Why I Like Using Fitbit More Than BodyMedia’s CORE Armband to Track Calories
The results are in: Fitbit is now my go-to device to track the calories I burn.
I think the BodyMedia FIT system is still a fantastic system. There aren’t huge differences between either device and you’d probably be happy with whatever you decided to go with. If I never had the opportunity to try the Fitbit, I’d be more than happy using BodyMedia’s FIT Armband on a daily basis.
With that said, there are a few areas where I think Fitbit reigns supreme:
Cost: While I didn’t pay for my Fitbit, it’s $50 less than the CORE Armband priced at $149. The upfront cost is one thing, but the biggest difference between the two is that BodyMedia charges $6.95 a month to use their system. As in, you can’t use BodyMedia’s armband at all without paying $6.95 a month.
Spending $150 upfront, then $80+ a year is going to be a dealbreaker for many people. I personally think it’s worth the price they’re asking, but Fitbit really undercuts BodyMedia by having no monthly charge.
Device Display: Unlike BodyMedia’s CORE Armband, the Fitbit has a digital readout on the device itself (shown above). You can pull the Fitbit out of your pocket or unclip it from your bra, waistband, etc, any time of the day and find out how many steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’ve burned, the amount of stairs you’ve climbed, or how many miles you’ve gone.
Convenience: The CORE armband requires me to plug it into my computer every time I want to upload my physical activity data to BodyMedia’s online account dashboard. The base model Fitbit (still $50 cheaper, mind you) automatically uploads this data to my Fitbit dashboard using Bluetooth whenever I even go close to my computer.
BodyMedia has an armband that has the same Bluetooth capabilities as the Fitbit called the LINK Armband, but it costs $100 more than the Fitbit.
As far as noticing any variation in the data that’s reported by the two, it seems like BodyMedia reports a little more calories burned than Fitbit for the same activities. Which one is more accurate? Who knows. Regardless, I always like underestimating the calories I burn and overestimating the calories I consume (by about 10%) while I’m at it, so Fitbit’s figures are fine with me.
Which one should you buy?
I think the Fitbit is the best bang for your buck.
If you don’t mind the monthly cost (less than a quarter a day) for the BodyMedia and can afford to get the Bluetooth version called the LINK Armband ($198), I’d recommend the LINK Armband due to the simplicity of BodyMedia’s reporting.
While I may be in the minority on this, I prefer BodyMedia’s simplified account dashboard. I wouldn’t say Fitbit’s account dashboard is cluttered or ugly by any means, but it has a lot of stuff on there that I’d like to remove (step badge, floor badge, top badges, my achievements, friends, groups, etc).
Fitbit’s dashboard is the only thing keeping me from giving it a 10 out of 10.
BodyMedia’s dashboard is more straightforward and suited for those looking to login, check their stats, and move on with their lives. Every time I log into the Fitbit dashboard it feels a lot like when I walk through the mall and all of those people selling crap out of the kiosks try to hustle me. I just want to pickup some capri pants at Old Navy, man. Leave me alone!
Good thing I have a digital display right on my Fitbit.