Wednesday, January 20, 2010

fitbit - not recommended

I remember hearing about the fitbit back in September 2008 - a tiny little device that monitors your activity - and your sleep, too! And it was only $99! I didn't pre-order it though - I thought it was too good to be true. But a couple of my friends jumped on the pre-order. ;) They started receiving their units in September 2009 (yes, a year later...) and the overall vibe was positive. So I went ahead and ordered. It arrived three months later.

It's a cute idea, but it completely failed for me.

Y'all might remember that I walk a lot. ;) I have used several pedometers, and I have full confidence in my current pedometer - I've counted thousands of steps with it and it's always spot-on. The fitbit was off, every single day, by 30-60%. That's completely and utterly unacceptable. It counted hundreds of steps while I was driving - and I'd even wake up with steps counted! Are you serious? I'm supposed to trust this device?

I was very curious about the sleep monitoring - you wear it on a wristband, and push a button before you go to bed (and push it again when you get up). For example, one night I went to bed at 11:30pm, and I was awake until at least 1am, but fitbit says:
You went to bed at: 11:24PM
Time to fall asleep: 15min
Times awakened: 18
You were in bed for: 10hrs 23min
Actual sleep time: 9hrs 35min

So I declare shenanigans on that! The rest of the nights were similarly off as well. It was ridiculous. :( I have big problems falling asleep, and I was immensely curious about my sleep patterns - but this device didn't help clear up anything for me since I know it was inaccurate about my falling asleep data.

I posted on their user forums, but never received any reply (even though a "staff" person was replying to other posts in the same thread after mine). So with a heavy heart, I returned it. They did pay for the return shipping, but it took a long time to get the refund (had to send them a nagging email and then it finally got refunded).

I think this is an interesting idea, but unfortunately the implementation is awful. It's a cute little device - and I'm glad it's getting people moving more - but the data is totally unreliable.

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