I have been using a very basic fitness tracker from Fitbit, called Fitbit Zip and after more than half a year of intense use, I can say that it has done its job flawlessly. Now, Fitbit has launched its latest fitness device called Force. It completes the lineup of other devices currently offered by Fitbit – Zip, One and Flex. If you’re familiar with Fitbit’s gadgets, then you have probably observed that the Force is an evolution of the Flex and offers an OLED display and altimeter on top of the features that are included in the Flex.
The Fitbit Force is also the most expensive gadget in the product lineup, having a launch price of $130. The Flex and the FitBit One have the same price $100, while the Fitbit Zip is the cheapest offer, at $60 but is also the most basic one.
The biggest difference between the Fitbit Force and the Fitbit Flex and One is that it doesn’t track only activity and sleep, but it also displays the time and shows incoming phone call notifications. Thus, we might say it comes equipped with some smartwatch features. However, the new notification feature will come “soon” with the software’s next update.
Fitbit Force: fitness tracker-smartwatch hybrid
Unlike the Fitbit Flex, which displays just four lights to indicate a user’s daily activity goal, The Force has an OLED display that shows the number of steps taken, the distance traveled, stairs climbed (thanks to the new altimeter sensor) and the number of calories you have burned and a watch face. To tracks user’s sleep, it uses the Bluetooth connectivity and transmits data to a smartphone app. It will also wake you up by buzzing on your wrist, but don’t be afraid, it won’t be very annoying.
Unfortunately, colors for the Fitbit Force are limited to only black and blue, which is a big disappointed for loyal users that have been accustomed by company’s love to a wide range of colors. Fitbit has also thought about social networks when designing the Force fitness tracker, so now you can create leaderboards with friends. The company said interactive games and badges for users are coming in the future. Oh boy, as a Fitbit user, I look forward to that!
Fitbit founder and chief executive James Park said the following, referring to the size of the device and the smartwatch competition:
“There’s no one size fits all, we have a lot of passionate users, a lot of people are adamant they don’t want to wear stuff on their wrists. The Fitbit One is still a great product, the Flex and Force just accommodate people that don’t mind wearing something on their wrist. For us, the key to our success has been the integration of the hardware form factor and the software, not sure the smartwatch guys know who they’re trying to serve. I’m not sure if we want to invest significant resources in developing for those products yet.”
Even if this product shouldn’t be regarded as a smartwatch, users might compare it with such device as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear or the Pebble smartwatch.