It’s very small, slightly bigger than a R5 coin, and hooks onto your clothes – pocket, waistband, bra, or anywhere you want to, and tracks your movements.
It’s battery operated, which comes in the box and I find it a huge plus. It beats remembering to charge a device – a few times my running watch was dead when I wanted to use it. Inside the box, you get the Zip, wireless sync dongle, battery, battery tool and the clip.
Your stats are visible on the screen, which you just tap to scroll through and see how you’re doing each day. It displays steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, the time, and a smiley face – depending on your stats. At the beginning of each day, the stats counter starts back at 0. I noticed on a day that I forgot to put it on after showering, the calorie counter went up, which I found odd as it was just sitting idle. If you want complete accuracy, best to wear it at all times.
Upon initial set-up, you will make use of the wireless sync dongle to connect the device to your machine, and create an account. Thereafter, every day you can sync it to view your stats on the website. You can also sync and view stats on a smartphone via iOS or Android over Bluetooth.
Fitbit lets you create goals for yourself. You can choose how many steps you’re aiming for daily; or distance, active minutes, and calories burned. You can adjust this easily from the smartphone app. You also have the option to manually log food intake, or ml of water consumed daily. I found myself running around the house in the evening after seeing that I needed a few hundred steps to reach my goal for the day. Of course, my cat thought I was insane. I haven’t used a fitness gadget such as Fitbit before, where I was this motivated.
Fitbit awards you with badges when you reach your goal, or milestones, like first 5,000 steps, etc; which is encouraging. If you have the smartphone app, you will get a push notification. It’s not intrusive, but more motivational; and you can opt not to receive push notifications if you don’t want it. If you’re competitive, you can challenge friends and family and see how you stack up on the leaderboard, and share your progress.
Fitbit also connects to other apps you may be using to track your fitness, such as Run Keeper, Map My Fitness, Endomondo, etc. For a full list of supports apps, check here. If you are a Discovery Vitality member, you can sync your Fitbit to your account, and earn points to increase your status. More info from Discovery here.
WHY SHOULD YOU GET IT
If you’re looking for a way to stay fit, and need motivation, the Fitbit Zip will give you just that. It makes you want to better your stats each day, no fitness buddy required! Even as a beginner, if all you want to do is track your movements to see how you can improve, or make a small lifestyle change, the Zip is the way to start. As a sometime jogger/runner, I found myself going out more just to reach daily goals.
The Fitbit Zip is R899 and can be purchased from iStores nationwide, or online via www.istoreonline.co.za
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org