NIKE+ FUELBAND REVIEW
The Nike+ FuelBand tracks your movement throughout the day, providing data (calories, steps, time of day, and "fuel") and friendly competition to motivate you to move more.
The Nike+ FuelBand tracks your steps throughout the day and converts them into estimated calories burned and estimated Nike "Fuel" points. Fuel points are Nike's in-house unit of activity measurement; Nike does not make transparent what actually comprises a Fuel point. The band display also displays the time of day at the press of a button, allowing it to double as a watch.
In addition to tracking your own information, you can also compete against other Nike+ FuelBand users -- even those you don't know. That's an important point if you like competition but are the only person you know who has a FuelBand. FitBit offers a similar feature that allows you to connect with other FitBit owners. And while the Jawbone UP tries to offer a competitive aspect, you can only connect with people you know in the real world. The LarkLife band does not offer any social competitive features.
The band is extremely simple, with a hidden surprise: a bank of 100 LED lights embedded below the plastic cover. A single button on the band's exterior toggles various metrics (calories, steps, fuel, time) to flash across the display. The display also reveals a line of LEDs that light up from red to green as you reach your goal over the course of the day.
A Nike FuelBand mobile app that pairs with the device, though it is only available for iOS. Nike has plans to add an Android version of the app, so check their site for the latest release news. You can also view your data via Mac or PC.
You can conveniently sync your data to an iOS device by pressing the button on the band. The data then transfers via the iOS device to the user website. You can also plug the device directly into your Mac or PC to transfer data. The band can be recharged via a built-in USB charging connector and a charge lasts for about 4 days.
Even though the FUELBand lacks many of the features that its competitors offer (sleep tracking, distance estimates, API, food logging, weight logging), it gets quite a few things right: simple and attractive design, a feedback display, social competition, wireless syncing, and a charger built into the band itself. Because of this, it may appeal to those who care less about a comprehensive picture of their health and more about finding a simple activity motivation tool.
LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
Features & Added Benefits
The Nike+ Fuelband tracks steps, "fuel", calories burned, and the time of day. Nike pushes the social competitive aspect of the Nike+ FuelBand app and their proprietary "Fuel" measurement system as the differentiating factors of the FuelBand. You can set activity goals, and the app provides encouragement to cheer you on as you reach those goals.
Its wireless syncing (in addition to manual syncing) sets it apart from the manual-syncing Jawbone UP. Its time display sets it apart from other wristband fitness trackers that don't have a time display, namely the Jawbone UP, LarkLife band, and the FitBit Flex.
Hardware & Wearing
The Nike+ FuelBand is intended to be worn on the wrist, and comes in three styles: solid black, black "ice", and white "ice". The "ice" versions are made with a slightly transparent plastic (tinted black and white, respectively) that allows you to see through the case into the electronic guts of the band - but buyer beware: some users claim that the "white ice" version of the band yellows over time. The band comes in three sizes (S, M to L, XL), and each band ships with a tool and segment for further size adjustments. It is water resistant and intended to be able to withstand showers and rain, but is not water proof. A USB charger is built into the end of the band, and the band ships with a USB extension cable as well.
Battery Life & Charging
The Nike+ FuelBand holds a charge for about 4 days, according to Nike.
Your data syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth, or manually via the jack hidden in the end of the band. To sync wirelessly, you must press a small button on the device.
You can view your data via iOS devices and via the web on a Mac or PC. Nike says an Android app is on the way, so check in with their site for the latest news. There is no API, so the app does not interface with RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, or other popular fitness apps and websites.