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Fitbit or Jawbone? Or something else?

Hello fellow fitness tech obsessed Knotties, 

Talk to me about your favorite wrist gadgets! I would really like to get the Fitbit Surge - its a bit pricey but hey my birthday is coming up :) or do you have other recommendations? I like that the Surge has GPS AND HR AND a real display... AND sleep monitoring... But I haven't had one of those before so not sure if the Surge is really the best one. Is it comfortable to wear 24/7? Do you feel like it has improved your fitness level? What do you think? Feel free to make fun of me if you think those gadgets are all useless and cutting my cookie intake would be a more cost-effective way of achieving my fitness goals. 
- The stars, like dust, encircle me in living mists of light. And all of space I seem to see in one vast burst of sight. 

Re: Fitbit or Jawbone? Or something else?

  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited March 2015
    I won't make fun of you.  I LOVE my Fitbit One (clip on).

    I can't talk to you about the bracelet models (though I plan to buy my mother one for Mother's Day, per her request) because after doing some research I felt the clip on was better for me.  When I was researching my options (around November 2013 - so the Surge had not yet come out, but they did have two bracelet versions), I came across blogs that had concerns about the bracelet version logging more steps than the clip on.  One blog wore both over a set 5 mile course and the bracelet version logged something like 1800 more steps than the clip on version.  She also wore it for a half hour while sitting in a chair at work not moving but talking to her coworker and it logged something like 250 steps while the clip logged 0 steps.  And then one other blog they wore both for one week and over the course of the week logged close to 20,000 more steps on the bracelet.  So I opted for clip on because I talk with my hands and the accuracy is important to me.  I'm the type to get so anal-retentive that I would be constantly trying to figure out how much it may have overcalculated then feel the need to do extra to compensate and then I would just get sick of it and give up.  For me, the convenience of the bracelet didn't outweigh the accuracy concerns I had.

    Granted, this was a year and a half ago, so maybe that has improved.  I would highly recommend reading some blogs of people who have done some testing and comparisons.

    That said, about Fitbit in general...The company has tremendous customer service.  I bought mine from Amazon and a part was missing.  Within about four hours of emailing them (I had to give them a scan or screenprint of my amazon receipt), they already shipped out the part.  And when I accidentally washed my Fitbit and needed a replacement (I was within the one year warranty), my replacement was mailed out within two hours of my initial email even though I emailed at like 10:30pm.

    I've lost 75 pounds since getting my Fitbit.  I didn't lose because of the Fitbit - it's not magic, but I feel like the Fitbit at least makes me a little more aware of the decisions I'm making.  I intermittently use their food tracker (I'll use it for several weeks until I feel like I am back on track and then will wing it until I plateau again since it means I probably need to readjust my calories).  And I'm also the type that likes to have trackable numbers.  It's easier for me if have something tangible to look at and motivates me a little more to hit a certain number - like playing a game with myself and being sort of competitive with myself.  So if I get off work and don't feel like hopping on the treadmill, I'll see that I'm at 8500 steps and I can convince myself to do it and get those last 1500 (and inevitably ends up being more because once I'm on it then I'm usually good to go for awhile).  So yeah, not magic and diet modification is going to be what's most effective, but I certainly think it's a good tool and if it motivates you and at least makes you a little more aware of the choices you're making, I think it can be a good thing. 
  • I have a fitbit flex (the smallest bracelet). I think it does help me to stay more accountable. 

    I second the PP- the customer service is awesome.

    However, I do have a few problems with it. Occasionally I develop a really itchy rash, this is apparently "normal". I usually end up bleaching the bracelet, washing my skin with sensitive soap and waiting it out.

    The "active minutes" feature is crap. I'll walk to work at a leisurely pace and it says I've done 18 active minutes, but I'll bust my ass at an Insanity class and won't gain any minutes. Unless your activities are completely step based, it doesn't really measure active time well.

    The calorie counter is also crap. I'll punch in everything I ate and it'll tell me I'm either at or below how many calories I should have eaten, I'll go to bed, wake up, and it tells me I went over my calorie count the day before. 

    So those are the most negative things I have to say. I do notice I put more of an effort in to reach my step goal, so I'll make extra trips to get things done or do a few laps around the kitchen, which I guess is increasing my overall activity. 

    I read an article that was half joking about obsessively checking your fitbit and that you basically end up living just waiting for it to vibrate (when you hit a goal). This is sort of true, I get super excited about hitting my goals.

    I read another article that says these types of trackers can cause or "restart" eating disorders since they're so focused on calorie intake/burn and it's in your face 24/7- so be careful to not get too into them.

    Lastly- I like that I can set up fun "challenges" with friends/coworkers/FI to see who does the most steps, or encourage a more active lifestyle

  • @jacques827 thank you for your response! I'm not the OP but I've been looking to get DH a fitness tracker and he decided he didn't want a bracelet, and was worried about how the clip-on would do. :)
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  • Thanks for the detailed responses. I think I like the bracelet style... Will think about it a bit more but I think I will go for the Surge :) 
    - The stars, like dust, encircle me in living mists of light. And all of space I seem to see in one vast burst of sight. 
  • I haven't had an issue with the calorie counter, but I can see how people could.  I think it depends on how you set it up and also a bit on how you use it.  I have it set up to go based on actual rather than a presumed level of activity (like sedentary or light).  It also calculates presumed BMR.  So it's kind of guessing based on past performance, plus your presumed BMR, how many calories you'll burn to tell your target calories for the day based on your goals.  So it will tell you you're on track at a given time of day, sort of under the presumption of what else you'll be doing in the remainder of the day.  I've had a few times where I was "on target", but the joke was on Fitbit because I decided to be a lazy arse the rest of the night and shotgun 6 episodes of The Walking Dead the rest of the night, then went to bed and discovered I ended up "over target" for the day.  On lazier days I do try to undercut my intake by 100-200 calories though because it annoys me when I see it went over.
  • I love my FitBit Zip! But, like others have said, unless your activity is step based it won't really count it. I basically just use it to get a general idea of how much I move during the day and it can be a good motivator when I'm at work and see I've only done 3K steps or something. And yes, their customer service is AMAZING. My sister and I bought our dad one for father's day and he turned around bought our mom one, so now we all have one :)

    I was able to review a Jawbone for my blog and was super impressed with all the functions it provides but I don't need all that on a regular basis (and it was a bit outside my budget) 
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  • I love my Fitbit one, but I'm going for the Charge HR when the plum one comes available.  The Surge is a bit too advanced for me, plus the $250 price tag isn't justifiable - the Charge HR also measures heart rate.  
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    redwoodoriginal
  • jacques27 said:

    I haven't had an issue with the calorie counter, but I can see how people could.  I think it depends on how you set it up and also a bit on how you use it.  I have it set up to go based on actual rather than a presumed level of activity (like sedentary or light).  It also calculates presumed BMR.  So it's kind of guessing based on past performance, plus your presumed BMR, how many calories you'll burn to tell your target calories for the day based on your goals.  So it will tell you you're on track at a given time of day, sort of under the presumption of what else you'll be doing in the remainder of the day.  I've had a few times where I was "on target", but the joke was on Fitbit because I decided to be a lazy arse the rest of the night and shotgun 6 episodes of The Walking Dead the rest of the night, then went to bed and discovered I ended up "over target" for the day.  On lazier days I do try to undercut my intake by 100-200 calories though because it annoys me when I see it went over.

    this is probably my problem. I have a very active job, so my activity levels are very heavy from 7-4, and not when I get home. So I end up doing 15,000 steps at work, and then being lazy from 4-10
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    I have the Fitbit Flex and I bought the fancy gold bracelet to stick it in, so at work/ going out it looks like a cuff bracelet.  I absolutely love it.  Not only do I get compliments on the pretty bracelet, but it really helps me be conscious of how much sitting I do throughout the day.  I haven't noticed that it overcounts steps while I'm just sitting at my desk, on the phone, etc.  It's quite accurate when I'm out and about and walking.

    I hooked up my MFP with Fitbit, so (when I remember) I count my calories in MFP and everything syncs over.  I really like it.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • OMG! FI just surprised me with the Surge aka my early birthday gift (birthday is not for another month!) I'm so lucky!! Woohoo! Best gift ever :) second only to the ring of course :)  I'm working on setting up my dashboard and such, let me know if you guys want to connect on fitbit. 
    @JCbride2015, how do you connect your MFP to your fitbit dashboard? 
    - The stars, like dust, encircle me in living mists of light. And all of space I seem to see in one vast burst of sight. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    @mj8215 I think there is an option on your Fitbit setting to add "apps" and MFP should be in there.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    There's a thread on the getting fit board with some of us and our Fitbit profiles :) welcome to the club! I love my Fitbit charge.

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    PrettyGirlLost
  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I have a Fitbit charge hr. I love it. It has definitely helped me get motivated when I realise I've been sitting to long or my steps haven't been met for the day.

    I also like how it has the heart rate so it gave me a better idea of what my videos and weights were doing for me. Feel less like I am blindly working out with no idea if it's helping. Being able to see everything charted has been great.

    Bringn able to track the sleep is amazing. It is so fascinating to me to be able to see what I do throughout the night. And see patterns.
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    charlottesmom0626PrettyGirlLost
  • How do we find eachother? I only see how to add friends from my address book.
  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I love my Fitbit One, although I did lose it for a few months. It's so small, that it fell between some pockets in my bag. I found it when I decided to clean it out.

  • I have the Jawbone Up 24. I love it. I tested it out at first by shaking my arm a lot. It only counts steps if I actually step. I love that. It can be an issue if you like going for bike rides, because it won't count that. I want to upgrade to the Up3 eventually, since it tracks heart rate too, but that's at least a year away.
  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    I also have a fitbit flex and like it quite a bit.  I must concur that the active minute thing is no good.  Aside from it only tracking step-based active minutes, if it isn't on your wrist at the right tightness level, it doesn't catch them.  I'll spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and it will say I had 4 active minutes.  But you can track extra calorie burn for all kinds of exercise through the track exercise feature. 

    Bottom line, it helps keep me accountable of my calorie output vs. intake, but it doesn't work any sort of magic.
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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I just got a Fitbit Charge HR as part of my Valentine's Day gift. . . I know, I know, not great timing IMO.

    "Happy Valentine's Day honey, PS use this to lose weight!"

    To be fair, I also got to pick out running shoes and DH got a Fitbit and shoes too, so we can work out together.

    I really wanted the purple Charge HR, but they are backordered until like June ><

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • What do you think about the HR tracking? My existing hr chest strap was acting goofy today and I'm not inclined to replace it if the fitbit bracelet is going to suffice.
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  • What do you think about the HR tracking? My existing hr chest strap was acting goofy today and I'm not inclined to replace it if the fitbit bracelet is going to suffice.

    I mean, I *think* its pretty good... but I have never tracked my HR before so don't really have anything to compare to. Now sometimes during the day I will think "OMG I'm so excited about this or that" then glance at my wrist and it says 62 and I'm like "oh, I guess I'm not that excited after all. LOL". 
    Seriously it seems like a great gadget that will help me be more active but will probably not prevent me from eating cookies etc. 
    - The stars, like dust, encircle me in living mists of light. And all of space I seem to see in one vast burst of sight. 
    flyingfoxes
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