FITBIT ONE REVIEW
The FitBit ONE captures the core information you might expect of an activity tracker (steps, distance, calories burned, sleep), but also tracks stairs climbed, food eaten, weight, and has a silent vibrating alarm and a strong social aspect. Read on for more info, including my own experience with the Fitbit ONE vs the Jawbone UP.
My FitBit One is Mine
As with all of my firsthand reviews, it's important for me to let you know that I bought my FitBit One with my own pocket money. FitBit didn't ask me to review their product or write this review. I just wanted one, so I went out and bought it, and now I'm telling you what I think -- however, if you do buy anything through my site I usually get paid a small advertising fee (it doesn't bring your price up, though, so don't worry!). My opinions are my own, and I'm going to tell you the what I honestly think about the product in addition to listing the cut-and-dried features of the product. And, when a company does give me a test unit to review, I'll always be up-front about letting you know. Just wanted to get that out of the way!
So-- Is the FitBit One THE ONE?
The FitBit One is a very comprehensive activity tracker. It captures not only steps and activity intensity, but also how many flights of stairs you climbed and your sleep (duration and quality). It uses the data collected to further calculate distance travelled (based on your stride length) and calories burned (based on your height, gender, weight, and steps/activity level).
The information it collects is visible on the device screen. You can toggle through the data (including time display) using a single, multifunctional button on the device's sleek body. You can also log in to your personal FitBit dashboard online to view all of your data over time. The dashboard lets you connect socially with other FitBit users - both those you know in the real world and those you don't - and see how you rank against them on your personal "leaderboard."
You can also track calories consumed, weight over time, and customize a calorie tracking plan for weight loss. FitBit's Aria smart scale, sold separately, will wireless transmit your weight and body fat percentage to your dashboard as well, helping to provide a full picture of your health journey over time.
Although you can view your data via Mac or PC, you can also view your data on select iOS and Android devices (greater mobile compatibility is on the way). The data the One collects is transferred wirelessly to your computer or compatible mobile device. The flexibility of access from multiple devices and ability to sync wirelessly are significant benefits over those limited to only web or only smartphone and trackers that only can be synced manually.
The FitBit One has a rechargeable battery with a respectable life of 5 to 7 days. Just like the Jawbone UP, you need to set the device into "sleep mode" to track your sleep. If you forget, you can log sleep manually. Basis, on the other hand, claims that their B1 Band will automatically know when you're asleep based on your body position and motion. The One also features a silent alarm that gently buzzes to wake you up without disturbing your partner.
People who own the FitBit One complain about the ease of losing the product. This is true of any activity tracker that must be worn on clothing (because you accidentally throw it in the wash or forget to transfer it from one outfit to another), or that must be switched to a sleeping wristband or removed for showering (because again you can forget where you set it down or forget to put it back on). The FitBit One comes with a silicone carrying case clip to wear it on your clothing. Some people have had the device pop out of the carrying case. To reduce the likelihood of this, wear the clip with the device inside of a pocket and the clip on the outside. If potentially losing the device is a dealbreaker for you, consider the FitBit Flex, Jawbone UP, Basis Band, or other activity trackers with 24/7 wearability (often, they have a wristband form factor.)
My Personal Experience with the FitBit One versus the Jawbone UP
I've owned a FitBit One since November 2012 and a Jawbone UP since about March 2013. You can read more about my adventures wearing these devices on the About Us page.
But, in general, I've preferred several of the FitBit One's features. I like its screen for the constant feedback it provides (mid-run, I'll know whether I need to do another mile or just a few more blocks to meet my goal). I prefer its more robust social features, which you can read more about in the main body of the Detailed Reviews page. The automatic syncing is lovely - It would be an essential feature for me in any other fitness tracker. Not having it in the Jawbone Up hampers my use of the UP data along with the device's ability to motivate me. And, unlike the UP, the One doesn't have sharp edges. You can read more about my perceived downsides (and positives) of the UP in the corresponding "Personal Experience" section on the Jawbone UP Review Page.
On the down side, I've already lost two FitBit Ones, and because of that, I'm not planning to get another one! Many FitBit users post about accidentally throwing the device in the wash with their clothing or having the device inadvertently pop out of its carrying case. If the screen isn't a big draw for you and you're worried about losing a gadget like the One but you're otherwise impressed by the FitBit, you might want to look into the FitBit Flex.
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LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
Where To Buy
You can purchase the FitBit One via the FitBit website. They offer free shipping on orders over $50.
You can also buy it via Amazon.
Features & Added Benefits
The FitBit has two sensors: a 3-axis accelerometer that captures your daytime and nightime motion to categorize steps, activity intensity, and sleep patterns, and an altimeter to capture flights of stairs you've climbed.
The device uses this information to present various data to you, including steps, distance traveled, calories burned, flights of stairs climbed, hours slept and times awoken. It also shows the time on its display screen. All on a sleek little nubbin of a device.
A number of features add appeal to this health gadget including a silent wakeup alarm, a social aspect that lets you add friends and strangers to a competitive leaderboard, goal setting and tracking, weight tracking, and food logging/calorie counting.
Hardware & Wearing
The FitBit One has a clip form factor when inserted into its silicon clip case, and can be clipped to the waist band, inside the pocket, or on a bra or undergarment. It can also be carried in a pocket without the clip case. The device is most accurate when worn at the waist.
At night, it must be placed in the accompanying wrist band and placed into sleep mode to capture sleep data.
It is splash resistant (splashes, rain, and fog), but cannot be worn while in the shower or while swimming.
One button on the device lets you turn on different modes (sleep mode, activity mode for tracking biking or other non-step activities) and cycle through the screen display. The display shows flights of stairs climbed, distance traveled, calories burned, "activity flower" which grows when you're more active, time, and steps. It also shows custom text when you pick it up, which you can set to show up to seven characters of your choice, and when jostled it shows a "chatter message" - a motivational word or words, like "LET'S GO."
The device itself is available in two colors: black and magenta.
Battery Life & Charging
The FitBit One charges manually via a USB cable that comes with the device. It needs to be charged about every 5 to 7 days.
Bluetooth 4.0 syncing allows your data to automatically transfer to the website/app when you get within 10 to 20 feet of your paired computer or mobile device.
You can view your FitBit One data via a Mac or PC and through select iOS and Android devices. The company is planning to add compatibility with more mobile devices soon. An API is available, and the device interfaces with many popular fitness apps and websites, including MyFitnessPal and Lose It!
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