It happened. Finally. My Up band died again. Out of warranty.
The Up band is a fitness and health tracker, a wearable technology device. Well, it doesn’t track fitness unless you do and it’s not a health tracker unless you do the work, but you know what I mean. You wear it, you look at the data and you either change your lifestyle or you don’t. The flaw in this is that just wearing one won’t improve your health or fitness, you still have to put the effort in. What these devices do is give you the information to help you decide what to do to change.
It’s stylish, a little different and worked well, when it worked. I first got one just after my trip to DC in 2013. I’ve written about it here a few times. According to the data I have the total number of steps I moved while wearing the Up band is:
2013 – 2,428,950
2014 – 2,276,268
Total – 4,705,218
I really liked the Up band. But there was a major problem. It stops working after a while. I first got the Up band on 2 April 2013. The first one I had stopped working properly on 8 June 2013. I got a replacement one on 19 June 2013. That new one then died on 10 August 2013. I ordered a replacement, gave that to my niece and bought a brand new one to try and break the cycle! I started tracking again on 30 August 2013. The “new” one decided that kaput was the standard state of working on the 3 February 2014. It was still within warranty and so I got another replacement on 8 March 2014. The 5 October 2014 was the final bell toll.
Over the summer I had investigated the step counting bands out there. I knew that the Up band was going to wander off this mortal realm at some point and although I like it and think it looks good I can’t justify buying another Up band when they don’t last. Much like my iPhone when it works properly it’s lovely, but when it fails it’s very frustrating. Mind you, I’ve never really had an issue with the iPhone, my biggest issue is with the awfulness turd that is iTunes.
These are the pedometers I investigated:
- Up by Jawbone
- Samsung Gear Fit
- Razer Nabu
- LG Lifeband Touch
- Garmin Vivofit
- Jaybird Reign
- Fitbit Flex
- Nike Fuelband
A lot of these seem to be “notifiers” as well. They will let you know who or what is calling your phone along with displaying notifications. I don’t want this. If I want to know who or what is happening to my phone I will LOOK AT MY PHONE. I don’t need an extra display on my wrist telling me stuff I don’t want to know. Also, having this feature means that the Bluetooth connection is always on which MUST be a drain on all batteries. I don’t see the point. I don’t use Bluetooth often and when I’m not using it I turn it off. I don’t see the point of having stuff turned on when you don’t use it.
The Fitbit Flex and the Garmin Vivofit seemed to be the best options for what I want. It took a while to decide but I went with the Garmin device. The reasons were as follows:
- Reputable company known for making portable devices
- Battery life of 1 year
- User replaceable batteries
- Always on display
- Syncs with MyFitnessPal
- Heart rate monitor accessory
- Looks pretty good
According to the reviews that I looked at there were issues with the strap clasp being easily caught on things and the device can fall off easily. There are ways around this and although it’s not ideal the benefits of this device outweighed this by a long way. Although Garmin are new to the “wearable tech” market they have been making “wearable tech” for a long time and are an established company using proven technology. They aren’t a start up or someone jumping on the bandwagon. They aren’t a “sexy” company but I’m not fussed about that.
This is the Vivofit device:
So far I have been impressed and am left happy with my choice (mind you I don’t have any comparative data in that case). I shall update you people in future about my experiences with the Vivofit and how I think it stacks up with my experience with the Up by Jawbone.