David Pogue reviews two fitness armbands, the Nike Fuel Band and the Jawbone Up. He prefers the former, but appears impressed by neither.
The Nike band is polished and professional, it has that awesome screen and the wireless Bluetooth syncing is the way to go. This pony performs its trick brilliantly, but it’s still just one trick. The Up band is saddled by its goofy headphone-jack syncing method and rather weird software design.
I looked at these recently and came to the same conclusion: the wristband pedometers are great gadgets, but limited by bizarre software. Nike's, for example, wants you to focus on some weird "Nike Fuel" metric based on "oxygen kinetics"--even if it isn't bullshit, it couldn't look
more like it.
So, even though I wanted a band, I instead bought the Fitbit One, a traditional 'clip on' model. I'm not ready to recommend it yet, as I'm just a few days into using it, but at under $100 it's cheaper than the other brands. It does come with a wristband into which it can be slotted, but the band is stretchy black gymwear and clearly not as pretty as the gadgets from Nike and Jawbone. The Fitbit One's wireless background sync works perfectly—the Jawbone wristband doesn't even have wireless, and must be taken off and plugged in!— and it's cool to be able to just jump into a smartphone app and see how long I've slept, how much I've eaten, and estimates of far I've walked and how many calories I've burned today.
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