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TOPIC: Bodymedia VS Fitbit

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April 29, 2013 6:57 AM
A while ago I decided to get a Fitbit to try out (mainly because I had a credit to practically get one for free). This review will be a comparison of the Bodymedia (LINK) and the Fitbit (zip).

I’ve had BMF for a little over a year and when I was sticking with it I lost a significant amount of weight the data that it gives is second to none but some people have an issue with keeping up with the constant subscription as well as the overall price of the unit. In comes the Fitbit which is pretty much a web-connected pedometer.

When I first started it up I was pleased at how easy it was to get up and running. This is in part because of its own wireless connector. I have mixed feelings about using a proprietary connection, on one hand it’ll pretty much always work; on the other I have one less USB port. After the initial installation you have the option of connecting it with your phone. Here is where the LINK and the Fitbit differ. The LINK connects to any android device (I’m using android because that’s what I have) while the Fitbit will only connect to verified Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3. Well, I have a Galaxy S3 but to my surprise the Fitbit doesn’t look for the model before trying to connect it looks for something else (which Fitbit would not come forward with more information) before it allows you to connect the two devices. This became a problem for me since I modify my phone. Most people won’t have an issue but it delayed me and kinda ticked me off since Fitbit wouldn’t even help me resolve this issue.
After everything was said and done the Fitbit does exactly what I was expecting. It keeps up with steps and estimates calories. Of course when compared to the BMF the estimates are sometimes close, other times its way off. I find it varies depending on the “activity” of the user, which makes sense. While not being all that accurate I don’t think it matters at the price point, I can see why people who have a Fitbit really like it. The web UI is gorgeous and so is the app. BMF is starting to show its age and needs an overhaul ASAP in my opinion.

Functionally speaking the two services are at parity, both have food diaries. However the Fitbit has a mood journal which I found pretty interesting. I wouldn’t remember to use it all the time but it’s good to have. Point for point I gotta give it to Fitbit for the web UI and the partners, it seems like everyone and their momma supports the Fitbit Service, although BMF is well on it’s way to catching up. This is a pretty important part because when you get something that is web connected you want other services to tap into that service, otherwise it’s pretty pointless.

Finally all is not rosy for the Fitbit as a device, however. The Fitbit’s greatest strength is also it’s worst weakness. It is tiny, so tiny in fact that it’s easy to forget that you are wearing it or that you don’t have it on. This is cool at first but soon you realize that you forget to put it on (which defeats the point) . I never had this issue with BMF because while it’s easy to forget once you have it on it’s not attached to clothing so even if you change clothes you still have it on even through the night.

It’s hard for me to call which one is better between the two since they have each have strengths and weaknesses. So I maintain my stance before I got either. BMF is a great investment, but it’s just that an investment. You need to be serious before taking it on otherwise you will be waiting your money. The Fitbit on the other had is a perfect tool for dipping your toe in to help you on your fitness journey without the “commitment”. Both are extremely helpful if you use them but if you’re not sure you have the discipline I’d start with the zip since worst case scenario you’ve wasted $50 vs over $100 + sub with the BMF. Reply with any questions you may have and I’ll reply as quickly and as honestly as I can.
April 29, 2013 10:40 AM
Thanks for your review! I love my BodyMedia but would prefer the tiny, cute FitBit. I wish there was a BodyMedia that was easy to hide or decent for fashion. I find myself feeling embarrassed with my armband sometimes. I see people looking at it and hope they aren't wondering I'm a delinquent or something, lol. Also it's just plain ugly! I'm still sticking with BodyMedia but might convert to the FitBit someday for this very reason.
April 29, 2013 12:28 PM
I have the fitbit...its nice that its discreet...but thats also the bad thing about easy to easy to forget to wear for the day. Besides..lately..I have not been liking the readings from it..Dont seem to be that accurate.

I have had my BMF since Friday April 25th..and liking it so far. As far as people staring..I did notice that when we went out Saturday night..but I dont care. If it can help me stay on target..and lose these pesky pounds I gained cause of stress..I dont it looking HUGE..
May 21, 2013 5:49 AM
I have used fitbit ultra for a year now, I just got the bodymedia core and the calorie burn on the BM are a lot higher than the fitbit... anyone else notice this kind of difference between the 2? I hope I set this up right lol
May 21, 2013 9:50 AM
I've had my BMF for over 2 years (4 months to hit goal and now over 2 years below goal). Last fall I bought a FitBit Zip (was hoping to give up the BMF mostly cuz it's so big/ugly especially during summer) and found that my BMF regularly recorded at least a 30% higher burn than the FitBit. Even w/manually adding my activities that weren't step related the closest I could get the FitBit was about 10-15% lower. Based on my experience w/BMF -- I totally trust the numbers it gives me.
May 21, 2013 12:03 PM
On days that I lift my bodymedia records the higher number (not adding activity to my fitbit) considerably whereas on rest days where i do a lot of walking my fitbit can be slightly over. I'd say bmf is more accurate.
May 22, 2013 6:25 AM
Thank you for your replies. I was a bit worried the first day lol I'm just going to use BMF's numbers and see what happens :) I'm going to give the poor fitbit a break for awhile. Might have hubby wear it for awhile to motivate him a bit LOL! Thanks again! :)

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