I turned my workout today into a little experiment about the data some of my favorite fitness trackers can give me. I started all of the trackers off at zero for the day and then loaded up with a +Misfit Wearables
Shine, a +Fitbit
Ultra, and a +Nike
Fuel Band. The Fitbit, which is their original model, was clipped onto my pocket and the other two were wrist-worn.
I was in the gym for an hour and a half for an upper-body workout with some cardio and had around one and a half extra miles from walking to and from the gym.
Step counts from the wrist-worn sensors were pretty close to each other, with the Fitbit on my pocket giving a more optimistic number. I'm not sure how much of the difference (which wasn't huge) was from the location of the sensor rather than from the hardware or software from each of the companies. Calorie counts were also quite close between Fitbit and Misfit, but Nike seems to count very differently: counting less then 400 calories compared to the 1700+ from the other two.
What about the less quantifiable parts of these trackers?
Nike was the least comfortable, bulkiest tracker. It also doesn't sync with Android (not that my Fitbit does, but all of their newer models do). Misfit only tells you a percentage of your daily goal without syncing, but Fitbit and Fuel you can look up on the device itself. The Shine is my favorite looking of the sensors and is the most comfortable to wear on your wrist, but it doesn't make me feel as sporty (the leather band looks pretty good with a suit though).
Fitbit and Nike are both rechargeable, with the Shine taking a watch battery. According to Nike's iOS app, its battery was still at high for the day, but the on-device battery meter showed that I lost 75% of the Fuel Band's charge after only one day. To keep from having an untracked day I charge the Fitbit once a week, the Nike almost daily, and have to put a new battery in the Shine about once a month.
Data and syncing
If you have a new device and a pretty new phone, you can sync them all with iOS on the go and everything but Nike on an Android. You need BLE on your phone, which Apple has had longer than Android.
Once I got used to not having to think about the Misfit battery (and before I realized that it dies after about a month), I really liked not having to think about the sync and charge on the Shine as often as the other devices. Then I realized that the Shine was losing a lot of my data. I suffer partial and even full data lose on the Misfit device after as little as a few days. This seems to get worse when the battery gets low, but it's usually too late to do anything about it by the time you realize something's wrong. The Fitbit only needs to sync every three weeks and gives you a huge dashboard to analyze your data, but I also found missing data from Fitbit when I tried to go back a few months.