Many of us spend much of our working life sat at a desk staring into a computer screen, almost stuck to one spot and not getting much activity at all. This is a concern as we wonder what affects this may be having on our overall well-being. One approach to this has been to use pedometers and other fitness gadgets to measure the actual amount of physical activity done each day.
The FitBit Ultra is one of these types of devices and is one of the more expensive ones, but do you get value for money and does it live up to expectations? Let’s take a look.
- Type of Device: Activity Tracker
- RRP: $99.95
- Release Year: 2011
- Size: 2 x 0.5 x 0.4 inches
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Wireless Internet Data Upload? Yes
- Battery Charge – 5-7 days
- Warranty: Limited Manufacturer’s one year on parts and labor
More Than A Pedometer: A big advantage of this gadget is that it measures a number of different activities. This helps to give a better idea of all your physical activity during the day and helps you to see how you are getting on, where you are doing well and where you might need to improve.
It measures number of steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, distance traveled, hills climbed and more. It helps you understand your current levels of activity and exercise and provides a measure for steadily increasing activity and your level of fitness and giving you feedback on your progress.
Sleep Tracking: This feature helps you to keep a track of your sleep patterns – measuring how often you wake up – as you move when you are wake. You just need to switch it to sleep mode when you go to bed and you are all set. Customers have been surprised at how useful this feature has been in seeing how well they are resting and the impact it has on their day.
Automatic WiFi Update: It uploads you data to your internet account every 15 minutes when in range of a WiFi so you get almost real time update of your physical activity during the day. This takes away the hassle of having to record your results manually or log in to your account to update your progress. It is one less thing to worry about and you can concentrate on doing things to achieve your fitness objectives.
Online Tracking: Included with this device is an online account where you can track your progress over time and at no additional cost too, unless you want to upgrade. Most people find the service included as standard is all they need to get a good picture of how they are doing. The data is presented in graphs and charts so you can quickly and easily see how you are doing against last month or even last year.
Motivation: The fact you are measuring your performance and can track progress helps many people to stay motivated and achieve the next level in their fitness program or beating their previous best. Also, included with the online account is the ability to receive badges as you achieve certain levels which can give you a bit of a boost toward your next target. There is also the option to form communities with other customers to help each other continue with their healthy lifestyle goals.
Small: As this is meant to be worn around the clock it needs to be small and not get in the way, and it is. Otherwise, it may get annoying and you may not use it, therefore missing out on the benefits of monitoring your physical activity.
It is about the size of a USB memory stick. It is very light and is easy to carry around. It has an in-built clip which makes it easy to attach to thin material such as the inside of a pocket. Plus there is a belt you can use to attach to places where the clip isn’t appropriate to use.
iPhone App: This App is included with the device and means you can catch up with your progress whenever and wherever you want. Plus you can input additional information like what you have drunk or eaten during the day. Also you can enter information about any physical activity that the device doesn’t capture such as swimming, rowing or weight lifting to give you a better and more complete overall picture of your progress. It is also compatible with other Apps like LoseIt, RunKeeper and HealthVault.
Battery Charge: The batter charges up very quickly and lasts for up to 7 days. This helps to ensure you don’t miss recording any important data because the battery is flat. Many find it can be easily charged when they are sat at their desk and not moving around much.
Design: This is probably not the most important consideration when buying this device, especially as won’t see it when it is being used, but it does look good – its modern looking and you can get i neither red or blue.
Accuracy: Or to be more accurate – it’s lack of accuracy. You want a device that is designed to track and monitor your fitness to be accurate. However, the mileage on it can be inaccurate, even after it has been calibrated. On top of this, some people have noted that it adds extra steps or stairs climbed when they are driving! This is not what you expect from a device that costs as much as it does.
Activity Measurement Limits: This is a good device for measuring stairs climbed or steps taken, but does not measure activities like rowing, elliptical training or resistance training such as weight lifting. This type of information needs to be entered manually into your online account if you want to track it.
Quality Of Build: Although it looks good, some people have said that it can start to come apart after a few months use. It has only happened to a few users, but it is worth noting.
Customer Service: As with any product there are going to be occasions when things don’t go as they should, and this is where you want a good customer service experience to get things sorted. Unfortunately there have been many cases reported where this just isn’t the case. You expect this whatever the cost of the product, but more so when you paying for a top price range product.
Should You Buy The Fitbit Ultra?
This is a product that will help you to track your activity data and help you in your goal to improve your fitness levels. It does a good job at this and can certainly help in motivating you to improve and keep going and many people say that it has helped them to lose weight and increase their level of physical activity. Most people also like their online account service. But, some people do experience issues with the product such as the inaccurate mileage and additional steps. These concerns need to be kept in mind when buying but overall it appears to do the job it sets out to do and in most cases to a commendable standard.
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