FitBit Force – Week 1 notes

I’ve only had the thing for a week so it seems wrong to try to go for a formal review, but at the same time it seemed appropriate to throw out some thoughts about the thing.

Specifically, it’s a FitBit Force, large, in slate. I wouldn’t normally have called this shade ‘slate’, it’s more of a grayish blue than a bluish grey, but whatever. 

Comfort wise I find it a little odd. This is my problem, though, not the fitbit’s: I just don’t wear a watch and have had to get back into the habit. The band is flexible, but not stretchy, so it feels like it’s either just barely too tight or just barely too loose. Loose isn’t really a problem though, it’s not like it’s really rattling around. I’d seen a lot of people complain that the little clasp comes undone constantly. I’ve only had it come completely undone once, when putting on a jacket, but did spot it working loose another time. Otherwise it’s been fine and I haven’t worried about it. 

Other people have said the clasp is a pain in the ass and difficult to use. I never had an issue with mine at all, but it’s worth noting that Erin has several times had to come and ask me for help with hers. 

As for it doing its job, well, I guess it does alright? I haven’t been counting steps, to be fair, so I don’t know if I really got in 8,000 the other day, but it sure felt like it. And I know that today I pretty much woke up, got in the car, got to my desk, and have sat on my ass, so 915 this morning might be fine. The stair climbing thing seems accurrate to me, but Erin maintains that it won’t always register unless she holds her hand over her head after getting to the top. Since I’m not constantly checking it for accuracy I can’t really say. But at least it shows a trend if not 100% correctness. 

On the other hand, I am deeply skeptical about the calories burned counter. It seems to me like it’s hugely overstating itself. Granted it’s basing that solely on theory, it has no way to directly count how lazy I am. 

It syncs every time I’m near my PC which has the little USB dongle to read it. It uses a recent revision to the Bluetooth chipset, and as such can only work with certain newer phones. Oddly, my phone DOES have that chipset but can’t work with the device: when asked, they said that Motorolas do have the chipset but haven’t bothered to create or provide the needed drivers. Aggravating, but I know that pain. Still, once it syncs it can push it out to the app on my phone. And there’s activity I can do with the phone app, like logging how much water I drink (it wants you to drink at least three glasses a day, I’ve been pissing constantly) and adhering to the food plan.

Logging food on the website is… time consuming. Mostly because if I say “Turkey Sandwich” it may recognize a turkey sandwich, but not necessarily how I make them (preferably bakery bread, buttered on bottom, two slices of turkey, two slices of whichever deli cheese we have that day, two pickle slices, sparing squirt of sriracha, browned in the frying pan to juuuust past perfect for that extra crunch). The same is true of almost every meal and a lot of snacks, including drinks. It doesn’t recognize Rum and Coke, or Gin and Tonic, and even though I could get specific with the beer types I find I still need to list them all as “Beer, Regular (1 Pint)”. And note that I just wore this thing over Thanksgiving, so imagine what a headache that would have been if I hadn’t been wisely-lazy enough to skip it. 

Has it encouraged me to try to exercise more? I have to say, no, not yet. I expect at the office I’ll try taking the stairs a little more, but I work on the 10th floor so walking up from the lobby level would be a tad much. We’ll see.

Anyway, overall impression is mostly nice as a device (the style makes a great watch), ok as a fitness thingy though I have no experience to which to compare it, and mediocre so far as a connective technology.