881 of 932 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
First off, there are alot of bad reviews for this product from people who received broken ones, and while that's unfortunate and really poor business on Nike's part, those reviews really shouldn't be counted against this device's product rating. I, however, was lucky enough to receive a working one.
If you want my review summed up in one sentence here it is: This thing is absolutely fantastic for the non-fitness nut who wants to improve their health with exercise.
So here's why I say that.. First off, if you run, bike, swim multiple miles a day, or play on a high school sports team, you're not gonna need this. You get loads of exercise and all this thing is gonna do is tell you you exercise a real lot. Yes, it will allow you to set even higher goals for yourself, but when you're at that level you probably have other reliable ways of tracking your progress.
But if you're only hitting the gym a few times a week, or are getting even less exercise than that, as I am, this simple thing can provide you with some surprisingly useful tools, and you'll get more than your moneys worth out of it. I, for example, am recovering from Cancer. I used to run every day, but after cancer and multiple cases of pneumonia due to a suppresseed immune system, i'm lucky to stand up for more than 2 minutes, and that will leave me gasping for air. I have a physical therapist who comes to see me, and parents and doctors who encourage me and remind me to keep moving, along with my own desire to get better and return to my former athletic prowess. Exercise, for me, is often a very brief activity, like getting up and going down a flight of stairs.
With the fuelband, I can see an actual number to gauge how active I'm being during the day, and at the end of the day. I press one button and there it is on my iPad.. the number that tells how hard I've worked today at getting myself better. When I see that number, I can raise the bar if I feel like I'd like to do more the next day. I can also see my progress for the week, month, or year in the form of simple graphs comparing your activity level to your goal. The iPad app, iPhone, or your computer will give you a bunch of different graphs that help you gauge your progress. You can share the data on facebook or twitter, but your main competition should obviously be yourself, and this thing makes comparing your present self to your past self extremely easy and pretty fun. I like seeing which times of day I was most active and trying to remember what I was doing at that time.
Having the fuelband data is really useful to me. I feel tired often since my illness, so it's nice to know if I'm tired because I've been very active, or if my body is just having a bad day.
This isn't only for sick people though. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to add more exercise into their life. Like I said, it's probably not what a full time athlete is looking for, but if you're an average person who enjoys being healthy, or if you want to get healthy, this is your thing. When you see it, you think "exercise". When you see a low number on it, you think "exercise more". It's that simple.
I've seen a few reviews where people complain about this thing's usefulness for the price. These I do not understand, because even without all the movement tracking, the band is great. I've never had a watch that was this light and comfortable, and the display is just plain cool looking. Oh, and speaking of the display, yes, you can see it easily even in bright sunlight.
637 of 695 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Great idea, low profile system with a nice display, simple to use, custom-fit, hooks into mobile devices. Here's my two cents.
Quality of Construction:
I bought a Fuel Band in May. I wore it for about 3 months. I wore it every day, to track my fuel points, which is the system Nike built to measure activity.
The Fuelband fit well. There were problems with the interface, and I had to reset it after a week because the firmware update didn't work right, it wouldn't connect, so I lost all that data. I talked to a service rep and got it fixed. Then I synced it to my iPad and it worked for about 3 weeks, I tracked my workouts, and then the sync stopped working, and it asked me to go to the Nike website and update my account. I did that, and it started working again, until today, and now it appears to have finally given up, just telling me to plug it in over and over, sometimes with a firmware update, sometimes not.
Then there's the LEDs that display everything. They started to burn out after the first month, line by line. I'm down to about 75% of the lines working at this point. Its unreadable now. I was pretty gentle with the thing, so I don't know why they are burning out.
So the quality of my $200 band withstood 3 months of moderate use, and was maintenance heavy throughout that period, and now it is pretty much useless and I'm looking for a new watch. I've done 3 factory resets, the past two haven't done anything and its just giving me the "Error returned from Nike+" when I plug it in to the computer, and the display is giving me the "plug me in to the computer" symbol.
Quality of the Fuel Point system:
The whole idea of this is a minimalist system that tracks activity constantly and passively, without a whole lot of button pressing for the user. Nike put an accelerometer in a rubberized wrist band, told it to record accelerations in any direction, and then puts that data through a formula that spits out Fuel Points, Calories, and Steps. Calories is completely inaccurate. Steps is probably pretty close. Fuel points appear to be based entirely on duration. The longer you are moving, the more points you get, regardless of intensity. So if you run 5 miles in an hour, its worth as much as walking 1 mile around the mall for an hour.
This was proven to me when I did an 8 mile run on a Saturday, and then the next day, I played with my kids for 2 hours on a golf course trail. Vs. the 8 mile run, the kids scored about double points (who knows?), double calories (not true), and double steps (probably true). I was carrying one daughter on my shoulders for a short stretch, but I don't think the FuelBand knew that. A few weekends later, I did a long walk up Mount Whitney. About 22 miles. I got about 3000 calories for that, over the 11 hours it took me, and 11000 fuel points. I'm no scientist, but I'm pretty sure I burned more 3000 calories in 11 hours of effort. I understand it can't take into account elevation, but it recorded 57,000 steps that day, and it gave me very little for it in terms of calories. Even at 10 calories per 100 steps, I should have gotten 5700.
So, Nike, some free advice, which I'm also sending you directly:
-don't sell this as a professional workout system, its not, it isn't accurate enough and doesn't account for things like speed, intensity, elevation change, distance/time, activity type, etc.
-don't sell it to athletes as a performance tracking system, it doesn't track performance in any sort of reliable way, just a single number accelerometer and simple algorithm to put the data through
-I recommend you re-package the existing model as a healthcare device, for people who need to move more each day to maintain some basic level of activity: the sick, the old, the obese, anyone with an overly sedentary lifestyle who just needs to shoot for a number each day to get them off the couch or prevent muscle atrophy
-I recommend you add functionality and re-introduce a performance model, that maintains the low profile/simplicity factor, but includes distance covered (through net acceleration, kind of an inertial nav system, or GPS), workout intensity (possibly through heartrate), and is waterproof. An all-activity performance tracker, that isn't a huge beast of a watch. Nice form factor, now make it live up to the promise of "Nike+ FuelBand tracks your activity through a sport-tested accelerometer. Then translates every move into NikeFuel. Nike+ FuelBand tracks running, walking, dancing, basketball - and dozens of everyday actions. It also syncs up with a motivational web and mobile experience. So put it on and get moving."
-Maybe even hook this new device up to Fitocracy.com, and cross-reference the data with descriptive workout data to calibrate your fuel point system. That might actually get you the innovator/early-adopter demographic you're after, that you can expand into more mainstream audiences.
Hope this helps people on the fence,
87 of 111 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Positives: handy to wear on wrist, sleek, I like the clock, steps and NikeFuel features
Negatives: Quite a few. I have listed nine "dislikes" in detail below
I have been using my FuelBand for about two months. Although I find a lot of negatives, I do like the fact that because it is on my wrist, with me at all times (unlike my Omron pedometer which I am forever forgetting to carry). The Fuelband is a very good reminder to get out and move. I like the fact that is counts steps, Fuel, and gives me the time. Now, the negatives. 1) It is bulky and uncomfortable. It has little flexibility and is like wearing a wooden bracelet on your wrist; 2) The Android app is still not out, despite Nike's promise that it would be here soon (I talked to tech support awhile ago); 3) it bricked itself on me once already, and I had to call tech support, do a hard reset, and lost my data for three days - probably the most active three days since I have had it, dammit. 4) It will give you about 1,000 Nikefuel per day even if you sit on your butt all day, so set your goals based on that. It counts arm movements, so if you have a desk job like me and are moving your arms it will give you NikeFuel. 5) It counted about 100 hundred Nikefuel per hour *when it was sitting on the seat of my car* and I was driving cross-country. This is another thing you need to be aware. I talked to tech support about this and apparently the motion of the car triggers the accelerometer. It makes you wonder about accuracy. 6) I wear mine almost 24x7, and it is starting to looked banged up and scuffed, even though it is made of a tough material similar to that of a car tire, and I am not hard on it. 7) I used the Nike wrist measuring tool to measure my wrist before buying, and when it came, I needed to add BOTH the extensions to get it to fit decently. You probably won't like it to be tight because it will ride on that little wrist bone that sticks out on the outside of your wrist, and since the band is inflexible, that situation is uncomfortable. 8) You need to charge it every single day, and it takes quite awhile. 9) This is something I just discovered - It does not do a good job differentiating between walking and running (really?). I walked a mile and a half, then ran the same distance, and there was not much difference in the Fuel earned. Good grief.
Bottom line: I am not satisfied, but, 1) there is probably nothing much better on the market right now that fits my needs, and 2) I am going to keep using it for awhile, at least until the Android app comes out and I can evaluate the app and add a little more convenience to this process.
Nov 2012: I have now had my FuelBand approximately 7 months and I wanted to add a couple of things.
I recently took the smaller link out of my FuelBand and then had a very difficult time getting the large link, band and clasp to go back together. In fact I could not get the clasp to catch on the large link at all. I had to call Nike Support and they are sending me another large link. Nike Support is very good, by the way. However the catch/latch on the band and links is a poor design. It's not like I take it apart all the time (this is the first time since I first set it up). I googled this problem and I see that others have the same problem with the catch. Nike needs to re-engineer the catch.
Would I buy this product again? Perhaps, only because there isn't a better alternative for wrist wear right now. If Fitbit had one, I would probably buy and try it immediately. The best thing about the Nike Fuelband is the fact that I wear it on my wrist and it is there with me every day, wherever I go. It is much better in this sense than a pedometer or Fitbit. And the FuelBand has an attractive design. Just needs a few issues worked out.
Now a word to Nike: GET THE ANDROID APP DONE! You have been promising it "will be out soon" since before I bought my Fuelband 7 months ago. In fact one of the reasons I bought it is because the Android app "should be out by summer 2012." This delay is ridiculous. How can a company with the resources of Nike not be able to hire some good Android programmers and get 'er done?!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Peter J. Allen
- Published on Amazon.com
I have been wearing my fuelband since early January (three months). I like the idea that I'm more conscious of my activity, but here are some things I've noticed:
The fuelband registers fuel points for activities where there is a slight vibration involved... snowblowing your driveway, or driving four hours to Minneapolis (worth 2,000 points). Apparently the accelerometer is not very discerning
The bluetooth connection and iPhone interface is clumsy and unreliable. It takes forever to get connected and takes a long time to update. There are an annoying number of trophies and Nike marketing propaganda to boot. One week I ended up with two Wednesdays... go figure.
Last week I got a Fitbit Flex free through my employer. Just to compare the two devices, I wore the fitbit on my other wrist and have now had the opportunity to compare them for several days. Here's what I've seen... The Fitbit tracks perfectly with my steps (good interface, I can see it live). Turns out the Nike Fuelband is consistently recording about 30% less steps than the Fitbit. The Fitbit counts all calories burned (sedentary + activity), whereas the Nike counts only activity. The Fitbit tracks sleep, the Nike doesn't. The Fitbit allows me to log my swimming time and calories... Nike doesn't.
In short, the Nike Fuelband is an overpriced device, with less functionality than the Fitbit. It doesn't accurately track activity... giving points where it shouldn't, and undercounting when it should. The interface is clumsy and unreliable. It is a thinly veiled, full-time Nike marketing device on your wrist. It does not have capability to track activities other than running and walking... and even then it can't get it right!
Nike Fuelband is a big disappointment. Absolutely not living up to my expectation of the Nike brand. Sorry I wasted the money.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
From a cursory glance, the Fuel Band appears to be a very well thought out device. The band is covered in a rubberized material that appears to be water resistant (not water proof) with a metal clasp. The band comes in three sizes and can be further adjusted with extenders (note it comes with one extender already installed). The animated LED display will go straight to any geek's heart, looking something out of an 1980's scifi movie.
Unclasped, the band exposes a USB connector which can be used to charge the band and sync the data collected with the Nike+ website to record and log your activity. Alternatively, if you have an Apple iPod/iPad/iPhone you can sync via the band's bluetooth connection to the Nike+ app.
The band will track steps taken, calories burned and "Nike Fuel" burned during the day, displaying the current numeric status on the band as well as a progress bar (a series of colored dots from red to green) showing your progress towards the goal for the day. These goals can be set on the website or Nike+ app.
The app itself will show your activity level throughout the day and point out goals and achievements to help increase your activity.
All of this being a thick coating of gloss over a simple motion sensor.
As you move your arm the motion is tracked and converted into the amount of energy burned. The more you move your arms the more active you are. The steps taken during the day is derived from this (IE if you walk across the floor without moving your arm, the band won't show that activity has taken place), on the flip side I got into an active discussion at work with lots of white board usage and gesturing and my "activity" levels shot up.
I wore this along with a digital pedometer Sportline 308 Snapshot Pedometer (Black) and the fuelband said I took about 20% more steps than the pedometer.
I wouldn't be adjusting your diet based upon the calories the fuelband says you've burned, or distance traveled, nor is the fuel band an accurate medical device. It's a very cool, very slick (very expensive) pedometer with fantastic logging capabilities that looks good on your arm and might just help get your butt off of the couch!
I've been using this for about 3 weeks now and just completed a trip to the other side of the US - Here's my current observations-
I sync with both the PC (when charging) and my iPhone app (because the iPhone app is easier to navigate and view awards with, etc)
The fuel band is pretty decent about motivating you to move. With the iPhone app your activity levels get "gamified" and you'll find yourself wanting to move a bit more so your charts aren't flat and you aren't earning any milestone awards or, worse, only showing 4 red dots on your display and its already halfway through the day!
When you complete a goal, the band will animate "GOAL" when you check your status. The animated sequences are different and random so they won't always be the same sequence. The iPhone app (and the PC app) will track your progress showing you milestones of various metrics (best week, best Friday, best Day, etc) and then granting you awards for certain levels (a "water" award for making 50% above goal, an "ice" award for doubling your goal in a day, etc).
Is it accurate? No. Your distance travelled/steps taken will be off. If the band says you did 5 miles you may have done 4, you may have done 6. It doesn't distinguish between me walking 100 feet or walking up 4 flights of stairs... but my heart knows the difference! It IS relatively accurate - After about a weeks worth of wearing it, you'll have a good idea of what your activity level is and you can then adjust your goals accordingly to get your activity level UP.
One other downside I encountered with a trip out to the west coast - I left my laptop at home and figured I would just sync with my iPhone. Once I touched down and turned on the iPhone, it took on the new time zone and changed the time. I figured sync'ing with the iPhone would update the fuelband's time too but --it does NOT--. The fuelband will refuse to sync with the iPhone app because the timezones are different and recommend that you sync on a PC. There's no other way to change time on the fuelband. Part of this makes sense because the fuelband tracks a 24 hour period of activity and if you change timezones you're going to lose/gain time and screw that up. However it also seems like an oversight for day to day wear while travelling.
On the plus side, the fuelband kept the 5 days of data before getting home to sync.
I'd drop half a star for the time zone issue but you can't do that so I'll keep it at 4 for now.
=== UPDATE 09/01/2012 ===
They've put out a software update to fix the timezone issue. You can now set it from your iPhone/Droid using the app. That's the good side. On the downside, it resets your fuel level/activity for the day. It stops you from gaming the system at least...