Saturday, May 30, 2015

Comparison: Fitbit Flex, Striiv Touch (Walgreens), and Jawbone Up Move

Image result for fitbit flexI've worn three different step counters for the past few weeks to compare them. Here are the results of a week's worth of data from them. I wore them when I walked, hiked, and worked (retail) I used them all to track my sleep as well, but that's not what I'm reviewing here. I'm talking about their step counting accuracy. All three are ONLY good for counting steps and I haven't tried using them in my sock or whatever for biking so I can't speak to that at all. They're pedometers, not really fitness trackers I don't care what they call themselves. And that's a gripe I have about a lot of these things. Their APPS may help track your fitness but the gadgets themselves... they're pedometers. Swimming? Nope. Biking? Nope. Weight lifting? Nope. Stop calling yourselves fitness trackers. You're not. You're hundred dollar pedometers. You're not fooling anybody with the fancy names.

The three devices are the:

$86 Fitbit Flex (amazon affiliate link) - pedometer, sleep tracker, worn on wrist, no watch
$80 Striiv Touch (Walgreens) - pedometer, sleep tracker, worn on the wrist, has a watch.
$45 Jawbone Up Move - pedometer, sleep tracker, worn on your belt or in a pocket.

They came in about as accurate as their prices would indicate (Prices are accurate as of May 30, 2015) with the most expensive, $86 being the best, the Touch was slightly less money and less accurate, and the Jawbone Up Move was MUCH less money and FAR less accurate as well. Here are the numbers I got on my test week & my test walks (how I got them is below)

Weekly TotalDaily AvgAvg on 700 step walk*% accuracy
Fitbit Flex60446863568698%
Striiv Touch32949470760286%
Jawbone UP26872383936452%
So... will I keep wearing all three? I'm not sure I will keep using the Up Move. I like that I can put it in my pocket because at some jobs watches aren't okay, like in a factory or any job with rotating/moving machinery. You don't want your arm ripped off in the interest of counting steps... or the band ripped off (more likely) and run through the machine. So, I like having the UP Move in my pocket, but if it's not going to count correctly why bother? Also I like the Up Move's battery. It's replaceable and not rechargeable but it lasts for WEEKS. The other two need charging, Striiv every other day and Fitbit Flex about every 5 days.

The Striiv Touch is nice because the app has a game in it where steps are used to generate energy that you use to do things like build castles or gardens or trees and such and you can build a little fantasy world so I imagine that'd be motivational if you only needed a few hundred more steps to upgrade your Tiger Garden you're more likely to do it I think. Also, it has a time feature that's nice on a wrist wearable. I hate that the Fitbit Flex doesn't do anything but show me five (or fewer) dots based on my steps. Really Fitbit? Is a clock that hard? Yes, the newer ones have them and they cost a significantly more. That seems stupid of fitbit. 

All in all they are all good at something but if you're getting one to be a pedometer that's accurate I'd go with the Fitbit Flex. It was VERY accurate. Honestly, I'd probably go with a newer fitbit that tells you what time it is, but I didn't test one of those because I don't have one so I can't really recommend something I've never used. That'd be crappy of me.
* I walked a fixed distance of 700 steps on flat ground without carrying anything in the hand wearing the bands so it was swinging like normal. The Jawbone Up Move was on my right hip the whole time on a belt using the clip it comes with. I did five laps and counted the steps each time, stopping at 700 and then taking them off and setting them on the ground while I counted them so I wouldn't get any accidental steps as I recorded results. Scientific? Nah, not really, but better than just guessing which was most accurate. I did five laps and averaged the numbers for my chart here.
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