593 of 602 people found the following review helpful
Great Product, Minor Improvement Needed,
This review is from: BodyMedia LINK Armband Weight Management System (Health and Beauty)
I have had my new BodyMedia BW for several days now. Unfortunately, I tried to pre-order it on Amazon but was one of many who were told it would take 1-3 weeks to ship on the release date. Bummer. I ended up ordering it directly from BodyMedia instead. I am a Mac user and initially needed to download one driver for the unit from the BM site and then Java to get the Activity Manager to work from Safari. None of these items will work with Firefox, but not a big deal. Overall, a very easy set-up that only took 10 minutes even with the downloads.
I find that wearing the unit is very comfortable so far for the entire day and while sleeping. I remove it to sync and shower. It is also comfortable under clothes.
Syncing with my iPhone is relatively easy. Just one push on the unit while the app is open and my phone and the most recent calorie/step count/activity data will be displayed within the app. One minus though, once your phone times out to conserve battery you lose your Bluetooth connection and must complete the sync again. Not a big deal, but it could be improved. The capabilities of the app are more limited to the on-line AM, but I am hoping in time it will be upgraded.
You must use the USB cord to officially download/sync your unit to the Activity Manager (website based). You cannot yet do so with the Bluetooth capability of your computer. Another bummer, but possibly will improve in time. Also, be aware that your food input and calorie information on your phone will not automatically appear on-line within the AM, you must do a hard-line sync with the USB. Another little minus, but again minor. One the plus side, current data from the on-Line AM WILL immediately update into your app.
I have seen some comments where people are not happy with the AM food list and search capabilities for tracking calorie intake. I have used Spark People, LiveStrong, and the Lose It! app for iPhone and I am so far generally pleased with the on-line food list (as well as the app). In addition, entering my own food is very easy and the nutritional input area is very user friendly if you are into the details like I am.
So far, I am very surprised at how accurate the activity and sleep data is. It is exciting to see the spikes from a vigorous workout, but even walking up a few flights of stairs will show as a quick "spike", confirming that you did something more than your baseline. It also reflects long periods of sitting or laying down...need to keep those to a minimum :)
The Activity Manager interface is well laid out and shows general numbers and charting. Overall, polished and easy to use.
I also wanted to add that the customer service for BM has been satisfactory. This company appears to be trying very hard to make all of us new users (and current users) happy with our devices. There is also a Facebook page where the customer service reps will answer questions and are very responsive to users. This has helped me to learn more about the device and answer more questions. They also list promotions for sales from the BM website and discuss releases for other retailers where the unit is available.
One last downside...the price. At the current rate of two-fifty for a unit they are not cheap. Certainly more than I wanted to spend, but for the motivation is worth it for many users struggling to really get a grasp on the calorie-out part of the weight loss/maintenance equation.
I have been using this unit now for about 6 weeks, and I continue to be satisfied. The biggest surprise for me has been that I needed to INCREASE my caloric intake when my weight plateaued for two weeks. I was able to run a detailed report from the data that has been collected over several weeks and it was clear that I had too large of a calorie deficit each day. Show me another weight loss/health product that can do THAT! The reports are a great tool. A recent update to the iPhone app has just been released as well which fixes some bugs and adds to the utility of the app's use.
Tracked by 7 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2010 11:59:16 AM PST
great thorough review!
Posted on Dec 24, 2010 7:35:41 PM PST
John White says:
Does the update mean you can sync through the phone?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2010 9:10:27 AM PST
There is a full sync on the phone now which includes sleep time, and activity total. A definite improvement.
Posted on Dec 31, 2010 12:37:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2010 12:38:20 PM PST
I have the BW, and you cannot sync to the activity manager through the phone. You still must download the information through your computer. You can, however, upload your data to your phone. It's kind of like your phone replaces the digital watch display of the older version, only the phone has more options than the display does. Does that make sense?
Also, the sleep information won't show at all on your phone until you sync with the activity manager through your computer.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2011 8:53:32 PM PST
Yes, you still need to do a hard line download with the computer, but all of the daily data and backed up data will appear on your phone. Everything you need to know is still mobile, which is what the BlueTooth is intended to do. The sleep information does display on the phone app now. Certainly an improvement from the original release, and an even greater improvement over the watch display :)
Posted on Jan 13, 2011 6:32:06 PM PST
How did you use the reports to know that you needed to increase your calories?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2011 8:39:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2011 3:41:48 PM PST
I pulled a summary report that gave me the average calories that I burned over a three week period and also reported the calorie deficit that I had each day. I knew that during that same period I had not lost any weight, yet I was working out and very careful about tracking calories. What I found was that my calorie deficit each day far exceeded 1,000 calories. For my body, that was enough to stall weight loss and put me into "starvation mode." Once I increased my calorie intake to keep the deficit near 500 to 700 calories per day I lost pounds again at a good pace.
Posted on Mar 14, 2011 4:20:03 PM PDT
Sheryl L. Forbeck says:
Great review. CAn anyone tell me the differnece between the BodyMedia FIT Armband BW Weight Management System (selling for $219) and the BodyMedia FIT Weight Management Solution Armband (selling for $167)?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2011 5:57:06 PM PDT
The more expensive BW version is equipped to display information on your smart phone via BlueTooth. The other version tracks all the same information, but does not have BT capability.
Posted on Mar 31, 2011 5:03:18 AM PDT
I concur with this entire review after a week of using my BodyMedia Fit BW Armband with Mac OSX 10.6.7 and iPhone 3GS.
The only thing is, yesterday (and yesterday only) not today or any other day, I was able to sync the Armband using Firefox 4. For some reason, the Java plugin was working. This morning I woke up to sync with Firefox 4 and was directed to download the Mac OS application again and syncing with Firefox 4 would not work anymore.
Strange. So it's possible to sync with Firefox 4, just have not yet figured out what the issue is.
So, I'm back to using Safari to sync the armband.
Other than that and the above user's comments, this is a great product!