So after my last post on activity monitor I narrowed it down to 2 trackers for my test. This is the main reasons why I choose these to 2 trackers
- Friends recommendations ( Suzie Walker being one of them, and few of my Barclaycard Colleagues have them too)
- Great twitter feed back
- Great Fitbit twitter information directly from twitter @Fitbituk
- 10m water-resistant
- App reviews and syncs with myfitnesspal
- Great online reviews ( DCrainmaker Reveiw & Imore just to name a few)
- Great YouTube reviews
- Good Twitter feedback
- Battery life
- 50m water-resistant
- Heart rate monitor link up
- visible display
Now let’s get into the technical stuff:
The packaging, comfort and other stuff:
The Fitbit flex comes with 2 bands a small and large but only 1 fastening clip. It’s very light and you generally can’t even it feel it on your wrist, however it has fallen off a few times without me even knowing. Luckily I did notice after the fact as was able to go back to trace to my steps and found it – as a bit of a obsessive person! The Garmin has not fallen off bit is slightly a bulky wrist band but is multifunctional as does tell you the time, date, steps taken, steps to goal, calories burned and heart rate ( if you link up to the heart rate band) so it doesn’t look so bad.
The fitbit has a special trick which were rather cool like an alarm feature, so that it buzzes when you set an alarm.
Inside the Fitbit box – comes the fitbit flex tracker, 2 bands in small and large, fastener, USB computer sync and charge cable. Retail price is £79.99
Inside the Garmin Vivofit – comes the vivofit tracker, 2 bands in small and large with fasteners, USB ATN computer sync and a heart rate monitor ( if you buy the heart-rate bundle). Retail price is £99.99 (£139.99 with the heart rate monitor bundle)
The vivofit wins hands down – as the battery is supposed to last 1 year and takes normal watch batteries available in most shopping malls. The Fitbit said to have a 5 day charge life, however after wearing it a week I had to charge it at least 2x it only took approximately an hour for a full charge which was a good point. The charge cable is a proprietary fit for the Fitbit Flex so you can use the provided cable. It only comes with the USB cable with no plug adaptor so will need to use your own plug.
Now in terms of app and reporting – the Fitbit Flex wins hands down. I think this is my biggest grip on the Garmin Connect. It’s not user-friendly, doesn’t give you any specific detail and has none of the gimmicks the fitbit app has.
I have an Iphone 4s and both Fitbit and Garmin Connect have available IOS apps. The fitbit does a live sync so as soon as you open the app on your phone the fitbit sync live – the Garmin syncs on command, push a button and syncs to the app and takes about the same length of time to sync as the fitbit. However you need to have internet connect for both of the syncs. No internet or 3G no sync.
Here is what the Fitbit App looks like
As you can see, its more colourful and prettier app. It links and syncs to 3rd party apps like runkeeper, myfitnesspal and other apps. It gives you a lot of detail on-screen with hour by hour detail on steps, calories burned and sleep efficiency.
Versus the Garmin Connect
More simplistic look, with no 3rd party app syncs at all not even myfitnesspal. Gives you minimum reports on the app, however you can see a little more detail online.
The Fitbit Flex only tracks movement based on the algorithms within the unit like most wrist based activity trackers and takes account on dominant hand vs non-dominant hand. There is no heart rate monitoring functionality. It seemed to be slightly more generous in tracking activity than the Garmin Vivofit – or is it more accurate?! Most of the reviews say a similar verdicts on accuracy.
The Garmin Vivofit tracked slightly better, and did not add steps while driving. The heart monitor functionality is brilliant – I had done a circuit and the Fitbit Flex only said a burned a few calories and wasn’t running…but the using the heart monitor my heart rate was way high (sweating buckets) and showed intense activity on the vivofit as it was intense! As a test – the next day I did a similar work out without the heart rate monitor – and both showed a similar activity.
Yes the Garmin Vivofit was my keeper! Here is why:
- Great Awesome battery life
- Visual display showing steps ( to goal and taken), calories burned, time, date and heart rate – no need on syncing
- The syncing on the fitbit was draining my battery life on the iphone.
- Better accuracy with the heart rate strap on exercise.
- 50m water-resistant – no need to take it off! 🙂
- Seems more accurate
- Hasn’t fallen off my wrist.
- Sleep efficiency isn’t brilliant – but not sure if I’m fussed.
- Multifunctional display
I would definitely recommend the Vivofit – but would say that you should purchase with a heart rate monitor for the best results.