Until recently, if you wanted to check your accumulated steps, floors climbed, or calories burned, you needed to sync your Fitbit to your smartphone or computer. \u00a0Not entirely practical if your mid-workout or if you don't keep Bluetooth activated on your smartphone. \u00a0Fortunately, the issue is no longer, thanks to the Fitbit Force. It may just rank among the best fitbit for tracking exercise.\r\n\r\nThe Fitbit Force is effectively what you'd get if a Fitbit One and \u00a0Flex got together and bumped uglies. \u00a0In other words, it incorporates the screen from the One and the wrist strap from the Flex. And you know what? \u00a0It's the best Fitbit YET. \u00a0But that's isn't to say it's without caveat.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAt a glance the Force isn't all that much different than the Flex. \u00a0It incorporates the same strap and clasp from the Flex and rubber finish. \u00a0What is different is a small LED screen, a new charging port and a device that isn't modular (the Flex was two pieces; a pedometer and a wrist strap). \u00a0However, the strap is thicker and the clasp has increased in size.\r\n\r\nTo the left of the display is a small button that activates the screen. Push it and the display immediately illuminates displaying the last called stat. \u00a0Each subsequent press cycles through the stats, which includes the time, steps accumulated, floors climbed, calories burned, distance completed, and active minutes. \u00a0Hold the button and it starts the activity tracker.\r\n\r\nThe activity tracker can do two things: log an activity (i.e. exercise) or sleep. \u00a0The Flex can automatically detect between these two types of activities, so no user input is needed. \u00a0When you're ready to snooze, you just hold down the button. \u00a0When you wake up you repeat the same action, and once synced to your smartphone it will reflect your sleep by "time asleep" and "times awake".\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe same action is performed when you want to track an activity, such as running or lifting weights. \u00a0And while this arguable defeats the very purpose of the Force \u00a0- it tracks steps and floor automatically - it's a useful feature that allows you to log what can't otherwise be tracked. \u00a0So in the event I want to look back when I went to the gym, and lifted weights, I can simply call up this info. \u00a0However, this information is NOT accesible via the Android or iOS app. \u00a0Moreover. to access this information via the web interface you'll need to navigate beyond the Dashboard, into the "Log" and then "Activities" (http:\/\/www.fitbit.com\/activities). \u00a0I found this process too arduous and thus defeating its usefulness.\r\n\r\nThat in mind, Fitbit's Android and iOS apps are relatively clean and simple to use. \u00a0It's easy to view collected data at a glance. \u00a0Unlike Misfit's device, there isn't much in terms of "gamification", though you can compete with friends for steps completed - it's hardly motivating. \u00a0 The app's screen orientation is largely limited to portrait mode. \u00a0As a result viewing stats on the included graphs can be a slightly eye agonizing experience.\r\n\r\nThe web login holds much more data. \u00a0Included is a USB dongle for syncing data to your computer, though I've never used it once as my smartphone has served as a proverbial data bridge between the Force and Fitbit's Dashboard. \u00a0When and if you access the web Dashboard, you can enter in a variety of info, such as food consumed, as well as more easily review your activity log, sleeping habits and more.\r\n\r\nThe Force itself, as well as the app, does little to motivate you. \u00a0In fact, the only thing it does do is flash and vibrate when you've reached your daily step goal - mine is 5,000.\r\n\r\nOn occasion I couldn't help but notice I achieved my goal while standing still, though from what little spot checking I've done, Fitbit's pedometers continue to be one of the most accurate.\r\n\r\nSleep accuracy is forever a lingering question. \u00a0Often I just tell people it's better than nothing, and unlike the headband from Zeo it's fairly tolerable from a physical standpoint. \u00a0At the very, very least, you're able to tally the time you got to sleep (by hitting the button) and log your hours spent horizontal. \u00a0If skepticism is abound, I suggest you tweak your sleeping habit, record your slumber on the Force, and then tally the data and anecdotal data to see if there is a corollary there.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nComparing the Fitbit Force to some other pedometers is something I just can't help but do. \u00a0Most notable, and top of mind, is Nike's Fuelband (not the SE - I haven't used that version, yet). \u00a0First and foremost is the clasp. \u00a0It's probably the biggest drawback of the Force. \u00a0Yes, it's stronger and bigger than the Flex, but the same issues remains: it will continue to fall off when and if snag on a bag strap or a sleeve of a jacket. \u00a0This happened to me a few times, and although I thought I had lost it on more than 3 occasions, all times I've been able to find it. \u00a0Moreover, applying the clasp, despite using it for months, hasn't gotten any easier. \u00a0Sure, the rubber holes are broken in a bit more, but for the amount of effort it takes to put it on, the Force should never come loose.\r\n\r\nIt's clear that Fitbit needed to address a major short coming of their previous wrist worn pedometer (the Flex), and that was the lack of screen. \u00a0So they added a screen. \u00a0It's zippy from stat (screen) to stat (screen), and easy to view. \u00a0However, it still lacks the wow factor of an array of LED lights that work in tandem to create text. \u00a0But that's hardly the most glaring of caveats. \u00a0This is one I've lamented about in the past when testing Fitbit's other devices: it lacks a universal charging port. \u00a0In other words it's 100% proprietary. \u00a0Lose the cord, as I did, and you have no way of charging it. \u00a0The Fuelband on the other hand has a USB plug built-in to the clasp, which means you can charge it just about anywhere in the world. \u00a0So if you take a trip and forget the little cord included - which mind you works with ONLY the Fitbit Force (not the Flex) - you better hope your vacation isn't more than 5-7 days, which is the Force's average battery life.\r\n\r\nSo what I love is the accuracy of the Fitbit Force, the ability to track sleep and workouts. \u00a0The addition of a screen was a must, and it most certainly addresses a chink in Fitbit's armor. \u00a0What I hate is the clasping system. \u00a0And I'm not the only one lamenting about this short coming. \u00a0Anecdotally speaking I've met numerous people who have echoed a similar story; they lost their Fitbit, replaced it once and lost it again. \u00a0So buyer be warned. \u00a0Check your stats and check them often.\r\n\r\nNote: Fitbit has plans to introduce an update that will enable the Force to vibrate when you have an incoming call. \u00a0Hopefully, they can also add a proximity sensor, which would cause your phone to vibrate and sound an alarm if you leave the Force behind.