Fitness tracker

I’m thinking of getting a fitness tracker. Anyone have any suggestions?
(Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, etc.)

I have been using a Fitbit for sometime now. I have the Fitbit Flex. I use it and other Apps to track my activity and food intake. I also really like the vibrating alarm instead of a loud alarm clock. With the Fitbit I can average about 5 days on a charge (charging takes me about 2 hours).
I used the Jawbone for a bit but didn’t like the interface and the battery seemed to die on my WAY too often.

1 Like

I have issues with all of the current trackers ranging from buggy software, to faulty battery, to crappy measurements, to having no control over my data. And will use a cheaper alternative to test the benefits and hope that something similar to the basis peak, just with better software, comes out.

My alternative for now is the mi band from xiaomi. Either the classic one or the latest with heart rate measurements.


The website Map My Run works well. Instead of using GPS, it simply lets you draw your route on a map and tells you how far it was, plus many other features. Even though this method isn’t very glamorous, it works as well or better than higher-tech methods for most runners.


I have a fitbit and it seems great up until the point I do stationary workouts. I spin almost every day and you don’t get steps for something like that because your arm isn’t swinging nor is your calorie burn correct because it calculators steps or heart rate. Other than that I enjoy my fitbit for activities like running outside, on a treadmill, walking and every day use. I’ve used my for about 2 years now and started with just the basic one and enjoyed the product so much I upgraded to a Charge HR but wishing I just did Surge.

1 Like

I think that I read sormewhere that these trackers exhibit the qualities of most fads, and are much less popular than they once were.

I myself have a fitbit sitting unused in a drawer and have no impulse to use it. I know how much I exercise. I have measured most of the routes I like to run in my car. I know when I run harder or less hard.

What I would really like is a good sleep tracker, as I sleep very irregularly but well, I think. I don’t think that most sleep trackers do a very good job.

1 Like

I actually thought about getting one of those. I read that the heart rate tracker on the newest version is not very reliable, so I was thinking about getting the previous version. I found it for around $10 at its cheapest and it has some pretty descent reviews from what I have seen, so it might be worth trying just because it is so inexpensive.

1 Like

I’ve had a few too many fitness trackers! They were/are all sufficiently accurate for what I used them for – tracking my walking steps/distance/time.

Jawbone UP 24. This had the best sleep tracker, and the alarm function was fantastic (you tell it the time and up to 30 minutes buffer to wake you, and it tries to wait until you’re in the lightest phase of sleep to go off. It only gave up and had to wake me in deep REM once). It just drove me nuts that it felt like I had a watch on my wrist, but it didn’t actually display the time.

FitBit Charge HR. Worked well, never fell off (a minor concern with the non-HR version). I wouldn’t have replaced it, but I was distracted by the shiny. Only downsides were that it had to be charged more often than the Jawbone, and the sleep tracking wasn’t as good. The alarm feature is just a set time, but it did work.

Apple Watch. Shiny, looks much nicer than the FitBit. Does everything the FitBit did, plus gadgety extras. Needs to be charged much more often, but since I don’t wear it to bed like I did the others, that’s not a downside. Losing the sleep tracking / silent alarm features was a downside.


This jives pretty well with the research I did for the one I just brought my brother, who wanted one for Christmas, thanks for weighing in. Got him the FitBit Charge HR for $119 on Amazon Black Friday.

I don’t have much constructive to add since I’ve never worn one and he hasn’t used his yet.

The basis peak is the best sleep tracker, but it has shitty software. wakup alarm needs to be set everyday, smart alarm doesn’t use the awesome sleep tracking etc.

1 Like

Do you remember the review for the heartrate being unreliable on the latest version. Then I might just use the older one.

I don’t remember all of the places I read about it, but I think these were two of the Reddit threads I saw:

(Note: Mi Band Pulse is the same product as Mi Band 1S; the names are used interchangeably.)

There are a bunch more threads about both on the Mi Band sub-Reddit:

If you are in the US, this is the cheapest I found it: ($10.39 for the next 3 days or so while it is on sale there; it was sold out a bunch of places including their main website)

1 Like

When you say shitty software how exactly do you mean? Just curious!

I got to test drive a few of these at a local sportswear shop(they didn’t take the time to find out I was actually just shopping for shoes and had no interest in a fitness tracker) They gave me a Jawbone UP2, a Sony Smartband, a FitBit Flex, and a Razer Nabu X, and let me fiddle with their respective apps and try them in action for a few minutes each. I tried boxing with them on. All of them fell off my wrist except for the Nabu X and Smartband. All of the apps gave me pretty similar numbers, except for the FitBit which gave lower numbers than the rest. All of them had pretty decent phone apps; I wouldn’t say any particular one was too finicky or ugly or anything. As for comfort; the Jawbone was the only one I found uncomfortable to wear.

The Nabu X was also the cheapest of the bunch, and according to the box had better battery life and more detailed sleep tracking than the Smartband. I still don’t want or need a fitness tracker, but I’m tempted to try the Nabu X as just a sleep tracker and silent alarm.

On a side note; the FitBit was the only one with a time display…


The app wasn’t really useful and had a lot of bugs. There response to feature requests was not slow, but almost non existent. As an example it took them more than 1 year to implement the broken alarm. As I said it’s not a smart alarm using their awesome sleep tracking data and it needs to be reset every day.

I have a fitbit charge. I find it useful in two ways. The first, which is common to all trackers, is that it is a source of endless accountability. If I go more than two days with less than 10,00 steps, for example, I feel like a real slug, and if I exceed 25,000 steps, I feel like I’ve had a good day. Everything in between is merely acceptable and expected. Remaining constantly aware of your activity has definite value for developing healthy habits. For the charge, I like the heart rate monitor for much the same reason I like the step counter. While not as much of a daily thing like the steps, I feel the need to have the heart rate monitor show elevated levels pretty regularly, or, again, I feel like I’m slacking. These are subtle, but they work. The sleep monitor is also useful.

Finally, I like having goals. So far my best day is 47,000 steps with 247 flights of stairs (hiking the AT, so not really flights of stairs). This gives me a goal of getting to 50,000 steps and 250 flights of stairs, which I won’t be able to do until the days get longer again so I can hike longer days; then I’ll set even longer goals. Having concrete goals provided for you, especially on both a daily basis and for longer-term goals, is something I find to be a positive influence. Coupled with Soylent, I feel my health improving in a durable way. They’re not for everyone, but I support fitness trackers.


I have been an avid, loyal Soylent drinker for awhile now. I too sought out a fitness tracker and decided on the Microsoft Band 2. It is excellent. I tried out a Fitbit as well but it was not to my liking.

The advantage of the Band 2, I found, was how much of its data lived in the cloud and seamlessly connected with my Microsoft account (using a Gmail alias), its sleep tracker, and the various other components it has including GPS, which is great for my daily bike ride commute. Plus it is compatible with every mobile OS so you don’t have to use a Windows machine in order to use it. It works perfectly on Android and iOS. The Microsoft Health apps is great as well, which is what it uses to track all details captured by the device.

1 Like