Review: Fitbug Orb

A few weeks have passed since I first peeled back the box from my Fitbug Orb and braced myself for the news that I am, in fact, kind of unfit.

And what have I learnt?

Fitbug orb 14Well first of all, that the Fitbug Orb works best when you remember to wear it! Although I’ve managed it five days out of every seven, there are days when I’m lucky just to get out of the door with matching shoes on and so inevitably there were occasions where it was left sitting forlornly on the bathroom side.

One of the benefits though, is that there ARE a variety of ways in which I can wear it when I do remember. Although I naturally prefer the watch option, it can be a bit confusing because a) it’s not a watch and therefore doesn’t tell me the time (that has caught me out more than once or twice) and b) unlike my actual watch, it isn’t waterproof – I’ve had a couple of bath time near misses that way too.

Fitbug orb 15When I’m not wearing it watch-stylee then the clothing clip has been my go-to mode, having it attached to my waistband or bra strap. Although depth wide it is bigger than a lot of similar-but-more-expensive options out there, it’s still small enough to sit comfortably and fairly discreetly under my clothing.

So that’s how I’ve got on with the actual wearing of it.

On to the results!

Fitbug orb 16Well first of all, transferring the data. There are three options for this: on-demand (by pressing the button), beacon (data sent every 15, 30 or 60 minutes), or stream (constant). I generally use on-demand, and it’s been very efficient – data appears on the app within a minutes or so.

What hasn’t always worked so well is the sleep mode – although I am co-sleeping and regularly awake throughout the night with Little B or sometimes the older kids too, the Fitbug does not reflect this. Generally it reports several hours of good quality sleep, with perhaps one brief wake up at the most! That’s definitely not the case; and so I have found myself not really bothering to use the sleep tracker after the first week.

Fitbug orb 5Daytime activity tracking is a lot more accurate. I’ve found that the app usually reflects a good picture of what I’ve been up to, although I did realise early on that if I’m walking with the pushchair I need to make sure the Fitbug isn’t in the wrist strap – times where I have definitely been taking aerobic steps (judged by the Fitbug as being occasions where continuous steps are taken after a period of more than ten minutes) were not being picked up at all. I’m guessing that’s because my wrist was fairly immobile as I was pushing the kids around.

Fitbug orb 11In terms of the app, I’ve found it easy to use and I like the graphics which clearly display the various different statistics. I was a bit disappointed that in order to update nutrition information, I need to log into the main dashboard via my PC, although I was impressed with the range of product information available once I did. It’s also a shame that it’s not possible to input my own targets – the Fitbug makes a judgement once it has recorded a certain amount of data and sets targets itself to gradually increase fitness. But I am pleased with how easily I can transmit the data and quickly see how I’m doing and what I need to change to do better.

Fitbug orb 12Like any technology, the Fitbug Orb has things that work well, and not so well – and I’ve realised that I have to work within it’s capabilities to get the best out of using it. For £49.99 it has a good range of monitoring options and a user friendly app; and with it’s multitude of wearability options I’m pretty sure there is one there to suit just about everybody. It’s a shame the sleep mode doesn’t seem accurate, but then again I don’t need telling that I’m waking regularly – I’m well aware of it anyway.

I can’t fault it’s durability and appearance, and it’s definitely motivational in terms of pushing me to think more about the activity I’m undertaking, the food I’m eating, and how I can improve both. And that’s pretty much what it comes down to really, in terms of why I’d use the Fitbug Orb in the first place. So I guess that means it’s a success!

 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity

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