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Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Features, Technology |

Review: Fitbit Zip

Review: Fitbit Zip

Rarely happens there comes a device that changes radically my lifestyle and my routine. When that happens rarely so small and discreet as apparently before us today, the Fitbit Zip. A device barely larger than a coin but has managed to succeed where many other applications, exercise programs and social networks had failed miserably: I move and exercise.

The Fitbit Zip is the younger brother of the second generation of family devices Fitbit, launched a year ago with the Fitbit Ultra , which is accompanied by Fitbit One, a slightly more advanced model that also will outline shortly. Small, well thought out and with some very interesting, so is the Zip.

Small outside, big inside

For some reason, looking at the official website of Zip Fitbit gives the feeling that this is much bigger. Just out of the box yet to realize that the is quite small (about the size of a coin) and fits comfortably anywhere. It is made of plastic of various colors: black, white, pink, blue and green, with a front LCD panel to display information and the battery cover on the back.

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Along with the Fitbit includes a holster to carry it comfortably with a clamp, a tool to open the battery compartment and a small USB dongle that can connect to your computer (Windows or Mac) and sync information Fitbit. One of the improvements over the Fitbit Ultra is that now both the Zip and the One are waterproof. Water resistant is not the same as waterproof, but we can go out with him with confidence in rain or getting wet day with him without having the slightest problem.

Although the battery that comes with the device is a simple button battery from Fitbit promise a battery life of between four and six months. From Fitbit Panel can see what state is charging and warns us when to change it. The clamp that came with the case is very strong and can fit in almost any garment, from the pen holder women, the pants pocket, shirt, belt or even socks (useful for example if we measure our business in a bike).

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And is that the Fitbit collects all our activities through the use of a three-axis accelerometer, which, in certain situations or exercises (stationary bike, weights, archery or abdominal) can be quite inaccurate. As we will see below this is easily solvable, because from the Fitbit Panel, which you access through any browser, can also introduce the activity we have done, the type and intensity so you add the calories of that day.

What can we measure the Fitbit Zip? Basically three main parameters: steps, calories and distance. According to these three parameters and an algorithm (which takes into account your weight, height and BMI) on the web shows an activity indicator Fitbit own which is what we use to compare with our friends and see who really has exercising more.

The display will show the steps, calories and distance along with a smiling face increasingly as we get closer to our goal. To switch between calories, distance, steps, clock face and just press with your finger. Not touch, but it uses accelerometer to see when you press with your finger, a loose and causing sometimes have to give up to get change repeatedly.

Synchronization, aplicacionesm mobile and desktop software

But the most interesting part of Fitbit is synchronization, Bluetooth 4.0 can synchronize Fitbit comfortably in the background with our smartphone. For now and unfortunately only available an application that works with iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 (although it is adapted for the screen of the latter, major fault), since Fitbit promise us that Android will arrive very soon. It would also welcome a version for iPad that take advantage of the screen size to better see synchronized information.

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If we want to use it with the computer we will be submitted in the USB dongle, we can not do it by Bluetooth. It may be an inconvenience, but when you consider that the ideal is that the Fitbit Zip walk always in our pocket and our smartphone not usually go much further with syncing data in the background is enough. To see what data we go to Fitbit Panel in your browser or through the application, but are more precise and advanced on the web.

The Panel Fitbit, more than data

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Is the checkpoint, where we have access to all the Fitbit experience. Similarly we can introduce our height and our weight to calculate our BMI and how it affects the exercise we do in it. Thanks to the graphic we can go see the evolution of our business, the exercise we’ve done over time or on a certain day and compare it to other time periods.

But the raw data is not the most interesting, Fitbit lets you create a meal plan if you’re looking to measure our physical activity to lose weight. It does well in a very curious, simply enter our ideal weight and a plan to achieve that can be aggressive (more exercise but it took less time, or long-term balance. Accordingly the application will tell us the calories we need to burn that day determined and we can eat even to meet the goal.

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This of course is necessary to measure not only the exercise we eat, but also what we eat. From the Panel as mentioned above can register any type of physical activity but also what we eat. The accuracy of what we eat comes not only to “sandwich” or “steak” with an approximate calculation of calories, but also includes products known supermarket chains and most popular restaurants. In the case of Spain is a function that is yet to implement, as Fitbit will be available before Christmas.

The family Fitbit

The Fitbit Zip is the youngest in the family. He is joined by the Fitbit One , available soon, and especially the scale Fitbit Aria also syncs via WiFi and is the perfect complement for the Zip One, as we save the step of having to be introducing our weight manually over time to calculate the effectiveness of our exercise, apart from recognizing multiple users.

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Another major advantage of the Fitbit is the ability to synchronize with third-party applications, among which Endomondo and RunKeeper, so that the exercise we perform with the device will be recorded on these social networks while everything we do in These will add to the calorie information and exercise the Fitbit Panel. What are the differences with respect to Fitbit Zip One? The main one is the price, with almost half cheaper, but against lose sleep monitoring and stairs climbed, and it works with rechargeable battery instead of a stack.

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And against Fuelband? Nobody will doubt that Nike is doing very well with your wrist and it’s interesting how Fitbit can stand up. In my opinion, the main virtue of the Fuelband is also their main weakness, namely the only indicator that gives us a number of points, the points of NikeFuel and we compete against our friends and ourselves valuing our daily . But that simplicity which is positive on one side can also be a drawback if we are looking for more advanced data and measurement in calories, steps and distance, together we can establish a food plan to go down to achieve our goal weight . Two complementary visions for the same purpose, the same as specifying the beginning of the review: to move your ass and do exercise.

The social aspect

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One of the fundamental aspects of the Fitbit is its social dimension. We can add more friends with Fitbit and compete against them, while we see the progress from the application, their badges and leave comments, mocking joke if we do better or to congratulate them on their performance.

Thankfully Fitbit has taken great care in the privacy and almost any parameter is customizable level if we want to be completely public, visible only to our friends or only visible to us.

Along with this, the system itself rewards us with badges, similar to Foursquare for example, we also motivate comeptir against ourselves and exercise to achieve the highest level.

Conclusions and price

9/10

How? A 9 to a device that “only” step counter and calorie measured? Yes, a 9 to a device that “only” has measured steps and calories. The Fitbit has made what once had been a Metro or bus ride now becomes a 25 minute walk which, after all, no big deal. Or a path way to the office every day which is a 10 minute drive but walk a little bit only. Being able to see your data, exercise, scores, power compete against yourself and the drive to excel are, ultimately, the real magic of Fitbit.

And yes, it is still interesting if we want to Track every aspect of our health, such as calories, burned, height, weight, and exercise development but above all that the Fitbit ultimately causes you to walk, you move and, before anything else, is what gives it its true value.

Is now available for $ 60 dollars or 60 euros to change and may adquiririse at various facilities, from department stores to Apple Stores, which sells exclusively white.

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