The fitness community is all abuzz today with the new release of Nike’s “Fuel Band,” a wristband that tracks everything from “steps, calories, time & Fuel metric (currency measured by oxygen kinetics),”and, according to a tweet from a Nike marketer, it is becoming known as “the ultimate measure of activity.” While reading up on the hype this morning, however, I was reminded of a similar product that came out in 2007 (an updated version was released this past October): The Fitbit. The Fitbit was featured in our Gear Issue this past June and dones many of the same features as the Nike Fuel Band, so I decided to a little research and compare and contrast these personal fitness managers.
Fuel Band: The Nike Fuel (Wrist)Band tracks steps, calories burned, time and more, but is really marketing its goal-setting feature. You begin your day by setting a goal and the LED lights will illuminate from red to green throughout the day until you’ve reached it. The term coined for the overall measure of activity throughout the day is “Nike Fuel,” which is also measured and tracked; all of this can be viewed/analyzed throughout the day on one’s computer or smartphone (much like their Nike+ system). The Fuel Bad is also water resistant, so it may be worn in the shower or in the rain but isn’t recommended for swimming. The starting cost for the Fuel Band is $149 and includes the band, sizing tool, charging usb cable and charging stand.
Fitbit: The Fitbit, (a small, rectangular tracker that clips onto your clothing or fits in your pocket) tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and floors climbed, all which you can navigate between with a single button. Instead of “Nike Fuel,” the Fitbit uses a digital flower that shrinks and grows according to your activity that day. The Fitbit also features a stopwatch and fun/motivational messages that periodically scroll across the LED screen. In addition to daily activity, the Fitbit offers a wristband which the tracker slips into and is worn at night to track your sleep cycle and tells you things such as how long you slept, how well you slept and how often you woke up during the night. Like the Nike Fuel Band, the Fitbit coordinates with your phone and computer to manage your activity logs and meals. The Fitbit retails for $99 and includes the Fitbit Tracker, a base station/charger, sleep wrist band, belt holster and membership to Fitbit.com, which includes ability to log and chart activities, food, sleep, water, body mass, weight, etc.
So which fitness tracker is right for you? If you enjoy goal-setting, personal challenges and prefer the water-resistance, then the Nike Fuel Band might be better suited for you. However, if you are interested in tracking your sleep patterns and want a lower price point, then the Fitbit could be what you’re looking for. Are you thinking of purchasing one of these activity “diaries”? Perhaps you already own a Fitbit (or pre-ordered your Fuel Band today)? Let us know on Twitter@AustinFit or on Facebook!