Product Review: Nike FuelBand

by in Fitness, Product Reviews, July 31, 2012

fuel band
Tracking physical activity can help keep you motivated, but most calorie-counting knickknacks are famously inaccurate. Can Nike’s newest gadget get it right? I couldn’t wait to test out the FuelBand.

My Take
A gadget fans dream — and you don’t have to be a computer wizard to figure it out. The FuelBand allows you to track your activity (excercise and dozens of everyday actions), calories and progress. After a simple online set up to link the FuelBand with your computer and iPhone, you’re on your way.

The Nike+ website allows you to set up an account where you can download your activity data from the FuelBand. Using BlueTooth technology, the mobile app will also allow you to remotely sync and update info with the touch of a button. The FuelBand retails for $149.00 but the website and app are free.

Your daily fuel point goal is based on your gender, age, height, weight and activity level. The band features basic tracking of allotted daily fuel points, calories, distance traveled and steps taken. More advanced features allow you to set more complex goals, earn electronic “trophies” and share info via social media.

With movement throughout the day you rack up points. Once daily fuel points are met, you’re congratulated with a multi-colored dot matrix fan fare that is oddly inspiring.

Wearing the band took a little getting used to, especially while out on a run. It was somewhat cumbersome for someone that isn’t used to dangling instruments while exercising.

Overall the Nike FuelBand was a winner. If you’re an exercise enthusiast with a love of tech wizardry this is the tool for you.

Tell Us: Do you track your physical activity?

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Comments (949)

  1. PattiNYC says:

    Thank you for this review. I do try very hard to track my exercise because I LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat and exercising enough and tracking my food is the only way I can make sure I am not blowing away all my hard work (or lying to myself because I really want that pie) I have been toying with saving up and getting this or getting a heart rate monitor like Wahoo. I would be interested in a follow up that compares the accuracy of each tool versus the motivation value for each tool.

    • PattiNYC says:

      Update – I actually got a fuel band as a holiday gift. I have been using it daily since then. While I don't always hit my mark, it does keep me honest with myself about what I have done. It also integrates nicely with the "LoseIt" app for Iphone and keeps me from overestimating my calories for the day.

      In response to another poster's comments, yes it tracks arm movements and steps using an accelerometer (sp) so you can nudge it at 11:30pm by waving and jumping around a bit before bed to hit your goal, but is that the worst thing in the world? Not in my book.

      If you use it daily you will know the "range" of your active and inactive days and you will learn when you need to move more even if you don't make your official goal, so that you can stay on track to health and fitness. I really like it.

  2. Kelly Runs on Cake says:

    IMO, the Fuelband (or the Jawbone, or any other fitness monitor you wear as a bracelet) is totally off the mark. Arm swinging seems like the worst way to judge how much someone is moving. What if you walk 10 miles, but you're pushing a stroller? The Fuelband would think you were barely moving. What if you're drumming or clapping or signing? The Fuelband will think you're running around.

    I personally use a Fitbit, and I love it, but there are other fitness monitors out there too that I would trust a whole lot more than the Fuelband.

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