Fitbit Blaze Review Updated

I received my Fitbit Blaze in late February and posted a First Look review at that time.

Blaze Today Steps

Now that I have been using it for almost 2 months, I wanted to give an update about how I like it.  This is the 4th Fitbit that I’ve used.  I started with a Fitbit One, then moved to a Fitbit Force.  The Force was recalled so I went back to the One. When the ChargeHR came out, I bought it.  Now, I have the Blaze.  Overall, I like the Blaze the most of any Fitbit I’ve used. It has a couple of features that I would not want to give up.  Two of my absolute deal breaker features at this point are heart rate monitor plus being able to change the band.  The only Fitbit to have both of those features at this point is the Blaze.  I’ve read that Fitbit has supposedly said that all future Fitbits will be modular so that they have bands that can be changed.  If so, that won’t be a problem in the future.  I am still persuaded that for what I want to do the Fitbit Blaze has the best mix of features of any activity monitor, including those not made by Fitbit.  That said, there are definitely things I don’t like about it.  Here are a few of my thoughts at this point. [Read more…]

Fitbit Blaze First Look Review

Today, I received my new Fitbit Blaze.  I was extremely excited to get the Fitbit Blaze because it had some great features I really wanted from a Fitbit.  It has a watch type color display. It has a band that can be switched to another color or style. I can connect it with the GPS on my phone to better track my activity outdoors.  I walk, but others may use it for running or bike rides. It is also going to get Reminders to Move in the future by firmware update (as per Fitbit). This post is a first look and very early review.

Blaze in Box

This is my 4th Fitbit and I am really excited about it.  I started with my first Fitbit a couple of years ago, when I bought a Fitbit One that I carried in my pocket. It was nice, but when the Fitbit Force came out I replaced it to get a wrist-based tracker with a display (my husband had a Flex which was wrist based, but didn’t have a stats display).  The Force was recalled and Fitbit refunded that purchase.  Then, last year I bought the Charge HR when it came out.  The Charge HR was similar to the Force except it had a heart rate monitor built into it so I could measure my heart rate throughout the day while wearing it on my wrist.  I posted previously when I first received the Charge HR and then later posted an update.  I was happy with the Charge HR, but wished it had a GPS and I really liked the changeable bands on the Flex.

And, then last month, Fitbit announced the Blaze.  I ordered it that day as it had a number of the features that were really appealing to me.  It was more like a watch with a large color touchscreen with Gorilla glass.  You can change the wristbands on it.  That was a feature that the Flex had that I loved, but I didn’t like the other limitations of the Flex.  While the Blaze doesn’t have GPS built into it, it will connect to my phone GPS and use that to give me a nice map of my route when I get home.  Just being able to change wristbands and the connected GPS were enough to sell me on the Blaze.  In addition, because of the larger display it can display more information and you can tell it when you track an activity what you are doing. [Read more…]

Wrong Steps in Weight Watchers Activity Log

Hmmm…  Now, yesterday was not a stellar day for me.  I walked only 3034 steps which would work out to my baseline of 3 FitPoints.

Fitbit Steps

However, I like to see my data as correct on Weight Watchers.  This is why I wasn’t happy the other day when I discovered an error so that some of my activity was being double-counted.  Now, I am finding my steps aren’t all being counted.  I was surprised when I went into the Activity Log and found that I only had credit for a little over 600 steps.  I assumed then that this was because the Fitbit had not recently synced so I hit the link to “Sync with your Fitbit app.” [Read more…]

Weight Watchers Activity Log Double Counting Steps and FitPoints

I just found what seems to be a new error where Weight Watchers Activity Log online is double counting some steps when we are using an activity monitor.  At this point, I don’t know the extent of it.  I know it is an issue for both my husband and me when we use our Fitbit with a heart rate monitor.  Whether it is an issue with other devices is not known at this time.  On the Weight Watchers message boards, I have seen some reports of double counting and errors but I’m not sure if that is for this same error or not.

This is sort of complicated, so I apologize in advance for the length of this.  Here is my Activity Log from today after my husband and I went for a 58 minute walk in our neighborhood.  We each wore a Fitbit Charge HR along with a heart rate monitor which syncs to Digifit (on our phones) which then syncs the calorie burn data to Fitbit.

WW Activity log 2-11

The problem here is that the walk is being double counted.  I walked 6021 steps during the walk itself.  When I returned home from the walk I had a total of 6985 steps — 6021 from the walk and 964 from before the walk.  But, Weight Watchers gave me 7 FitPoints for the walk based upon the walk logged as an activity within Fitbit.  Basically, Digifit syncs my heart rate monitor calorie burn data to Fitbit and it is then logged as an activity within Fitbit.  Fitbit then uses that calorie burn data from Digifit instead of the calorie burn data from my Fitbit Charge HR.  So, Fitbit itself doesn’t double count when I use the heart rate monitor.  The Digifit calorie burn info replaces the Fitbit info.

Weight Watchers, though, is giving me FitPoints for the Digifit Walk but is also counting the 6021 steps I did during the walk as part of my steps for the day and is giving me 6 FitPoints for the entire day’s steps up until that point.  The result is that I’m getting roughly an extra 5 FitPoints than I should have earned.  I should earn the 7 FitPoints from the walk.  And, my 964 steps from earlier in the day should probably have earned 1 FitPoint.  So, where it says “6985 steps from Fitbit”, it should probably have 1 as the FitPoints awarded, not 6. [Read more…]

Weight Watchers Says Yes to Eating FitPoints… and Makes Some Changes

Not very long ago, I did a blog post asking “Should I Eat My FitPoints?”  In that post, I pointed out Weight Watchers advice on whether to swap FitPoints for food had switched (in the U.S.) from “In a nutshell: no” to “In a nutshell: Do what works for you.” (Note this post is based upon what Weight Watchers says in an email.  The changes may end up being implemented in a way different from how it is explained in the email.)

Weight Watchers Again Changes Advice on Swapping FitPoints for Food

I woke up this morning to finding that the nutshell had changed once again.  In an email this morning, Weight Watchers made several changes to FitPoints.  On the topic of swapping FitPoints for food, Weight Watchers changed that nutshell once again, saying:

So, can I swap FitPoints for food?

In a nutshell, yes. At Weight Watchers, we believe in physical activity because it gives you more energy, helps you feel comfortable in your own skin and is vital in helping you keep off the weight you lose. If swapping works for you, keep doing it.  If you’re not seeing the results you want, don’t.

So, yes, Weight Watchers is now forthrightly says we can swap FitPoints for food.  A subtle difference is that the prior questions on the United States website (which are still there as I write this) asked “Should I swap my FitPoints for food?”  The new question asks “can I swap FitPoints for food?”  Still, it is clear that there is a change of philosophy that is now much more encouraging to swapping FitPoints for food. And, there is no discouragement from doing it.

Of course, the immediate objection many may have is based upon how easy it now is to earn FitPoints and wondering if we really can eat all those FitPoints.  The new email addresses that as well.  Essentially the FitPoints for the first 3000 step daily base you take each day will not be swappable for food.  Only FitPoints after you meet the new daily base will be able to swapped for food. [Read more…]