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February 3rd 2014 2:19 pm

Poor Pedometer

The Force--at least mine--has one really bizarre flaw in it's step counting behavior. It is so illogical that I have run several serious experiments to confirm that it is true. While my Force does a great job of counting my steps when I shamble around at 3 mph as well as when I jog, it's ability to perform this most basic function falls apart when I walk at speeds approaching 4 mph. At that speed, the Force under-counts my steps by 30%-40%. I've verified this by counting steps in my head, by bench marking against other activity monitors, and by walking a measured distance and backing into a calculated step length (an absurd 55") based on the steps provided by the Force. This is not an occasional error. It is consistent on indoor and outdoor tracks and treadmills.

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Have you tried changing your stride length for both walking and running in Fitbit's settings? I've left them setup on default (but have also noticed that Fitbit undercounts my steps when I go on a run), so I'm not sure if this will work or not. But it might be worth a try.

You can check it out here: www.fitbit.com­/user­/profile­/edit
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Thanks Dave. I've adjusted the stride length several times just because I am anal that way. Having said that my understanding is that Fitbit only uses the stride length to calculate distance and not to help it count steps more accurately. To prove that my steps are being under-counted, I have walked 3 miles at a 4 mph pace and divided that distance by the number of steps my Force said I walked (1,124) to back into an IMPOSSIBLE indicated step length of 56.93".

Again, the really bizarre thing is that I only have this issue walking moderately fast. I just came back from a 6 mile run over the course of which my Force, Loop, and Runtastic Pedometer logged 10,265, 9,102, and 10,366 steps respectively. Proof that none of them are perfect but close enough for government work and in a reasonable step length range of 37" to 42". On previous run tests, the Force and Loop were consistently within 1% of each other so I'm not sure what happened today.

I understand that an activity monitor's basic function is to SWAG your general activity level rather than precisely counting your steps but Fitbit insists that their products are accurate to within 5% and I'm consistently getting under counts of well over 30% at precisely the speed most people would walk for fitness. Also, this is not logical and my inquiring mind is demanding an explanation. That, quite frankly, is more important to me than a pedometer that works :).
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Fyoung1111, I noticed while reading some reviews that you said that you bought the Fitbit One for your girlfriend and then the Jawbone Up24? I am having a hard time deciding between the 2 and would really appreciate your input on which one she preferred? I am leaning towards the Jawbone Up24 solely because of its in-depth sleep analysis. I heard that the Fitbit One was more accurate when it came to tracking however the sleep analysis was lacking. I would prefer the Fitbit One because it is so accurate and small however I am also leaning towards the Jawbone Up24 and am getting mixed reviews. Please help!
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