How accurate are Fitbits/Jawbones?

Hi all,

I’m considering getting my mum a FitBit for Christmas (don’t worry, she’s asked for one! :)) but they’re rather expensive so I buy one I was hoping to get some reliable Doper feedback. If you have a FitBit or Jawbone, do you find them helpful? How accurate are they? Most importantly, are they easy to use? My mum’s not exactly comfortable with technology so if they’re a pain in the ass to use it’d probably cause more problems than it solves.

Thanks in advance!

Fitbit fan here. Have had a Force & Charge HR.

Both are accurate pedometers & once you define your stride, good for miles. My HR seems within a couple of beats of other devices.

I like the fact that the Charge has a real buckle.

I used Jawbones for years. They keep breaking. The company is very good about replacing them, at no charge, but out of 3 that I bought, all 3 had to be replaced. My sister and my husband had similar experiences. They also changed the fittings on the device, so I found that the current versions fall off all the time. It was also a pain to put back on. On the plus side, great customer service, and their app is fairly nice. Finally, their units are more decorative. If your mom wants something that looks like a bracelet, Jawbone fits that need.

I’ve recently switched to a Fitbit Charge HR. The app is easy to use. The device seems to be fairly accurate, about everything except sleep. The Fitbit decides for itself when you are asleep, and it is often wrong. I don’t care as much about that aspect. I synced it with my phone, so when I get a phone call the number or ID flashes on the unit. I don’t always notice my phone vibrating, so that has been a nice extra. The fitting/clasp is much much secure, so I haven’t had the device fall off. Negatives: the battery warning is too little, too late and the sizing is a bit strange. Someone suggested charging the unit while showering, which seems to keep it up and running. I would advise buying the larger of the sizes. I have very small wrists, and the smaller size barely fits.

Of the two, I recommend the Fitbit.

Ditto everything ddsun says about Fitbit Charge HR (except the sleep thing, I don’t have any way of actually telling when I’m asleep or not so I think it’s probably pretty close). I think the technology is probably as good as it gets for now. Easy to use, doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. No complaints from me at all, really.

Would you consider the Garmin Vivofit? The advantage of the Vivofit is that it uses a regular watch battery, which means that you don’t need to charge it every night.
To upload data, I start the app on my phone & then press the (only) button on the Vivofit; it does the rest. There are multiple different optional band colors besides the black one it comes with.

I have a FitBit one (clip on style) that I bought on New Years Day 2015. It seems to be quite accurate except for the “floors climbed” feature - walking outside in high winds will credit me with many more flights of stairs than actually climbed.

I chose the FitBit One because I can’t stand to wear a wristband since I got carpal tunnel syndrome in the early 90’s. The One clips onto my waistband, jeans pocket or sports bra.

I’ve had a Fitbit Flex for about 18 months and find it very accurate for walking. The Android app for is easy to use and has fun features such as badges for hitting certain milestones. Recently I got a badge for walking the equivalent of the length of Japan (1869 miles). But like any device that only measures steps it’s useless for anything other than running/walking. If your mum does other types of exercise such as cycling then one of the models that includes heart rate would be better.

Get the extended warranty.

Usually, they are a waste of money, however, my wife has received 2 new fitbits because the previous ones broke. Band issue on one, the charger broke on the other.

I have been using a Fitbit Charge for about 10 months. It is accurate to within about 3 steps per hundred for me. I determined this by counting my own steps and comparing to the device a few times a day during the first month I owned it. That is close enough for me.

I find it very useful as a gauge of my activity level each day. It spurs me to take at least one walk per day to make sure I achieve my daily step goal.

On the negative side, I am not fond of the closure on the band; it can be difficult to engage firmly, and it seems easy to accidentally release. The connection between the female opening on the back of the device and the male charging cable also seems weak.

I had one issue with the battery not holding a charge, and Fitbit promptly replaced it. My wife’s also had to be replaced for the same reason, so I think they have some quality issues with the batteries.

I have the Charge. I changed how it monitored sleep from Sensitive to Normal and it seems much more accurate. Sometimes I get a “–” where my heart rate is, so I’m not sure when working out if it’s accurately gauging my calorie burn. I have found if I loosen the band and push it up farther up my arm I get a better read during exercise.

I also like that it has alarms, so I get a buzzing on my wrist that won’t disturb Ivylad.

Just to add, as I mentioned in another thread recently, the feature to use the Fitbit to see who’s calling on your phone via Bluetooth is a bit flaky - it takes too long for the details to show up to be useful.

Other than that, I’m a fan of the Fitbit Charge HR. I can’t comment on how accurate it is, not having to compare it to, but I’m not sure that it really matters in my case: if my goal is to increase the amount Im walking, it probably isn’t important if I do 9996 steps instead of 10k - what matters is that I don’t do 1000. :slight_smile:

I’ve had two Fitbit Ones (because I misplaced one in a move, thought it was lost, bought another, then found the first), and I like it well enough.

My daughter has a Nike Fuel, and one of the items is pretty inaccurate, but I don’t know which one.

My daughter went to England with a friend, and the friend had a Fitbit. They would walk around, her friend would sit, and my daughter would walk around, looking for interesting things. Once they walked from the train station to a stately home. Her friend stayed in the garden, but my daughter walked down to the house, walked around the house, walked in the back of the house to look at the lake, then back to the garden. That evening, their step count was about the same. I gave my daughter my Fitbit to wear while she wore her Nike band, just to see, and the Fitbit always had more steps. I don’t know if Fitbit over counts or Nike undercounts, but there was a big difference.

It seems to be accurate in comparison to itself, though, so if I walked 5000 steps yesterday and 6000 today, I am confident I walked about 20% more steps. Whether I really walked 5000 and 6000, I don’t know.

The floors climbed feature hasn’t been accurate on either of mine. A friend of mine and I laugh about it. I think the best example is the day I had more than 20 floors climbed and I hadn’t climbed one. Since I don’t care about floors climbed, I ignore it.

Bolded for emphasis - I’m pretty sure all the wearable tech stuff like these won’t get the best benefit/use without synching with a smartphone. Just checking in on that since “not comfortable with tech” and using a smartphone with the applicable app don’t always go together. So she’s OK with the syncing and app use and troubleshooting when the sync doesn’t work and charging an extra thing and all that?

Just mentioning, since there are some nice digital pedometers out there that just count steps if that’s all she wants to/can do.

There’s a second app out there, called My Fitness Pal, that syncs up with the wearable tech apps, and counts exercise with calorie counting for weight loss. It works really well (I use a Misfit myself because no charging and waterproof and looks nicer) with most wearable tech apps.