Reviewed: Fitbit Force Activity Monitor Dec 20 2013

Pros:

  • Possibly the most rounded activity monitor on the market today.
  • Integration with Fitbit’s product portfolio.
  • Detailed food logging.
  • Small but well executed display.
  • It’s a watch.
  • Very competitive price.

Cons:

  • Not swim-safe.
  • No telephone customer support.
  • Proprietary charging adapter.

In BMR’s review the Fitbit Force has earned the highest score yet for any activity monitor. After spending time with the Force it feels as though Fitbit has succeeded in distilling its years of experience making activity monitors to produce something exceptional. The Force tracks steps, elevation, counts calories burned, calculates distance traveled, it tracks sleep, and serves as a watch with vibrating alarms. It’s also hard to miss the price – with an MSRP of $129.95, the Force is very well positioned against the competition.

 Fitbit ForceJawbone UP24Nike+ FuelBand SEPolar Loop
DATA & CONNECTIVITY7.97.75.52.5
FUNCTIONS9755
PERSONALIZATION1412107
SUPPORT6795
TOTAL SCORE36.933.729.519.5

Combined with the Fitbit mobile app, you can log your food intake, track other values like heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose, and you can even set up custom trackers and enter clinical values (or your own self-measured values) you’d like to track over time. Oh, it also integrates with Fitbit’s product portfolio, namely the Aria body analysis scale reviewed by BMR here.

The Force is among the better looking bands out there with clean lines and compact packaging. The display is small but the images are clear and crisp, and they’re accompanied by modest, pleasant, and equally clear animated touches. There’s an actual button to scroll through the display entries with little or no fuss.

CriteriaFitbit ForceJawbone UP24Nike+ FuelBand SEPolar Loop
Review DateDec 22 2013Dec 18 2013Dec 12 2013Dec 6 2013
Product CategoryActivity MonitorActivity MonitorActivity MonitorActivity Monitor
Form FactorWrist BandWrist BandWrist BandWrist Band
SensorsMotionMotionMotionMotion
On-Body/Body LocationWrist onlyWrist onlyWrist onlyWrist only
Algorithms by ??MotionX??
MSRP$129.95$149.99$149.00$109.95

Fitbit joins Jawbone by providing explicit instructions on how to delete the data you’ve stored on the company’s servers. It requires some interaction with Fitbit’s support team but it should work just fine. This is an emerging feature meant to satisfy growing privacy concerns here in the US along with the more established practices imposed by European Union nations. It’s not a feature that’s likely to be used very often, but knowing it’s there can ease concerns over legacy data that might get left behind.

Another advantage the Force brings is its ability to integrate with the rest of the Fitbit product portfolio, in particular the Fitbit Aria body analysis scale. So if you buy a Force and an Aria you’ll be able to track your physical parameters, log your food, and then track the results pertaining to your weight and body composition (body fat vs. lean muscle mass).

The good news keeps coming so let’s take a look at Data & Connectivity.