• Review: Fitbit One

    Fitness dongles like the Nike Fuelband, the Fitbit and the Jawbone Up were all the rage a year or so ago. The Fitibit quickly became the market leader thanks to one handy little feature it had over the others - Fitbits, unlike Ups and Fuelbands, didn't suddenly brick for no good reason. As an added bonus, the Fitbits were the only gadgets available in Australia.

    The Fitbit clips to your belt and tracks steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned in a day. All this info is available on the device via a (sharper than previous model) LCD and via the web, iPhone, or Android app.

    The new design is a noticeable improvement on the old. The Fitbit Ultra (older model) looked like a clip, but that little clip would slip off all the time. In the year I owned the Ultra, I lost two models. To Fitbit's credit, they replaced both, which felt like they were going above and beyond with customer service. After losing my second Ultra, I started using the included belt clip. This time round, the device itself doesn't look like a clip, it's just a shiny black piece of plastic, that comes with a rubberised (for even more grip!) belt clip. I've not come close to losing this one.

    The Fitbit can also track your sleeping patterns at night, but I found this feature a little hit and miss, and to be honest, a pain in the arse to set up. To track your sleep, you need to remove the Fitbit from the belt clip and add it to a wrist band. While that's no big deal, I found when I'd use it to track my sleep, I'd forget to take it with me the next day - and tracking my steps was more important than tracking sleep. For me to remember to take the Fitbit, it had to be in the belt clip thingy, ready to go, beside my keys and wallet.

    But if you have a functioning short term memory and think you'd be able to use the sleep tracker, the Fitbit One has a nice new feature for you. "Silent alarm" is built in to the device. Set the alarm via the iOS app, and the Fitbit will wake you silently with a small vibration.

    One of the cool things about Fitbit is that it plays well with others. Fitbit can share data with other popular fitness apps, the most popular being My Fitness Pal, mentioned last week by the lovely James Croft. Check out the full gallery of apps here: http://www.fitbit.com/apps

    The App for iOS and web dashboard have remained largely unchanged for the last year. The one major update to the iOS App is it now sends push notifications when you're getting close to your daily goals. It's a nice little motivator, and thanks to the Bluetooth sync to iOS, the Fitbit app isn't hours (or days) behind your device. The other newish feature is the ability to see your ranking amongst your friends within the app. Yeah, take that, nerds!

    Overall, the Fitibit one is a very good update to the already excellent Fitbit Ultra. It adds the one feature I've been wanting all year, the ability to sync to the phone, and not my computer. If you already have a Fitbit, then give it away to a family member and buy the Fitbit One. After all, it's more fun using a Fitbit when you're competing against someone else. If you don't yet have a Fitbit, now's the time to invest. They'd make great little Christmas presents too, but only to people not paranoid about their weight. Fitbit have another new model that kinda looks like a Tamagotchi, the Fitbit Zip, which at $69 is more in the price range of Christmas presents. If you don't mind the extra size of the Zip, it does almost everything the One does, but the sleep tracking.

    We've even got a Mactalk Fitbit thread if you get one and would like to challenge your fellow nerds.

    Fitbit Ones are $119 from http://www.Fitbit.com/au/one The Apple Online Store, or from Harvey Norman stores.
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