Fitness Band Wars: Nike FuelBand SE vs Fitbit Force vs Jawbone Up


There are many fitness trackers available these days, with more coming our way as consumers’ interest in living a healthy life increases.  But some of the most popular trackers these days come in the form of bracelets as they’re easy to wear, less likely to get in the way when you’re running, and less likely to get lost while you’re on the move.  But which fitness bracelet suits you?

Nike FuelBand SE


Nike recently unveiled its next generation fitness band dubbed the Nike FuleBand SE. Nothing much has changed in the band itself, but Nike now offers more colors to choose from such as Volt, Pink Foil,Total Crimson, and Black. The FuleBand SE tracks the intensity of your workouts with Nike+ Sessions, counts steps, enables sleep tracking, tells the time, displays your progress in real time, and keeps you and your friends motivated through Nike+ Groups.

The band comes in three sizes: small (5.79 inches / 147mm), medium/large (6.77 inches / 172mm) and extra-large (7.76 inches / 197mm), but if you want a better fit, it comes with two easy-to-insert links (.32 inches / 8mm and .63 inches / 16mm) and a sizing tool so you can adjust it to your liking.  It features a single button that lets you see real-time progress, and it’s also fitted with an ambient light sensor that detects environmental light levels and adjusts accordingly so you see your progress or time comfortably in any lighting conditions.

You can also check your progress via the web or through your iOS device, as these can be paired with the Nike+ FuelBand app via Bluetooth 4.0.  Finally, we should note that the gadget is also water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about getting a little sweat and water on it.

It costs $149 and is available for pre-order.

Fitbit Force


Fitbit has a number of fitness tracker products, but its most popular fitness tracker is the Fitbit Flex.  Because of its popularity, Fitbit decided to release an updated version with new features. The Fitbit Force looks a lot like the Fitbit Flex, as it’s also made up of light materials and features a simplistic design which makes it easy to forget you’re wearing it.  It comes with a USB charger and a USB wireless dongle to allow wireless syncing within 20 feet.

Fitbit Force comes in two colors, Black and Slate, and also two sizes – small, which measures 5.5 – 6.9 inches or 140 – 176mm; and large, which measures 6.3 – 8.2 inches or 161 – 209mm. The width of Fitbit Force is the same for both sizes, measuring 0.76 inches or 19.2 mm.

The major change is that the Force features a small OLED screen that lets you see information regarding how many steps you’ve taken, the time, floors climbed, alarm, distance traveled, very active minutes, and calories burned.  To see the different screens, use the button on the side to cycle through them.

Fitbit Force is compatible with Macs and PCs, browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, mobile platforms like iOS and Android, and keeps detailed, minute-by-minute data from the last week, as well as daily totals for the past 30 days as long as it has battery power.  The device is powered by a Lithium-ion polymer battery that lasts up to 10 days in a single charge, and is water-resistant.

Available for $129.95.

Jawbone Up


Last but not least, we have Jawbone Up, which is so much more than just a fitness tracker. The tracking bracelet works with the Jawbone Up app for iOS and Android, and lets you do more than just keep track of your exercise routines and calories burned.  Instead, the Jawbone Up system takes a holistic approach towards a quantified self revolution.  It features sleep and nap tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, food and drink tracking, mood tracking, an insight engine, idle alert, smart alarm, and has a power nap feature that wakes you up at around 26.5 minutes after you fall asleep.

The gadget comes with a 10-day battery, is water-resistant, and only has to be plugged in to sync data that’s been tracked with your smart devices.  Jawbone Up also connects with other apps, for example RunKeeper, Withings, IFTTT, MyFitnessPal, Sleepio, and more.  It’s available in various colors like Onyx, Mint Green, Blue, Light Grey, Navy Blue, Red, Orange, and Hunter Green, and in three sizes – small which measures 5.5 – 6” or 14-15.5cm, medium 6-7” or 15.5-18cm, and large 7-8” or 18-20cm.

Other features include motion sensors, a single push-button interface, a vibrating motor for notifications, and Dual LEDs.  The gadget is splash-resistant and should not be submerged in water.  The band is made up of hypoallergenic TPU rubber and excessive bending should be avoided to prevent deforming or damaging the band.

Available for $129.99.

So which band should you get?


If you’re a sporty type of person, you might be interested in wearing the Nike FuelBand SE, as it’s a bit bulky compared to the Fitbit Force and Jawbone Up.  However, if you’re more into simplistic or inconspicuously designed fitness bands, you can go for either the Force or the Jawbone Up. But if you want more functionality on a band that goes beyond just tracking your daily activities and sleep quality, the Jawbone Up offers a more holistic approach.

For some people, getting a fitness tracker has greatly improved their health and well being as they get to stay on top of things, but others have just wasted money on them.  A fitness tracker can only do so much – it won’t help you lose weight if you don’t actually do any exercise… It’s unfortunately not a magical band that does all the hard work for you.  So before you buy any of the fitness trackers available in the market, ask yourself first… Are you ready to get off your butt?