Nike+ FuelBand: An Affordable Dual Purpose Digital

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Portable digital pedometers are everywhere these days. The Fitbit, Jawbone Up and today’s subject, the Nike+ FuelBand, each basically perform the similar task of recording your movement throughout the day, encouraging a more health conscious lifestyle. But each also has its own special features or unique characteristics designed to separate them from the crowd. What attracted us to the Nike+ FuelBand is its simplicity, vivid user interface  and ability to serve as an attractive daily digital watch. At $150, while not the cheapest of the pedometers on the market, it certainly makes for an affordable watch pick.
Like the Fitbit and Jawbone Up, the Nike+ FuelBand tracks your steps throughout the day, and syncs the data with proprietary software for easy viewing. And each of the three devices have basically the same functionality, with the glaring exception that the FuelBand will not track your sleep patterns.  While this functionality may eventually make its way to the FuelBand for the sake of keeping up with competitors, its omission from the FuelBand seems in line with the device’s simple approach.  From physical design to functionality, the FuelBand has the singular focus of keeping you on track to meet your goals for daily activity. No more, no less.

What first really attracted us to the Nike+FuelBand was seeing it in the wild. It has a very simple, unassuming design. Unlike the Jawbone Up for example, which has a more ostentatious, textured rubber body that wraps around your wrist like a slap bracelet, the FuelBand has a smooth rubberized exterior that sits on your wrist almost without notice. Meanwhile, the FuelBand a colorful digital display that offers up-to-date feedback on your daily performance at the touch of a button. While digital readouts can be found on other pedometers on the market, the FuelBand’s LED array appears to be a bit brighter, more colorful and, frankly, seems like a lot more fun to play with.

A small button on the face of the FuelBand controls the LED readout.  Pressing the button quickly cycles through the devices various functions – time, steps taken, calories burned, etc – while a long press activates the built in bluetooth sync with your iPhone (no android software yet).  Once synced with your mobile device, you’re able to see all of the data on your activity throughout the day, compare it to previous days and even compare your performance to that of your friends.

So the name of the game with the Nike+ FuelBand is tech in a clean package, driving you toward a the simple goal of living an optimally active life.  If you’re in the market for a daily use pedometer, the Nike+ FuelBand is one of several good options.  In fact, on paper, some of its major competitors may beat out the FuelBand in functionality.  But from our perspective as watch lovers, the FuelBand seems like the choice for us, with it’s sleek appearance, simple functionality and superior watch functionality.

by Blake Malin

Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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