Customer Review

296 of 300 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Replacement for Force, March 21, 2014
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This review is from: Soleus Unisex SF002-001 "Go Fitness" Watch (Watch)
The Soleus Go! Activity tracker is currently the closest thing on the market to the now-defunct Fitbit Force. As one of the many Force Refugees, I was immediately drawn to this tracker for a number of reasons: The form factor is similar to the Force, the OLED is familiar, the statistics it tracks (save for stairs) are the same....and, of course, one of the most compelling features the Force sold, but never delivered: Call/Text integration.

After spending a couple of weeks with the Soleus Go, I've come to this conclusion: It's a good replacement for your Force, but there are a few things you're going to miss.

First off, here's what they have in common:

Both devices have an OLED dispay which can show you the time and your daily stats.
Both devices connect to Android/iOS smartphones via Bluetooth
Both devices use a non-latex rubber adjustable strap with a popper-plate clasp.
Both devices allow the user to set an alarm (although there are a number of differences in this feature...)
Both devices monitor sleep, steps taken, distance covered, calories burned and activity/exercise.
Both devices keep their charge for about a week on average, and charge using a USB connector.
Both devices, while not waterproof, are water resistant up to a meter. Both advise removing before showering and avoiding submersion.

Next up, the stuff you get with the Go that you didn't get with Force:

1. Non-vaporware caller ID, which also relays text messages and a few other application alerts (Facebook being one)

2. Wake Alarm window: Instead of setting a static time to wake you up, you can give it a "window", in which it will wake you when it finds you are sleeping lightly instead of in a deep REM pattern. This means you'll feel much less groggy if it is effective.

3. More secure strap...but still not entirely secure. If you have any O-Rings lying around from your force, you might want to throw them on your GO as well. It's a much tighter grip, but it's still vulnerable to catching on things and coming undone.

4. "Automatic" sleep monitoring: With the Force, you had to remember to set the "sleep" mode, then remember to turn it off. With the Go, you can tell it a time to start monitoring sleep each day. It will stop monitoring at the Wake Alarm or when you start moving.

5. Movement Alert: If you sit around too long, the GO will tell you to GO! This is an adjustable setting, you can set it to go off anywhere from every minute to every 5 hours. I leave it at the default of 45 minutes.

6. Comfort: The GO is more comfortable, but there's a catch to this: You have to have a "normal" wrist. If your wrist isn't particularly big or small, the Go fits much more naturally on your wrist than the Force. It's much easier to forget it's there, and it's less bothersome at night. Unfortunately, the GO is a one-size-fits-all, so Force may have the edge if you're not "typical" in wrist-size (It's still very adjustable, though).

7. Final note that could go either way: The vibration is less intense with the Go than with the Force. When alerting you of a notification from your phone, it feels like an intense
heartbeat against your wrist instead of a vibration. The Wake Alarm is still a vibration, and is more than enough to wake me, but if you're a heavy sleeper who had any problems with the Force waking you up, this will only be worse.

Now, what you'll miss:

1. Multiple Alarms. If you used your force to set daily reminders, you won't be able to do that here. With the Go, you can set an alarm to wake you up, you can set a movement alarm, and you can set hourly alerts. But beyond that, there is not a function to set alarms.

2. Day-specific alarms: You will have to adjust the alarm if you like to sleep in on the weekends. It's a single wake-alarm that cannot be configured to only go off on specific days. If it's set at all, it's set for every day.

3. Stairs: You won't be counting stair-climbing with the Go.

4. Community: There are no forums for Go right now. Additionally, there are no friends-lists or Facebook integration. If you are used to comparing your daily stats to your friends', you'll have to give that up on the Go, at least for the time being.

5. MyFitnessPal integration: I spoke with Josh at Soleus who told me that they are, indeed, working on this. Right now, though...you'll have to do the math and add in your adjustments manually.

6. Web Dashboard: Again, no web portal for Go users.

Overall, you'll have to weigh these differences to determine if the GO is going to be your tracker, or if you're going to have to look/wait around. There are a hundred trackers on the market right now, and as far as the Force goes...this one is about as close as it gets for the functionality I was interested in.
My take on the Go is that it's targeted more toward the athlete, while the Force was targeted toward casual people who are interested in fitness, but not necessarily full-on athletes. While the Go can certainly fill the niche either way, it's replaced some of the "casual user" features with more "dedicated user" ones.

Additionally, the Force was unarguably more "simple" at the tracker level. The Force had one button that had two or three functions. The Go has two buttons with context-dependent functions assigned to each one, both for press-and-release and press-and-hold. You can manage the Go at the device, entirely. This gives the user more power, but it's also a more complicated interface. The Force didn't even need instructions, while the Go requires a bit of tinkering to get used to all of the functionality.

My last note is about Support: Soleus seems to have punted the first "batch" of Go bands, they regularly drop bluetooth connections to the phone (at least with iPhone 5, not aware if this affected other phones) and have to be re-paired several times a day. Soleus, however, handled the problem incredibly well. After a brief email correspondence with their support team, and they sent a brand new device with the problem fixed. I was incredibly impressed with how they handled the problem, especially in light of how thoroughly Fitbit dropped the ball for so long with the Force. I feel, as a spurned Force user, that I'm in much better hands with Soleus.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 21, 2014 10:53:59 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 10, 2014 9:25:52 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2014 4:53:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2014 4:55:58 AM PDT
P. Hoffman says:
Good question: The Go has the same level of water resistance as the Force did. While water shouldn't ruin it, the manual advises removing it before getting in the shower and not submersing it if you can help it. Additionally, it advises drying it off before activating any button. The official "resistance" is up to 1 meter. (I'll edit the review to include this information as well)

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 9:38:20 AM PDT
Jennifer W. says:
I contacted Soleus to hear what they had to day about this as well. The manual says it is IPX7 standard but I have no idea what that means in practical terms. Will I ruin the device showering in it regularly? Wearing it during my daughter's swim lessons? I am torn between purchasing this or the Misfit Shine (or a better band that can be worn in the shower).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2014 4:08:43 AM PDT
M. Fa says:
If you took some time to read the review - it says it is Not waterproof, and it is recommended to be removed when taking a shower. You should consider the Garmin Vivofit if you need a waterproof version.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2014 4:42:58 AM PDT
Jennifer W. says:
I am aware of that but there is a difference between "waterproof" and capable of withstanding a shower. Anyway, per Soleus rep the device is fine to wear in the shower but should not be worn while swimming.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2014 4:46:39 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 10, 2014 9:25:31 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2014 4:57:57 AM PDT
M. Fa says:
My sincere apologies - you are absolutely right. Don't know what got into me momentarily to behave so badly.

Posted on Mar 29, 2014 10:29:37 PM PDT
Good review between Go and Force, but advocating Soleus in the end, how come? Any stats or comparison with Soleus?

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 4:25:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2014 4:50:48 PM PDT
Sean Simpson says:
Is there anyway to add multiple users to the AP? My wife and I have one but we only have Iphones 4, not 4S, so I am syncing one right now to our Ipad. Any ideas?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2014 4:48:11 PM PDT
v-zeee says:
He listed pro's/con's for the Soleus Go. And since the Fitbit Force is no longer avail 2' to recall, you don't have that option. Seems like a great review overall.
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