Fitbit One adds Bluetooth sync and silent alarm; the one life tracker to buy (review)

Fitbit One adds Bluetooth sync and silent alarm; the one life tracker to buy (review)

Summary: Life trackers are very useful for motivating you just enough to improve your life and by doing so on a daily basis you will see improvements. The Fitbit One comes in at price lower than the competition while capturing all the data you could want from such a device.

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  • Fitbit One retail package

    I don't get many comments on my life tracking device articles, but I still continue to buy them and post my thoughts because I think they serve a valuable role in getting people up and out of their seats. I recently reviewed the new Jawbone UP and then bought my own light blue one. I was going to just stick with the new UP, but then saw that Fitbit made several improvements in their latest tracker so I bought the new Fitbit One a couple of weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces. I think the Fitbit One may be my new ultimate tracker, but let's take a walk through it and see what you think.

    What is improved in the new Fitbit One compared to the Fitbit Ultra?

    To start with, the form factor of the Fitbit One is much sleeker than the Ultra and the clip is an additional accessory and not integrated like it is on the Ultra. I liked the integrated clip design of the Ultra, but since I am primarily carrying the One in my small jeans pocket I find I like the more compact design. The display is brighter and sharper on the One. I also LOVE that vibration is now supported for a silent alarm to wake me in the morning. Another MAJOR improvement is the ability to sync the Fitbit One with an iOS device via Bluetooth (Android support is coming). I'll discuss these new features in my detailed review below.

    Form factor and data comparison with others

    For most of this year, the Nike+ Fuelband was my preferred activity tracker. It has a great design and I like the wristband form factor. However, it doesn't do much in the way of collecting useful data and the closed ecosystem limited its usefulness. When Jawbone improved the UP, I moved to using that device and found it much more useful than the Fuelband. The UP collects and helps manage movement, sleep, and meal data and comes in the wristband form factor. I am wearing my light blue UP band right now and like most everything about it. I don't like that it only syncs to my iPhone via a rather clunky 3.5mm headset jack connection, there is only an iOS app so you cannot view any data in a web browser, and there is no support for 3rd party applications so you can't integrate workouts tracked by other devices or use other meal tracking apps. The Fitbit One is definitely the most open of these three devices and also collects and manages more data.

  • In the box and first impressions

    The Fitbit One arrived in a clear plastic package with many details on the functions shown on the colorful paper covering. I didn't realize how small the One was by looking online and was surprised by how much smaller it was than the Ultra. I also thought the clip was part of the One and didn't know it was just a simple small piece with a clip accessory. Inside the box you will find the following:

    • The One tracker
    • Silicone and metal clip
    • Wireless USB dongle
    • Charging cord
    • Sleep wrist band
    • Free Fitbit.com membership: includes ability to log and track activity, food, sleep, water, body mass, weight, and more.

    I purchased the burgundy one since I wanted something a bit more visible than black in case I dropped it or misplaced it and needed to find the Fitbit. Burgundy is sharp looking and I am happy with this choice. I am a bit worried by the silicone clip accessory since it seems the One could fall out, but then again it is very light so it might be just fine. The sleep wrist band is much improved over the one provided with the Ultra and I find it very comfortable to wear at night. I was a bit confused by the charging cord and wireless USB dongle as I will discuss below in the hardware and setup section.

    Specifications

    There are a few key specifications that may be of interest to you, including:

    • Bluetooth 4.0 to sync to computer and iOS device. (Bluetooth 4.0 dongle included for computers without BT 4.0 support.)
    • Rain, splash, and sweat-proof design. Not waterproof so don't take in the pool.
    • Integrated rechargeable battery for 5 to 7 days of usage
    • Vibration motor that powers the alarm
    • MEMS 3-axis accelerometer and altimeter
    • Dimensions of 48 x 19.3 x9.65 mm and 8 grams

    I found the battery life to match what they list and have charged my Fitbit One up three times over the past couple of weeks. The Bluetooth 4.0 and vibration motor are two key specs for me that have me carrying the Fitbit One daily.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Reviews

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4 comments
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  • I bought the FitBit Ultra

    And other than syncing with my iPhone it does everything I want/need it to do. Not to say the FitBit One isn't a cool device and more advanced - I just don't see me getting one unless or until something happens with my FitBit Ultra.
    NonFanboy
  • Thanks for the great pics!

    I just bought the Fitbit One after sending my Fitbit Ultra through the washing machine. I didn't realize how much smaller the new one is and I am even more excited to get it n two days.
    hopeb@...
  • Raquel

    I adore my Fitbit One. Since I have it goes with me everywhere
    operacion bikini
  • Bluetooth and Fitbit One

    Bluetooth continues in search mode draining my phone battery
    cbvassar