A Cheap Activity Tracker.
At first glance, the Fitbug Orb fitness tracker looks a bit simple, but that just makes me curious. What can this little gadget help me with in my daily life? Is it as smart as the manufacturer claim? This article will explain how this device works and give you the answers.
It is the UK based company Fitbug that came up with this tracker a couple of years back. It’s not at all a new device and is in some respect one of the first trackers that came on the marked capable of monitoring your whole day of activity. It was an advancement of the basic pedometer counting only steps. I must say this device still withstands the pressure from the wave of new fitness trackers and the inside holds a lot of technology and fun.
For some reason I think the design oozes simplicity and happiness. It’s a quite small device which comes in different colors and it doesn’t have a screen to view information on. It reminds me a bit of Misfits Flash or the more expensive Misfit Shine.
The low price is one of the best selling points. It is very affordable for people wanting their first activity tracker. This is a product not targeted towards advanced athletes but more the average person.
And by all means, do not mix up the name with the other famous fitness gadget brand Fitbit. The Fitbug company was actually launched in 2005, a few years ahead of Fitbit which started up in 2007.
So What Can This Fitbug Tracker Do For Me?
This is a combined fitness, sleep and activity tracker which monitors your whole day of movement. In essence, it acts like a personal coach and is supposed to teach you to get healthier routines in your everyday life. It tracks steps taken, minutes of activity, sleep quality, estimated burnt calories, how far and fast you have walked.
The Orb is so much more than a pedometer, but you can still use the same old rules for how many steps you should walk every day. To get in fairly good shape, your goal should be at least 10.000 steps a day. A training gadget like this can help you track and motivate you reaching that minimum goal and it’s not difficult at all. If your goal is weight loss you should reach 20.000 steps.
The Fitbug Orb activity tracker itself is a small disc formed plastic thingy in a sturdy design. It’s smaller than most watch faces and actually a bit tricky to fool around with without dropping it. The device itself comes in the colors hot pink, black and white. It doesn’t appear as high end as more modern devices and looks a bit like a toy, but I’ll forgive it for that since it’s not an entirely new product.
It has the quite cute look of a smiling baby robot sticking its tongue at you. Maybe that’s what it takes to get people to get really fond of a technological device – make it look adorable!
Your personal tiny robot friend can be worn in many ways which make the gadget very versatile. It can be put inside a plastic wristband which comes in different colors or put in a belt clip which can be fastened anywhere suitable. It can also lay in a pocket, but be careful not to lose it or unintentionally drop it since it is so small.
A smart idea is to attach it to your keychain so you always know where it is.
It is splash and sweat proof but not hundred percent waterproof so not suitable for swimming.
The only way to interact with the gadget is a single button on the front, but it controls a number of functions. For instance, if you push it 3 times it enters sleep mode. You also press the button to pair up with smartphones or tablets.
A hidden green and orange light indicator LED light to give you some feedback on your button pressing. Some people complain that the button can be difficult to use sometimes, but it’s not a huge problem.
The unit doesn’t give you visual feedback in the form of a display. On the plus side, the lack of a display increases the battery life and you don’t get distracted by looking at the screen all the time. The item becomes simply a tracker you wear around that collects data.
The data collected from your digital coach are transferred to your iOS-driven smartphone or tablet via wireless Bluetooth when you have downloaded the free app. Android devices can be somewhat challenging, but most phones should handle the Fitbug Orb activity tracker well these days. You can also choose to set up the app in a streaming mode which means that you get real-time feedback on the smartphone of your statistics. There are three modes which are called On-demand, Beacon, and Streaming.
The data is kept inside the device for 14 days before you need to move them to a PC, phone or another smart device.
The metrics shown are typical steps, distance, calories and sleep quality. When logged into fitbit.com there are a whole bunch of nice graphs and detailed information of your movements. You can also log food which gives you a more accurate estimate of calories burnt rather than based on purely steps, age, and sex.
If you feel like it, you can compete with friends and foes online and run laps and segments of routes near you. In the app, you can add goals and wearable technology can really push you into doing stuff you normally wouldn’t do that your body and health benefits from.
Do you know how long and how well you are sleeping? With a sleep monitor, you can easily understand more about your sleep cycles and quality. The Fitbug tracker has one little drawback in my opinion and that is that you’ll need to press the button three times to make it understand you enter sleep mode.
I personally think it’s too much work setting such a device in sleep mode every night and pushing a button several times might be something you just skip after a while. I like fitness gadgets that manage to understand if you’re sleeping or not by them self-based on movement like the Polar Loop activity band.
And it’s also a fact that sleep monitors don’t really help you in any way other than make you understand more about your sleep pattern. There’s no magic button for making you sleep better except maybe go to bed earlier.
The CR2032 coin battery lasts for 4 to 6 months before you need to change it. The lack of a display drastically increases the battery life, and if you don’t like fitness trackers you need to charge all the time, this one is perfect. For instance, I actually need to buy a completely new charging cable for my Polar Loop very soon since I lost the original one… 🙁
|Type||Wristband and clip|
|Dimension||diameter ca 3 cm|
|Size||Lenghts: One size fits all|
|Battery Type||1x CR2032 coin cells|
|Battery Life||4 to 6 months|
|Colors||Black, White and hot Pink|
|Flight of Stairs||-|
|Sleep Duration and Quality||Yes|
|24/7 (All day)||Yes|
|Silent Vibration Alarm||-|
|Trophies/Rewards||Yes in App|
|Wireless or USB||Wireless|
|Device Compatibility||Windows, Android and iOS|
|Sync Method||Bluetooth 4.0|
|Mobile App||App called Fitbug. Fits other apps like MyFitnessPal too|
|Web service||Fitbug online community|
|Maintenance & FAQ:|
What’s In The Box?
- The Orb itself
- Keychain band
- CR2032 battery
Even if it’s old the Fitbug Orb activity tracker can surely cope with more newer gadgets. Other trackers have perhaps evolved a bit with regards to use and function and you might want to look into for instance Fitbit Zip in the same price range.
But hey… if it’s your first fitness tracker and you want a device that’s easy to conceal in your pocket, and just monitors your movements without any interaction from you (expect sleep mode) it’s a nice product for an unbeatable price.
|Pros +||Cons –|
Where Can I Buy Fitbug Orb Fitness Tracker?
US: Purchase this gadget on Amazon.com.
UK: Purchase this gadget on Amazon.co.uk.
If you are in or close to the USA click the top link to check recent price and additional info. If you are in or close to the United Kingdom, click the bottom link.
More Info or Questions
If you want more info before buying, check out the user reviews on Amazon by clicking the buttons above. Some examples:
“It works well as a general guideline of your daily activity.” – By julia piper
“Very happy so far” – By Amazon Customer
“Simple, effective, easy and really useful!” – By Gallilao
Do you have any questions or comments on my Fitbug Orb review, do not hesitate to send me an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a comment below?