Nike+ FuelBand Real World Review
This isn't your grandma's pedometer.
I'm not a celebrity spokesperson given a FuelBand in order to hype this product. I am a runner training for the 2012 Philadelphia marathon and this is my real world review of Nike+ FuelBand.
Nike+ FuelBand is the latest fitness product in the Nike universe. The band tracks your activities via a three access accelerometer and converts the data into Nike+ Fuel, Calories, and Steps. The data is compared against a user defined daily Fuel goal which is set up on the Nike+ website and tracked on the band. According to the tech specs: 20 LED lights show your daily progress from red to green.
The photo below shows the LED lights and the Nike Fuel I earned on Saturday March 17th.
The FuelBand connects via a built in USB connection with Bluetooth pairing to mobile phones running the Nike+ FuelBand app.
How does this data integrate with your online fitness tracking? Nike continues a tradition of dynamic, colorful data displays. Goals met are noted on the wristband - the word 'GOAL' is displayed when the wristband is activated and a celebratory video can be viewed when accessing the data online.
Below are screen shots of how the Nike Fuel is displayed within the Nike+ online environment. Bright graphics quickly show your progress in goal met over time.
The data is plotted across hours, making it easy to track 'spikes' of activity during the course of the day. The Fuel Band resets itself at midnight, giving a twenty four hour reading, in the event the user happens to fall asleep with the FuelBand still wrapped around your wrist.
Weekly summary bar graphs tracks progress as compared to the preset daily goal. The format is crisp and provides easy to digest information.
Nike+ Personal Dashboard reveals all records achieved, recent activity uploaded, and progress towards an upcoming goal.
Nike+ has really got a good grasp on the social media aspect of fitness by encouraging users to spread the world about Nike+ FuelBand on Twitter and Instagram. I like how the designers added a section in Nike+ that curates all the FuelBand social media mentions.
The Nike+ FuelBand comes with lots of bells and whistles, but there are some drawbacks as well. Not fitness gadget is perfect or takes the place of old fashioned hard work.
Nike FuelBand Pros:
- Sleek design of the band. It disappears as it tracks your daily training or activities.
- Standardized algorithm that gives equal scoring for the same activity regardless of the users physical makeup. This takes away subjective decisions of how many calories were during during an activity. I have a personal goal of burning at least two thousand physical activity calories per week, this band helps standardize my tracking of this goal.
- Dead simple to use (Idiot Proof). One button controls everything on the band.
- It is a constant reminder of where the user stands, activity-wise, for the day and challenge to improve. Reminds one of a Kabbalah bracelet for fitness geeks.
Nike FuelBand Cons:
- The band is not waterproof, you cannot use this to track your swimming activities. This is going to be an issue when I start ramping up training to include pool laps. Showering with the FuelBand is perfectly fine.
- No differentiation between activities, the band counts all activity regardless if you are enjoying a LOTR film festival from the comfort of your couch or spending two hours running. The hourly graph can help you deduce your various activities but you cannot differentiate activities on the FuelBand itself.
- Suspect step calculations. The user does not calibrate the FuelBand to their average stride, so I'm not sure of the accuracy of this measure.
- Battery life is not quite as promised, but what electronic gadget ever delivers on battery life?