The Good As a fitness tracker, the Nike FuelBand offers a simple, attractive design that stays out of the way during most physical activities. Its pedometer tracks steps taken, calories burned, and a proprietary measurement of activity called Nike Fuel. The accompanying iOS app and Nike+ Web site offer great motivational tricks too.
The Bad The Nike Fuel score is worthless to anyone who doesn't have a Nike+ product, and isn't always accurate. There's no way to measure distance for specific runs, so it isn't useful for athletes or people who train regularly. At $149, it's also pricey for what it does.
The Bottom Line Armed with a few tricks, the Nike FuelBand can be very effective as a motivator for casual exercise, but its limitations will leave serious athletes disappointed.
Nike was early in the personal fitness market with its Nike + iPod accessories. Its latest creation, the Nike FuelBand, functions as a standard pedometer but uses "gamification" tactics such as awarding badges to lure sedentary people into an active lifestyle. It also measures activity with the new Nike Fuel virtual metric. But can a smart sports wristband really be motivational? Read on to find out if the FuelBand has the stuff to inspire you.
The FuelBand is a somewhat thick, rubber-feeling band that wraps around your wrist, secured by a metal clasp. I was immediately struck by its simplistic design: a single button for scrolling through the categories, a large row of 100 white LEDs that display the readouts, and a smaller line of 20 color LEDs that change from red to green as you get closer to your stated goal. You push the button to get the Nike Fuel score, and push it again to rotate through calories, steps, and the time.
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HTC's Under Armour-connected Grip fitness band delayed until later this year
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Apple announces new app partnerships for the Apple Watch
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