(Originally published on http://globalnews.ca/)
Connected watches are the latest in must-have electronics and everyone (phone makers) wants their own piece of the action. What most consumers don’t realize, however, is that the idea of ‘connected watches’ evolved from an idea more scaled back and focused: fitness watches. Pioneered by athletic brand Nike and their popular Nike Fuel Band, the original idea stemmed from the notion that every move the body makes should be tracked and monitored so that its users can set health-oriented goals. Of course, this concept then opened the flood gates to other brands coming to market with their own unique take on fitness tracking watches, one of the more notable being FitBit’s Force watch.
So what’s a consumer to do? How can a potential buyer narrow down and decide, easily, on the right fitness watch for their needs? Let’s break it down and look at a few pros and cons of buying each fitness watch.
Nike’s Fuel bandSE
- Light and easy to wear
- Water resistant for showering and running in the rain, not prolonged periods of submersion (swimming).
- Synchronizes effortlessly with your iPhone or computer (via free downloadable application)
- Tracks steps, body movement, and other ‘in-place’ physical activities (think yoga)
- No Android, Windows or other mobile platform support. App is only available on iOS
- Matte plastic finish shows all dirt and oil picked up along the way
- Price point at $149 is higher than others in its class
- Does not track floors climbed or cycling
- Cross-platform support, works on Android and iOS
- Lower price-point of $129 than Nike’s FuelBand SE
- Tracks steps, calories, your sleep cycle and floors climbed
- Wristband design not as secure as FuelBand
- Syncs to computer via separate USB dongle
- Too many parts: requires specific charging plug
Overall, I am leaning towards the Nike Fuelband as my fitness watch of choice for its convenience and usability. I can ignore its lack of Android support because I can plug it directly into my computer for charging and synchronization.
Have you decided on the right fitness watch for your needs? Let me know which one and why below!