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Fitbit Zip Review

The Fitbit Zip is a small, simple pedometer. I have been wearing the Fitbit Zip for almost five months now and would like to share my findings.

The Fitbit Zip comes with a silicone clip, wireless sync dongel, replaceable battery and battery door tool. It is easy to get started, just place the battery in the Zip device and you are ready to start tracking your steps, calories burned and distance travelled. Plug in the USB dongel in your laptop or pc, create a Fitbit account, download the Fitbit Connect software and your Fitbit Zip wil automatically sync wirelessly every time your Fitbit is active near the dongel.

A pro for the Fitbit Zip is the small display. The display shows time, steps, distance, calories burned and a smiley. The smiley shows different expressions depending on how active you are. You can tap the screen to see the different data. The display is big enough to take a quick peak at your numbers for the present day but it will not show you other data. But to be fair, the display is to small for more data and the website and the app are better ways to view your data.

The online Fitbit dashboard is quite simple and straightforward. You can adjust your homescreen by adding, dragging or removing tiles. A disadvantage of the new dashboard is that you cannot easily look up the data from a specific date.  

Fitbit Dashboard


The silicone clip from the Fitbit Zip is ideal for attaching the device to your trouser or waistbelt, but most of the time I carry it in my pocket. I wore my Fitbit Zip a couple of times during football games and while running. I clipped the pedometer to my shorts with the silicone clip and I was not bothered by Fitbit Zip during the games and the runs. The Zip was firmly attached so I did not have to worry for it to fall off. It was quite funny to see the statistics after the game. But it would be more fun if I could compare it with a teammate or an opponent.

The Zip does not recognize when I was biking, so I did not get any extra activity points when I was biking through Amsterdam.

What I like about the Fitbit app for my Android device are the push notifications. The first weeks I was very conscious about the number of steps I took on a day and always did my best to achieve my goal of 10,000 steps a day. I took some evening walks and made a detour to my supermarket to achieve my goal. After a few weeks I paid less attention on achieving my goal. But then a Fitibit app became available for my Samsung Galaxy S3 Android device and this gave my Fitbit usage a new boost by sending me push notifications at the end of a day. The Fitbit App sent push notifications if I almost achieved my goal (“Just a few more steps”). That way I automatically knew if I had to go out or take a detour without looking on the display of my Fitbit Zip or dashboard. The Fitbit App sends notifications if you achieved your goal or are an overachiever too.
 
Fitbit App


It is possible to sync your Fitbit Zip with your smartphone via Bluetooth. I never use this feature because I always have my Bluetooth connection disabled. You can force a sync via the app if you want to update your numbers. A disadvantage of the application is that you cannot see the distribution of the steps taken on a day, only the totals are visible.

Also, the game element is a good motivation to take more steps. On your dashboard you can view a leaderboard with friends. It is even possible to get a message if a friend passes you on the leaderboard and to tease your friends with messages. The different badges and the achievements of your friends can also trigger you to take some extra steps.

The Fitbit Zip is powered by a 3V coin battery which can easily be replaced. You can see your battery level on your dashboard and Fitbit app. After four months I received an e-mail and push notification that my battery level was low and that I had to replace it immediately. The battery actually died almost a month later.

Via the Fitbit website or app you can log food, weight and workouts too. You can export your Fitbit data to several other popular fitness applications if you want.

The Fitbit Zip is a simple activity tracker that does what you expect it to do and is available in a couple of fancy colors. It is a pity it doesn’t track the stairs you climb or your sleep, but the Zip is a good activity tracker for people who want to start tracking their activity or are only interested in the steps they take.

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