Smart watches and fitness bands: Not for me just yet

Fitness bands: Track your every move so you can see how active — or inactive you are. The goal here is to keep yourself in check. You know if you are being lazy and are reminded to get up and run or walk.


Smart watches, on the other hand, are intended to do that and a bit more. With a smart watch you can make calls, send texts, check notifications, etc. just like Dick Tracey. Most can still perform basic tasks.

Both are great ideas but my attempts to try them did not work out. I had time with the Microsoft Band 2 and the Fitbit Charge HR. Each of these devices, and all smart watches in general, need more durability and longer battery life. It’s why I cannot replace my reliable and long-lasting regular old watch with one of these fancy futuristic options just yet.

Here are a few issues I had with each device individually:

The Microsoft Band 2 is just not there yet. This is Microsoft’s attempt to combine state of the art health and fitness tracking with smart features such as SMS, notifications, missed call responses, and a digital personal assistant (Cortana). While I am fully entrenched in the Microsoft ecosystem, the Band 2 just did not work out for me. Mainly because I could not get the watch to sync with my phone consistently. I would often get texts or calls on my phone but they were never displayed on the band. Big failure here on Microsoft’s part and I suspect it has something to do with Windows 10 not being completely ready. Maybe eventually the software will work together seamlessly.

The Fitbit Charge HR is a great little device. While I enjoyed my time with it, I work in an industry that is rough and unforgiving. Long hours and with my hands. I found myself worried about scraping it up and running out of battery. Too bad there isn’t a way to ‘pause’ the steps counter. It’s way to sensitive and registered thousands of steps while driving heavy machinery at the job. I know I’m a special case for Fitbit, but the ability to pause the step counter would go a long way for me.

These devices might work for you. My brother loves his Android Wear smart watch and my wife sports a Fitbit Charge. Personally I’d go back to the Fitbit if I got the itch for this technology again.

I ended up settling on a Fitbit Zip tracker to help stay in shape. It can clip onto your clothing or go in your pocket. You don’t have to take it along if you’re going to be driving machinery or a bouncy truck. And best of all, it doesn’t take up space on your wrist. You can still wear a regular old watch.

What has your experience been with smart watches and fitness bands?

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