Top positive review
126 people found this helpful
Useful, but needs updating for a non-American market
on 2 March 2012
The Fitbit is basically a pedometer 2.0, coupled with a fairly decent online service to track your activities. The device is designed like a clip, so it firmly grips onto your belt. It's got one button on that you can tap to go through the various screens or hold down to indicate the start or end of an activity (playing sport, running, going to sleep etc).
It's all about improving your fitness level, but the web site encourages you to keep a food log. The problem with this is that the food log covers American food outlets. So if you want to log that you had a healthy salad or felt you deserved a slice of chocolate gateaux you'd have to live with logging it as something like 'Wendy's Super Salad Supreme' or 'The McGateuax Deluxe' (both made up, but you get my point).
You get rewarded with badges, much like Foursquare or Angry Birds. For example, walking 10,000 steps in a day or a 'life time' achievement of 500 flights of stairs. Earning badges works as a motivator for you to keep using the device and exercise more. On the device itself are a number of screens that report the distance travelled, the number of floors climbed and the amount of calories burnt. There's also a tamagotchi-style flower that grows the more you exercise, but shrinks back down if you get lazy.
The Fitbit comes with a fabric wrist strap that can house the unit so you can wear it as you sleep. It detects your movements during the night to indicate when you awoke (or were asleep lightly enough to move). Of course, if you happen to be a sleepwalker this is an opportunity to earn an extra badge or two during the night.
It's pretty tough to remember the bring the Fitbit with you when you leave the house in the morning, and there's been days I've forgotten it and had to climb flights of stairs thinking what's the point if I'm not earning any badges or helping my flower grow, so either it's made me into a sad badge-obsessed freak or is helping me think more about ensuring sure I exercise during the day.
Again with the Americanisms, the measurements are all imperial - so feet/inches, miles etc. If like me you're more comfortable measuring distance in KM, you have to change your height into metres/cm and that converts everything to metric (it's not at all obvious but it works). Although the badges you earn for distance are still measured in miles so it's a bit confusing.
All in all it's a great device. The other guys I know who've bought one have both bored of it already, so it is a bit of an expense if it's just going to sit in a drawer after a couple of weeks, but if you're interested in stats and want to improve your fitness level this really is a great buy.