Fitness bands are big business nowadays, riding the wave of public interest in getting fit and staying healthy. These devices are designed to track your exercise and lifestyle efforts and give you a digital log of exactly how well you’re doing in your regime, and they use some very clever technology to do the job. We take a look at three of the most popular products to see which one you should spend your money on. Watch the hands-on video review below for more details.
Nike is a brand that I’ve been a fan of for a long time and so I expect promising things from them when sport and tech collide.
For me the Nike+ FuelBand delivers on this. This piece of kit is a Bluetooth enabled wristband with built-in USB for charging. It comes in various sizes – small, medium/large and extra-large with the option to remove links, if needs be, to make it smaller. It tracks your everyday activity and turns it into what Nike calls ‘Fuel’ which all counts towards the ‘Daily Goal’ which you set yourself.
It’s a great way to motivate you to do more exercise as it posts this fuel onto your Nike account which you can link with your favorite social media platforms e.g. Facebook and Twitter.
Nike also has a great eco system at the moment with Nike+ and its variety of apps and a related product range. I highly rate the fantastic, simple ergonomic design of Nike products.
Now the FuelBand won’t do everything. It won’t for instance give you the option to records details about your heart rate or miles run, but it does act as a pedometer and counts your steps taken, calories burned and amount of Nike Fuel gained.
I found it really motivated me to hit my Nike Daily Goal, which encouraged me to want to share this achievement with my friends, and in some ways this makes it more interesting and a bit competitive too!
And if that’s not enough, it’s also an awesome watch.
Similar to the Nike product the Fitbit One is a wearable daily activity tracker, this time in the form of a clip. The device is Bluetooth enabled and works with both iPhone and Android smartphones. It tracks steps, calories, miles walked, stairs climbed and the time.
The accompanying app is very detailed and beautifully designed. You can also add even more information to it, such as your water consumption, food intake and overall calories consumed and it is designed to fit in with the whole seamless Fitbit health experience.
You need to invest quite a lot of effort when using the accompanying app to get the most out of the device to stay healthy and active. But if you’ve got the time and the perseverance to do so… fantastic!
However where the FitBit falls down in my opinion is how you have to wear it.
I know it’s a clip and you can clip it to your clothing, but I was concerned that it would fall off during a run or through general day-to-day activity. It also doesn’t have a built-in USB port for charging so you need to use a special cable, which also means taking it out of its clip case, thereby creating even more of a chance you and your precious tech will part company…
These tiny accessories are unfortunately all too easy to lose.
Overall, I feel the concept is good but not as well executed as the FuelBand. However, I did love the way it synced with your phone without having to manually press buttons. At a cost of Â£76 it’s also a lot cheaper and the build quality is fantastic.
I was really excited as a keen runner to try out the Scosche Rhythm. I have always tracked my runs for distance and time but I have never been able to track my heart rate to see if I’m burning fat, losing weight or improving my endurance.
However, not only is this product ugly in comparison with its peers, it really let me down during my test experience and we all know how important first impressions are.
So what happened, you may ask? Well on my first test run the battery died, even after a full charge, which immediately stopped it from tracking in the phone app. Which was very frustrating.
So I charged it again and gave it a second chance. This time I decided to take a photo halfway through my run, but by doing so it stopped my workout and re-started it again from scratch after the photo was taken. This means it actually tracked two runs instead of one, even though I had paused it?!?! What…? Big fail!
However, on the plus side, the heart rate monitor works a treat and tracks your ticker with acute detail. It’s really the poorly designed app – which is also very awkward to navigate – which lets down the whole product. The website is not much better either. I love the idea of a built-in heart rate monitor but this brand’s design is horrible. It’s bulky and the software really lets it down. Shame.
After having lived with all three products for a while, I have to come down in favor of the Nike+ FuelBand. It’s elegant, efficient and works really well to encourage you to do better in your fitness regime. The Fitbit One is also a beautifully designed device, but unfortunately the clip design means it’s just that bit more likely to be lost in action. The best I can say about the Scosche Rhythm is nice idea, shame about the implementation.
iPhone – http://store.apple.com/uk/product/HA513ZM/A/nike-fuelband-medium-large
Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alx5962.fuel (3rd party!)
iPhone – http://store.apple.com/uk/product/H9979ZM/A/scosche-rhythm-pulse-monitor
Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.scosche.RHYTHM