Review of the 5 Most Popular Wearable Activity Trackers
It’s the day before Thanksgiving and you’re probably already thinking about all of the calories you’ll be consuming tomorrow. Couple that with the fact that Christmas and New Years are only about a month away and you’ll agree that it might be a good idea to start tracking your fitness and calorie intake to make sure you don’t put on too many pounds this holiday season.
Being health nuts ourselves, we’re just as aware of how important it is to keep your daily health in check, and thus have been closely following the rise of wearable activity trackers. These products are basically advanced sensors that come embedded inside of bracelets or clips that hook onto your clothing. They measure your daily activity (steps taken and calories burned), sleep, and through an associated app, diet. Over the past year or so, we’ve purchased all of the most popular on the market so that we could compare and contrast how well they work.
Jawbone UP ($130)
– Great holistic tracking. This bracelet and its associated app let you measure sleep cycles (hours slept, deep vs. light sleep, waking moments, nap alarm), activity tracking (distance moved, calories burned, active time and intensity of activity), mood, and food/drink consumption.
– Has an incredible 10-day battery life.
– Alerts you with a buzz when you’ve been idle for too long.
– Lack of a female-centric design. It’s okay to wear when I’m in a t-shirt and jeans, but it definitely clashes with a cocktail dress. Hence the reason I decided to hack mine to look like a gold cuff bracelet (see how I did it).
– To sync the data back to the app, you must plug the end of the bracelet into the headphone jack on your phone. It’s cool that it works with your phone, but kind of annoying to have to do this to see your progress throughout the day. Plus, you have to remove a small cap on the end of the bracelet, which I’m always afraid I’m going to lose.
– Fear of the past. Jawbone launched this product over a year ago, but the first initial batch had some hardware issues. So many, in fact, that they pulled them off the market completely while they fixed the product. A year later, they are back and the company promises that they have been through extensive testing to make sure those issues do not arise again.
Nike+ Fuelband ($149)
– Features an LED screen so that you can press a button on the band to check your daily progress at any time. Check out our video of it in action.
– Lets you set an activity goal and will display a green light when you’ve hit it (party time!).
– Integrates with the Nike+ app and has a set of holistic tracking tools for diet and more on the web or mobile app.
– Can be inaccurate if, for some reason, you happen to move your hands swiftly throughout the day (it may think you are walking because of the rapid movement).
– Like the Jawbone UP, is not a feminine enough design to warrant me wearing it to a cocktail party without feeling a little awkward. And sadly, can’t be hacked to look like a cuff since you need to see the screen. (Though you could paint the edges a metallic color and leave the screen black.)
– Connects merely by placing it on top of your phone. Information is download without a need for bluetooth or a wireless connection. This is freaking rad.
– Tracks swimming and cycling, not just steps.
– It’s tiny (about the size of a quarter) and you can wear it many ways — in a wristband accessory, clipped onto a belt, on your shoes, etc.
– Currently, only tracks activity (not diet or sleep).
– Brand new and not yet available (though you can donate to their Indiegogo campaign to place a pre-order).
Fitbit One ($99)
– Best holistic tracking of activity, diet and sleep. The app creates graphs, charts and tools based on your data and lets you easily log food, water, weight, food plans and more.
– Syncs wirelessly to multiple devices including PCs, Macs, iOS devices, select Android phones.
-Can sync with other gadgets and apps (ex: My Fitness Pal, Spark People, Lose It, etc).
– As opposed to a bracelet, you have to remember to clip it on each day. (Ladies, it’s easiest to clip it in the center of your bra, especially if you’re wearing a dress without pockets.)
– A single charge only lasts 5-7 days as opposed to the Jawbone UP which can last up to 10 days.
Hi, I'm Brit, the founder and CEO of Brit + Co. I'm a young mom of two, tech nerd and design-inclined lady who has a zillion hobbies and curious about... just about everything! My mission from the beginning has been to unlock women's creativity and courage to try new things so that they can find the path to their true passions.
Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
Let Office Depot OfficeMax help you stand out in the crowd. From signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, Office Depot OfficeMax offers a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business get noticed.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.