Last year I reviewed Nike’s Fuelband. Despite my admiration for its badass design, I couldn’t give it an overwhelmingly positive score since it was, for the most part, inaccurate when it came to counting steps. That said, everything else, aside from the slight marring I experienced against its rubber facade, was what I expected from the wristband worn pedometer. And while Fitbit’s offering isn’t as sexy, I’m happy, and quite relieved, to report that their One pedometer is anything but inaccurate.
The FitBit One released last September and added direct smartphone syncing via Bluetooth 4.0. Initially iPhone owners only could enjoy this feature, though recently Fitbit has updated their Android app, though it only works with a select number of handsets. Nevertheless, instead of relying on your computer to upload your stats, the FitBit One can instantly send your recorded daily steps, calories, and climbed stairs (it has a built-in altimeter) to your smartphone.
Syncing the Fitbit One with my iPhone 4s was a simple enough process, though on occasion it proved a bit finicky when it came to pushing an update to the Fitbit iOS app – something to do with Bluetooth talking. Any syncing issues aside, which I’d like to emphasize were few and far between, the collected data is passed along in a matter of seconds, though needless to say the more days since your last sync the longer it will take.
In addition to logging your daily movement, the Fitbit iOS (and Android app) allows you to keep tabs on the food you’ve consumed. I didn’t much use this feature since it’s an arduous task to manually punch in what you’ve consumed, though for anyone trying to shed pounds it will surely be useful since it unifies your caloric burn and intake.
Much like the Nike Fuelband, you can set goals and once they’re achieved the Fitbit’s tiny, yet easy to read screen will show a message congratulating you. Adding further motivation to the mix, is the ability to friend those who too have a Fitbit and enter into a competition to see who can achieve the most steps per week.
In addition to a proprietary USB charging plug, Fitbit also includes a belt clip and a wristband. The belt clip works relatively well to stay adhered to belts, but I suggest erring on the side of caution, as I lost the Fitbit One on more than one occasion thanks to its small and lightweight size.
The wristband is designed to be worn while your sleeping and much like the Gear4 Renew alarm clock, or a myriad of other devices, it promises to track your sleep and tell you how many times you woke up throughout the night. During my testing I found it to be fairly accurate. However, wearing something foreign on my wrist while I slumber is questionably annoying, and the vibrate to wake function is a bit too timid for me to wake from.
It’s pretty remarkable that the Fitbit One is as accurate as it is. I was able to trick it a few times, but unlike the Fuelband, which recorded steps while I was driving, the Fitbit one was perhaps off by 1-2 paces when I specifically counted my strides forward. The sleep tracking is an ancillary feature that I could take or leave, as is the apps ability to count my caloric consumption. The included charging cable makes charging it up a bit on the fiddly side, but that is something that only needs to happen every 10 days or so. Unfortunately, I stopped using my Fitbit One once I purchased the Nexus 4, which doesn’t allow for direct to handset syncs, thus making the task of syncing much more cumbersome.