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Fitness Band Wars: Nike FuelBand SE vs Fitbit Force vs Jawbone Up

There are many fitness trackers available these days, with more coming our way as consumers’ interest in living a healthy life increases.  But some of the most popular trackers these days come in the form of bracelets as they’re easy to wear, less likely to get in the way when you’re running, and less likely to get lost while you’re on the move.  But which fitness bracelet suits you?

Nike FuelBand SE

Nike recently unveiled its next generation fitness band dubbed the Nike FuleBand SE. Nothing much has changed in the band itself, but Nike now offers more colors to choose from such as Volt, Pink Foil,Total Crimson, and Black. The FuleBand SE tracks the intensity of your workouts with Nike+ Sessions, counts steps, enables sleep tracking, tells the time, displays your progress in real time, and keeps you and your friends motivated through Nike+ Groups.

The band comes in three sizes: small (5.79 inches / 147mm), medium/large (6.77 inches / 172mm) and extra-large (7.76 inches / 197mm), but if you want a better fit, it comes with two easy-to-insert links (.32 inches / 8mm and .63 inches / 16mm) and a sizing tool so you can adjust it to your liking.  It features a single button that lets you see real-time progress, and it’s also fitted with an ambient light sensor that detects environmental light levels and adjusts accordingly so you see your progress or time comfortably in any lighting conditions.

You can also check your progress via the web or through your iOS device, as these can be paired with the Nike+ FuelBand app via Bluetooth 4.0.  Finally, we should note that the gadget is also water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about getting a little sweat and water on it.

It costs $149 and is available for pre-order.

Fitbit Force

Fitbit has a number of fitness tracker products, but its most popular fitness tracker is the Fitbit Flex.  Because of its popularity, Fitbit decided to release an updated version with new features. The Fitbit Force looks a lot like the Fitbit Flex, as it’s also made up of light materials and features a simplistic design which makes it easy to forget you’re wearing it.  It comes with a USB charger and a USB wireless dongle to allow wireless syncing within 20 feet.

Fitbit Force comes in two colors, Black and Slate, and also two sizes – small, which measures 5.5 – 6.9 inches or 140 – 176mm; and large, which measures 6.3 – 8.2 inches or 161 – 209mm. The width of Fitbit Force is the same for both sizes, measuring 0.76 inches or 19.2 mm.

The major change is that the Force features a small OLED screen that lets you see information regarding how many steps you’ve taken, the time, floors climbed, alarm, distance traveled, very active minutes, and calories burned.  To see the different screens, use the button on the side to cycle through them.

Fitbit Force is compatible with Macs and PCs, browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, mobile platforms like iOS and Android, and keeps detailed, minute-by-minute data from the last week, as well as daily totals for the past 30 days as long as it has battery power.  The device is powered by a Lithium-ion polymer battery that lasts up to 10 days in a single charge, and is water-resistant.

Available for $129.95.

Jawbone Up

Last but not least, we have Jawbone Up, which is so much more than just a fitness tracker. The tracking bracelet works with the Jawbone Up app for iOS and Android, and lets you do more than just keep track of your exercise routines and calories burned.  Instead, the Jawbone Up system takes a holistic approach towards a quantified self revolution.  It features sleep and nap tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, food and drink tracking, mood tracking, an insight engine, idle alert, smart alarm, and has a power nap feature that wakes you up at around 26.5 minutes after you fall asleep.

The gadget comes with a 10-day battery, is water-resistant, and only has to be plugged in to sync data that’s been tracked with your smart devices.  Jawbone Up also connects with other apps, for example RunKeeper, Withings, IFTTT, MyFitnessPal, Sleepio, and more.  It’s available in various colors like Onyx, Mint Green, Blue, Light Grey, Navy Blue, Red, Orange, and Hunter Green, and in three sizes – small which measures 5.5 – 6” or 14-15.5cm, medium 6-7” or 15.5-18cm, and large 7-8” or 18-20cm.

Other features include motion sensors, a single push-button interface, a vibrating motor for notifications, and Dual LEDs.  The gadget is splash-resistant and should not be submerged in water.  The band is made up of hypoallergenic TPU rubber and excessive bending should be avoided to prevent deforming or damaging the band.

Available for $129.99.

So which band should you get?

If you’re a sporty type of person, you might be interested in wearing the Nike FuelBand SE, as it’s a bit bulky compared to the Fitbit Force and Jawbone Up.  However, if you’re more into simplistic or inconspicuously designed fitness bands, you can go for either the Force or the Jawbone Up. But if you want more functionality on a band that goes beyond just tracking your daily activities and sleep quality, the Jawbone Up offers a more holistic approach.

For some people, getting a fitness tracker has greatly improved their health and well being as they get to stay on top of things, but others have just wasted money on them.  A fitness tracker can only do so much – it won’t help you lose weight if you don’t actually do any exercise… It’s unfortunately not a magical band that does all the hard work for you.  So before you buy any of the fitness trackers available in the market, ask yourself first… Are you ready to get off your butt?

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Fitness Band Wars: Nike FuelBand SE vs Fitbit Force vs Jawbone Up

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Sorry, Android fans, Nike FuelBand SE is still only for iOS

Stefan Olander, Nike VP of digital sports, shows off the companys new FuelBand SE and its redesigned app.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Nike on Tuesday said its new FuelBand SE fitness tracker will only work with Apple devices, dealing a blow to

Android

users who expected support with the newest device.

Nike’s previous FuelBand device also worked only with iOS gadgets, such as the iPhone 5. The company on Tuesday said if users don’t have Apple devices, they can track their progress through a PC app.

Nike unveiled its new FuelBand SE Tuesday during an event in New York. The device, like its predecessor, is designed to push people to move more throughout the day by awarding “NikeFuel” points. Some new additions include the ability to track sleep, and the new device also is waterproof.

The company long has had close ties to Apple, working together many times in the past. Apple CEO Tim Cook even serves on Nike’s board, a position he’s held since 2005. That could cause some conflicts in the future as Apple reportedly preps its own smartwatch device, but for now the two seem closely linked.

During Apple’s iPhone launch last month, the company revealed that the Nike+ Move app is the first program that takes advantage of Apple’s new M7 processor in the iPhone 5S. That “motion coprocessor” continuously measures motion data through the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope, taking it away from Apple’s standard A7 processor. That should allow health apps to constantly collect data without draining the battery too quickly.

Stefan Olander, Nike vice president of digital sports, said Tuesday that the Nike+ Move app is free on the iPhone 5S and allows users to get NikeFuel scores using Apple’s M7 processor.

Nike was among the first companies to ride the wave of fitness trackers and certainly has been one of the most high-profile names. The original FuelBand from 2012 was a success thanks to its winning design and strong integration with Apple’s iOS. But Nike has faced more competition lately, including from the Fitbit Force and smartwatches such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

Limiting its compatibility only to Apple devices is something that could hurt Nike longer term. Android makes up about 80 percent of all smartphones sold on the planet, according to IDC, and it also now represents the majority of tablet shipments.

Nike shows off its new FuelBand SE (pictures)

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Updated at 8:30 a.m. PT with additional details about the FuelBand SE.

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Sorry, Android fans, Nike FuelBand SE is still only for iOS

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Fitbit Force brings high-tech fitness tracking to the treadmill

Fitbit Force brings high-tech fitness tracking to the treadmill

The Fitbit Force tracks your fitness, then syncs the data to your mobile device so you know when and how to step up your workout game. But will it get lost in the sea of new wearable tech releases?

Your morning jog just got a little more tech-savvy.

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Fitbit, a California-based fitness technology company, released the Fitbit Force smart watch Thursday. With a high-definition screen and tracking that wirelessly syncs with your smart phone, Fitbit takes a plunge into the increasingly competitive smart watch world. The device goes on sale today.

The Fitbit Force connects workout stats to the wireless world, a feature that is quickly becoming the norm. The watch tracks stats from the basics (distance covered and steps taken) to the advanced (floors climbed and number of “active minutes” – amount of time you’ve walked or jogged) and allows you to view the information on your watch or sync it through Bluetooth to an app on your iPhone, Android, or computer. This categorizes and organizes the data so you can see how you have done over time (and when you need to kick your workout into high gear).

The device has a small OLED screen, a water-resistant black or teal band, and a seven-day battery life. It will retail for $129, available now online and in a few weeks at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.

Fitbit Force is a niche-market smart watch, unlike major tech company competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Pebble that seek to act as a hands-free smart phone. But even fitness smart watches can’t settle for just being a high-tech pedometer. The Force also can connect to social fitness apps such as Run Keeper, Map My Fitness, and Endomondo, and you can earn achievement badges the more you work out.

Plus, a soon-to-come update from the Force will allow wearers to screen phone calls if they have an iPhone 4S with iOS 7 or a most recent Apple phone.

Despite these features, the Force has entered a competitive race, as wearable technology becomes the technology trend du jour. In addition to competing against fitness watches such as the Nike+Fuelband and Jawbone’s Up, it faces the recently released Galaxy Gear, Kickstarter-funded Pebble, Sony SmartWatch 2, and the ever-imminent rumor of the iWatch. As smart watch technology continues to develop, it may not be long before these watches include the many fitness apps offered by the Fitbit Force, plus the capability of a smart phone.

Regardless, wearable technology is likely to adorn many wrists in the near future. Swedish research group Berg Insights found that more than 8.3 million fitness trackers, smart watches, and other wearable tech in 2012, and predicts that number will jump to 64 million by 2017.

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Fitbit Force brings high-tech fitness tracking to the treadmill

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