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[Review] The Fitbit One — Wireless Activity & Sleep Tracking, Under $100

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If you’re hyper-obsessed with all-things fitness tracking, but want a simple solution that doesn’t cost a kazillion dollars (e.g. the MOTOACTV or anything Garmin), Fitbit’s newest device — The Fitbit One — might just be the PERFECT piece of equipment for your fitness arsenal. It’s only $99.95, and it’s well, well worth the relatively small price tag.1

At its core Fitbit One is a next gen pedometer. It brings champagne to the party with a high-powered accelerometer and altimeter, which allows it to accurately track and capture a variety of exercise stats based on personal profile data (i.e. height, weight, age). All recorded data is automatically synced wirelessly to your free Fitbit.com account and visualized in the form of interactive charts and graphs.

This is extremely helpful for identifying activity trends over time, determining individualized performance benchmarks, and coming up with ways to upgrade your lifestyle. Example —

Benchmark: How many steps do I walk and stairs do I climb in an average day?

Problem: What can I do to push that number HIGHER and burn more calories?

Solution: Skip the elevator and take the stairs, walk down the escalator, go for a walk after lunch, etc.

Useful stuff, all of which is accessible via PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and soon Android.

Metrics tracked include —
  • Steps taken (standard on any pedometer)
  • Calories burned
  • Distance traveled
  • Stairs climbed (courtesy of the altimeter)

 

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Calories, distance, step tracking, etc. are all nice features, but they’re not blowing my face off — that’s middle-of-the-road pedometer status and expected of any quality fitness tracker in 2012. What I LOVE, and what really differentiates Fitbit One from its competitors, is its precise sleep tracking capability and silent alarm.

Fitbit One accurately tracks sleep cycles, duration, and # of nighttime wake-ups, and spits out a sleep quality score. Similar to activity tracking, sleep data wirelessly syncs with Fitbit.com and converts into visualized chart form. Understanding sleep quality is EXTREMELY critical for testing sleep patterns in different environments, under varying conditions (e.g. do I sleep better while listening to Enya, do I sleep better in a 56 degree room wrapped in a parka, do I sleep worse after drinking a half bottle of wine — you get the point). Fitbit makes it easy to pinpoint problems and upgrade your zzzs.

I also appreciate the silent alarm functionality — waking up at 5:45 A.M to my phone shrieking GLARHOMGWAKEUPABBKKURIEEETYUGRE is less than pleasant. When it comes to couples and early wake ups, well, the silent alarm might just extend a few marriages.

I can’t understate the importance of this feature enough — lack of quality sleep WILL KILL YOU, and it’s well-documented. Sleeping 0-5 hours per night puts you at a 2.5x higher risk of diabetes, 45% higher risk for heart attack, and a 12% higher risk of overall death. If you have chronic sleep issues, Fitbit is a practical solution.2

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Other Features I Like

  • Discreet — Unlike other devices that track fitness levels 24/7 (think Nike Fuelband, Basis Band), the Fitbit One doesn’t have to be visible if you don’t want it to be. I wear a watch while I’m at work or out and about — I don’t necessarily want a fitness tracker on my wrist 24/7. It’s a fashion and style thing, which bothers some more than others. Fitbit One fits discreetly in your pocket, bra, or on your belt.
  • Badges, Social — Earn badges and achievement when you hit specific milestones to keep the motivation flowing. Leaderboards, challenges, and competitions with friends & family are also available from Fitbit.com.
  • App Integration — Fitbit data easily exports to a number of popular apps, including RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Lose It!, MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, and SparkPeople.
  • Meal and Activity Logs — A cornucopia of online tools and a mobile app let you easily create a food plan, track nutrition intake, and log a number of activities beyond walking & running.

 

The Verdict

The Fitbit One is extremely simple, yet comprehensive, which is a HUGE plus in my mind. Complexity and thousands of advanced features are welcome if they truly add value, but for anyone who leads a busy life, simply popping a fitness tracker out of the box with minimal setup is extremely refreshing. Fitbit One doubles down on the foundational elements of health tracking — fitness, sleep, and diet — and hits them right on the head.

Auto wireless syncing with the Fitbit.com online portal maintains its ease-of-use, and comprehensive analytics make it easy for anyone to quickly get a 360° snapshot of their overall health, with fitness, sleep, and diet all consolidated in one place.

That said, it doesn’t have any WOW features that are truly cutting-edge or majorly innovative, and it has no advanced functionality beyond tracking (e.g. MP3 player, heart rate monitoring, run mapping), but that’s exactly how it was designed — to track the health basics in the most intuitive, streamlined, easy-to-use way possible.

For $99.95 it’s a value and one of the best fitness trackers available on the market today. Thumbs up.

 

Lean It Up Editor Score — 8.5/10



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References, Notes, Links

  1. The Fitbit One []
  2. http://yourlocalsecurity.com/in-good-measure/sleep-or-die []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto