Written by Bond Roth and Sydney Brynn.
Just Do It.
A phrase that has dominated the sports world since Nike’s founding in 1964. But perhaps this iconic phrase should be interchanged for another. Just Buy It.
Since it’s conception, Nike has received over 4,000 patents. After receiving multiple awards for it’s success and rapid growth, Nike was named 2013’s Most Innovative Company by Fast Company. This accolade was received after Nike’s outstanding success in 2012, after releasing one of its most impressive products, the Nike FuelBand.
The remarkable thing about the FuelBand is that it is not only a product, but also a lifestyle. This wristband measures movement through daily activities and workouts, and gives the wearer NikeFuel points, based on their calories burned, steps taken, and many other individualized categories. Not only is the FuelBand effective, however, but Nike has also dominated the field of competitors for creating a wristband with such a sleek and easy to use interface.
With their newest addition to the FuelBand family, Nike released the Nike FuelBand SE. This FuelBand not only comes with more updated software, but a cleaner, more easy-to-use look. The FuelBand SE is also available in new colors, as well as the newest version of the FuelBand SE, the option to buy a rose gold version of the FuelBand.
But, the Nike name has largely overshadowed one of the FuelBand’s biggest competitors, the Fitbit. In fact, many FuelBand users have not heard of Fitbit, which actually started years before Nike’s FuelBand.
In 2008, the first Fitbit was created. Although it was not a wristband, this clip measured steps taken, quality of sleep, and calories burned, as well as telling time. Since the first Fitbit, the company has grown significantly. They now offer four unique products, which sync a user’s stats to their computer, tablet and smartphone.
In addition to tracking steps taken, sleep, and calories burned, the Fitbit also creates a lifestyle. The products measure progress and daily activity, and transfer these stats to an online interface, which compares a user with their friends and creates a social network based on fitness. In order to compete with friends, a user tracks charts, graphs, and badges to track their progress, comparing with friends on a daily basis.
The Fitbit pursues motivating its users through competition with friends, while the FuelBand pursues motivation through competition with oneself. The two have very distinct similarities, but also, very important differences. So, which product is better? In comparing FuelBand and the Fitbit, it is key to look at the many aspects of the two, as described below:
- Nike FuelBand SE | $149
- Nike FuelBand + Rose Gold | $169
- Earns NikeFuel points to measure activity
- Counts steps
- Tells time
- Displays progress in real time
- Available in three sizes
- Available in five colors (black, yellow, red, pink, rose gold)
- USB charging cable
- Bluetooth 4.0 pairing for smartphones
- Water resistant
As stated before, the Nike FuelBand is not only a product, but also a lifestyle. By pairing the FuelBand and the NikeFuel points received, Nike has created a community aspect, where, when paired with the iPhone app for the FuelBand, users can share their progress. Each user has a daily goal to reach in NikeFuel points, and if it is not reached by the time they get home, most users will go on a short run to obtain their last few points. Nike has successfully created a product that motivates its users by creating this daily goal. Learn more about the FuelBand here.
The Nike FuelBand comes with a built-in USB for charging and pairing with a computer. Many users have raved that the FuelBand’s battery lasts them almost 3 weeks in between charges.
Quantity Over Quality
Nike boasts that not only does the FuelBand track one’s movement during intense exercise, but also during daily activities, such as sorting paperwork at one’s workplace, or walking to the store. But, many users have complained that since the release of the FuelBand SE, the quality of the FuelBand’s movement tracking has gone down. Users who do the same activities daily with the FuelBand SE as they did with the original FuelBand, have found that they do not receive as many points for their activities. For instance, one user notes that from a one-hour run, he receives only a few more points than his mother did for doing housework.
- Fitbit Force | $129
- Counts steps, distance, calories burned
- Calculates floors climbed
- Goal setting features
- Sleeping features (hours, # times woken, sleep efficiency)
- Silent Wake Alarm (vibrates on your wrist)
- Syncs wirelessly to Macs and PCs
- Syncs to select Bluetooth 4.0 devices (click here for full list of supported devices)
- Rechargeable battery
- OLED display
- Tells Time
- Free online and mobile tools (sets goals, track trends, log food and more)
Track it. See it. Beat it.
Similar to Nike’s FuelBand, the Fitbit Force is a lifestyle. It’s a daily choice to participate in the Fitbit community. Members are able to track activity and sleep through automatic and wireless syncing (via Bluetooth), while recognizing and obtaining real-time progress (daily stats on wrist and graphs and charts overtime) across all devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones), which is then shared throughout their Fitbit network of friends. This routine motivates members to compete, beat new goals and set new ones, which leads to a healthier life. Learn more about the Fitbit Force here.
What’s in the Box?
The Force, the wireless-sync dongle, the charging cable, a free Fitbit.com membership, and access to free mobile apps for iPhone and Android are included. And for those who worry about battery life, the Force battery lasts at minimum seven days, and can be plugged into your computer’s USB drive to charge anytime. Check out all that comes with the Force here.
Multiple Fitbits for Multiple Personalities
Let’s be real. Everyone has different needs, desires and schedules. So why should there only be one type of fitness band? That’s right there should not, and Fitbit agrees. Fitbit offers a great product line. Anyone can find at least one Fitbit that matches his or her lifestyle. Explore all Fitbit products click here.
Both the Nike FuelBand and the Fitbit Force are great products offering an array of services. But with all their pros, they still have issues. According to Business Insider, the Force and FuelBand’s step monitors are inaccurate: “For instance, this morning, I walked 100 steps in our office wearing each gadget on my wrist. The Force counted 84 steps. The Fuelband counted 64 steps.” It’s interesting how fitness products measure activity differently.
But in the end, which product is better? Both companies have produced respectable fitness products with up-to-date features with minimum flaws. The better product depends on the person using it. If you are an athlete who wants to train hard and continue supporting Nike, then the FuelBand is the way to go. It’s perfect for competitors who don’t care as much for the extra apps and specs. However, if you’re a person who just wants to create a healthier lifestyle, while challenging friends and family, then one of the four distinctive Fitbits is right for you.