultra about two weeks ago, I have fallen in love with it and would not hesitate to call it my perfect fitness tool. It is accurate, fun and easy to use, and far more functional than the Jawbone UP.

The Fitbit Ultra, released in 2011, is the follow-up to the original Fitbit. Both versions are still being sold in stores and both carry a price tag of $99.95, so be sure you are picking up a box labeled Fitbit Ultra, not just Fitbit, if you want the 2nd gen version of the device. I would definitely recommend going with the Ultra, as it brings with it a couple extra (and useful) features not included on the original device, including an altimeter (for measuring the # of flights of stairs you climb in a day) and a stopwatch to time your activities (like going for a run!). Here’s a look at some of my favorite features of this device:

Continue reading »

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Jawbone UPs and Downs

 Posted by on November 15, 2011  4 Responses »
Nov 152011
Jawbone UP

In our attempts to lose weight we have found that our greatest strides happen when we are more religious about logging data. We thought what better than to have a tool that logs everything from walking to sleeping.  The first contender for us was the Jawbone UP.  This is the first entry from Jawbone (better known for their top of the line Bluetooth headsets) into the fitness arena.


  • Sleep Tracking – The most interesting information the UP provided was from the sleep quality section.  UP is able to track how much deep and light sleep you logged during each night by gauging micro-movements of your wrist as you sleep.
  • Smart Alarm – The device sends an intensifying vibration to your wrist within a half hour of your set alarm. It attempts to wake you up when you are in “light sleep” to ensure that you wake up at the most opportune time and feel as well-rested as possible.
  • Waterproof – Although I’m not a swimmer by any means, I can see the appeal to this feature in any occasion where you may be at the beach, the pool, boating, fishing, or even sledding. It should be noted that it is only waterproof to 1 meter, which works for swimming laps, but snorkeling is out.
  • Movement Alarm – Reminds you to get out of your seat and move if you have been still for more than a specified amount of time.

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