(Revision 4 – Updated Jan 11 2014)
There are hundreds of reviews out there on the current and upcoming fitness bands. I’ve destroyed and/or lost many of them and have a high bar for what they need to do to be useful.
My plan is to keep this table up to date as I test new devices to give my extremely opinionated view of the most recent fitness bands. I hope it will help you choose the right band for you.
First, let’s get my bias out of the way. I’m an athlete who loves data. I’ve tried many systems, many apps, and many devices. I also have a passion for good design and user experience so my summaries are a combination of my thoughts on these from many angles: industrial design, daily survivability, daily usability, ruggedness, user experience, feel, app quality and function, and data interoperability.
Here is my current assessment of devices and systems. I’ve used all of these for periods of time.
If you’re looking for just the punchline:
- Best Sleep Tracking: Jawbone Up24
- Most Waterproof: Misfit Shine (Fitbit Flex is second place);
- Best overall durability: Misfit Shine
- Most complete web app: Jawbone Up24
- Most accessible data: Fitbit
- Avoid: Nike is okay but I hate that your data is stuck in their walled garden. Basis doesn’t really work 99% of the time, and Polar Loop is ugly and very pre-production.
Note 1: I’m only listing wristbands. I’m not including things like the FitBit Ultra or Withings Pulse. They are totally unsustainable and unusable because you just lose them. I’m pretty sure this category will eventually die off. I lost several and everybody I know who had one lost it too.