Should Sam buy a new FitBit? What’s your two cents?

We know what Tracy would say! So I haven’t asked her.

But I kind of like counting things. (“Kind of?!”, asks Sarah)

The issue is this. Mine is broken, falling apart, and we’re a few weeks away from the end of the workplace fitness challenge. My choice is struggle along with the broken one and chuck it at the end of the challenge. I could let those who hate fitness trackers stomp on it for fun! Or buy a new one. If I’m going to buy a new one I’d like to do it now since this one is a pain. I’ll explain in a minute.

An aside: I live in a product testing sort of household. We’re tough on stuff. If it survives my family, buy it. Seriously. Car door handles have come off in my hand. Don’t get me started on the kids. We all break things. So the FitBit tragedy is no big surprise.

What happened? Well, it got wet a lot. I don’t come in when it rains and I do lots of physically hard things. The strap started to fall apart. I bought a new strap. But that never quite worked. Now my FitBit won’t even sync with my the app on my phone and in order to charge it I have to hold the whole thing together with a clothes pin. It looks silly and the not syncing kind of tips the scale. The new strap is purple and while I like purple for the strap it also makes the screen purple and I can’t easily read the numbers.

I’m trying to decide if I should think of the FitBit as an interesting experiment or something I want to continue.

What do I like? I like the heart rate data. I like the social aspects. (Hi mom!) I like tracking sleep.

Steps are easy for me I’ve discovered because I don’t drive to work and I live in a large house and there are dogs in the world. I like hitting the extra big numbers when I travel. But my regular everyday steps are pretty good too. So the step counting is mostly just an exercise in self-congratulation. Go me!

It’s also sort of cool having the time on my wrist again after all these years of not. I like the syncing and I like seeing trends over time. In an ideal world, I’d get a scale that also synced with the FitBit app on my phone and count all the things.

What don’t I like? The aesthetics. It’s ugly. Also, it’s not even ugly and durable. See remarks above. It covers up my beautiful wrist ink, sort of. It’s also expensive. The FitBits with heart rate data are in the $200 range.

So, what’s your two cents? Do you have a fitness tracker? Do you recommend it?

About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

17 thoughts on “Should Sam buy a new FitBit? What’s your two cents?

  1. duffrunning says:

    I just got a Fitbit, it’s a Charge 2 and I love it! After about 10 months of really struggling to stay at anything like race weight following a period of injury I’m halfway back down to where I’d like to be after 2 weeks and I feel much better in myself. Love seeing the heart rate and sleep data and it’s definitely encouraging me to be less sedentary at work. It amazes me in equal parts both what a small amount of activity 10,000 steps is and also how hard it can be to factor into your day if you have an office job and don’t make the effort to leave home earlier to get some walking in! I’m also training for another marathon at the moment so I quite like it treating me like a massive overachiever when I plug 15 miles of running into the app :).

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  2. E says:

    No fitness tracker for me. I’ve tried one but didn’t like the look, or being trapped in a monitor like some weird, first world lab rat. I’ve also got a faint pulse/low blood pressure so heart rate monitors generally don’t work well on me. I prefer weighing myself and keeping a food/nutrient journal. The best accountability is a favorite pair of jeans. 😉

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  3. kimberlyvo says:

    I feel your struggle! My One is starting to go and I need to decide whether to replace it. I know I get up more at work because of it, and I really find the sleep tracking helpful. So, I think I will.

    I wish I could justify a Garmin Fenix instead, but not quite yet (and it doesn’t do sleep.

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  4. psychsarah says:

    It’s like you’re in my head! My FitBit is getting testy and now I’ve misplaced the charger. I’m debating buying a new charger or a new device instead of a new charger since the watch itself is old and not working great. But as you said, it’s ugly, it’s only for me to count things… I’m eager to hear others’ comments to help me decide too 🙂

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  5. Anna C. says:

    If the heart rate and sleep are the two things you’re interested in tracking, you might try a different product. Garmin makes several that appear to be a little more sturdy.

    I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle app for tracking my sleep in addition to the Fitbit One. It’s pretty good, and can tell me if I’ve been snoring and when. (Seems to happen mostly when I’m in deep sleep.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • kimberlyvo says:

      If you’re having any tiredness/energy issues, consider getting a sleep study! I only have sleep apnea issues during REM sleep, and it wrecked me. My SO didn’t think I had a problem because I don’t snore much, but when I got the test, it showed the issue. I gained a ton of weight and struggled to work out for about a year as a result. You might not be having any issues, but getting a cpap changed my life.

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      • I’m not having any excessive tiredness issues as long as I’m in bed for at least 8 hrs, which has been pretty normal for most of my life. I will, however, share this with my doc at my next physical. She’s pretty good about the holistic things.

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  6. Tracy I says:

    You know me well! But I know you well too, so yes, yes you should get yourself a new one if you plan to continue tracking and enjoy doing it.

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  7. As a fitness professional I tell clients to get one only if you need it to keep yourself accountable. Otherwise, since they don’t always report correctly and have varying levels of cost/reliability….it’s just a personal choice and not one I’d personally invest in.

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  8. When I had the same problem, Fitbit replaced my tracker for free, even though it was a gift and I didn’t have the receipt. Call customer service, and if you’ve had it less than a year, it’s under warranty, and you might not have to shell out for a new one. I don’t think they’re flimsy, exactly, but I’m definitely hard on them. Good luck, whatever you choose.

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  9. I’ve got a Blaze. Looks nice with the watch face and loved the optical heart rate. It spends too much time in my top drawer now though as I’m not much of a watch wearer.

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  10. ainsobriety says:

    I have an Apple Watch. I don’t use it as a fitness tracker at all. I do use it to tell the time, weather, my calendar and as a timer when I teach yin yoga twice a week.

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  11. longviewhill says:

    I had two FitBits (The Surge) and after I had problems with the bands breaking on both, which weren’t replaceable, I switched over to a Garmin. Since you love tracking, stick with it. I think it’s fun too. But, switch over to something more durable. FitBit isn’t known for handling the kind of activity you do. (That’s why I switched to Garmin – CrossFit and Obstacle Course racing.) With all your biking, hard activity and being out in the rain, I would suggest looking at the kind of watches that the hardcore runners use. A lot of them are waterproof and durable. They can be pricey, but they last longer. Some of them are pretty bulky, so if you can, go look at them in person. You can’t always tell the size online.

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