My wishlist—an activity tracker

I need to be more active…and I think an activity tracker will help me achieve that goal. The challenge is—what activity tracker should I buy?

I’ve read lots of reviews and have narrowed my list to (note: the following links will take you to each product’s website):

Here is what I think the pros and cons of each are…

Basis B1


  • Comprehensive activity tracking (automatically detects your activities), including cycling
  • Built-in heart rate monitor (also measures your skin temperature)
  • Uploads information to a website and mobile devices where raw data is interpreted into actionable information
  • Wristband form factor
  • Includes a watch


  • Most expensive of the choices ($199.00)
  • Clunky for a woman’s wrist
  • Some scathing reviews on Amazon

Jawbone Up


  • Wide ranging ability to track metrics
  • Convenient wrist band form factor suitable for a woman’s wrist
  • Comfortable and (in my opinion) attractive
  • Works with mobile devices (iPhone and Android)
  • Available in a variety of colours
  • This is subjective, but counts: a friend has one and loves it


  • Mobile apps only, no website or PC support
  • No data display on the Jawbone Up itself
  • Need to plug in to phone to synch (no wireless capability)
  • Doesn’t automatically track cycling

FitBit Force


  • Recently released, the FitBit force incorporates and enhances the features of the FitBit One into a wrist band form factor
  • Clear OLED display
  • Automatic wireless synching to a PC or Mac and to select Bluetooth 4.0 mobile devices
  • Comfortable to wear


  • Availability
  • Does not automatically identify activities
  • No heart rate monitor
  • More expensive than the FitBit One

FitBit One


  • Highly rated
  • Friendliest price
  • Good features


  • Clip-on form factor makes it easy to forget, or worse, lose


I think I will go with one of the FitBit devices. The Jawbone Up is consistently rated lower than the other trackers in online reviews and the Basis B1 is a combination of too expensive and, potentially, too clunky for a woman to wear. I prefer the wrist band form factor, but I would like a chance to try on the FitBit Force before committing to purchasing it. I just want to be sure it is comfortable on my wrist and not too clunky. If the FitBit Force doesn’t work out…I’ll be buying the FitBit One.


2 thoughts on “My wishlist—an activity tracker

  1. For whatever it’s worth: I used a FitBit One for a while. I didn’t use the clip much — I just put it in my pocket. When I was wearing jeans, the watch pocket, when I was wearing slacks, just the ordinary front pocket. This seemed to work basically fine. Obviously, if one regularly wears clothing without roughly waist-level pockets, this doesn’t work as well.

    My big complaint about the FB1 is that it ran out of batteries pretty quickly for a device that seems like it must not have much of a battery draw (I assume that BlueTooth is the offender), and because it’s such an inconspicuous device, I just straight up didn’t notice that it was out of batteries for weeks — at which point I couldn’t be bothered to track down a replacement.

    • I ended up buying the FitBit One. As it turns out, I like not having it on my wrist…I am always removing my wristwatch because it bugs me…so, I am sure, the FitBit Force would suffer a similar fate. Contrary to others’ experience, I find the battery lasts 7-10 days. FitBit sends me an email when the battery is running low so it has never run out completely. Overall, I am quite happy with it.

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