I just purchased the Fitbit activity tracking wristband. These seem all the rage with the kids these days and since I could stand to be a little fitter (ok a lot fitter). I thought I would check one out and see what all the fuss is about.
The first challenge though was trying to find one. Everywhere seemed to be sold out, and no store could seem to keep any in stock. I could have just ordered one online but I wasn't in that big of a hurry. I just happened to find one at a local retailer just as they got their shipment in.
I really like the minimalist design on the force but it is definitely not minimalist on data. I loaded the software on my desktop and plugged in the USB dongle to sync the device and it was very quick and clean. The mobile app on my iPad mini isn't quite so nice. It looks like it was made for the iPhone, and doesn't look as nice to control, or adjust the settings. It does work but it is just easier to use the Fitbit website. Battery seems pretty decent so far, I charged it a week ago and it is still on the same charge.
The Fitbit Force displays a clock (with three changeable clock faces), steps, distance, calories burned, steps, minutes active, and has an alarm. Apparently it will soon have an update that will notify you of text messages on your smartphone. It also tracks your sleep at night. You can have all of these on the Force or you can choose which ones you want to display on the wristband. You can also adjust what you want to use as the main goal. I have chosen steps. It starts you out with 10,000 and you can increase as needed. I found 10,000 to be a little too easy and have ramped it up to 15,000 and that is a bit more of a challenge. I was a worried about how it would track my steps, if it was very accurate, and so far I am pretty impressed. It doesn't seem to matter if you hands are in your jacket pocket or pushing a shopping cart, swinging by your side or walking the dog.
The display is surprisingly easy to read and bright despite the size. The single button is easy to operate and the Force seems very solid and well built. It is waterproof but I still take it off when I shower. The clasp can be a bit tricky to fasten but once it is on it stays on, and feels very comfortable. In fact I often forget I am wearing it, which is nice.
This easily linked to My Fitness Pal which I use to log my food intake and calories. I trust that program more than the Fitbit food log as the Fitbit log seems to want to allow me more calories than I think it should.
Now I am not saying that this is the answer for everyone, nor is it a miracle cure to make everyone fit. But if you like challenges and setting goals, stats, and if you can find one, then this just might be for you.