Fitbit Force Review: Baby Steps with the Fitbit Force

Fitbit Force Review: Baby Steps with the Fitbit Force


Step up with the Fitbit Force

Last year, I told myself I had to start being more active. Obviously, being the tech addict that I am, I wanted to take a stab at the “quantified self”, so I bought a wearable motion tracker called the Fitbit Flex.

I loved the Fitbit. I wore it everywhere, and I got a great picture of my daily activities(or relative lack thereof), measured mostly in steps, via the mobile app it came with. Unfortunately, the previous iteration of the Fitbit had three major flaws:

– It was something on my wrist that couldn’t tell the time (duh).
– The guts of the Fitbit was a USB dongle that rested inside a rubber wrist strap, which had to be extracted for charging about once a week.
– The rubber strap it came with eventually got brittle, and broke.

Now, there’s a new Fitbit in town, the Fitbit Force. The Fitbit Forcegenerally improves on the old model with improvements across the board. The biggest one is the ability to read your daily metrics via the digital on-screen readout. You cycle through metrics via a small button on the left hand of the device. Also, yes, it tells time.


Even better, the Fitbit sensor is now built into the rubber band, although obviously if you break the band and it’s game over. You charge it by plugging a proprietary cable into the back of the band. Like its predecessor, the Fitbit Force is shower/waterproof.

Connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, the Fitbit app gives you steps taken, kilometers walked, calories burned (estimated) and active minutes. The data can connect with other apps like MyFitnessPal.

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In action, it all works pretty seamlessly, with the exception of the sleep tracking, which has to be tracked manually. I noticed that the Fitbit Force seems to be a little generous on the step count compared to the old model.

The Fitbit Force is a good first step (pun intended) for your first wearable. The wearable craze is just beginning to take hold here. Between smart watches and devices like the Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up, the Fitbit Force exists in an increasingly exciting and dynamic space. There’s also a rumored “iWatch” on the horizon which might change everything.


Is it the magic bullet for fitness? It can potentially help, but in the words of my friend who went from couch potato to 42km runner last year: “it’s not the sword, it’s the swordsman”.

Personally, I feel that the Fitbit Force is the wearable I need. Let all the complex functionality be on my smartphone. I just want the damned thing to tell the time, and get me walking and running a little bit more – and it more than succeeds in that respect.



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