Ask LH: Which Fitness Tracking Wristband Should I Get?

Hi Lifehacker, I’m thinking of buying an activity tracking wristband and was very keen on the FitBit Force until the voluntary recall. Fitbit have said that the device will be re-released but there is no estimate of how long that will take and then there’s the delay for Australian release. So now I’m conflicted whether to wait for the Force, buy the Flex or go with something else. Any suggestions? Thanks, Force Not With Me

Dear FNWM,

According to Gizmodo editor Luke Hopewell, you should wait for the relaunch of the FitBit Force. Luke has personally tested most of the major fitness trackers on the market and rates the Force above the rest; particularly in terms of battery life, charging convenience and product reliability. It also provides you with more data on the go than the majority of fitness wristbands.

Otherwise, your best bet is probably the Jawbone Up which is smaller than the FitBit Force and arguably more stylish. In addition, it attempts to cater to casual users rather than die-hard fitness enthusiasts and benefits from a nicer looking app. However, there are a few significant caveats that lessen the Jawbone Up’s appeal.

“The Jawbone Up has a great app, a great design and it’s very comfortable, but it’s still the least reliable device I have ever used,” explains Luke. “I am on my second Up band after the first one died, but I know people who are on their sixth Jawbone Up after the previous five have failed.

“The Fitbit’s app may not be as pretty as the Jawbone Up’s app, but if that’s the sacrifice I have to make to have something I’m not returning to the Apple Store once a month, it’s worth it. Whenever anyone asks which fitness tracker they should buy, I’ll recommend Fitbit.” (You can check out Luke’s full review of the FitBit Force over at Gizmodo.)

The bad news is that you’re going to have to wait for the FitBit Force to return to the market. Fortunately, the recall issue appears to be related to the material used in the strap rather than a major hardware or software bug, which means it shouldn’t take Fitbit too long to iron out the problem.

As always, we’re also keen to hear what readers think: if you have a separate recommendation, let FNWM know in the comments section below.


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