Long battery life; Comfortable design; Tracks a large amount of data
Requires a subscription to use; Doesn't track sleep well; Minor iOS app annoyances
The BodyMedia Fit Link armband helps you get fit by tracking your daily physical activity and works with Android and iPhone apps.
Hard-core athletes aren't the only ones who want to monitor their physical activity. A whole class of wearable tech has emerged aimed at those who are looking to get in shape, or even just lose a few pounds. The BodyMedia Fit Link is one such device; this $199 armband tracks your daily routine, from exercise to eating, and helps you set goals toward a healthier lifestyle.
DesignMOTOACTV, but has a softer, more curved shape, better fitting the contours of your arm. The main section of the plastic device is white, with a blue button on the front used to pair it with a smartphone. It pops into a plastic silver ring, which itself is attached to an adjustable elastic armband. Weighing 1.6 ounces, you barely notice it on your arm.
When removed from the armband holder, you'll see the miniUSB port in the middle section of the device, which is used to sync the BodyMedia Fit Link with a computer and to recharge it.
In addition to a 3-axis accelerometer, the device also tracks your activity via two metal contacts that measure your skin temperature, galvanic skin reponse (how much you're sweating), and how fast heat is dissipating from your body. Cleverly, it can detect when it's on your body, and emits a little tone when it starts recording data from your body.
Before you can use the BodyMedia Fit armband at all, you must first sign up for one of two subscriptions. The first costs $6.95 per month (the first three months are free), and gives you access to how much moderate and vigorous activity time, food logging, sleep and personal bests.
The second plan is the Jillian Michaels 360 Weight Loss Navigator, which is $4 per week, and includes all of the basic plan, plus custom cardio and fitness planning, meal planning and challenges from Michaels' community. For that much money, though, she'd better come and give us a personal session herself. Regardless, either plan seems rather expensive, considering other devices, such as the MOTOACTV and Nike+ Sportwatch, which offer similar tracking (albeit, without the nutrition info) don't require subscriptions.
The Link can also sync via Bluetooth with an Android or iOS app (pictured). Like the armband, you must have a
There were other minor annoyances, too. While you can also play your iTunes playlists through the app, when we used the earbuds' in-line controls to skip a track, the app would jump out of the playlist, and go to the first track in our library. Also, we had to keep re-entering the PIN in the Bluetooth settings panel, then going back to the app to sync the armband with the app, a problem we never had with the Nike FuelBand.
Although it was tedious to enter, we liked how the site parsed our nutrition info, letting us know how much of protein, carbs, fat and vitamins we were ingesting daily.
The BodyMedia Fit's endurance is that of an ultramarathoner. After nearly two weeks, we still had about 40 percent battery life left.
The Bluetooth-enabled BodyMedia Fit Link armband costs $199, but a non-Bluetooth version (Armband Advantage) costs $99. A third version, the CORE Armband, is about a third smaller, and costs $149.
While most fitness gadgets focus just on the workout itself, the BodyMedia Fit Link takes a more holistic approach, factoring not just what goes out, but what goes in to your body, too. We also really like its body-hugging design and extra-long battery life. However, we wish that it didn't require a subscription to use, and our other annoyances, while minor on their own, add up over time.
|Accessories Type||Bluetooth Device|
|Size||2.4 x 2.2 x 0.5 inches|