Customer Review

130 of 133 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost, but not quite..., 8 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Withings Pulse Wireless Activity and Heart Rate Tracker - Black (Sports)
This could almost be my favourite activity tracker but a few issues keep it from the top slot.

I've tried the Jawbone UP, the Nike Fuelband and a couple of the Fitbit range. I finally settled on the Fitbit one, which I have been using since they were launched, and I rate it very highly. However I decided I wanted to unify my activity/weight tracking and as I already have a Withings Blood pressue monitor and the old Withings body scale the Pulse seemed like a natural switch.

Having used it for almost a week now I think it is a good product but I still prefer my Fitbit. Here's why:

- I suffer from very high blood pressure so I have to remain active as part of a system for treating it. I therefore walk a lot and use my activity tracker as a way of motivating myself to keep active. I usually manage 12000 or more steps a day. With the fitbit I can set my steps at any level (currently 13000) to motivate myself to achieve a higher goal than my average. The Pulse has a set level of 10,000 steps which cannot be altered. While it does count steps higher than this of course, it considers you have reached your goal when it gets to 10000. In my case not very motivational.

- I also don't sleep very much (I average about 6 hours a night) however this is usually enough for me as long as the sleep quality is good (i.e. most of it deep sleep). The Pulse has its own notion of how much sleep I need - it is set at 8 to 9 hours and anything less is considered to be not achieving your goal. The Fitbit allows me to set my goal and is thus much more flexible.

- The fitbit also allows you much more flexibility when it comes to editing. So, for example, if I go to sleep and forget to start my tracking I can go into my records later and add a sleep record. Because I am always wearing the tracker I can still see the quality of my sleep which is what i am ultimately interested in. With the Pulse if you forget to manually start sleep mode thats ir you are left with a blank sleep record. Disappointing.

- I think Fitbit's concept of counting 'floors' rather than absolute height makes more sense for me since I am office-bound and thus actually climb floors rather than hills or mountains (but that's specific to my type of usage)

- Finally the iOS app is a mess - the interface is cluttered to say the least. Someone should look at making it much simpler to get information at a glance. For example the 'heat map' on the website gives a great overview of your weekly habits - this should be incorporated into the app (it could appear when you turn your device into landscape for example).

So what do I like about it?
- Pulse tracking is nice (and seems accurate enough - possibly not medical grade but certainly good enough for home use)
- Small and light
- Easy to set up
- Nice to be able to see some historical data right on the device
- Syncing is easy and seems reliable so far
- Battery life is good (although, to be fair, the Fitbit is better)
- No special charging cable is needed, pretty much any micro-USB cable will work - this is a big plus as a lot of other trackers including the fitbit use some kind of proprietary charging connector.

So all in all a good device but to take the top spot from the Fitbit one (and thus be a great device) I think it needs the following:

1 - More flexibility on the device and in the app
- allow us to set our own targets for sleep and steps
- allow us to edit our sleep records

2 - Add the 'heat map' to the app

2 - Make the UI on the app simpler/less cluttered

Regarding my rating I would give the Fitbit one 4.5 out of 5 and the Pulse 3.5 our of 5 but as Amazon don't do half points I've rounded up to,a slightly-generous, 4.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Sep 2013 15:19:03 BDT
waj says:
Excellent review as I too own a Fit Bit tracker and am very grateful to the author for his experience and the clear concise manner in which the review has been made.

Posted on 27 Oct 2013 01:52:50 BDT
pjh says:
Thank you very much for taking the time to add such a helpfully detailed review. I tried a FitBit One ... but returned this for a Fitbit Flex .... and was wondering whether I'd be better with something other ... but your review has encouraged me to focus on what I have ... although I plan to link it with a MyFitness Pal profile as my interest includes a need for assistance in tracking food/calories etc for weight loss and the fitbit includes a USA based supermarket/food brands resource which means I have to input details about food brands as I come across them ..... I am hoping that My Fitness Pal will have a UK food resource to link in ..... (yet to explore)

Posted on 29 Nov 2013 19:49:33 GMT
Brilliant review - thank you very much for this as it stopped me in my tracks. I've never heard of Fit Bit so I wondered which one was your all time favourite one so I can have a look at it please? Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Dec 2013 06:16:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Dec 2013 06:17:43 GMT
Trash says:
Hi PJH -
you've probably long since investigated this but in case you haven't yet - I use MyFirnessPal and it works very well with the FitBit (and the Pulse I believe). It definitely has UK meals in it (even good old M&S stuff is listed :-).

Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2013 08:45:31 GMT
pjh says:
Thank you Trash ... yes 'My Fitness Pal' is a handy liaison facility. Interesting to know that it works well with Withings Pulse as well because, having an older iPhone, fitbit does not synch with my iPhone whereas Withings Pulse does (could incline me to lean towards Withings ... particularly as also have an iHealth wrist blood pressure and pulse monitor ... which sends data to iPhone brilliantly through iHealth's MY VITALS App. (pairs to iPhone via bluetooth)

Posted on 29 Jan 2014 22:05:54 GMT
Radu Bogdan says:
If you are lucky you have a good device, else you have a bad things not witings device, or probably withings=badthings
I hope you don't need service support, is the worst I know.

Posted on 13 Mar 2014 09:18:00 GMT
Great review.

I would also add regarding the mess that is the application: as it gathers more data than the fitbit flex, it has the potential to offer more accurate activity information (with respect to sleep quality and calories burned in particular). But it really doesn't, as if the company tried to push a device on the market without the software to help it achieve its potential.

The interface is a mess, the data isn't structured enough to be useful.

I have a fitbit flex for the moment and I was considering this as an upgrade but this review had me investigate deeper and didn't really like what I found.

Indeed, 4 stars is quite generous for the package although if judging the device itself in its class, it is a 4. But I'm not just looking for a device, I'm also interested in data crunching to help me with my activity schedule.
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Location: London, England

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