"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up - and Fitbit One - they all work!

For several days I wore all three - Fitbit One, Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up  - I did several walks of known length, and compared daily totals as well as looked at number of steps recorded during specific activities.

Most of the time, but not 100%, the Fitbit Flex gave a higher number of steps, the Jawbone Up gave a lower number and the Fitbit One was in between. For the first 3 days that I wore all three - I had totals of:

Fitbit One - 16109
Fitbit Flex - 16508
Jawbone Up - 16015

Looks incredibly consistent although for specific activities I got differing results. I guess it just all evened out and I think depends a lot on what your daily activities are.

During a 1/2 mile walk, I got the following (did it twice on different days). This walk was taken while walking my dog so that probably gave some variation. But the Fitbit One was definitely higher than the other two and the Jawbone lower.

FitBit One - 1874 and 1796
Fitbit Flex - 1680 and 1719
Jawbone Up - 1610 and 1533

During days when I was in the car a lot and walking less, I got higher amounts on the Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up - not enough to say it was recording the drive as steps, the total steps were not unreasonable but the One was lower during these time periods. Also while doing weight machine arm exercises, I got more steps recorded with both the Flex and the Up - which makes some sense as they are worn on the arm.

After 3-4 days I stopped wearing the One and compared only the Flex and Up.

For 11 days, the totals were quite a bit higher for the Flex - the last 5-6 days I did a lot less walking so perhaps that's the reason. I don't know the algorithms used to determine steps so only guessing. The Up was 12% lower after 11 days.

Flex - 66, 728 and Up 58,999

I think it doesn't matter so much as long as the one you use is consistent. My only difficulty over number of steps  - and with dropping the Flex is that my husband uses a One and we compete for most steps :)

Sleep was much better recorded by the Up compared to my memory of each night. The One does a reasonable job of sleep but the Flex often said I was sleeping or only restless when I was actually up and moving around.

Usability is different too - the Up only needs charging about every 10 days, the Flex is more like 5-6 days and takes longer to charge. The Flex is a little difficult to put on (only necessary after charging) and the Up is easy but you have to do it every time you want to sync - no bluetooth!

Preliminary conclusion is that since I have them both, I'm going to continue with a bracelet on each arm... trying the Up on my dominant arm because I think arm swinging is important for it and I can't swing my left arm on walks as the dog is usually dragging on it! Oh, and if you don't want a "bracelet", the One is still a great option - works on a pocket or bra. I just don't like using it that way as much myself.


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