Fitbit Force: Data & Connectivity

The Force puts in a strong showing in this category thanks to an on-device display, iOS and Android apps, automatic data upload via Bluetooth, as well as the aforementioned data deletion procedure.

DATA & CONNECTIVITYFitbit ForceJawbone UP24Nike+ FuelBand SEPolar Loop
On-device display?1011
Web display?1011
iOS App1111
Android App1100
Automatic Upload (via bluetooth, wifi, xwave, etc.)1110
Proprietary Hardware Connections (antenna, charging, other?)-1-10-1
Customer data download0100
Explicit data deletion procedure11
Bluetooth1110
Wifi0000
NFC0000
Z Wave0000
Integrate data gathered with other devices from the same brand?1100
Integrate with other brands?0000
Can the device be calibrated?0100
Battery Life (days divided by 10; range of eligible values = .5 to 1.5)0.90.70.50.5
TOTAL7.97.75.52.5

Unfortunately, the Force is penalized one point for requiring a proprietary charging cable (if you lose it, you’re out of luck). The Force also misses out on credit for being able to download your data. This capability is available, but it’s not part of the out-of-the-box feature set and costs another $49.99 per year.

The Force can’t be calibrated to increase precision the way the both UP bands can be, but Fitbit emphasizes the importance of designating which wrist you’ll be wearing the Force on (dominant hand vs. non-dominant). Jawbone has a similar practice, although their recommendation is to simply wear their products on your non-dominant hand.

Finally, battery life is above average for the industry with an estimated nine days of use in between charges. So if you lose your charging cable right after a fresh charge you’ll be able to order a new one and wait until it arrives. If you only discover you’ve lost your cable because your Force has run out of juice, you’re going to be out of luck.

Let’s take a look at Functions, a category where the Force turned in a record setting performance.