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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.
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on 16 October 2012
Love it, does exactly what it says, my only regret is that it arrived the day before they announced the new improved models!

FitBit One Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker
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on 25 January 2012
This is a well made and accurate pedometer which not only measures steps but also miles walked/ran. Although it comes in two colours it does not really matter which one you get as the colour is mainly in the inside and inner edge (think cloths peg) it probably would matter if you had two and needed to know who owned which one. It is remarkably small
Height 2.125 inches (5.5 cm)
Width 0.75 inch (19.5 mm)
Depth 0.5625 inch (14mm)
Weight 0.4 oz (0.025 lb, 11.34 grams)

This information is from the fitbit website and some of the info you can only access by logging on, if you want more info you can log on to a free account and get a feel for the software and see if it would be any use. My initial disappointment was that there were absolutely no instructions, not even a quick start guide; you even have to go and open an account to set it up. I think I have now found out most things except can you charge it from a normal USB charger for convenience rather than have to tether to a computer while charging (one hour to fully charge a flat battery); it does hold its charge however for at least 3 days and data for 7 days. It states quite correctly that it will update the info on the computer every time you go within 15 feet of the computer (Unless you force it by plugging into the dock it will only download once an hour, not a bad thing) however this is fine if you are using a desktop PC and you leave the docking unit plugged in, if you are using a laptop you have to plug in the dock each time you want to download data. Some of the things it does are a bit random although it does record climbing stairs and recording the number of times you do this,( it has a built in altimeter) it does not give an indication of 8 treads or many and it will also record fairly small but steep hills as stairs.
The calories used is again probably a gimmick as if you leave it on a shelf and do not use it at all it will record calories used, it bases this assumption on the data you have entered on the "dashboard" and the fact that everyone uses up calories by just living. You can programme it to give a welcome message when you pick it up and it does give random inspirational messages such as WOOP! (Whatever that means) the display is however surprisingly large and a clear blue which blends into the body when there is no display. Also on the display is a daisy which grows to show effort.
The dashboard (accessed via the internet and free, there is a premium paid for version but I have not explored this) Records all your steps etc and allows you to enter data such as weight, height and stride length which I assume is transferred back and forth to the unit as the steps to mileage conversion is very accurate.
You can strap it to your wrist to record sleep patterns but for me it was a waste of time it showed how long I took to go to sleep and how long I slept (for someone with sleep problems it is probably useful to be able to analyse the number of times you woke up but may not be too aware of it)
There are numerous other things you can log on the dashboard such as food, blood pressure etc but as I only wanted an accurate pedometer I have not bothered.
In summary an excellent well made pedometer which also records distance which is all I wanted but it would be nice if there was at least minimal quick start information supplied.
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on 28 July 2012
I have used mine for 2 weeks now and I have fallen in love with this gadget. I never hide my spending from hubby, but at this massive price and another stupid invention aimed at conning women, I didn't really tell anyone about this until now.

I have preset my goals on my account via the Fitbit website. I aim to take 10,000 steps a day and climb 20 sets of stairs as a minimum. The fact that I can see how many steps I've taken and the amount of sets of stairs I've climbed motivates me to achieve my daily goals. Then the growing/shrinking flower shames me into being active, I can see how many leaves my flower has on it's stem, and if less than 4, I know I've sat around too long and need to get up and take the dog for a walk.

The aim I have is to lose weight, so using the Fitbit website and inputting my personal information, gender, weight and age etc, plus my goal weight, the site sets me a goal daily calorie burn rate. I use the Fitbit App on my iPhone to check my calorie burn as I go throughout my daily routine, and speed walk if I'm not reaching goal burn. It even reminds me to take in some water now and again!

I use this in conjunction with the "My Fitness Pal" App - because it is a further developed website holding a lot more information. I scan the barcode of all the foods I prepare, from shop branded bread rolls, to the margarine I use and even salad cream, and the App logs the amount of calories I've taken in!

Both Apps sync to my Fitbit, and remarkably, to each other, so if I log foods/exercise on either of the Apps, the other will update it's App to hold the same information.

Accurately, the Apps have kept journals of my calories and within 2 weeks of use, I've finally managed to start shifting that last 20lbs of weight I haven't been able to lose since I had my youngest, 8 years ago! I've tried weight watchers, a Personal Trainer at the gym, various classes, Zumba, Spin etc... oh for the love of it all, save yourself some hard cash and buy this.

Happy Days!!!

(I am just about to add the Fitbit Aria -scales - to my shopping list!)
PS I will also add, I do occasionally watch the Jillian Michaels Shred DVD, sometimes, I even take part!
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on 25 January 2012
I have had it almost a week. It is so easy to use; and very user friendly. It is one of the few things that does everything it claims; and then some.

I discovered this by accident; and then read reviews and research - and then I ordred it. I am glad I did!

I knew I was having trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep at night; and this little gadget; confirms that I am up many times a night - it even charts it!

If you want this to get fit; then it will record all your activity; to lose weight - you can log in what you eat - if you want it for weight management - that is covered as well!

There is even software for your smart phone!

I had it a day; and have convinced three others to go for it!

I think you'll find it is worth every pence!!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 May 2012
I bought this because like almost everyone else who has reviewed it, it seemed to tick all the boxes and linked in to my MyFitnessPal (MFP) account. MFP were also promoting it as being a really useful tool that would provide information that when used in conjunction (direct link sharing information between the two websites) with MFP would allow me to analyse my diet and fitness programme and fine tune it.

So far I've not really encountered many issues with regard to over recording, although I do have issues with regard to some of the stats produced: i.e. Tues did 17750 steps and climbed 50 floors - worlds tallest tent apparently (14.5K walk over mixed terrain), Wed did 7850 steps and climbed 2 floors (tall giraffe) the MET figure for Tues was 2.8 and Wed 3.9, how? I was absolutely more active over the whole day on Tuesday. Some of the calorie burn figures have got me scratching my head as they don't appear to be linked to how active I actually was: e.g. Was described as fairly active when I was actually sat down doing clinical supervision with one of my supervisees. Logged a question with FitBit support and not had a reply yet. After reading some more of the reviews I've realised that there are a number of issues regards accuracy and support.

The website is also very basic unless you want to spend £40 on upgrading to premium membership, there is a free trial for a week, but I haven't got the time at the moment to sit down and work out whether over analysing more data would necessarily be a benefit worth spending £40 on seeing as I've just spent £80 on the device, and given some reviews and forum comments regarding accuracy. I personally haven't come across the driving issue mentioned by others in reviews and the forums but another website 'My Calorie Counter' has driving down as an activity and you can tweak MFP to include this as a calorie burn and it then sync's with FitBit to adjust your daily calorie intake, but again not very well explained on the FitBit website.

I really wanted to keep track of how active I am and what impact that was having on my fitness levels and weight and so far FitBit appears to be providing information that I can use although what it is is really an expensive pedometer with a couple of useful gimmicks (Stair recognition and calorie burn through the day) and what you're paying for is the information being produced on the website. But beware, customer support appears a little hit and miss given my current three day wait and counting for a reply to questions and as another reviewer has pointed out there are no virtual manuals stored on the website that you can download; it's all FAQ's, several of which are less than useful.

There is one final issue which is over the display. I recently went out in the sunshine (no, seriously, there was sunshine!) and about a third of the way through my walk I wanted to check how many steps I'd done - to check out how accurate the pedometer was in calculating steps-distance as I knew the exact distance I'd walked - I couldn't read the display at all however I tried to shade it.

If the website was better, they address the customer support issues, they provide a better manual that allows you to adjust the FitBit to take into account some of the issues around false reporting during driving and sleep I'd have given it four stars. It has the potential to be a really useful piece of kit and I do like it but my advice would be to research the website first and see if it the tools on it are what you personally need or would use and look at the forums to see how others have resolved issues that should be the province of FitBit's customer support.
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on 24 January 2012
I brought my fitbit in December and was a bit sceptical and wondered if I would use it everyday, but thought I would give it a go. I opted for the lovely plum colour which I love. I am a bit rubbish at setting things up on my laptop and was a bit alarmed at first about the lack of paper instructions in the box. I was so pleasently surprised when I went to set it up as it literally took a couple of minutes, if I can do it in that time believe me anyone can!
On my first day using the fitbit I found it wonderful and very motivating and I definatly moved around more knowing it was there keeping a track on me. When buying my other concern was the comfort of wearing it, but I honestly didn't know it was there. I clip to the front of my bra in the middle and you cannot feel it or see it under clothes. I checked my fitbit dashboard that night and was amazed at how much I had done and ever since then I try and 'beat' the day before! It is such a simple, inspirational and motivational tool. I find myself doing so much more walking (my dog is knackered!) to keep up to my recommended daily steps.
It becomes a bit adictive and I look forward to checking my dashboard in the evening to see what I have done.
Also the sleep monitor is such a great feature. I always wake up tired in the mornings and thought I got up a few times in the night (go to the loo, sip of water etc). Well from the fitbit I found I got up 11 times one night, no wonder I am tired in the mornings!! I have now tried to stop drinking anything after a certain time to stop myself needing to get up so much and it is iproving. I was worried that it would be uncomfortable to wear overnight, but I have honestly not felt it once. You get a silky wristband to clip it onto and it is very soft and comfy.

I can honestly say my fitbit has seen me make many changes to the way I live my life so far and I am sure this will continue as I am in a routine now.
I wish the NHS had the money to give everyone a fitbit for free as it can really change your life! I know that makes me sound a bit of a sad case, but it is true!
With previous reviews about the accuracy of the unit, I would never expect it to be 100% by the nature of the product and how it moniters by movement, I have counted steps and checked on my walks and the only thing I have found is when I go up steap hills they can be counted as stairs. This is acceptable to me as it feels like climbing stairs and must be equivalent!

Also your fitbit dashboard has so much to explore and you can log the food you eat and track your weight. The graphs and pie charts are very motivating and helpful. There is so much information on there and you can look back and see your historical data also, it is like your own personal website!

Please give it a go, you will not regret it...its amazing!
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on 18 June 2012
I got my FitBit from Amazon on the day of release and have been using it ever since. 6 months down the line, I thought I'd give it a quick review.

I have tried dieting and various websites, myFitnessPal, etc but alone these don't work for me. However, coupled with the FitBit and am finding that other things are falling into place. I use it in conjunction with MFP and find it works really well for me.

The badges are wonderful and help me to keep motivated in the hope of achieving them. This carrot on stick approach works very well for me.

The website has gone through a couple of face-lifts in the months I have been using the FitBit and these have been appealing and well thought out.

I'm hopefully looking to add a Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scales to my FitBit Eco-system so I can easily track my weight loss (hopefully) without having to enter things manually. Simplicity is the key here!

So why only 4 stars? Well I do have two fairly annoying gripes with the device.

Firstly, the webiste/apps still have NO provision for being anywhere other than a US market. There are ZERO UK foods in their database. Adding foods is really cumbersome on FitBit as compared to myFitnessPal. There is NO barcode scanning like there is with myFitnessPal and there is no community database which is what this product really needs to get those UK foods into the database. When the FitBit first came to the UK I mentioned the lack of UK foods on the Facebook page. Kaizo, the PR firm, promised that this was being looked into and would appear in the next month or so. 6 months down the line and there is still no UK foods. I also mentioned that there is no UK localisation, for example, Fiber instead of Fibre. This still hasn't been adjusted and there really is no excuse for this. Not really on.

Luckily the integration with myFitnessPal gets around this but it really shouldn't be necessary considering myFitnessPal is completely free and is able to provide many more features for food logging.

Secondly, I look after my FitBit and always attach it to the belt 'rings' on my trousers, making sure that the ring goes through the larger circular end of the FitBit. Anything thicker and the FitBit goes in the sharp and scratchy holder which digs into your skin. Despite this though, the FitBit is developing a crack at the top where the two parts of the device are glued together. I am therefore a bit concerned about how long my FitBit is going to last before it falls to pieces.
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on 15 April 2012
Newly launched in the UK the FitBit Ultra is the first of perhaps a number of similar lifestyle/dieting devices. Already available is the Jawbone Up (not yet available from Amazon UK) and in May 2012 the Nike+ Fuelband. Both are dearer than the FitBit Ultra but both are rather more stylish , particularly the Nike+ Fuelband which is currently very much in demand in the USA. The Jawbone UP has been plagued by quality Control issues and has no visual display; the Fuelband is markedly more expensive and Nike's walled garden may restrict interfacing with rival fitness tracking websites. So that leaves the FitBit Ultra for me at least, in the lead.

There are many detailed technical reviews on Amazon and so I will not attempt here to add to them but instead will give my thoughts after a week or so of use.

The unit is very simple to set up provided the instructions are followed. I opened an account at the FitBit website first and entered my details there before I physically installed the Fitbit software on my PC. After installation I could then simply log in and all was ready and waiting. My Fitbit data syncs automatically to the Fitbit website As a Runkeeper.com and Myfitnesspal.com user I have found it best to follow the advice on the FitBit website and enter additional data (meals and nutrition etc) to the Myfitnesspal website first. After linking the accounts together the additional data will automatically be propagated to the FitBit and Runkeeper websites. Doing this saves work and also ensures that data will not be duplicated.

The Fitbit has a Recording mode which can be used to track specific activities. Understanding its use is crucial to get the best from the Fitbit. Recording mode allows nighttime movements to be logged to monitor sleep patterns - although how accurate this is I have my doubts. During the day this can be used to log runs and other exercises. The specific activity time must be entered on the MyFitnesspal website to allow a breakdown of data for this activity to be displayed on the Fitbit and Myfitnesspal.com sites and to further avoid double posting. Also, to avoid problems when driving the car with the FitBit attached you should record this activity and enter it on the Fitbit website as 'Driving' the website will then deduct the false readings from your daily steps total.

The battery life is good and up to a week or so of use can be expected.

You will soon find that using this little device becomes second as you seek to increase you step level each day. The Fitbit records the number of steps (or similar motions) taken daily as well as altitude, progress uphill is expressed as 'Floors' although climbing hills and stairs count equally.

The Fitbit also attempts to show the distance you have traveled but straight from the box I found this to be wildly inaccurate. A walk of 6 miles tracked on my GPS equipped iPhone was give as being 11 miles by the FitBit. To get around this I did a series of walks of a known distance and then some simple maths using the number of Fitbit steps allowed me to work out my stride length which I then entered into my Fitbit profile settings on the Fitbit website. I found I had to tweak this setting several times before getting it more or less right. Since the Fitbit records every jog and nudge as a step the distance reading will never be very accurate.

The Good
Cheaper than similar rival products
Small and easy to fit
No case for the device and supplied peripherals
Excellent integration with the Fitbit and other websites
It soon becomes addictive and second nature to use

The Bad
Stride length needs to be set and this is tricky
Display screen tiny and hard to read in bright light
No printed or downloadable manual, website manual only
Sleep monitoring of doubtful accuracy
Charging/syncing mount is quite flimsy
No case for the device and supplied peripherals
FitBit website food database is very US centric (use myfitnesspal.com instead)
Driving gives false step and altitude readings (work around available)
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on 7 January 2012
So pleased I found Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker via Google and delighted that amazon.co.uk are one of the first retailers of this product in the UK. I pre-ordered mine on the 25th December, a very nice Christmas gift from my wife. It arrived on the 4th Jan, 2012. In America it is THE health and fitness gadget of 2011 and having used it for the last few days I can see why.

This device is exceptional at giving you the motivation you need to keep active. Even sitting here at my desk writing this short review I am conscious of the fitbit Dashboard counting up my 'Sedentary activity' knowing I should be thinking about boosting my 'fairly active' or even my 'very active' activities.... so I'm off to the gym shortly, and I now walk the mile there and back to make sure fitbit gets its exercise of recording my activities.

The Sleep function is fascinating too, monitoring your sleep patterns. First thing I do in the mornings now is jump on my Withings Wifi Body Scale Black (this is connected via the home wifi to fitbit's Dashboard) then go down to my Mac (works on PC or Mac) and login to my fitbit account. Straight away I can see the 'Track Weight' graph has instantly shown me todays weight. Clicking the Log tab drills down to give me all the details and history I could ever want. The colourful graph and chart displays are excellent! The sleep monitor tells me how long it took to fall asleep, how many times I woke up in the night, and my actual sleep time. I got up last night at 02:37 to spend a penny, and sure enough fitbit tracked that I was active at 2:37 a.m for 2 minutes.

I'm currently in a weight loss period (on a diet) ... but one of the things I'm already really looking forward to is fitbit's ability to tell you precisely how many calories you can eat to maintain your weight dependent on your activity level.

Tracking the food you eat.... this has proved a little problematic mainly because the current fitbit database is very much orientated to the U.S. market. Most of the foods we eat here in the U.K. are just not on their database. So everything I ate I was having to input manually and this was taking too much time. However, the good news is that myfitnesspal.com a free app you can use on any smartphone, to easily capture what and when you eat, can now be connected to fitbit !!!. I ate a Sainsbury's rice cake - so I just scan the packaging barcode with my mobile phone, tell the app that this is Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner or a Snack, and the next thing you know the calories are logged onto my fitbit's Dashboard.

If you do decide to buy yourself a fitbit then please join the 'UK users of fitbit' community group on the fitbit website and we can discuss issues from a U.K. prospective to encourage the further development and integration of this fantastic product.

ps. If you are reading this review, then I think you know in your own mind fitbit is for you too!

pps. I'm also using a Sigma PC25.10 Wireless Heart Rate Monitor at the gym - this is fantastic for recording calories burnt and easy to update your fitbit 'Activities' Log manually.
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