Fitbit Flex v. Nike+ Fuelband SE

Photo courtesy of news day.com
Photo courtesy of newsday.com

For awhile now, I’ve wanted a new activity tracker – especially with having recently started training for my half marathon.  I really love the idea of being able to actually see and be accountable for my activity and track it throughout the day.

Several years ago I had the Nike+ insert for my shoes and for the most part, really liked it.  It seemed to be pretty accurate in calculating my workouts and tracking my runs.  There were of course, several drawbacks to this.  For one, you had to buy the Nike shoes that had room for the chip to go in them.  The options were definitely limited.  In general, I love Nike’s, but I find most of their running shoes are too thin, and often lack support.  I like the way most Asics fit and feel a lot better – and that wasn’t an option with this tracker.  I also really hated that it only tracked while you were wearing the shoes – so other day to day activities were completely unaccounted for.

I spent lots of time going thru the many many different options for a new tracker a few weeks ago.  I narrowed my search down to two…the Fitbit and the Nike+ FuelBand.

I ended up purchasing the Nike+ SE in Rose Gold after much deliberation despite the pricey $169 price tag in caparison to the $99 FitBit.

rose-gold-nike+fuelband
Photo courtesy of lovemaegan.com

Aesthetically, I really liked the way that this looked in comparison to the FitBit.  It looked more like a bracelet than the average activity tracker.  Unfortunately, upon getting it, I found out that the gold part actually goes on the inside of your wrist…so no one even sees that cute part anyways, leaving it to be scratched up as I work on the computer all day.  I also was not keen on the way that the band fit.  I went between the small and the medium and neither truly gave me a comfortable fit. The small didn’t go over my wrist bone, so it felt like my hand was suffocating and the medium was too big and went really far up my forearm.

Despite this, I decided to keep it and test it out for awhile, thinking that I’d probably just get used to it.

I really loved the display on the Nike+ – you really get a clear idea of how far you are away from your goal.  The app is really great too and super easy.  In addition, Nike has all sorts of custom workouts you can use with your band.  I was really disappointed with the so called “sleep tracker” – all it told me was when I went to sleep and when I woke up.  This was something I already knew so I was very unimpressed with this aspect.  I also noticed that sometimes when I was running really fast, I was getting less “fuel points” than when I was running slower.  This also made me pretty mad.  The final straw was the other day when I saw an article saying that Nike had laid off their FuelBand team

Although Nike says they will still support the device, things got a little dicey to me and I just simply couldn’t justify keeping the product (after having it for over 3 weeks) when the fit was still uncomfortable and I felt that my product was being depreciated.  I didn’t waste another day with my 30 day return policy and returned it that day.

The same day, I ordered the Fitbit Flex in black (and got about $80 back for the difference in the price from the FuelBand).  I really wanted the Fitbit Force since it has a better display, but unfortunately that has been recalled due to skin reactions and I could not find one.

Photo courtesy of uncrate.com
Photo courtesy of uncrate.com

The fit with the Fitbit is so much better.  There are so many different custom sizes so you can truly get the snug or loose fit that is comfortable for you.  I also really love the app that goes with the Fitbit.  It’s also really user friendly and gives you real-time data on your activity.  The sleep tracker on this is also another huge plus.  Although it’s not “that” detailed, it does show the times during the night that you are restless as well as the length of your sleep.  It is slightly more advanced than the FuelBand.

I will say the one thing that the FuelBand beats the Fitbit out on is the display and aesthetics.  The display on the Flex is super simple and requires the user to learn a “tapping” way to communicate with the band which leads to more user error than the simple button on the FuelBand.  There are just a few simple lights that show you your progress, but that’s not too big of a deal.  The comfort alone is really worth it and I feel like the actual tracking is more accurate with the Flex.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend both…but to me, the Fitbit wins.

***Note, this is not a paid endorsement…just my genuine opinion***

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