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What People Hate About The Most Popular Fitness Trackers

Fixya's Fitness Band Report examines the gripes consumers have with the Nike FuelBand, Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up, and other popular fitness trackers.

Fitness trackers might be all the rage these days, but consumers have some big complaints, from battery life to comfort. Compiling their gripes in a report, Q&A site Fixya examined the troubleshooting requests of its users regarding the Fitbit Flex, Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up, BodyMedia Fit Link, and the Basis B1 band.

Top 5 Fitbit Flex issues

  1. Lack of altimeter - 25%
  2. Inefficient data - 25%
  3. Proprietary charger - 20%
  4. Simple LED display - 15%
  5. Other - 15%

Top 5 Nike+ FuelBand issues

  1. Inefficient data - 25%
  2. No manual data entry - 20%
  3. No sleep features - 20%
  4. Water-resistant, not waterproof - 20%
  5. Other - 15%

Top 5 Jawbone Up issues

  1. Inconsistent battery life - 40%
  2. Requires replacement - 20%
  3. Syncing issues - 15%
  4. Proprietary charger - 15%
  5. Other - 10%

Top 5 Basis B1 issues

  1. Heart rate data when exercising - 25%
  2. Wrist discomfort - 20%
  3. No food entry system - 20%
  4. No wake-up alarm - 20%
  5. Other - 15%

Top 5 BodyMedia Fit Link issues

  1. Data subscription - 30%
  2. Water-resistant, not waterproof - 25%
  3. Hard to sleep with - 20%
  4. Slightly uncomfortable around arm - 15%
  5. Other - 10%

Using this data, Fixya has awarded each of the trackers different distinctions based on their strengths and market appeal. Named best overall, the Basis B1 band received high marks for its form factor and number of sensors, including one that measures perspiration. Despite complaints from users about paying for a data subscription, the BodyMedia Fit Link, the only tracker of the bunch classified by the FDA as a medical device, is awarded for offering the most comprehensive data. The Fitbit Flex is considered the best option for beginners because of how simple it is to log activity and sleep data. The Nike FuelBand, meanwhile, is awarded for having best online community. Lastly, the Jawbone Up earns the distinction of being most frustrating to use, largely because of battery issues, Fixya users report.

[Image: Fixya]

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  • Mlikosky

    I've got the Fitbit One which does not really track my bike riding & running as well as I wish. Also does not track heart rate or anything regarding other workouts. Kinda want to try the Misfit Shine when it comes out

  • John Ko

    Interesting, BodyMedia is a class 2 device. I would have guessed that it would be a class 1. Anyone know why?

  • ravad

    Could you elaborate on the Issues with the Heart Rate Data with the Basis B1?  I have a Garmin device with tracks HR but, is off at times.  I am planning to get a Basis.  

  • Citizen_T

    Hi Ravad, I am a Basis B1 user and have been for the past 2 months or so. The heart rate reading is not reliable, consistent, realistic when you are exercising period. In fairness, Basis have said this on their website, the heart rate readings (Not Real-Time) are for resting heart rate only. Hope that helps. Still an awesome device though and as a first run at a wearable fitness tracker they totally nailed it. 

  • theactivelife

    This is the best review of fitness trackers I've seen so far. I would like to see them reviewed alongside heart rate monitors.  Personally, I use a fitness tracker and HRM when I work out since none give me all the information I want. But, thanks for the review.  And I look forward to the next wave of technology. 

  • mekalav

    Thanks for article,   just in time as i was looking for comparision. You have influenced to go for fitbit flex .

  • TexAM

    Would definitely say the FuelBand is btter for beginners after the first week.  The flex just doesnt do anything, and feels cheap.