Tuesday 18 March 2014

Trying out my new Fitbug Orb Activity Tracker

This is the third time I'm trying out an activity tracker and I have to say I really like this one. The first one I had to return to work as it was just part of a short-term initiative, the second one got wet and it seems to have died and this third one is the Fitbug Orb.

What is it?
This is the first time I'm trying out a Fitbug product and I'm really happy with it. The Orb is a small disc which is about 3cm diameter and you can wear it in various ways, as a bracelet, clipped to your belt, pocket (wherever basically) or around your neck. I love that all three attachments come as standard with your Orb so you can choose what suits you and adjust it to suit different times/ activities. In the main I have been wearing mine clicked onto the pocket of my jeans and it is discreet and stays on firm. So firm that I'll let you in on a little secret, mine had a wash and got tumble dried and miracle upon miracles it is OK and is still working just fine (I obviously recommend you treat yours better than I did!).

When you purchase your Orb for the very reasonable price of £49.95 you can choose from three colour ways for the accessories - bright pink, black or white. The original purchase comes with a battery to place in the Orb and whilst this is good in a way, as there is no recharging necessary, it does mean you will have to change the battery and purchase new ones (they estimate the battery should last about four months). Not a big issue as the batteries cost just 95p direct from Fitbug but just something to consider.

The Fitbug Orb does the same things as most of these activity type trackers do - count your steps, track aerobic movement, monitor the quality of your sleep and track calories burned. You can also input your food consumption so you can see how your input and output matches up.

What is it compatible with?
The Orb has been designed to be used with a free to download app but my issue came in that it is only available for about ten Android products and for iPhone users (like me) you have to have a 4S or newer phone. This meant that I can't have the app to be able to stream and track my movements on the go, which is a shame.

However, it wasn't the end of the world as Fitbug kindly sent me a dongle (which you can purchase for £9.99 if you would like to sync with your laptop). As I regularly sit down at my laptop anyway it just meant that each time I did I pressed the small button on my Orb and a green light comes on and the data syncs to my PC and then I can check my dashboard to see how I am doing. It is all very easy and intuitive to understand.

Set up of the Orb
I didn't find it hard at all to get the Orb ready to go, insert the battery, log on to Fitbug and then input a few details such as your weight and Bobs your uncle you can start to use it. The first week the Orb just tracks and gets to know you and your patterns of movement and then it can start to set you goals.

How can I get motivated?
You'll find that you start to receive emails very quickly from Fitbug, practically every day so if you do not want them that frequently just go in and adjust the settings in your dashboard. There are some great feature articles highlighted in lots of the emails and if you need a good kick up the bum and to get motivated, then these will probably work a treat for you.

Kik is your personal digital coach and it monitors all that you are doing and eating (as long as your sync and update your other details regularly) and then you'll find it gives you suggestions and short motivational messages.

Overall opinion
I think the Fitbug Orb is a great product and it does an awful lot for it's price-point. Its is versatile, sturdy and looks good. I'll give it a 8/10, it has only lost points as I cannot get the app for my iPhone 4 and also because I'll need to replace the battery.

You can also check out what a couple of other friendly bloggers thought about the Orb, here is a review from Vic at Verily Victoria Vocalises and also one from Tinuke at Circus Mums.

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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