Happy Friday All! I'm still on vacation but I'm pretty excited about today's post! I had one of the first editions of Fitbit long ago, but really all it tracked was steps and after a certain period of time it's not that hard to recognize if you're waaaaay under 10,000 steps or if you've far exceeded that milestone in a day. So I stopped wearing it.
Recently though I decided I would ride 100 miles for Bike MS and as soon as I registered I knew I wanted to get a fitness tracker that would track my heart rate. This is about when I started doing a bit of research into the many trackers on the market today and trying to decide what features were most important to me. Then Nicole came to town and she had this very pretty tracker - a Jawbone UP3 and she told me it did everything she wanted and like my impulsive self... I got online and bought one. I'm clearly only mildly affected by peer pressure.
The Jawbone had a lot of great features, the heart rate sensors were small and didn't dig into my wrist hardly at all, it was very pretty and the app was downright impressive! I mean, that app can tell you everything about your sleep (this article actually features the sleep page of the Jawbone app!) if you want to know how many minutes you were in deep sleep vs REM sleep, for example, this is a great tracker for you. What I didn't love about the UP3 was that it was advertised as tracking your heart rate when really it just tracks your resting heart rate. Which means it gave me my heart rate a few times a day but I couldn't just look at my heart rate at any given time - this obviously wasn't going to work for my bike ride. Of course, some great things about the tracker were that it is very sleek and it is pretty attractive but I think the best thing of all was that it synced with many different apps, including MyFitnessPal which I use.
That attractiveness took away the one feature that turned out to be the most important to me, though...
I want to be able to see where I'm at with my steps without having to sync it to my phone.
It turns out that with the Jawbone UP3 being so pretty, it doesn't have a display screen on the band at all. It can light up orange to tell you you're in "steps" mode and it can light up blue to tell you you're in "sleep" mode, but that's really all the band itself can tell you. Did you know that running Bluetooth on your phone all day long kills your phone battery pretty quickly?! Yea... so every time I wanted to see how many steps I'd taken I needed to turn on my Bluetooth and wait for the tracker to sync. I will say, though, the Jawbone technology on this front is great, the band and app synced very quickly. Which I didn't realize was a huge plus... until I returned the Jawbone and bought the Fitbit Charge HR which just happens to take for-ev-er to sync.
So yes, my biggest gripe with the UP3 was that I couldn't see where I was at on my goal to 10,000 steps or my heart rate at any given time without synching my fitness tracker to my phone. The Charge HR, on the other hand, has a display screen. It's not nearly as sleek and it's not nearly as girly... but it does tell me where I'm at! I also love that I can change which stats show when I click the button on the side of the band. For example, I wear a watch so I don't want to see the time displayed on my band. I also don't care to see the calories burned so I've got it down to showing me my steps, heart rate, distance and flights of stairs I've climbed.
The elevation statistic is great for me because I make a real effort to always take the stairs. I'm on the 5th floor at work and I have 3 floors in my townhouse. It's 1:30pm on a Saturday right now and I've already done 9 flights of stairs (which is actually quite low for me). This tracker can also recognize when I'm asleep and track that but it's not nearly as comprehensive as the UP3. Personally, that doesn't bother me, I don't know what to do with all that information so I don't see the point to having it, but it is far less informational on the Fitbit. The Fitbit app as a whole just isn't quite as impressive as the Jawbone one. The Fitbit app also doesn't sync with anywhere near as many different apps so it can't keep track of how much water I've drank in a day without me having to enter it there and in MyFitnessPal - so that's a bummer. Lastly, the Fitbit app takes forever to sync, as I mentioned above. Thankfully, I only sync it like once a day because everything I need to know I can see on my wristlet.
Phew, that turned into a bit of a novel. In my case, I was looking for an easy way to track my steps and see where I was throughout the day and most importantly, I needed to be able to queue up my heart rate at any given time. This made the Fitbit Charge HR the right tracker for me.
Do you have a fitness tracker? What do you love or not love about the one you have??