I have been dreaming and drooling over the thought of a smart watch for years.
But dream it would have to remain as I could definitely not justify spending over $100 for a watch.
Who even uses a watch these days? I check the time on my smartphone.
One day, one of my kids through a pedometer at me that they had gotten free from somewhere or another.
Clipping it to my waist, I realized just how few steps that I actually take in a day.
I also realized that I am a bit motivated to move more if I see the number in black and white.
Still not enough to justify my buying a smart watch until:
- The freebie cheap-o step counter completely fell apart
- I dedicated myself to losing weight
- I could save money taking steps
- I found out that I can earn money taking steps
So, I meandered on over to Amazon and did a bit of research and my results came down to chosing between the Samsung Galaxy Gear and a FitBit Pedometer.
My qualifications were:
- Nothing big and bulky
- Could be used as a watch
- Costs no more than the $150 I had in Amazon gift card balance
- Brand new (not refurbished)
- U.S. Version only
- Receive notifications from cell phone
- Accepted by money saving/money earning programs
For awhile now, I have been a lover of all things Samsung and, for that reason alone, I was actually leaning more towards the Samsung Galaxy Fit.
But, I tend to hold onto devices for awhile and I didn’t want something that would only be really compatible with my Samsung phone. What if I switched over to LG?
Ultimately, I decided on purchasing a FitBit. But the next question was which FitBit Activity Tracker should I choose? Which Fitbit is right for me?
I knew that it wasn’t going to be the Fitbit One or the Fit bit Zip because I definitely wanted one that was a watch. I probably missed quite a few steps (read: my lazy butt had to take extra steps) because I forgot to clip the pedometer to my clothes or it fell off.
Plus, I wanted a wrist watch so that also eliminated the Fitbit Flex.
The Fitbit Surge and Blaze looked a bit to bulky for my personal tastes.
So, that left the Fitbit Charge and the Fitbit Alta. At the time, the Fitbit Charge was significantly more expensive than a Fitbit Alta. So, despite the extra nifty things that it could do such as heart rate monitoring and floor climbed monitoring, I went with the Fitbit Alta.
First off, I went cheap and purchased the least expensive Fitbit Alta which happened to be the navy blue. My thinking is that the bands are changeable so let’s see if I like it first, then I can buy accessories for my new baby.
Good thinking, right? Right. Because it seems like every month, a new band comes out. Even ones in leather!
Other than color, the only thing I had to mentally debate about was size. They come in Small, Large, and X-Large (online only). Size small fits wrists 5.5 inches to 6.7 inches in circumference, large fits 6.7 inches to 8.1 inches in circumference, and x-large fits 8.1 inches to 9.3 inches in circumference. If you are like me, all of that math above means absolutely nothing. I took a chance that small is for females and smaller males and that’s me.
I’ve had my Fitbit Alta since June, now, and that feels like enough time to give it a thorough review.
Things that I love about my Fitbit:
- Caller/Text ID/Calendar alerts/alarm: Although I can’t answer using my Fitbit, I can see who is calling or read text messages as they scroll across my screen
- Replacement parts: My charger broke within a couple of weeks of my owning my Fitbit and they sent me a new one with zero hassles. All they asked was where did I purchase it from and what address would I like the new one sent.
- Settings: You can change just about any setting via the app and especially at the Fitbit website. For example, I have the clock as the first screen but I could easily change it to be the amount of steps taken, how many calories I’ve burned, or even how many miles I’ve walked in a day (usually between 4 and 5, if you are curious how many miles 10,000 steps turns out to be). You can also set it to sync automatically or, to preserve battery life, you can go in and do it manually.
- Sleep Monitor: I did not realize that I tossed and turned so much in my sleep. I have no clue what to do about it but an interesting fact none-the-less.
- Wrist Raise and Rotate: It took me awhile to get the rhythm of this right but I love the fact that my screen stays dark (and thus, saves battery power) until I raise and rotate my wrist towards my face.
- Feed me Steps: From 8 am – 8 pm, I have my Fitbit set to alert me that I haven’t taken enough steps. Exercise gurus want you to get up and move every hour. Fitbit gives you funny little encouragements such as “feed me 250 steps”.
- Battery life: Fitbit says that it will last about 5 days before needing to be charged. I only charge mine on Sundays, so I am getting a bit more time than advertised. Which is always a good thing when a company underpromises but overdelivers.
- Fitbit software: I have never used any other exercise wear so I don’t really know any different but the Fitbit software is awesome. (In fact, you can download it to any smartphone and use it without the purchase of a device. You can watch your steps go up as you walk with your cell or tablet in your hand.) The part of the Fitbit app that I find most compelling is competing with or against friends. Feel free to add me as one of your Fitbit Friends.
- Weekly updates: I love a quick glance at my weekly stats and progress. I can also see where I am in relationship to all of my Fitbit friends and any badges that I may have earned. Speaking of badges…
- Badges: I love the badges that I can share on Twitter so I can get support and encouragement from all my friends, famiy, and fans.
- No Heft: This thing is so light on my wrist that I can forget that I am even wearing it. I even sleep with it on with no problem.
- Screen layout: You can adjust the screen’s layout to the way that you like. Horizontal. Vertical. Right Wrist. Left Wrist.
- Color goals: This is minor and, really, something that I only recently noticed but as you get closer to your goal in each category, the meters change from red, to gold, to green. I want Green! Lol. Just a slight bit more motivation.
- Celebration: When you hit your hourly step goal or your main daily goal, you get a celebratory display, usually fireworks.
- Charging time: Mine only takes about an hour or so to be fully charged. Plus, it still counts my steps until the last drop of juice is gone. Which is awesome! I was doing the last 5 minutes of walking when I noticed the ! battery message on the screen. I hurriedly plugged it in for a quick charge so that I could do those 5 minutes again but, lo and behold, when it was charged up a little bit, it showed that the steps had been counted and I could lay my lazy bones down.
Things I would change about my Fitbit:
- Armband holes: The armband holes took a bit of breaking in and were initially a pain in the neck to snap together. Now, either I got a good system going or, more likely, the prong holes have morphed themselves to fit the lil’ claspy thing perfectly.
- Set Steps: I take breaks while I am typing away on these posts. I would love to be able to set an alarm for, say, 500 steps and then I get back to work.
- Charger: I wish that all devices used the same charger ports. I hate that I need a special charger. I wish that I could just use the one that I use to charge my phones and tablets. The charging port also on the back of the device so there is no wearing and charging. Plus, the cord is super-short. One thing that I like is that the cord can use my usb wall charger, plugged into my laptop’s port, or into my car charger usb port. I would also love the option of having a pin light showing that my device is actively charging similar to the one of my cell phone. Once, I thought it was charging for over an hour but, nope, I didn’t have the pins properly aligned the entire time.
- Buttons: This is the age of touchscreens. I accept this. But I really miss buttons (showing my age, I guess). Plus, all that tapping on the screen resulted in a few scratches before I learned to only use the pad of my finger rather with the fingernail.
- Waterproof: I have an absolute fear that I will forget that I am wearing this one day when I step into the shower or plunge my hands into a sink full of dishwater. It is water resistant, thought, so at least I have a few minutes to freeze, panic, and remove. Lol.
- Light bright: I wish that it had automatic light sensitivity as sometimes it can be bothersome to try and read in direct sunlight.
- Alarm vibration: I am a deep sleeper. Trust me when I say that I have never woken up do the alarm vibration. I basically just turned that feature off. In fact, I sometimes miss the vibration when I ‘m busy too. It is mostly useful for me while I am lying down and paying close attention. Otherwise, forget about it. It needs to be way stronger. Or, even better, adjustable to a user’s preference.
- Quick scroll: Your incoming call/message will only do one quick scroll-by. After that, I have to break out the phone.
- Celebrate: I actually love this feauture but I want it to celebrate every accomplishment, not just the main one (currently my step goal but can be set to any goal).
The funny thing is that one of the reasons that I purchased a Fitbit Alta was for the watch. More often than not, though, I actually wear it on my ankle so that I don’t have to worry about it getting messed up while I’m washing dishes or other water or chemical based cleaning.
In the three months that I have owned her, I have already seen a significant weight drop.
So, I love my Fitbit and I hope the you enjoyed my FitBit review. Do you have FitBit activity tracker? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you have a smart watch or move your body motivational device that you love more? Tell me all about it in the comments.