The awesome folks at Fitbit sent me a Fitbit Zip eons ago and I finally am writing up my review of this cute little activity tracker (but oh so much more!) Giveaway at the end of this post!
In a nutshell, you wear the Fitbit Zip device anywhere on your body throughout the day to track your steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. There is a display that you can toggle to see how you're progressing for the day, and it syncs with an online dashboard as well as some mobile devices. You can use the app or website to log food, add or view activity, and track weight.
Pros of the Fitbit Zip:
- The thing is tiny. You can put it nearly anywhere on your body to record movement, so it's totally inconspicuous. I preferred to wear mine at the middle of my bra where it wouldn't show under clothing.
- Wireless syncing. There is a tiny USB dongle I keep plugged to my laptop that syncs when the device is in range. I never had to worry about plugging anything in.
- Samsung Galaxy S3 App. The app wasn't available when I first got the Zip, but it recently became available and is awesome. The Zip syncs via Bluetooth with the Fitbit Android app to keep track of my activities. Just one more easy way to have instant access to my data. It also syncs with iPhone 4S/5, iPad 3, and Samsung Galaxy Note 2. All supported devices listed here.
- Syncs with MyFitnessPal (and other apps). This is probably my favorite feature of the Zip. When I used other devices in the past, I didn't want to have to enter my food somewhere other than where I normally do, which is on MyFitnessPal. The Zip actually has a 2-way sync with MyFitnessPal, so my activity (from Fitbit) would populate into MyFitnessPal and my nutrition (from MyFitnessPal) would populate onto my Zip dashboard. Fitbit has their own food entry system if you prefer to use it, but I didn't want to leave my old faithful 🙂 (Also works with LoseIt, SparkPeople, Map My Run, and more)
- Price: At under $60, this device is one of the most cost effective activity trackers on the market, and provides a lot of value for the money.
Cons of the Fitbit Zip:
- The thing is tiny: Yes, I mentioned this was a pro above. But on the flip side, the thing is tiny and light and you will most likely throw it in the laundry as I did. Whoops. On the plus side, after pulling it out of the washing machine, it worked just as it had before!
- Battery Replacement: The battery lasts a long time, however it's a lithium ion battery (think one of those thin, round watch batteries) that are a little difficult to locate on the fly. It's a tradeoff from having to charge the device, so this is totally a personal preference.
- Sleep Tracking: If you are looking for sleep tracking, you should go with a different model like the Fitbit One as the Zip doesn't track sleep. Again, personal preference on whether or not this is important to you.
- Weight Training: My workouts are a mix of strength and conditioning work, but aren't on the typical cardio machines. After a workout, I would only see a small blip on my activity monitor because my work wasn't necessarily around steps taken. It was disheartening to see that according to the device, I didn't work much. (But my soaked shirts and heart rate proved otherwise).
- Can't cure forgetfulness. My biggest problem in using the device wasn't the device itself, it was actually remembering to put it on every day. This is a common theme with me and all tracking devices, so I'm not surprised.
This is a really easy-to-use, functional tracking device at a good price. If you're looking for something to keep you accountability with your daily activity goals, this is the perfect device. You can easily see at any time how many steps you've taken, and approximately how many calories you've burned. I have a problem with the whole calories in/calories out argument, so I personally don't use it to see if I should lose weight this week by hitting my activity goals. It's taken a long time for me to stop getting frustrated at the numbers that might pop up on a screen if I'm trying to hit some imaginary goal. This has zero to do with this product itself, just a mindset I've had to put myself in while using tracking devices such as this.
The ease of use of this device plus the syncing with multiple apps and smartphones is awesome. It “plays well with others” which I think is a great approach to a fitness device that should appeal to a wide amount of people. When you look at your Fitbit halfway through the day and see you've only taken 800 steps (I wish this weren't true, but it's common for a desk-dweller like myself), you better believe it will motivate you to get up and move around!
The Fitbit Zip, or any tracking device for that matter, isn't a necessity to being successful with your fitness goals, but it's a fun item that might help get you more excited about them.
Ready to win your own Fitbit Zip? Enter using the widget below. Open to US residents only. Giveaway closes on 4/18/13 at midnight.
DISCLOSURE: Fitbit provided their product for review at no cost to me. As always, all opinions are unfiltered, honest, and strictly my own. I endorse Blog With Integrity. For my full disclosure policy, click here.