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Fitness Trackers?

firewaterwordfirewaterword SatchitanandaPais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
Hi H/A! Quick question: anyone have an opinion on what's the "best" fitness tracker bracelet gadget thing out there? I'm probs going to get one for Christmas, but I have no idea which.

I've done a bit of research, and it looks like the three main ones are the garmin vivo, the jawbone up24, or the fitbit - looks like there are a few models within each brand, and it's kind of confusing which offers what. I'm looking for one that will track exercise and sleep primarily, and I'll be using it with an android phone (nexus 4, if that matters?). If one model/brand has better software, that's a plus. Going to keep reading stuff online, but figured you rad folks might have helpful opinions.

Anyone have one? What do you love about it? What do you hate? Thanks so much!

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

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    PenumbraPenumbra Registered User regular
    I have the fitbit charge. I it a little bit over a month ago, and so far I have had no complaints.

    It does a fairly good job tracking activity (clapping at a basketball game on Saturday generated a few thousand steps, but I don't know how any tracker would have done better). It tracks sleep on the companion app & desktop app. The companion app also allows for you to track calorie consumption similar to MyFitnessPal. I really wanted the Charge HR, which is exactly the same, except it is also a HR monitor, but did not feel like waiting until March for its release.

    If you've got any specific questions @firewaterword‌, I'll do my best to answer them.

    Switch Friend Code: 6359-7575-9391
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    ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    My wife absolutely loves her fitbit. She has this model and she always has it on her. It comes with an armband for use while sleeping. She didn't want one that she had to have on her wrist at all times.

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    knitdanknitdan In ur base Killin ur guysRegistered User regular
    I had a regular UP for a while, but the vibrator (it buzzes if you're idle too long, or if you set an alarm) stopped working about 1 year in.

    The up24 connects wirelessly to your phone and updates constantly, previous devices you had to plug in.

    I don't really recommend the UP line of trackers, the software is fine but the hardware has a tendency to break down.

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I've had a fitbit ultra for a couple of years now and it's been solid. I would probably get one of the new wristband fitbits if I was getting a new thing today.

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    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Fitbit Charge here, got it about a month ago and it seems to work good. Battery life is more then a week and it is not too obtrusive.

    My wife had one also and had a few problems with the band breaking, which I believe they have resolved. Anyway, we were very impressed with their level of customer service. They sent out new bands to my wife without giving us a hassle and we got them like a day and a half later, it was pretty great.

    One more thing, my wife got a Garmin Forerunner, and the heart monitor turned out to be a belt you wore and the watch did not sync with the iPhone. The fitbit syncs for sure, but check that Garmin before you proceed.

    Thundyrkatz on
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    Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    I have a nike fuelband and the wife has a fitbit flex. First thing I would say is don't expect too much. All trackers that I've seen (minus the new ones coming out with heart rate monitors) are mostly for estimating your activity level. They will all have problems with activities that require a lot of strength but not a lot of movement (think yoga, weight lifting, stretching, ect...). Also you aren't going to be tracking calorie output down to the decimal, or really anywhere close to that. That being said it's a great way to maintain a long term log of approximately how active you are every day.

    Both the fuelband and fitbit flex track steps, and a very rough estimate of calories burned. The fuelband also throws in a completely arbitrary metric of "fuel points". Either way the actual values aren't all that enlightening on their own. Instead what you have to do is look at what people similar to your fitness level are achieving and then start building your own set of metrics. Basically finding out what level are for a hard workout day versus a day off. Comparing the fuelband and fitbit we can have upwards of 30% difference in steps and calories burned for almost the exact same activity, so it's important to look at the metrics for each device individually.

    The fuelband syncs over bluetooth to my phone to update my stats, or it also uploads everything to my nike account whenever I plug the fuelband into a computer to charge. If I leave the bluetooth off, then I can go at least 3-4 weeks without needing to charge. I can also start and stop special "sessions" so that I can keep track of my actual workouts as well as just how much I did each day. The fitbit has a special sleep mode that is for tracking your sleep quality, but I find it to be no more enlightening then just wearing my fuelband while I sleep and seeing how active I was. I could also start a fuelband session whenever I went to bed to get a more sleep only focused statistics like the fitbit provides, but I'm not all that interested in tracking my sleep right now.

    At the end of the day I think the major differences to be aware of are a heart rate monitor, phone connectivity options, and screen capabilities. I really like that my fuelband is also a watch, and some of the more advanced fitbits offer phone integration for call notices and what not.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    I like Polar.

    Their stuff doesn't come from the IT/Phone industry but from the sporting world and they have been at it for more than a decade so they do it right.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Thanks very much for the input folks, I appreciate it! I didn't really think about it, but wireless/bluetooth updating is something I definitely want; I've got a nano that does the nike+ stuff, and while I like it enough, I never think to actually plug it in more than once or twice a year. I've got a polar watch that syncs to a heart rate strap (when I remember to put it on) so I don't think I need whatever tracker to do HR stuff. I do use myfitnesspal so having something that integrates with them would be nice.

    Anyway, will keep looking around at reviews and all that. Thanks again for the help!

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    I ended up getting an UP24 - having used it for a few days, I really like it! Hopefully the hardware holds up.

    Thanks again for the input folks!

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Necroposting this thread to warn others away from Jawbone. My tracker broke one month past the warranty date - I think the solder between the control button and the motherboard is lose/gone. Jawbone support's "solution" was to offer me a 25% off coupon to buy another one... Pretty steamed about it.

    Anyway, going to look at fitbit or the microsoft band now I guess. No way I'm buying another jawbone - feels like they're making disposable products.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Other than a few weird annoyances, I really love my Band 2. It's a nice balance between fitness tracker and smart watch, which is ultimately what I wanted. Some of the apps are shit (all of the NFL apps are garbage, for instance), and I wish there were more options for wallpapers, but it does the job it's designed for really well.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Other than a few weird annoyances, I really love my Band 2. It's a nice balance between fitness tracker and smart watch, which is ultimately what I wanted. Some of the apps are shit (all of the NFL apps are garbage, for instance), and I wish there were more options for wallpapers, but it does the job it's designed for really well.

    Thanks, I'll look into the band 2. I liked the fact that the up24 didn't have a screen or display, definitely down with the understated style. But I've heard good things about the band 2 so I might have to adapt. I think my 24 is still logging, but having to have my phone with me to change modes / turn on the stopwatch is going to be a bit of a pain.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    I got my wife the Garmin Vivosmart for Christmas ( I have a Garmin Fenix 2 watch to track my runs and stuff) she loves the thing.

    We've been married for 10 years and she has never worn a watch longer then going out to a fancy dinner, even after I bought her a couple fancy ones. She has yet to take that fitness tracker off other then to charge it.

    I did play with it and now I want to get one too, as my watch doesn't have a pedometer in it and buying a separate ant+ one would cost as much as the vivosmart.

    The Garmin Connect stuff is also really good at tracking workouts and it pares with myfitnesspal.com also.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
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    mullymully Registered User regular
    I've had a Mio, I've had 2 Polars, and I now have a Fitbit Charge HR.

    Both of my Polars died (the first one they replaced), the Mio was just ... crappy. However my Fitbit, I love. It's comfortable, keeps charged for 3 - 5 days at a time, just looks like a little watch-y bracelet, and has - in my own personal tests - been very very accurate as far as steps and heartrate go.

    I hook it up to myfitnesspal and the fitbit app and get a lot of neat data from it. Highly recommend. I've also heard that Fitbit's customer service is amazing, though I've had mine since March 2015 and I've not had any reason to contact them.

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    MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Personally I (2 weeks ago) ended up getting a Samsung Gear S2 because I was seduced by the thrall of the capabilities of a full smart watch.
    So far, I love it. It does everything that a smart watch can.

    However I primarily and originally wanted a fitness tracker - what this thread is about - and this does everything I want it to do. It tracks steps and heart rate, and even takes my heart rate multiple times a day. It also syncs to S health, which is samsungs fitness app which is on my android (samsung) phone. It tracks the exercises I do, and what type of exercise, and actively monitors my heart rate while I exercise and informs me when my heart rate has hit the optimal zone so that I can maintain it, and tells me when I hit my activity targets. This also sounds trivial, but you can input your water and coffee intake, which I've found actually helps motivate me to drink more water over things like soda and caffeine.

    It also buzzes me during the day when i've been inactive for an hour, which I like, and charts my activity vs inactivity.
    You can also install apps on it to cover any gaps that the default stuff doesn't come with.

    As an example, I was frustrated to find out that the Gear does not have a general exercise setting (e.g. a weights setting). However I found an App called Pear that lets you monitor your general exercise (including heartrate stuff) sessions and feeds that info back to S health.

    I've a background in sleep disorder treatment, so I was also annoyed that the Gear does not track sleep. However! I found an app for around 2 dollars that monitors your sleep cycles overnight, and even attempts to wake you near your chosen wake up time for when you are in the lightest stages of sleep. I found an app for my phone (sleep as android) that syncs to S health, however its not yet compatible with the Gear s2 due to battery issues, but I'm happy with my set up for now. It doesn't all need to link to S health. And once the battery issue is fixed I can use that app with greater detail.

    Anyway, I love my Gear s2. I chose it over the Garmin vivoactive. However, in my research, I've found that the garmin is considered to be one of the top fitness trackers with some smart watch capabilities. It basically does everything you'd expect from a smart watch/fitness tracker that I've mentioned above except monitor sleep to my satisfaction, accurately measure swimming laps, monitor water intake, and some of the more detailed/advanced smart watch stuff.

    It's a bit more expensive than say, the Jawbone Up2 which I'd recommend next based on my research (I know there were issues with the band in the above post), however the vivoactive has an interactive screen so you can monitor your activity/progress on the go.

    The information I found while researching this stuff put me off the fitbits completely (however people above seem to have had had good experiences with them). What I personally found was reports that they never matched up against the jawbone or the garmin vivoactive in general, and there is a lot of controversy right now over its ability to monitor heart rate with any accuracy.

    I hope this helps!

    Morblitz on
    3DS Pokemon Y Friend Code: 0645 5780 8920
    Please shoot me a PM if you add me so I know to add you back.
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    hsuhsu Registered User regular
    mully wrote: »
    the Mio was just ... crappy.
    I only use my Mio for heartrate monitoring, but for that purpose, I found the Mio to be exceptionally accurate with good battery life, in that I only needed to charge it weekly, at most.

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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback - I'm going to look into a replacement at some point soon. A lot of the newer bands seem real big, which isn't something I'm really into. Need to do some more research, especially on the various apps that interface with the bands. I like the up app's simplicity, and the fact that I can get it to talk to MFP as well as hook it into google docs/IFTTT, but from the sound it, these are fairly common features.

    @Morblitz thanks for the smart watch info - I've been on the fence about getting one for a while, but they seem to iterate so quickly that I want to wait a bit. The only smart watch I've seen that I really like the style of was the LG urbane, which doesn't even look like one (a plus, for me). But that thing was pricey and apparently had its own sorts of issues. The Gear 2 actually looks like it would fit that style, which is cool. I'm just not sure I'd wear it. I've already got two nice dress watches that I hardly ever wear. That and I have my phone with me all the damn time anyway, which kind of obviates the need for having that info on my wrist. But still it's tempting for sure.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    No problem!
    I got a lot of my info on this website, here are a couple reviews I found useful. It also does wearables like the Jawbone etc.
    http://wareable.com/samsung/samsung-gear-s2-review

    http://wareable.com/garmin/garmin-vivoactive-review

    Yeah having the phone on you might do the job anyway - although I've actually come to prefer having a quick glance at my watch whenever a notification comes through to gauge how urgent it is - particularly when I'm actively doing stuff. Whats cool is I can press a button which then brings the exact thing up on my phone so I don't need to unlock it and find the thing I'm looking for.

    The watch is particularly good for when I'm at work, as I put my phone in my backpack and then sometimes forgot that it's there. So my watch will buzz me if I have something on my schedule coming up, will let me know what messages I get, and I can even leave myself voice memos. It also has a do not disturb function so it can go quiet when you don't want notifications.

    It does a lot of cool stuff. The question is yeah, would you wear it enough, and also, how much do you want the cool stuff. If you don't mind not having it, well, you havn't lost anything.

    Morblitz on
    3DS Pokemon Y Friend Code: 0645 5780 8920
    Please shoot me a PM if you add me so I know to add you back.
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    BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    Here is your one stop shop for a ton of fitness tracker/wearable reviews. This dude is legit and it would be a good guide to read up on stuff he has tried out that you are interested in.

    DCrainmaker website.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
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