Zipping Through Life
Sometimes I stop and marvel at how I can talk to friends who live across the globe for free regardless where I am in the world. It boggles my mind that I have access to so many people and opportunities just from this silly thing that at one point was just a phone. Now, it’s used to phone calls less then 10% of the time that I’m on it.
That being said, I think smart phones have also kind of spoiled us with access to people and information, and sometimes I feel like I don’t know how to do anything if I’m cut off from the rest of the world.
My access to friends no matter where they are has had a huge impact on my workout schedule. I have a friend who lives in Scotland who always seems to be hitting the gym when I’m waking up at an unreasonably early hour to do something similar. We chat back and forth and keep each other interested while we’re sweating to the oldies. The social part of my workouts has turned in to something that keeps me motivated.
I wanted to find a device that falls into the new fitness tracker trend and encourages people to not only get fit, but to also rely on each other to do it. The Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity tracker promises to do that and a whole lot more.
Zip With Friends
Obviously, Fitbit Zip does the basics of fitness tracking including counting steps, providing fitness goals and keeping track of progress on the exercise program. All of that has pretty much become expected of these kinds of devices. What Fitbit Zip does well beyond those things, however, is give you access to online support from friends new and old.
They can see your progress, and you can see theirs. You can swap horror and success stories. They encourage you to challenge each other and hold each other accountable. If you’re like me and like to cut corners when no one is looking, that kind of interaction would make me feel like there is always someone looking. I’d feel like I had to take it seriously.
You can challenge your friends to different activities, and Fitbit will track the progress and declare the winner. In an era when we can interact with people all day long but not see them face to face for years at a time, I think that Fitbit has really managed to tap in to this to create a community that is very appropriate to our evolving communication style.
Fitness in a Zip
Aside from the tech specs and things that make it a good piece of technology, Fitbit Zip also does a pretty good job of mastering its actual purpose. The pedometer is really accurate and doesn’t require a whole lot of training. It auto-resets at midnight so the steps from the previous day can be recorded as they should be. No cheating by not resetting here.
It’s also small and lightweight and doesn’t go on the wrist. The clip lets it hook on to your pants, belt, shirt or bra, and it’s small and light enough that you probably won’t even notice.
Sync in a Zip
Once you’ve kicked your own behind or been declared victor of your Fitbit pals, Fitbit Zip actually syncs to your phone or computer without any wires at all. Using Bluetooth 4.0, which is available on most current phones, the devices talk to each other and keep track of your progress.
Holds a Charge and Looks Good Doin’ It
And, continuing with their “no cords” theory, Fitbit Zip doesn’t have a charging cable. There is no plugging this baby in. It runs off a small watch battery that is estimated to last about 4 months. It could last less than that and I would be okay with it. I hate charging things daily or even weekly, so I’ll switch out a battery every so often if i can avoid that irritation.
Fitbit Zip also comes in several fun colors including blue, magenta, lime and charcoal.
Though Fitbit Zip gives you really great bang for your buck (currently 53 of your bucks, to be exact), there are a few things that are not what they could be. The clip isn’t as reliable as it should be, and it’s a problem if it breaks. The device is small and can easily slip out of the case or a pocket if the clip is not secured. Also, when it comes time to change the battery, there seem to be a batch of these that don’t easily allow that to happen. The back cover either breaks off or doesn’t fit to be put back on correctly. Without the back cover, the battery falls out, and Zip doesn’t work without a battery.
Good Zip for the Money
Overall, I think this slightly scaled down version of the huge promises made by some fitness trackers. Fitbit Zip makes a pretty good attempt at combining what has become our nature with the need to fight the laziness that has also found its way in to our cultural identity. The social tools are really a benefit for those who like having friends in their pockets. The size and weight of the device are minimal at best, and it can happily sit on an article of clothing that you don’t even notice its there.
The Fitbit Zip is available just by popping right on over here. Get fit and stay social. Seems like a pretty good gig to me.