FITBIT ZIP REVIEW
The FitBit Zip is the pared down version of the FitBit ONE. It captures steps, calories burned, and distance travelled -- while providing full access to the uber-useful FitBit dashboard -- at one of the best prices around town.
The FitBit Zip is a simpler version of the FitBit One, but still offer much more than your run-of-the-mill old school pedometer. In fact, the Zip is considered one of the best smart trackers you can get within its price range.
It tracks steps, activity level, calories burned, and distance traveled, all shown on the device screen. The screen also shows the time and a smiley face that indicates your recent activity levels. Just like the FitBit One, the estimated distance travelled is based on your stride length, and the estimated calories burned are based on your height, gender, weight, and steps/activity level. What's the trade-off? It does not track sleep, have alarm features or track flights of stairs climbed, and it doesn't have a backlight.
Full access to FitBit Dashboard
You still have full access to the same FitBit dashboard that One and Flex users have access to, where you can track calories consumed, weight over time, and customize a calorie tracking plan for weight loss. The dashboard also 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." 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). Your Zip data 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.
FitBit Products: What's the difference between a Zip, a One, a Flex and a Force?
The FitBit Zip uses a replaceable watch battery with an estimated life of 4 to 6 months.
Just like people who own the FitBit One, those who own the FitBit Zip may forget to remove the device from their clothing before doing laundry. 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). The Zip comes with a silicone carrying case clip to wear it on your clothing, or you can slip it into a pocket. At least one reviewer mentions that the clip can become dislodged by coming into constant contact with a messenger bag. To reduce the likelihood of this, wear the clip with the device inside of a pocket and the clip on the outside, or entirely inside a pocket. 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
Because the FitBit Zip shares many characteristics with the FitBit One, you may be interested in reading more about my experience owning both a FitBit One and a Jawbone UP. I've owned a FitBit One since November 2012 and a Jawbone UP since about March 2013. The About Us page provides some background information on how I came to own one of each, and the "Personal Experience" sections on the FitBit One Review Page and the Jawbone UP Review Page will give you an idea of my loves, and gripes, with respect to each product.
LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
Where To Buy
Features & Added Benefits
The FitBit Zip has a 3-axis accelerometer that captures your daytime motion to categorize steps and activity intensity.
The device uses this information to present various data to you, including steps, distance traveled, and calories burned. It also shows the time on its display screen.
A number of features add appeal to this health gadget including 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 Zip 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.
It's splash resistant (splashes, rain, and fog), but cannot be worn while in the shower or while swimming.
You press the screen to cycle through the data it displays: calories, steps, distance, time of day, and a smiley face that tells you how you're doing for the day in terms of activity levels.
The device itself is available in five different colors.
Battery Life & Charging
The FitBit Zip does not have a rechargeable battery. When the 3V coin battery (CR 2025) runs out in 4 to 6 months, you simply replace it.
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 Zip data via a Mac or PC and on 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!