Nike Fuel + versus Fitbit

I was anxiously waiting for the Nike+Fuelband after reading about it. Then I finally managed to buy it online and used it since day one happily. It measures my daily activity and I love to Quantify Myself to learn about my habits, motivations, activity etc. Curious about it’s instant motivational character for other targetgroups I gave it to my mother (70+) as experiment in november… missing my daily numeric reference extremly, I decided to buy the Fitbit zip as a substitute. When my mother (regretfully) returned my Fuelband to me, I decided to give both devices a chance to compete with each other simultanously, so I wore them both for six weeks:

–  Nike+Fuelband measures steps, calories and ‘fuel’ while wearing it a while it seems to ‘match’ your activity, but it is not obvious what ís exactly one fuel point, or one calorie. Small movements score low, bigger and fast movements score higher. In some time using it you learn to trust the measurement and it’s reference but it stays rather vague. Activities like cycling are hardly measured; distance, location (or speed) is not measured at all which could make more accurate statistics and measurement. At first I also expected to be able to measure my heart rate constantly… but it did not (hopefully next versions will?)
– Fitbit Zip measures steps, calories and distance, step measurement is rather accurate, but the distance measurements appear very often wrongly. I never managed to really relate to my fitbit score.

+ Nike+Fuelband: the simple and direct visual device-feedback in colors (red to green) made me react instantly at the moment to make some extra moves or plan an extra activity the exact same day. The “Goal!!!”- animation looks great, motivating and varies often, via bluetooth syncing I receive extra rewards and achievements with funny animations on my Iphone, I feel rewarded by fun, creativity and feel freedom to give great value to the rewards (or relatively small value). The ‘punishment’ of missing a day and creating a fall in your goal hit rate motivates a lot.

– Fitbit Zip‘s most direct device-feedback is numeric only to which I relate less directly, I have no reference, only when I go online I recognise the good and bad days, very indirect. I still did not figure out the meaning of the smiling face in the screen, if it is always there to encourage me constantly, or only when I am doing well. Fitbit’s dashboard on the pc is much more informative then Nike’s one is, you can track your weight etc and can take control on your life more then on Nike’s dashboard which is a bit more passive. (+ for Fitbit)


+ Nike+Fuelband: I set and change my own goals (anekdote: when I realised reaching my goal every day, I tried to challenge myself and set the goal higher… when I was not reaching my goal daily, my motivation decreased instantly, so I made it easy on my goal. I choose to overreach my goal more often easily instead of challenging myself. I know other Nike+ users who change their goal on a daily basis depending on their activity and sports planning, which is rewarded with more specific reward, I acknowledge being a bit lazy in these features.
– Fitbit Zipnever really managed to get into the goals and achievements… however I do realize the Fitbit website has a lot more to offer…íf I would have been motivated and disciplined a bit more (so at this moment I feel more guilty (negative) instead of inspired, even feel guilty writing this so negatively now.
+ Nike+Fuelband: as a piece of cool jewellery I almost never forget to put it on my wrist. When people notice it and ask curiously about it they were easily impressed when pushing the button to show-off my cool gadget and it’s beautiful feedback, an enthusiastic motivational conversation followed, which made me more loyal and engaged to my goals again.
– Fitbit Zipoften forgot where it was,  and I often I to wear it at all so my measurements where instable since days where missing. When I wore it noticeable near my neck, friend were hardly curious and when they asked what it was they dismissed it very soon as being a useless/hopeless device for losing weight…
+ Fitbit Zip±60 €
– Nike+Fuelband: ±150 € (ok, not cheap)

+ Fitbit Zipforever!?… never any need to bother about it so far… read it can last for months on one battery
– Nike+Fuelband: ± every two weeks… this depends very much on the frequency of my showing-off with the “GOAL” animation to people.
I am very much aware that my reasoning is subjective and far from complete (for instance I did not yet get into the social aspects of both platforms, since very few of my friends bought these devices ) ;
The Nike+ mother experience was a great succes, she was very curious every day and reach goals near to my goals. The Nike+ fuelband helped her to balance her daily life activities… with the direct feedback she realised when here days were more active then she realised, and it motivated her to walk a bit extra on the quite days. My recommandation for everyone (old and young) Nike+ Fuel band, and let’s share some experience and challenges!

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