Most helpful positive review
2,037 of 2,085 people found the following review helpful
Finally, a perfect fitness motivator that changed my lifestyle
on December 7, 2012
(Updated Oct 8 2013, lost Zip; vs iPhone 5s)
(Updated Mar 7th 2013)
My life is 8+ hours on a desk every workday. I got a treadmill 6 months ago but find myself often with excuses not to stand on it but rather in front of the computer in my den most of the nights. I crossed shopped the Fitbit one and decided to buy a pair of this Fitbit Zip for me and wify two weeks ago. I got to say, this idea works wonders. Nothing motivates me better than keeping a little score of myself. Now I know I walk 4k~5k a day and I spend ~30 minutes everyday at home to walk that extra couple miles to get my 10k steps. Already lost 2 lbs. My wife hits almost 12k a day and I don't know if I'm able to catch her soon.
Let me tell you why the Zip is perfect, rather than a pedometer, or the better Fitbit One model:
1. It IS a pedometer that is zero-maintenance! That is the single most important feature. It has no buttons and requires nothing from you other than keeping it on yourself. It auto-resets to zero at midnight and constantly syncs data online. Old school pedometers need to be reset and recorded manually, enough for lazy people like me to stay away.
2. It syncs with my iPhone 4s using the low-power Bluetooth 4.0 (by the way a very new, high-tech mode) about every 40 minutes or every time when I fire up the Fitbit app. Again nothing is needed from me. This single handedly beats all the Nike band, Jawbone Up or the old Fitbit where you need to plug in something to sync. One thing to note: the iPhone Fitbit app does not sync to the Fitbit Zip in the background by default, just remember to go into its settings and turn it on. When on, the app doesn't need to be in the front. You don't even see the Fitbit in the Bluetooth device list. Everything just works.
3. No charging cable. This is the key feature that makes me proud of my decision away from the Fitbit One. It's just one less hassle to deal with, one less routine to remember to do. Being lazy as I am, I will probably forget to charge the Fitbit One's rechargeable batteries every once in a while and grow excuse not to exercise. Again the CR2025 coin battery for the Zip lasts several months (not tested yet for obvious reasons but it's still full after 2 weeks on mine) that's basically forever in today's tech gadget language. These batteries are $2 for a 5 pack on Amazon so cost isn't an issue.
So all in all, Fitbit Zip is a glorified pedometer but one that can be clipped on and forgotten without any hassle of clicking, charging or syncing. It's truly changed my lifestyle as a lazy person. Highly recommended.
Oh by the way, I don't understand the negative reviews on the battery door: I opened and installed the battery on two Fitbit Zips within 3 minutes, using the provided tool (really a plastic quarter). No problem whatsoever. Could it be a bad batch of devices those people got?
March 7, 2013, update on battery life: it's been exactly 4 months since beginning of December and one of our Fitbits shows the "Low Battery" sign today with a notification on the iphone as well. I looked up Fitbit's website and this means it has 25% battery life left. A flashing battery sign will mean changing it immediately and I'll wait till then to do it. This is after average use of 12k steps a day.
Oct 8, 2013. We lost one of the Fitbit Zips after wearing it everyday for 10 months. Still worth it for the price imo but too easy to lose might be the biggest complaint I have against the Zip.
Meanwhile, we also upgraded our phones to iPhone 5s, which has the M7 motion coprocessor. It's basically a free Fitbit inside your iPhone: it keeps tracking and stores your steps in the past 7 days, period. There is no on/off button for this function and it has negligible battery drain - sounds very good on paper. There are already several apps that can tap into M7's memory and display the step count for me. But I'd like to comment that the iPhone 5s seems to underestimate my steps. I wear my iPhone in a belt clip holster all day, plus my Fitbit Zip in my pant pocket. The iPhone would show 8,000 steps while Fitbit shows 12,000, or only 3,000 steps while Fitbit 5,000. I did a quick comparison by walking while holding both (not recommended, safety first!) and it seems that the Fitbit is the accurate one and iPhone's M7 processor missed lots of steps going up and down on the staircase. I'll be keeping my Fitbit Zip.