Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FitBit Force Review

I’ve had my FitBit Force fitness tracker for about two months or so. I originally got the FitBit Flex, and I loved it. However the Force has more display options. Whereas the Flex only displayed five dots to show your progress on your chosen goal (you can choose to display either a step goal, mile goal, calories burned goal, active minutes goal etc.), with the Force you can display all of these goals. Plus stairs climbed and the best of all, a clock! I haven’t worn a watch in years, so I was definitely interested in the Force just for the clock aspect.

You can rearrange the order of the goals too. You can set it up so you can see your steps first, or your mileage first, whatever you want. I’ve got it set for the time first, then my step count, next miles, calories burned, stairs climbed, active minutes, and lastly my alarms. Now I arrange those however I want to just by going to the website or by going to the app. With the Flex all you had was one goal at a time, and dots that lit up. The more you got to your goal, more dots would light up. That was nice for a while, but I think over time, it would have gotten boring. With the Force, it’s much more user friendly.

The Force updates in real time. Say you check your step count and then walk for 20 steps. You check it again right away, those 20 steps are there. Nice way to keep track of miles too. Everything updates as you go. No need to check the app or the website like you would with the Flex.

As I said in my Flex entry, the FitBit syncs with SparkPeople (as well as with other health and fitness apps). My food log is transferred from SparkPeople to FitBit, and my fitness minutes and miles are transferred from FitBit to SparkPeople. I tend to use the calorie range on FitBit because it’s a lower range than what SparkPeople gives me. Both calorie ranges scale up the more activity you get in, but I like to keep my range lower. So far that tactic has worked. I’m now back down to 135 to 137 instead of 140.

One downside to the FitBit Force is that some people are having reactions to the nickel in the charging port. They are developing contact dermatitis, which is a skin rash. FitBit has help page on their site if you are one of these people. Check it out here. Unfortunately, I am one of those people. It didn’t happen right away, but about three weeks of having the tracker, I developed the “Force Rash”. I developed an itchy, red, and scaly patch right where the charging port rests on my wrist.

Good news is, there are ways to deter this rash. Just put a barrier of some sort between the tracker band and your skin. I’ve heard clear nail polish works, as well as mole skin, and even Band Aids. I use black electrical tape. It took a few weeks for the rash to completely go away, but it DID go away.

I’m not parting with my Force. Now, if the rash didn’t go away over time, I may have considered sending it back and getting a FitBit One (that is exactly like the Force I believe only you clip it to wherever you want). Luckily, my rash went away. My husband also has the Force and so far he has no rash. I’m willing to pay 3 bucks for a roll of electrical tape that will last forever. We had a roll laying around the house already, so I gave it a shot. I take the tape off when I charge the tracker, and then put another strip of tape back on when it’s charged. Easy peasy.

Please do not let this “Force Rash” deter you from trying it out. If you do develop it, there are ways to combat it. If you are wary to try out the Force, try one of their other trackers. I’ve heard good things about all of them.

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