After several months of simultaneous use of the Nike + Fuelband and Fitbit Ultra, here is a comparative analysis on the data tracked.
Technical specificities in terms of sensors
To better understand the reliability of the data tracked and calculated measures, it should be noted that there is a fundamental difference between the Nike + Fuelband and Fitbit Ultra in term of capture.
In fact, the Nike+ Fuelband as only 1 sensor dedicated to the measurement of the activity: a 3-axis accelerometer.
Where the FitBit Ultra embeds 2 sensors : a 3-axis accelerometer + an altimeter, the latter in particular for measuring the number of equivalents stairs mounted (with a detection accuracy of elevation change in the order of 30 cm / 12 inches).
A calibration within the time
The shape of the curves in month 1 highlights a chaotic differences between the measures of the Nike + Fuelband and the Fitbit Ultra. This is no longer the case in month 3. One of the two sensors seems to have a calibration period. I will deal more for the Fitbit, but without certainty. The FitBit setting options on my web space are finer than those of the Nike + Fuelband. If the two devices require the gender, age, weight and size, only the Fitbit offers the possibility to manually enter the length of his stride. This does not mean that Nike + does not. The use of complementary device Nike + GPS makes it possible to combine distance and number of steps. And thus deduce stride.
Consistent and relatively closed measures
Both for the number of steps and the number of miles traveled, the Nike + Fuelband like Fitbit Ultra calculate quite similar datas. The comparative curves look is certainly consistent. The Fitbit Ultra delivers superior to measures of the Nike + Fuelband. The difference, however, can sometimes be anecdotal, but sometimes reachs 35%.
A significant difference in term of Calories Burned
In accordance with the first comparative observations, the calories burned calculations offer fundamentally different results between the Nike + Fuelband and Fitbit Ultra. The observated curves yet show a similarity in their appearance. I explain the delta between the two calculations by the following observations.
Where the Nike + Fuelband does not bother complexity – its computations are based on the sole parameters [steps counted, size, weight] – the Fitbit Ultra is based on a more sophisticated logic. Fitbit Ultra takes many factors into account and carries out computations more scientifically. From your personal settings you informed when opening your account [gender, age, size, weight] it deduces the minimum number of calories burned for 24 hours (basal metabolic rate), even while you sleep and if you do not wear the sensor at bed. Thus, in the morning, when I Fitbit Ultra team, it displays 0 step, 0 km, but he returns a value of 458 cal burned since midnight. In addition, it is possible to enter manually on the Fitbit personal space (web or smartphone) the workouts and activities made during the day (run ..). Fitbit will then recalculate the calories burned by concatenating the measurements with the information entered manually.
As a conclusion :
Fitbit Ultra has an undeniably better accuracy compared to the Nike + Fuelband, thanks to its additional sensor (atimeter) and provided that you actively enter many information on your personal space on the Web or through the Smartphone App (stride length, daily wortkouts, precise meals) .
Dedicated to a fussy logic weight control or loss, Fitbit Ultra has developed the features and services to provide users with the higher benefits. At the risk of being ultimately too complex and too demanding to use.
If Nike + Fuelband is “lighter” in the veracity of his scientific approach, it remains the best liefestyle device among the two : simple, disruptive, iconic.