Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good - not quite perfect, 13 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been using this 24/7 for about a week. I feel I have the hang of it now. It is a quality product, very solidly built and easy to use. I think it works well and is worth the money (certainly compared with other pedometers I have tried) but there are a few "things you need to understand to get the best out of it (and these are not well explained in manual or on the company's web site).

The unit is quite small and unobtrusive. You plug it into a usb port to recharge it (which happens quickly) and it does last about a week on one charge. You sync its data to your account on "fitbit.com" with a PC ("dongle" provided and is essential) or using an app on a phone or tablet (not all models are supported). This works well and reliably for me.

The unit is an accelerometer. It measures acceleration (i.e. how it is being moved). It is quite simple - it has no idea what you are doing in order to move it, but it is set up to recognise "steps" i.e. sudden up/down movements. This means that it will interpret all such movements as "steps" and record the "distance" you have travelled - fine if you are actually walking or running, but it will also count other movement in the same way. It has an altimeter, so can detect changes in height and records these as "flights of stairs climbed". You need to accept that it is basically inaccurate because it cannot actually know what you were doing to move it. To give one example, if I walk across the campus where I work it records me as climbing two flights of stairs (I am walking uphill!). Even so, it does give a reasonable picture of how active you are overall so you can compare day by day and monitor how much energy you are using.

I had a bigger problem initially. I clipped it inside a pocket (as suggested) and it was recording huge numbers of steps that I was not taking - suggesting I was covering more than 10km on days when I had hardly left my desk.Following a suggestion on the user forum, I clipped it to my belt, where it is more secure and does not "jiggle about" and the recordings are much more representative now.

The sleep recording works well for me, but after a few days I felt it was not telling me anything I needed to know, so I have stopped using it for this.

The fitbit.com web site is pretty good - with nice display of the data. It uses flash, so you cannot see all the information on an iPad or iPhone and those apps do not draw the pretty graphs. The food database is very American, but you can link "the My fitness Pal" site to your fitbit account so you have access to an excellent UK food database to track what you eat and keep to your caloie limits (it "lets" you eat more if your fitbit says you have been using extra calories!) All the web site stuff is free.

Overall, I am pleased and I like the unit. It would have been great to have more advice and information without having to look for it (though their customer service is good when you ask). This would have made me a little more realistic about what it would and would not do. As a "wear and forget" monitor to help you move around more and eat less it is very good indeed.
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Location: Gatwick, UK

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