Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pedometer Trackers: My comparison of Garmin VivoFit & Fitbit One

These little trackers are EVERY WHERE!!!

I knew these were cool before the world did.  I used to wear a pedometer that was the size of a pager - for those of you that are old enough to remember pagers when they were all the rage... before cell phones even existed.

But seriously - I have always loved the drive of knowing how many steps I've taken in a day....

& when these little gadgets came out, I was on board to upgrade my heavy hip-bearing pedometer to a little electronic wonder.

Enter into my life my FitBit One.

I have loved everything about it.  Seriously. I have recommended it to everyone. I panic when I loose it on my clothes. I can't live without it.

& then I kept seeing all these wrists trackers popping up & wondered how they worked. 

I was never planning on getting another one until my FitBit One conked out.. but then that dang Amazon had to go do a Deal of the Day on the Garmin Vivofit for $59.00 ... heck, I spend $59.00 at Starbucks in a week... not really... kinda.... so went ahead & ordered it.

So I've been using BOTH of my pedometers for 2 weeks now.  & here's my pro/con list of the two

FitBit One

* It seems pretty dang accurate.  It was actually listed in the top 3 of the most accurate pedometers because it is on the waist, along with the FitBit Zip.
* Love the ease of finding people & friending them on the app.
* Love the challenges that people extend every day or week/weekend
* Syncs automatically when turning on app or Bluetooth is on
* Counts steps in incline/stairs
* Have to remember to charge about every 7-8 days
* Easy to forget that its on clothes when you take them off & throw into the laundry
* Bulky to wear under clothes when you have to wear on undergarments
* which leads to - not always convenient to wear (dresses)
* If sitting a certain way or cramped up, will turn on sleeping mode by hitting button
Garmin VivoFit
* No battery that needs to be charged - lasts for a year
* Waterproof. Love I don't have to ever take it off.
* Comfortable.
* Use as a watch since its on my wrist
* Red Line shows when haven't moved in awhile - a great motivator to get moving.
* Like you can change the color of your bands
* Does not count steps when pushing basket/stroller, cutting grass or holding a purse & arm is not swinging, or walking while holding something.
* Counts too many steps if arms swing a lot (like in kick boxing doing punches)
*Counted LESS while running!!!!
* Does not count going up stairs
* Finding connections on app is not easy
So as you can see - they both are handy... they both have advantages & disadvantages
I really hate that the Garmin Vivo Fit is weird on how it counts & doesn't count steps.
I will go in the grocery & push the cart & it doesn't count me but going a few steps the whole time.  Can you imagine if you were in Disney World pushing a stroller all day & it took you for doing like 2000 steps for the day?  nooooo!!!!!

I even cut the grass with it on & walked for 35 minutes & it only counted me doing 100 steps the entire time.  That's really not cool.
But I will say, when it wouldn't count those steps where the arms aren't moving & my FitBit would continue to count my steps, it actually sort of even-ed out the playing field making them almost even.
& I'm not even sure how this worked, but when I went for my run for my 10k, the Garmin counted LESS steps then my FitBit... probably because with my shoulder injury, I try to minimize my arms from swinging.
That's messed up.
But I kept count of 2 weeks worth of difference
FitBit / Garmin 2 week Difference
Day 1 - 10,553 / 12,677 / 2124
Day 2 - 11,266 / 23,399 / 2133
Day 3 - 8,391 / 10,242 / 1851
Day 4 - 10,772 / 11,783 / 1011
Day 5 - 16,542 / 14,094 / <2448> ... this was my 10K???
Day 6 - 10,196 / 11,483 / 1287
Day 7 - 6,449 / 6,960 / 511
Day 8 - 10,257 / 12,263 / 2006
Day 9- 10,151 / 12,542 / 2391
Day 10 - 8,687 / 10,547 / 1850
Day 11 - 10,027 / 11,016 / 989
Day 12 - 10,322 / 10,166 / <156>
Day 13 - 11,159 / 13,348 / 2189
Day 14- 10,576 / 10,810 / 234
As you can see - there is no rhyme or reason to the difference!!!!
Some days were really close... but the majority is around 2,000 steps difference.
Go figure.
I guess the key is to know that neither is 100% accurate...
& they both have great things about them... both have flaws.
I'm not even sure I could pick a favorite if I had to because I like them both for different reasons.

I would say I would pick my FitBit for Accuracy.
I would pick my Garmin for Convenience.
I just know they keep me moving... & that's not a bad thing.
For the record, I'll probably always wear both until one of them bombs or I make the jump to the ones that have the heart rate monitors built into them... I obviously am a number person so I will enjoy the comparison thing for awhile.
Do you have a Fitness Tracker?
Which brand/kind do you prefer?


  1. I just received a Fitbit wrist band for Mother's Day. I'm going to swap the color so I haven't used it yet. This is a great comparison. I need to remember to always swing my arm no matter what I'm doing!

    1. You should see me pushing a cart... I try to do it with one hand while swinging the other. #awkward

    2. I can imagine you doing that right now! LOL

  2. that is so weird that the garmin doesn't count as much when you run. or that it relies on arm movement. i'm not into counting steps and whatnot, but this is a great comparison :)

  3. Thank you for this review because these are the two trackers that have been on my radar!

  4. I have the Garmin Vivosmart and absolutely LOVE IT! My steps are very accurate I feel and I LOVE the function that give you text messages etc on your wrist. I'm a social media nutso - so I like my notifications coming on my arm. CON: expensive at $160 but I NEVER take it off!

    1. I actually had my eye on the Vivosmart but then they had this mega deal on the VivoFit... I would probably buy that next... I like all the extra little tech goodies!

  5. I do not have a fitness tracker because I'm too lazy to even track my runs let alone all of the other crazy stuff those bracelets track. I love the idea of them though and I may get one in the future, but right now it is not for me. I remember when I was in school and they gave out those pager size pedometers to everyone. I thought I was so cool!

    1. I have found I'm a little OCD about checking it. I panic when I don't have on a tracker... & now that I'm wearing 2? Before you know it, I'll have an arm full of them always comparing numbers. This may be my cry for help :) haha

  6. What a fantastic comparison! You have pointed out all major facts of this device. Recently I took a Fitbit Charge HR. But I started using it without setting up. Now I need to Reset Fitbit Charge HR to start using from the beginning. Can you Please advise me?


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