October 2nd 2011 6:42 pm

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

89
9.0
final rating

reviewed on
purchased on
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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Durability The device is solid and durable but the finish is flaking off after only a couple of weeks of use. good
  • Portability Clips on anywhere. great!
  • Ease of use Excellent design; easy to read at a glance. great!
  • Design and form factor Great design generally but it would be better if it did not need a docking station. good
Detailed review
The Fitbit Ultra has been a noted and worthwhile improvement over the original; the web tools at Fitbit.com could still use some refinement.

The device itself is small, discrete, and sturdy. It measures one's steps, both in steps and in distance, activity, stairs climbed, calories spent, and sleep patterns. The battery lasts for four or five days at a time and the display is bright and easy to read even in daylight.

The device is meant to be used in conjunction with the Fitbit.com website, where a user's data can be stored and tracked and graphed over a given period of time. The website has entry fields for what one has eaten, one's mood, blood sugar, fluid intake, exercise, and several other things. For people who are serious about their health or who want to be more serious about their health, the device and website together are a very powerful tool. There is an active community section and Fitbit employees routinely monitor and take part in the discussions there, especially in the feature request forum.

The fitbit, as a device, is a young brand, and there are still refinements to be made. The dock is somewhat cumbersome and the need to sync through a computer, rather than through the available mobile apps can be a little frustrating. Replacing either a dock or a clip or an armband (for sleep mode) is likewise cumbersome, with the company, for the moment, preferring to sell you an entirely new fitbit rather than just the needed accessory.

Likewise, the website still needs work. In particular, the food entry system and meal planning areas would benefit from a complete re-design making it easier to enter things with one or two clicks and by making the brand field unnecessary. Also, the site needs to be more international with multi-lingual support, easier metric to standard switching, and a wider database of foods and dishes.

To reiterate, as a device, the Fitbit Ultra is fantastic. As a service, it still needs some work but it has a lot of potential.