Fitbit is continuing their dominance in the fitness tracker arena with their latest entry, the Fitbit Force. This is a natural evolution for the brand that started with a simple clip tracker that was the Fitbit Ultra, which was then followed up with the very popular Fitbit One. Fitbit then proceeded to dip its toe deeper into the wearable tech pool with the Fitbit Flex. Now with the Fitbit Force, they have taken the fitness ‘bracelet’ to the next level.
Fitbit Force improves upon everything that the Fitbit Flex lacked. To that effect, it welcomes a detailed OLED display at the press of a button. Now you can actually see your fitness activity results instantly, without having to guess how you are doing, or having to load up the Fitbit app on your phone or computer. Because while the minimalist design of the Flex might work for some, there are others who still crave the instant gratification of knowing how many more steps they have to take before walking off that double cheeseburger. As a bonus, there is also a clock on the Fitbit Force… could the Fitbit Force be a sneaky Smartwatch? Good one, Fitbit.
But not only does the Fitbit Force improve things by adding a display, it also offers a streamlined form-factor. With the Flex, the tracker and the wristband was a separate entity from the tracker. The Force ditches all that minutia and offers a form-factor where the tracker is embedded in the actual wristband. Also included in the box is a wireless dongle, and a charging cable – which is proprietary. So yes,that is still one more cable you’ll have to drag along on a trip. Furthermore, for those who like to accessorize a bit – you better like Black or Slate because that’s all the colors that are available. And since you can’t swap out the tracker for more colorful choices, like you can with the Flex, you are pretty much stuck.
Speaking about the Force wristband, it is now wider and sadly still just as difficult as ever to clasp close as the Fitbit Flex is. In fact, the wristband often slipped off our wrist by coming unclasped. It is also pretty masculine in design and because of its width, it could replace your wristwatch, instead of just accessorizing it as a chunky bracelet. Fortunately, it does come in small and large wrist sizes – so just make sure to get the right size for you.
On the software side, nothing much has changed. You can still dig-in and measure your steps, how many calories you burned, study your sleep patterns, etc… The Fitbit app allows you to easily transfer your data from one Fitbit to another, keeping all of your details within the Fitbit ecosystem nice and tidy and flowing to your latest upgrade.
In the end, the Fitbit Force is a nice incremental upgrade. The inclusion of the OLED display, means Fitbit is going back to basics and actually listened to consumer’s gripes about the lack of visual information on the Flex. That said, design-wise, the Force is a bit on the masculine side. Also, we wish that the wristband’s quality had been upgraded from the Flex. So you need to keep in mind – that unlike with the Fitbit Flex whose wristband can easily be replaced, if the Force’s band gets trashed or abused, you are pretty much stuck and will have to buy a new one. Also we would like to see more color choices – and at the moment there are currently only two colors to choose from for the Fitbit Force.
That said, while the Fitbit Force may not have all the bells and whistles of some other smartwatches… by slipping in some time, it certainly makes it contender. Above all else, Fitbit Force is still a solid fitness tracker and this latest upgrade may not be everything to everyone, but with the large line of trackers in all different shapes and sizes that is currently being offered from Fitbit, you’ll mostly likely find the right one for you. The Fitbit Force retails for $129.95.
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The Good: The tracker is built inside the Fitbit Force. OLED Display offers instant gratification. Fitbit Force goes back to basics by displaying daily activity on your wrist with the press of a button. Doubles as a watch.
The Bad: Wristband is difficult to close on your own, and it can slip off if not clasped tightly. Not many color options.