Road Tested: Fitbit One

A while back, I was hanging out with my sister-in-law and saw a little gadget clipped to her sweatshirt. Being the gadget-loving girl I am (or maybe I’m just a things-loving girl. Hmm.), I said, “hey, what’s that?”

Her eyes lit up and thus began a five-minute monologue on the greatness that was her Fitbit One.  It was a pedometer! It was a calorie-counter! A sleep-tracker!


Listen, you don’t have to tell me twice. It takes about 0.02 seconds for me to put something on my wish list and this sounded pretty sweet. By the time she said, “you should get one!” I was already plotting my purchase. Way ahead of you, sis. The Amazon iPhone app was made for impulse shoppers like moi.

Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime membership, my Fitbit One arrived on my doorstep two days later, looking tiny and adorable in its sleek packaging.


Hello, I love you.


I ripped into it and glanced briefly at the directions before tossing them to the side. I’m what they call an experiential learner, which basically means I hate directions and can often be heard saying, “oh, I didn’t know it did THAT” two months later when I hit a wrong (or oh-so-right) button.

If I miss anything in this review, you know why.

So here’s what I do know it does:

  1. It tracks steps, distance, stairs climbed and calories burned.
  2. Monitors how long and well you sleep.
  3. Wakes you in the morning with a silent buzzy alarm that prevents your bedmate from waking as well. If you’re Mister Jess, all you need for an alarm is your own snores anyway.
  4. Syncs via Bluetooth technology to your computer or mobile device. The dongle (it is seriously called that. I laughed for about eight minutes) sticks right in to the USB slot on your computer or phone.
  5. Your personal account on allows you to set goals, log food and weight, and view your progress via a series of charts and graphs.
  6. Is sweat- and rain-proof.
  7. Is rechargeable via a plug-in USB device.
  8. Rewards you with badges when you hit certain milestones or achieve a new goal.
  9. Allows you to export your data to other health websites, like MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, LoseIt!, and MapMyFITNESS.

I know, right? Kind of awesome.

Now, after using it for the past couple of weeks, I’ve had time to get to know the Fitbit One pretty well. Why? Because it is with me at. All. Times. I am obsessed with this thing. Here’s why:

It motivates me to move. 

Not that I have much of a choice in the matter. San Francisco is an extremely walking-friendly city. When I first moved to the city years and years ago, I would take the bus three blocks. This is a true story.

Nowadays, I’m used to the hills and the long city blocks and the walking. All of the walking. And now I have a device that tracks all of that activity. It’s really rewarding to sync my Fitbit at the end of the day and see that I’ve taken 10,000 steps, walked the equivalent of 15 stories, and burned 500 calories. It makes me want to walk even more so that I can beat my previous day’s stats. Instead of taking the bus from Bug’s daycare to work, why not walk and rack up some extra steps? I love that the Fitbit is a motivator to keep scoot a dootin’.

It’s tiny. 

The Fitbit fits in my pocket or clips on my clothing. It’s not some clunky, huge thing that takes up space or straps onto my wrist like a miniature computer. I like that it doesn’t detract from my outfit (I am ever vain) and that I don’t feel it on me throughout the day.

The downside of its size is that sometimes I lose track of it. I accidentally left it at home the other morning because it was nestled safely in my pajama pants. So safely that I forgot it was there!

It’s easy to use. 

Even if you’re not tech-savvy, this is a super simple device to use. There’s one button on the actual Fitbit that you press to see your stats on its little screen. To sync it to your computer, you just plug in the dongle, download the Fitbit program on your computer, and it does the rest. The dongle finds your Fitbit as long as it’s within 20 feet and slurps up all of your information. It divides your stats by day. No need to press the reset button at the start of each day, which I love.

The information is easy to read. 

Once your Fitbit has been synced to your computer or mobile device, you just hop over to your account on to see your stats laid out in pretty graphs and boxes. It’s so user-friendly, so easy to read, and really fun to see your activity broken down in various ways.

You’ll get a weekly progress report from Fitbit via email that details things like your most active day, your least active day, and badges you’ve earned. Again, the information is laid out in such an easy to read way. I can soak it up in a matter of seconds and then I’m on my way!

You can also see your lifetime cumulative achievements on My Fitbit has tracked 82,419 steps since I started using it 14 days ago. I feel like a rock star!

An example of what you'll see on your Fitbit profile page.

An example of what you’ll see on your Fitbit day-at-a-glance page.

My weekly progress report. Go me!

My weekly progress report. Go me!

The battery life is lengthy. 

I’ve only had to charge my Fitbit once since I got it two weeks ago. iPhone, take notes.

All in all, a very worthy investment!

One thing to note: I’m not entirely sure how accurate the “floors climbed” and “calories burned” stats are. How do you accurately measure floors climbed when I’m not actually climbing stairs? And if I were really burning 1900 calories a day, I wouldn’t have to worry about dropping the pesky 7 pounds that refuse to drop off of me. However, I’m not using the Fitbit as a weight-loss tool so the accuracy (or inaccuracy, who knows!) of the calorie-counting tool doesn’t concern me too much. It is something to consider for those of you who would be using this primarily as a calorie-counting tool. More research might need to be done in this aspect.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do some laps around the apartment. I’ve got a new badge to earn!

Do you have a Fitbit? Another type of pedometer or calorie-counting gadget? Talk to me in the comments!