Fitbit Ultra Review
I recently bought the Fitbit Ultra in an attempt to increase my fitness levels, and to encourage me to be a bit more active in day to day life. While it is a slightly older model, I decided to choose this version as the price was a bit lower than the newer one, and the specifications met all of my requirements. Plus, the Fitbit Ultra is still supported by the Fitbit website, which means I can sync and analyze my data there. But more about that later!
Lets start by getting all of the technical stuff out of the way...
The Spec List
Inbuilt clip, or belt clip for thicker materials
Steps, distance, calories, floors climbed and sleep quality.
Wired basestation & wireless sync when near basestation
Battery & Charge
Rechargeable battery with indicator. Upto 7 day charge.
2.125 inches (h) 0.75 inches (w) 0.5625 inches (d)
Blue or Plum
So, on unwrapping my lovely new toy, I was excited to see it in action. I installed a driver via the very helpful and easy to use website, plugged the basestation into the computer and I was ready to begin!
I created a profile using my email address, but the webpage gave options for a quick start sign-up using your Facebook login, too. You can also use this to add friends later on...
Being the perfectionist that I am, I used the opportunity to get some starting figures- weight, measurements etc which were logged onto my profile on the website. While very shocked by the rather large figures, I felt positive, as the Fitbit was going to help me reduce them!
The Fitbit Ultra is not just a pedometer, but it actively encourages activity by setting targets and recording progress. Before I had mine, my lifestyle was completely sedentary, minus the walk from the bus stop to the office and back.
Even though I was quite aware that it was still me doing the exercise to update the device, I felt that it encouraged me to be more active from day one. You see, the Fitbit Ultra has a fitness indicator on it- a lovely flower- which grows and shrinks depending on your activity levels. It may be quite gimmicky, but it works for me! I also happen to know that it works for a few of my friends too.
With this encouragement, and the prospect of seeing my flower bloom, I began my day at work with a 7 floor climb. I may have had to stop for breath on floor 5.... BUT... I still done it. Before the Fitbit, I would never have contemplated this. The great thing is, the Fitbit Ultra recorded the steps i took, and the floors I climbed, and I earned a "25 floors climbed" badge that day! Amazing success for the office worker who previously thought that walking from the elevator to the desk was a chore!
Since getting the device, I have also made other small, but noticeable changes during my working day. I use the stairs as often as possible; I go to the toilet that is furthest away; I go for a walk during lunch- little things that may not sound like much, but add toward my goals set throughout the day.
Speaking of goals, you can use the Fitbit website to set yourself realistic daily and weekly targets. When you reach these, you receive a badge on your profile to congratulate you.
The goals are simple to understand, and the achievements are listed as a percentage or a figure.
You can also use your profile to keep track of any weight loss, fitness or sleep progress using a combination of visual aids and statistics.The measurements are easy to understand, and you can choose the unit of measurement you wish to use during your profile set up- imperial or metric.
There is also the option to add your friends to your profile, so that you can compete with each other and beat each others' targets, as well as a leader board to compare progress. Just as well I don't know any gym-bunnies with a Fitbit, otherwise I'd be dead last!
Personally, I love this product simply for the geek-chic factor, as I love to be inspired by graphs, figures and reward charts. If you are driven by achieving goals and having a clear record of it, then the Fitbit Ultra is definitely for you.
Getting Some Shut-Eye
Another amazing perk of the Fitbit Ultra is that it actually records your sleep pattern too- as a healthy body is a well rested one! In the push of a button, the Fitbit will record the duration you are in bed.
Not that impressive, I hear you say...
Well, it also records how long it takes you to fall asleep, the number of times your sleep was disturbed, and whether you awoke at any stage in the night.
Once synced, the data is used to analyze your sleep pattern, and give you an over all percentage of sleep quality. This is particularly interesting when you compare periods of ill health with normal times- I found up to a 30% decrease in sleep quality when I had the cold recently! Maybe that's why I felt so awful and tired!
It Can't Be All Good, Surely?
In all honesty, I find it particularly difficult to find any real negatives about this product. There is the cost- it is a rather expensive gadget, and this was something I considered greatly when I looked into buying one. The alternative products in the same field simply do not compare- particularly when it comes to all the lovely geekery!
There is also the small fact that I do enjoy my food. I wonder whether, sometimes, the knowledge of all the good things I have done in a day towards my health actually is my downfall... I'll explain- if I can see that I have burned over 2000 Calories that day, and done 5000 steps, then the foodie in me justifies an extra piece of cake or bar of chocolate. I'm sure that certainly wasn't the intention! So, I may not exactly shed pounds to begin with... However, I am confident that when I finally cross the bridge into fully strict diet mode, that the Fitbit will work wonders in keeping me encouraged about exercise, particularly throughout day to day activities.
These two small issues aside, I am happy to recommend the Fitbit Ultra to anyone with the disposable income to purchase one (Or the more recent Fitbit One for those with a bigger budget) as a pretty nifty piece of fit-kit!
If a glorified pedometer can make an exercise enthusiast out of me, then it can help anyone!
Will You Take The Fitbit Challenge?
Will you be purchasing a Fitbit?
© 2014 Lynsey Harte