Rating: ★★★★★

When I first heard about the FitBit, I saw it’s $99 price tag and shrugged it off. I had just paid $60 for a decent pedometer and I felt like I wasted my money. It was bulky, it was obtrusive, and more than anything else it was too easy to forget to bring with me. After spending $60 on something that was barely used, what could bring me around to embrace the FitBit?

At first glance, the FitBit is something of an oddity – it doesn’t have a screen like a more traditional pedometer, and it’s light as hell.  The $60 pedometer I bought was like a brick with a large screen.  It would spout information constantly; though little of it meant anything to me.  The FitBit is much different though, one click of the only button on it shows you information you can actually use.  It goes from steps taken, to distance traveled, to calories burnt, to an image of a flower that grows based on how active you’ve been.

That’s it.

No numbers that would have no meaning to you unless you were some nutritional expert of fitness guru.  Numbers that work for the average person.  The FitBit is also AMAZINGLY light – I go through my day now most times forgetting that I even have it on.  It’s unique form factor allows it to clip to pretty much anything from a belt to a bra, and it’s so slim and small that I don’t think I would ever call it obtrusive.

One of the neatest things about how the FitBit works, is that as long as you have the base station connected to a computer, it auto-synchs whenever you’re within fifteen feet of it.  The things you see on the FitBit itself are quite neat, but it’s what happens when it synchs up that it really crazy.  First off there’s the huge online community – you can find people all over on the website (maybe people you even know) and join a group.  Through the groups you can encourage competition between members – yes to all my gamer friends, with the FitBit you can turn exercise into a fun competition!  That alone has gotten me out walking more than I thought I would.

Another feature of the FitBit that uses the website, is that it tracks your sleep patterns as well.  Yes, the FitBit is designed to be worn while you sleep – it’s truly an all day experience.  After wearing it to bed, you can log onto the website to see how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you unconsciously woke up in the middle of the night, and your sleep efficiency.  This is all designed to effortlessly help you monitor all parts of your fitness.

Other things you can do on the website is track your caloric intake per day through an intuitive food search (the FitBit tells the website how many calories you expended), tracking activities you did (the FitBit won’t track things like biking on it’s own), and monitoring things like your heart rate and blood pressure.  The best thing about the FitBit’s website, is that all the features I told you about so far are free.  Forever.

Now there are other features on the website you can subscribe to as well; an entire analytics site can be subscribed to for $49.99 a year.  The analytics include benchmarking, in-depth food analysis, a comprehensive sleep study, and even a trainer to keep you motivated.  I haven’t taken the plunge yet on that though, but I imagine I will soon enough.

This is one of the most interesting pieces of tech that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in a while.  I have no problem giving it 5 stars out of 5, and seriously recommend this to anyone looking to get in better shape.  Don’t short yourself by buying a cheaper pedometer that you’ll regret later.

Pros:

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Super lightweight
  • You don’t need to be an expert to decipher the data

Cons:

  • Doesn’t automatically track activities like biking
  • Not waterproof
  • Subscription section of website could be a deterrent to some

You can pick up the FitBit at Amazon for $97.95



Staff