kit review: Fitbug orb

Guest post time! The lovely Charlie Brown has been wearing a Fitbug orb around for the past few weeks and agreed to review how well it stands up to her very active lifestyle. Don’t believe me? Follow her on Twitter @ziggy_brown and you’ll see she’s doing sprint sets before you’ve even removed your duvet. 

So the Fitbug orb is built to track your every move, day and night, giving you the motivation to “move more, eat better and feel great”.

I was asked to test this little “bug” (my nickname for it) and this is what I found.

First Impressions

So as almost all my friends will tell you I am always busy.  When this lovely little box was delivered I, of course, had to set it up on the move.  Within minutes, whilst working to work(!?), I had registered my bug, set up an online account, linked it to my phone and had starting tracking my movements.  So big thumbs up there for ease!

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Over the next few weeks the bug never left my wrist and I was constantly complimented on my new “watch”.  Now sadly the bug does not have a watch face and this is definitely something I would suggest it adds (obviously I don’t know how easy this would be but it would definitely be a plus point).  So once again another thumbs up for the aesthetically pleasing production of this item, literally complimented everywhere I went!?

The Tracking

So this bug “uses an advanced 3-axis accelerometer to accurately measure your every step and move” this then (when you tell it to) sends your stats via Bluetooth to your phone, or you can login online to see your data.  Now I know I walk a lot, I walk to work most days which is 4 miles, plus everything else that I get up to as the day progresses, but it was quite interesting to see all my details being logged every day.  It did confirm I cover A LOT of ground!

As well as walking I also run, lift weights, take part in various fitness classes, do circuits and during the time period I tested this I also took part in a pretty extreme obstacle race.  The bug, like I said, came everywhere with me and I was extremely impressed that it even survived the Spartan Race, which included A LOT of swimming!   However, the Spartan Race also highlighted the pros and cons of a calorie counter.

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The bug asks you a variety of questions when you set it up, including your age, height and weight and I assume this is the information it uses to estimate the calories you burn.  Personally I don’t count calories I do a lot of exercise, I eat a lot of food!  However, it is interesting to see what you burn on average during the day.  However, during the Spartan Race, a 13 mile obstacle race which had me taking part in physical activity for over 4 hours, the Fitbug told me I had only burnt around 1100 calories.  To me this seems like a ridiculously small amount knowing that on average I burn roughly 100 calories every 10 minutes of running, but then if it is only tracking steps maybe this would be correct ….

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Coming out of the water you can see a bump in the middle of my chest, yep that’s the bug!

The Fitbug also tracks the amount of hours slept.  With three pushes of a button you let it know you are off to sleep and then it logs the hours slept, turning itself off after logging 50 steps taken.  It also tells you the quality of your sleep.  Now I don’t understand how it knows the quality of my sleep but I certainly found it interesting to see how little hours I actually do get per night!

Overall I was impressed with the Fitbug, for the ease of setting it up, how it looked and how quickly you could access all your stats and track your progress.  Personally, I don’t think this product would be for me.   I already know I am active and I don’t really have an interest in seeing how many calories I have burnt as I am always sceptical on how these things are worked out!  HOWEVER, I do think this would be a great little device for someone just starting to get into the world of fitness.  I can definitely see how this would motivate you to get more active.  I mean seeing your stats everyday and seeing if you could beat them is a definite incentive and maybe the calorie counter could be used as a good starter point in understanding how many calories you burn during a long walk for instance.

All in all I think the Fitbug would make a great little present and who knows maybe it would be the start of a collection of technical tracking devices as your love for fitness grows!

Thanks to Fitbug for sending Charlie the orb to test out. All opinions are obviously Charlie’s and neither of us were compensated financially for this post. 

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