Earlier this year, Fitbit released Flex, a bracelet that pairs with a smartphone to help you monitor your activity and encourage yourself to get on your feet. Now the company has already released an updated version called Force that, thanks to its new features and OLED screen, functions somewhat like a smartwatch.
It would do the Fitbit Force a disservice to think of it solely as a pedometer with a clock. This wireless activity-tracking wristband can also track distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, and floors climbed. It monitors your sleep and can wake you up with a silent alarm. And since it pairs with your smartphone, it can even notify you of incoming calls. This may not be marketed as a smartwatch, but it sure smells like one. It also really helps that the Fitbit Force has a battery life of 7 - 10 days.
Since this $129.95 bracelet doubles as a watch, it doesn't become useless the second you stop caring about staying in shape. While it certainly won't go with every wardrobe, it's somewhat stylish in its own way. It's also water resistant - just don't take it into the pool or the shower.
The companion smartphone app offers badges, leaderboards, and the ability to communicate with and encourage friends who also have the device. It's a nice way to add a social dynamic, but if you're not as in-shape as your Force-wearing peers, it could put a damper on things. Few people want to compete on a leaderboard they have no chance of besting.
Top Fitbit Force features:
- OLED display screen for instant stats and time: Force accurately measures and shows steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, floors climbed and the time on an easy-to-view OLED display on the wristband
- Altimeter takes you to new heights: Force contains a state-of the-art altimeter to track how many floors or how high you climb each day
- Track active minutes to increase your burn: Along with steps, distance and calories burned, you can set a goal for daily “active minutes,” which are moderate-to-high intensity cardio minutes (Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes/week)
- Sleep monitoring & silent wake alarm: Track sleep quality, including number of hours slept and how many times you wake or are restless; Force also has a silent wake alarm that gently vibrates to wake you and won’t disturb your partner
- Bluetooth 4.0 allows wireless, automatic syncing: Force stats sync wirelessly to leading mobile phones and tablets so progress is always up to date without having to plug in; Android users simply tap the NFC-enabled Force to a phone to launch the Fitbit app
- Receive smart call notifications on your Force: With Apple iOS 7 4S and higher smartphones, you can choose to receive incoming call notifications right on your Force when your phone is nearby
- Motivational online & mobile tools: Stay motivated with notifications, badges and leaderboards; cheer, taunt and direct message your friends throughout the day – reach your goals faster with a little friendly competition
- Comfortable to wear 24/7: Designed to be comfortable and stylish, Force is also water resistant and can withstand even the sweatiest workout, so you can wear it day and night; plus, Force has a battery life of 7-10 days
- Sophisticated, advanced design: Available in two classic colors (Black and Slate), the sleek Force wristband looks good no matter what you’re doing
The Force ships with a charging cable and a USB dongle for pairing with a PC if you rather not use your mobile device. It comes with free 5 - 7 day shipping, but since it just launched, units won't start rolling out for at least three weeks.