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Entries in Fitbit Aria (3)

Wednesday
Jun262013

Jawbone Up Versus Fitbit Flex Wristband Fitness Movement and Sleep Tracker Review

After using the Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex Wristband Fitness Movement and Sleep Trackers literally side by side on the same wrist for a period of about two weeks, I have finally come to the conclusion as to which one I prefer and will continue to use as my personal Wristband Fitness Movement and Sleep Tracker. I have split this comparison review into 12 distinct categories to breakdown the strengths and weaknesses of both devices, so without further adieu...

Price:

  • Very similar $119 for the Jawbone UP versus $99 for the Fitbit Flex.
  • Point goes to the Fitbit Flex for being less expensive.

Looks:

  • I kind of like the styling of the Jawbone UP with it's stainless steel accents but I like the flush band and interactive LED's on the Fitbit Flex.
  • This one is a Draw. 

Wearability:

  • The Jawbone UP is much easier to put on but the flexible band can catch on clothing and objects and has fallen off at times.
  • The Fitbit Flex is a bit harder to get on but is less intrusive once attached and there is no real fear of it catching or falling off.
  • Again this one is a Draw.

Durability:

  • Both of the bands show wear over time and you can see it especially on the high spots or edges, my Jawbone UP actually lost the metal button but Jawbone sent me a new band, (Jawbone has a good reputation for backing their products).
  • The bonus to the Fitbit Flex is that you can replace the rubber band part for about $15 and have it looking good as new while the Jawbone UP is an all-in-one unit so there is no refreshing the band without a full replacement.
  • The downside to the Fitbit Flex is that you need to clean the moisture from inside the housing area once in a while as I would imagine bacteria may build up over time.
  • Point goes to the Fitbit Flex for not breaking and having the ability to replace the band for a few bucks.

Water Resistance:

  • Both units can be used in the shower, however neither unit can track any type of actual swimming exercises with accuracy.
  • Jawbone recommends you actually take the Jawbone UP off when swimming as it is only "water resistant" which means it is not meant to have any water pressure on it. The Fitbit Flex can be worn in a swimming pool and is rated to 10 meters.
  • Point goes to the Fitbit Flex for being water proof down to 10 meters.

Ease of Use:

  • Both fitness band devices are easy enough to switch back and forth into their awake and sleep modes, the Fitbit Flex however gives you a real time fitness goal indication using 5 LED bar styled indicators and also notifies you when you have achieved your preset fitness goal for the day by flashing and vibrating.
  • Point goes to the Fitbit Flex for the extra LED eye candy and fitness goal alerts.

Syncing:

  • The Jawbone UP requires a hardware connection by plugging directly into your smartphones headphone jack so there is no realtime data display. (You can not sync with a computer using the headphone jack either).
  • The Fitbit Flex uses a wireless Bluetooth connection that syncs and updates in real time. You can sync with a smartphone or computer using the included BT dongle. (The BT connection will draw more battery on the band device and the smartphone).
  • Point goes to the Fitbit Flex for real time BT syncing.

Charging and Battery Time:

  • Both Fitness Band Devices use a USB charging adaptor to charge and both charge up rather quickly.
  • The Jawbone UP has a 10-11 day run time while the Fitbit Flex has a 4-5 day run time as it uses BT which takes up some battery life with its constant real time syncing
  • Point goes to the Jawbone UP for double the battery life.

Smartphone Software:

  • Both the UP and the Flex have very good Smartphone software that allows you to view your data very accurately, but I would have to say I like the way the Jawbone UP displays this information, it is easy to use and there is more detail provided especially when it comes to the sleep information.
  • I would like to note that you can enter your eating information into both software systems and also sync other partner Apps to communicate additional data back and forth.
  • Point goes to the Jawbone UP for it's super slick and easy to use Smartphone Application.

Computer / Web Based Software:

  • The Jawbone UP kind of drops the ball on this one as it only really syncs with a smartphone, even so Jawbone could send this information to a web based software program similar to what Fitbit has.
  • I find that I primarily use my iPhone to view my Flex data but I do periodically go online to the Fitbit website and check my data there as I can see it a bit differently and get some more detailed charts and information.
  • You do not need to have a smartphone to use the Flex while you do need a Smartphone to use the Jawbone UP!
  • Point goes to the Flex for being able to view your data on your phone or online.

Integration:

  • One big advantage to the Fitbit Flex is the fact that Fitbit has the ARIA cloud based WiFi scale that sends your weight and body fat percentage to your Fitbit online cloud based account, this information helps you keep track of your weight loss or gain goals and also gives you an accurate reading on how many calories your body burns each day.
  • Point goes to the Flex for having multiple fitness devices that work together in harmony.

Accuracy of tracking Data:

  • This is hard one to measure, both fitness bands seemed to be consistent but I did notice that the Fitbit Flex was more generous with how many calories I was burning, usually about 500 calories more each day than the Jawbone UP accounted for.
  • Being that each person is different in how many calories their bodies actually burn, this is not really a big deal as adjustments will need to be made for each person as you figure out exactly how many calories your body burns each day.
  • This one is another Draw.

Outcome:

There where 7 winning categories for the Fitbit Flex and 2 winning categories for the Jawbone UP with the Fitbit Flex coming out for me as the clear winner here. Again this is just my take based on what I am looking for in a Wristband Fitness Movement and Sleep Tracker. I used the Jawbone UP for several months before I got the Fitbit Flex and was perfectly happy with it and found it to be a very useful aid in helping me achieve my fitness goals. At the end of the day the big deal makers for me are the integration I get with my Fitbit Aria WiFi Scale and the real time Bluetooth data syncing the Fitbit Flex offers.

Watch my YouTube Video Comparison Review for the Fitbit Flex versus the Jawbone UP:

 

Wednesday
Jun122013

Fitbit Flex Wristband Movement and Sleep Tracker Review

So what Exactly is a Wireless Activity & Sleep Tracker Wristband?

Here is an excerpt from the Fitbit website:
"This slim, stylish device is with you all the time. During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle and wakes you silently in the morning. Just check out the lights to see how you stack up against your personal goal. It’s the motivation you need to get out and be more active."

First of all, the Fitbit Flex allows you to track your activity:

  • Your steps walked and run, none step based movement.
  • The Fitbit software calculates that information into calories burned and distance covered.
  • You can also manually enter information.

 And the Flex also tracks your lack of activity or should I say your sleep patterns:

  • How many hours of slept in total.
  • Your deep sleep versus your restless sleep.
  • How many times you awoke in the night and times that you where restless.

The Fitbit Flex also syncs with your Smart  Phone or Computer using Bluetooth:

  • The Flex loads information into the Fitbit App and Web-based interface allowing you to see this information so you can see exactly how your progress is going in real time.
  • You can add food eaten and see calories burned vs calories consumed to help you keep on track with your eating and exercise goals.
  • You can add friends and compare how each other is doing and perhaps have a competition or help motive each other.
  • The Fitbit software sends you Award Badge Notifications when you have achieved certain goals which is also motivational.

Here are some of the more positive key points about the Fitbit Flex I want to makes sure to point out:

  • The Flex costs about $100 which is very competitive compared to other movement tracking devices in the market.
  • The Fitbit Flex has very cool lights that indicates where you are in terms of your daily goals.
  • The Flex will vibrate and flash when you meet your daily steps goals.
  • The Fitbit Flex is one of the only complete system offerings; A varitey of Movement Trackers, the Fitbit Aria WiFi Scale, and Intigrtated Software that is accessible on both your smart phone and computer with synchronization between all devices via the web.
  • Bluetooth syncing is seamless and gives you realtime results.
  • I like that you can quickly and easily change the band which can be useful if your band gets worn or damaged, or you simply just want to change the color for a new look!
  • The Flex is very comfortable to wear, it is rather light weight, does not seem to catch on anything, and I had no fear of losing or breaking it while it was being worn.
  • I have found the battery has been lasting for about 4-5 days and you also get a smartphone software notification that tells you when your battery is low.

There where a few concerns I had with the Fitbit Flex but nothing too serious: 

  • I found overall the Fitbit Flex band is holding up well but does show some signs of edge wear, it is nice that at any time you can easily replace the band portion and it will look new again.
  • I noticed when you shower, water can get inside the Flex where the dongle is located, you will need to clean that area out and wipe down the dongle from time to time so that you do not get a bacteria problem.
  • I found the Fitbit Flex was a bit more generous calorie wise than my Jawbone UP, by about 500 calories per day. It would be nice if you could make an adjustment for this to match your individual metabolism?
  • I found a bit of a glitch when entering manual activities if you go back and make a small change to them after the fact. Even if I deleted it and entered it again I found that my calories would get double for that activity. The only solution I found was to delete and then re add the activity but make some small changes to the start and end times. I am confident Fitbit will fix this software problem over time.

So far I am really liking the Fitbit Flex and I highly recommend it, other than the slightly higher calories burned then I am used to, I think the entire system is the best one going right now because it really covers all aspects of your fitness goal tracking.

Make sure to stay tuned to my Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone Up Comparison Review coming later on.

Thursday
Apr182013

Fitbit Aria WiFi Weight and Body Fat Scale Review

Finally as promised I got around to doing my Fitbit Aria WiFi Weight and Body Fat Scale Review. For those that have no idea what a body fat scale is, it's a scale that not only shows you your body weight, but it also runs a small electrical current up one one leg and back down the other, by doing this it can tell your body fat content based on the electrical resistance combined with your height, age, weight and gender.

You can also program in your fitness level so that it will account for leaner more muscled body types showing you a more accurate lower body fat reading.

The Fitbit Aria also has one more very cool feature, it has WiFi built in so it can connect with your local wireless network and then take your weight and body fat readings and immediately send them to your Fitbit account online where it is saved and pushed to your other Fitbit account enabled devices like your iPhone or other Fitbit software ready smartphone.

This gives you the option of analyzing your information either using your computer and accessing the Fitbot.com website or by launching your Fitbit App on your iOS device or Smartphone. The Fitbit software does more than just give you your Fitbit Aria scale information, you can also enter additional health information like food intake, water consumption, and daily activities. If you have a Fitbit activity tracker, then activity information like walking, running, hiking and even sleeping are transferred to your Fitbit account to give you very accurate calories burned info throughout your day.

The Fitbit Aria WiFi Scale is very smart and pretty easy to setup, once you have it connected to your wireless network and online Fitbit account, up to 8 people can be setup to it and all you need to do is step on it and it will even figure out who you are based on your weight and BMI.

I have been using my Fitbit Aria Scale for several weeks now and find that combined with information from my Jawbone Up, I am really zoning in on hitting my fitness and health goals!

Make sure to watch my YouTube Video Review for the Fitbit Aria WiFi Weight and Body Fat Scale: