Fitness technology, specifically tracking devices, are all the rage in the weight loss and fitness community these days. A quick glance at the gadget on your wrist can tell you exactly how many steps you’ve taken, and a general estimate of how many calories you have burned. Some of the more advanced fitness trackers can even tell you the quality of your sleep and alert you when you have been sitting for too long. (Those of you just here for the iFit Active giveaway may want to skip to the bottom…I like to
talk write a lot. )
I am a self proclaimed fitness nerd. I spent my work study hours during my undergrad years as the assistant for the exercise science lab at my University. As much as I despised statistics class, I loved the numbers in the lab. VO2 max testing, metabolic carts, air displacement plethysmography…I’m nearly on the edge of my seat thinking about it (See? Nerd.)
Having worked in this field, I’ll be the first to tell you that the fitness trackers designed for home use are not going to be incredibly accurate. There are so many factors that go into determining caloric expenditure for each individual, that there is no way a little accelerometer worn on your wrist or waist band could EVER give you an exact reading. A general estimate based on movement, yes, but never to the exact calorie…or even close for that matter. If you add in a heart rate monitor it gets a little closer, but again, there are factors such as true max heart rate vs. age based estimated that will affect the calculated outcome. I try to remind my clients and those who inquire about these devices that the numbers on a fitness tracker should always be taken with a grain of salt. And while they are not spot on with accuracy, they are, however, fantastic reminders to get moving, and even motivators to get in a workout. There’s no denying when it’s 5:00 pm and your fitness tracker tells you that you’ve only moved 1,593 steps total that day that you really need to get up and MOVE.
All of that said, I am a geek for these gadgets. I like to see how many steps it takes me to mow the lawn, or how far I walk in one 5 hour shift at the gym. It’s fun, and it’s always an incentive to go just a little bit further in order to make the fitness tracker congratulate me for reaching that day’s movement goal.
Recently, iFit sent me their newly released fitness tracker, the iFit Active, for review.
- Water Resistant
- Displays Time
- Wireless Sync with BLE Technology
- Adjustable Wristband
- Accessory Clip Included
- Rechargeable Battery via USB Cable
- Android and iOS Mobile Apps Available – iFit Active is only compatible with the Phone 4S, iPod touch 5th Gen and Android 4.3 and above.
- MSRP: $129
Alright, so let’s get right to the point: none of our phones would download the app. My Android is a little older, so it was no surprise there. Geoff’s brand new, 2 week old Android however, is listed as compatible, but we still could not download the app via Google Play or through a browser. And unfortunately without the app, you really can’t do much. I wasn’t able to manually adjust my personal biometrics (height, weight, age, etc) to affect the calorie expenditure. Other tracking devices offer a website as an alternative to the app so you can set up an account and change your personal information…but not the iFit. Basically if your phone isn’t compatible, you are out of luck. So needless to say this review won’t be 100% because of this fact.
The iFit Active band comes with one small set of directions that quite honestly were semi confusing. A bunch of flow charts that suggested to me that I have to manually start and finish my sleep and workout time? I can’t quite tell. Other trackers I have used in the past (such as the BodyMedia FIT band and Polar Loop) automatically sense these things.
FIT: I enjoyed that the iFit Active comes with two wearing options, both the clip on pod and the arm band. The band itself is comfortable and easy to get on…unfortunately nearly impossible to take off. It has a plastic button that slides into a hole in the plastic clasp. Perhaps with time and use it will become more pliable, but I’ve struggled with it every night, and last night Geoff nearly had to cut it off of me because neither of us could get it off.
DISPLAY: The display, however, is great. Very clear. My pictures simply didn’t do it justice so I’m using a stock photo below. The screen actually does look this clear.
The measurements displayed include: Net calories burned, calories in (you have to manually enter this) calories out, number of steps, and distance.
ACCURACY: As mentioned above, these things are often not very accurate to begin with, and without being able to put in my personal information, my iFit Active experience was even less accurate. I wore the iFit Active band around for 24 hours with my Polar Loop Fitness Tracker and found that while the number of steps between the two were not exact, they were pretty close. Over a 3 mile run, the two were only 131 steps off, which isn’t too bad.
CONCLUSION: To be honest, I’m disappointed with this tracler, especially considering that iFit is known for some pretty great products. Especially considering there are some fantastic products already on the market, such as the Polar Loop or the BodyMedia FIT band (I hear the fitbit is pretty cool too), I figured the newest product on the market would exceed or at least meet these standards. However, I will be the first to admit that part of the problem with my experience is the fact that I can’t create an account for my iFit Active due to the phone issue. What I would love to see is companies make accounts available both ONLINE and on their phone, as not everyone has the ability to have – nor want – the latest smart phone at all times.
So all of that said, I’m going to let this review go on hold until we can get further experiences and points of view. I’m sending *my* band off to my friend Hope (and her iPhone 5) .
And I have a brand new iFit Active still in it’s box ready to go to one of YOU.
To enter, use the rafflecopter below and follow the instructions. You’ll notice there’s a huge bonus entry available *if* you promise to write me a mini-review about your experience with the product to update this review if you win the iFit Active. Teamwork pays off! Contest will be open from today (7/25/14) and Sunday (8/3/14) at midnight. Winner will be announced and contacted Monday (8/4/14). Contest open to US residents only (because I have to ship it myself, sorry my international friends!). Good luck!