Sunday, June 9, 2013

Battle of the Bands

Have you heard about the Nike Fuel Band, the FitBit Flex or the Jawbone Up? These are probably the most popular of the fitness band out on the market right now. And while many of you may have never heard about them, I know there are some of you out there that are interested in getting one of these bands to track your daily milage, sleep pattern, calorie intake, etc.

These bands are designed to get you to move more, and to track track that movement. Think of a pedometer on steroids! While these two bands have similar  function, they are very different. The Fitbit Flex was released in May and sells for around $100 while the Up is in it's second generation and sells for $129.

I was very interested in getting one of these bands, but had no clue which one to I got the two that appealed to me the most (Nike does not track sleep patterns) and wore them side-by-side for 2 weeks. Here are my thoughts on the bands.

The Fitbit Flex vs. The Jawbone Up

Fit & Design:

The Flex come in two colors: black or slate. Each box contains 2 wristbands: a small and large size. Once you know your band size, you can purchase a set of 3 extra bands for $39 which include a blue, orange and teal band. The small fits me just fine, but I choose to wear the large, it allows for more movement on my wrist. The Flex is very simple in its design, it is not much to look at. It does have indicator lights, which allow you to see how close to your daily goal you are. 

Jawbone's Up come in 3 sizes, which you must determine before you purchase the bracelet. It comes in many colors including: black, grey, mint, red, blue, etc. The color you purchase is the color you are stuck with. You cannot change the color as you can with the Fitbit Flex. I purchased the large size (thinking I would give it to my boyfriend after the trial) which I find way too big for me.

While many people have complained that the Flex is difficult to put on (the clasp is a little tricky), I find that while being able to easily slide the Up onto my wrist is nice, the split in the bracelet gets caught on everything: my hair, clothing, computer, and headphone cords! 

The Up has just one light, which allows you to see what mode you are in: sleep or active; you can toggle from mode to mode by pushing on the end of the bracelet. 

After wearing both bracelets, I do find the Up to look better, but is is annoying to wear (remember mine is too big!) getting caught all of the time. I also like the ability to change the colors of the Flex if I want to. 


Both the Flex and the Up track your daily milage, calories burned, sleep patterns, and the number of steps you have taken. This information can be tracked on both Apple and Android phones, or on your computer. 

The Flex uploads the information to your phone through Bluetooth, while you have to take the Up off and plug it into your phone to see your data. 

The ability to just open the Flex app and see my progress is really nice! I check it multiple times a day, and then set mini-goals to see if I can walk even more before the next time I check it. 

I find it slightly annoying to have to take the Up off and physically plug it into my phone in order to see  my progress. 

Both the Flex and the Up give you multiple views of your progress and the goals you have set for yourself. I like the Up's app much better than I like the Flex app. The Up app is more user friendly, and it just looks better. There is definitely more information given to you with the Up app, which makes the Flex app feel more streamline and simple. I have a feeling that Fitbit will be making changes to their app very soon! 


I haven't played around too much with the food and water tracking on these two bands. They both allow you to keep a food journal, and allow you to see your calorie intake vs. the calories you have burned. 

I have found that the Flex track my steps and milage much more accurately than the Up. In fact the Flex  track just about the same milage as my Garmin watch. The Up is always about a 1/2 mile behind the Flex and my Garmin. When running, the Up is about a mile behind!! 

I chose these two bands to review, because they both track your sleep patterns (which the Nike Fuel Band does not). Both bands track when you are in deep sleep vs. restless sleep, and the number of hours you are in bed vs. the number of hours you are actually sleeping. The both have silent alarms that you can set to wake you by vibrating in the morning. The Up has a nap mode, that uses your sleep information and wakes you when you have taken an appropriate nap (mine never woke me up!!). 

And the winner is......

The Up is a stylish band, that has a very nice looking and well functioning app but....

For me the Flex has everything I am looking for! It is easy to use, and I really like the way that it syncs with my phone. I like that is accurately tracks my milage, it does not get caught on my hair or clothing and it is comfortable and I can change the color of the band when my mood changes!

For these reasons I choose the Flex as the winning fitness band!! 


**These opinions are my own. I was not paid to write this review, and I was not given the bands to review.


April S said...

I've been debating between a variety of these tracking bracelets. Thanks for the detailed review!

Anonymous said...

I don't have either of this point I'm not into it (unless they were given to me) but I'm glad you reviewed them both!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Very helpful. So you wear both the Flex and Garmin while running. Good to know.

Jennifer said...

Great review! I appreciate knowing that the Flex keeps better track of mileage compared to the Up. I keep debating which one to get, so your review really helped. Think I'll be getting the Fitbit Flex soon!