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CNET First Look
Nike FuelBand SE: New colors, new tools, same conceptThe newest FuelBand fitness tracker adds Bluetooth 4.0 and some new motivational tools. And guess what? You can wear it in the shower more worry-free.
Hi. I'm Scott Stein and I'm wearing a Nike Fuelband SE, to try to get a little more fit. This is one of a variety of intelligent fitness trackers that are suddenly all over the place on the market. You've got Fitbit, you've got Jawbone UP. So, what's the advantage of the Fuelband SE versus others? Well, Nike came out with a Fuelband a year ago and it have this innovative design that has LED lights here, doubles as a watch and has a really slick features to read out, that lets you tell how many steps you take and how much fuel you've earned. Now, if you haven't used the Nike System before, fuel is a point system that accumulates daily and overtime to calculate what it considers, kind of a gamer score for your health. And it calculates how faster walking, how many steps you've taken using its three access accelerometer that's in here, and it does some additional magic sauce math to come up with that number. The whole Nike+ System is about earning achievements and badges and how does it feels on motivating tool? Well, I found that being able to glance with a press of the button here as I'm working or walking encourages you to say, well, I've only gotten to this point, maybe I can do a little more. And it's not just the digital readout here, it actually has this really cool multi-colored LED progress bar that tells you like a little gauge, how close you are to the goal that you've set. Now, Fuelband SE, the main hardware differences are that it uses Bluetooth 4.0. Now, that's a big trend across all wearable devices. What it means is that it can connect and disconnect wirelessly and sync even when you're not setting it to in a more seamless way. And only is available for the iPhones still, no Android support and it works with the iPhone 4S and later which have Bluetooth 4.0 in it. It will also sync to a computer. In fact, one of the coolest things about this Fuelband besides its comfortable feel, is the fact that when you disconnect it, it actually use its own USB stick and the durability on this has been amped up a bit so that it's now shower resistant, far better than before. And so you can wear this in shower, you can wash your hands with it, you can go swimming with it. There's also a session tracking feature. Now, if you play basketball, if you ski, if you're sleeping, which is an activity, if you press and hold this button, it will begin to log an activity, and what it does is it actually shows you like a speedometer, how many fuel points you're earning per minute and you can share that with your friends. In fact, there's a social system here that if friends wanna join in, become your fuel buddies and you can see how they're doing over the course of the week and a nice thing about the Nike system is that it's kinda getting a little more open because you don't have to just use the wrist band, although the Fuelband is the way that Nike intends for you to experience this. There's actually a Nike move app on the iPhone 5S that uses the M7 accelerometer tracking technology in there that also records your steps. It doesn't give you the same amount of points over time because it's in your pocket but it's a good little starter kit to experience the ecosystem. But in this day and age, the Fuelband is a little simplistic. It does tell you to move every hour with a little notifier but it doesn't buzz, there's no vibrate in this. I need a cattle prod. I need this thing to tell me to move. It's a nice step up but it's expensive compared to the competition, but for a stylish and comfortable sports tracking band, it's hard to be the feel of the Fuelband and it is fun to use especially if you want it as a watch. Just don't expect too much beyond that fuel scored gamification. I'm Scott Stein, and that's a look at the Nike Fuelband SE, which did get me to go to the gym and enjoy walking and running.