Thursday, March 27, 2014

FitBit Update And Experiment

It has once again been way too long since I've posted. For the last week and a half I've been sick with a cold or maybe it was the flu. Either way, it was rough, and I didn't feel like doing much. Other than, life got in the way of posting and exercising. But, the point is, I'm back!

OK. Update time. Since I heard about the FitBit Force recall, I've thought long and hard about what to do. Yes, I am going to send it back. As a matter of fact, Monday morning I requested one of their return kits. I'm sad, but it's unavoidable. The "Force Rash" is now still appearing even covering the charging port with electrical tape.

(photo credit: Me) Not as bad as it once was

So, I need to remedy the situation. Before I requested my return kit, I sent FitBit an email with a few questions. Their support team and customer service is awesome! I've sent them questions several times, and they've gotten back to me within 24 hours each time. Even on weekends.

So, my questions were:

1. I was first wondering when the recall would end. I do have the "Force rash", but am dealing with it by using electrical tape. Unfortunately, the rash is coming back even with the tape. So, I will be returning it.
2. When are you planning on announcing your new device? The letter from the CEO on February 20 said "To our Force community, rest assured we’re working on our next-generation tracker and will announce news about it soon." I would like to know how soon is "soon"? It's been a little over a month now, and I've not heard anything.
3. If I send my Force back now and buy a FitBit One, I was wondering when you do come out with a new product if I could exchange the One for the new device even if the One still works. Would that be possible?

They answered my questions reasonably. They didn't give me an end date for the recall, but my take on their answer is that I have one year from the time I bought my Force to return it. So, I have until the beginning of December. That's fine.

Question number two was not a surprise. They have no ETA on an announcement for a new product. And question number three, all I got was I probably could not return my One when their new product comes out if there's nothing wrong with it. I'm not surprised.

So here's my thinking. I'm sending back my Force and am going to buy a FitBit One. When I'm going to buy the One, I don't know. Soon though I think. I've still got my FitBit Flex and can use that while I wait for my Force refund (4 to 6 weeks I think). But I've gotten so used to having everything on display that I may bite the bullet soon after I send out the Force. The Flex is OK, but it is just has five lights that light up as you reach your chosen goal.

What am I doing in the meantime? I'm treating my Force like a One. And I'll do the same with the Flex. My reasoning is, having a step tracker on your wrist doesn't quite cut it. You want to track your steps, not your arm's movement. I intend on wearing the One on my shoe or my sock. That should get an accurate step count. I tried this out with my Force and was shocked. When I thought more about it, it's not really all that shocking. I strapped my Force to a hair tie and put the hair tie around my ankle. At first, I put the tracker in my sock, but my sock was tight and it was uncomfortable. During the day the tracker was in my sock, my step count was so low. I was sick, yes, so I wasn't up an moving all that much. One day, I had a step count of barely 2,000. Yikes. So having the tracker on your wrist really isn't an accurate way to track your fitness level.

(photo credit: me) Yes, that's my lovely left foot, hehe. The display screen in facing my leg. This is the tighter hair tie.

I'm still experimenting with the hair tie thing. I was using a loose hair tie, and when I did my mile on the elliptical today, my step count was higher than it should have been. My mileage was higher also. When I had my Force on my wrist, I went 1.1 miles on the elliptical. When I had it on my ankle with the hair tie, my mileage was 1.44 miles. Yeah, big difference. However, I was using a loose hair tie, and I think the tracker was bouncing around a lot more because of that. I found a tighter hair tie, and will see what happens the next time I do my mile. I also had 20 or so Very Active Minutes. I normally only register Active Minutes on the elliptical, not Very Active.

There you have it. Things are going to be resolved with the FitBit soon for me. I'm excited actually to get the One. Since discovering just how many more "steps" I achieve by having the tracker on my wrist, it feels like I've been cheating when I have reached 10,000 steps. I'll have a lot more work ahead of me to get 10,000 steps from now on. That's OK though. The more I move the better.

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