Fitbit vs Bodybugg SP Side-by-Side Comparison

Written by | Posted under Health and Wellness | 7 years ago

Fitbit vs Bodybugg SP? Which one is a better personal fitness tracker? I was previously in the market for a fitness tracker so I did a ton of research to try to find the right one for me. In the end, I found that these two (Fitbit and Bodybugg SP) are the best of breed when it comes to fitness trackers. I’m sure you’ve come to the same conclusion too if you are in the market for a fitness tracker. In this post, I’d like to share my research findings so hopefully I can help you figure out which one is the right one for you.

Quick Side-by-Side Comparison

Fitbit Bodybugg SP
Form factorFitbit
Tiny clip that can clip onto your clothes.
Bodybugg SP
The device is a bit bigger than the fitbit and must be worn on an arm band.
Metrics Tracked
  • Calories burned
  • Steps taken
  • Distance travelled
  • Physical activity duration and intensity
  • Time till sleep
  • Number of time awaken during sleep
  • Actual sleep time
  • Calories burned
  • Steps taken
  • Physical activity duration and intensity
  • Distance travelled
  • 3-dimensional motion sensor
  • motion sensor
  • skin temperature sensor
  • skin perspiration sensor
  • air temperature sensor
AccuracyOnly accurate if you perform activities that don't compromise the motion sensor.Only accurate if you perform activities that don't compromise the motion sensor. More accurate than the fitbit at determining calorie expenditure due to the 4 sensors.
SynchronizationAutomatically syncs wirelessly with the fitbit base.User must manually trigger sync through the bodybugg application, which sync through USB or wireless (optional wireless transceiver accessory - $50).
On device displaySimple display that shows today's data: steps taken, activity level, calories burned, and miles walked.None. You can sync to your android phone or iPhone via bluetooth to view live data or you can purchase an optional wrist display accessory which shows stats similar to the Fitbit.
Battery life2 weeks till depletion on full day and night wear2 weeks till depletion on day wear only (since it doesn't track sleep)
Web management interface subscription priceFree. Optional premium upgrade available for $49.99 per year.Free for 6 months. Subscription renewals cost:
  • $9.95/month
  • $49.95/6-months
  • $79.95/12-months
Web management food trackerDead simple and super fast to log food (especially when logging common foods). Food database is pretty complete and also supports custom foods.Has receipes, menus, and planning help. Dead simple to log food. Food database is pretty complete and also supports custom foods.
WaterproofnessWater repellant (cannot be submerged in water)Water repellant (cannot be submerged in water)
Price$99.95$199.00 + accessories cost + recurring subscription cost

My Impressions of Fitbit

Fitbit 180

What I like about it:

Fitbit locations

Easy to get started.
The Fitbit came halfway charged and it took me less than 5 minutes to pair the device with the web management interface.


Can be worn almost anywhere.
The Fitbit’s is a clip that lets you clip it to almost anything you’re wearing. Also, it’s so small that it’s non-obtrusive and pretty much invisible if worn under your clothes. This makes it so that I feel comfortable to wear it all day everyday.

Fitbit Wireless Base

No need to think to sync.
The charger base wirelessly and automatically syncs the data on your Fitbit to the cloud. All I had to do to sync is to be near the charger base and off my data goes!

Tracks sleep activity.
The Fitbit can be worn at night to track how much sleep you get each night. It lets you know how long it takes for you to fall asleep and how often you awaken during the night.

Has a built-in display on the clip.
Fitbit displayThe device is so simple, yet so useful. There’s button on the Fitbit that will cycle display for: steps taken, distance travelled, and calories burned. It’s nice to see how well you’ve been doing without having to sync and log into the web management interface.

The web management interface is extremely slick and free!
The online interface plots your daily activity level in a beautiful graph and also keeps historical data. You can also use it to log additional activities, food intake, heart rate, weight, blood pressure, and blood glucose level. I particularly love the ability to log food intake. In my opinion, this is by far the best interface for quickly logging daily food intake. You can even create common meals (e.g. I eat oatmeal and an orange every morning) and quickly log those. You can also share your stats with friends who also has a Fitibit. All this for free!

Fitbit online also offers a premium subscription for $49.99 per year to be able to see detailed statistics, see historical data graphs, and export your data. You can get a glimpse of the online interface starting at 0:32 in the following video:

What I’m not too fond of:

I question the accuracy of the sensor.
The Fitbit sensor uses motion to detect how much your body moves at a particular intensity. I have a gut feeling that it doesn’t have enough data to figure out exactly how many calories I am burning each day. People with different body compositions burn calories at a different rate (people with more muscle burn calories faster). With that in mind, I can only use the Fitbit as a relative gauge instead of an exact one.

The device is tiny yet it is not fully waterproof.
I wasn’t planning on swimming with the Fitbit, but there is a bigger issue due to lack of waterproofness. The Fitbit is so small and unobtrusive that you WILL forget that it’s clipped onto your clothes. It’s really hard to remember to take off the Fitbit when you take off my clothes to throw into the hamper [and eventually the washing machine]. Once it goes through the washing machine, it’s most certainly game over for the Fitbit. I suggest that you get yourself a necklace and wear the Fitbit on the necklace under your clothes to help avoid this problem.

Compromising the motion sensor screws with your data.
When I’m driving or riding in a car, I am constantly shaking. This makes the sensor think that I’m doing something active so it logs that I’m taking steps. Also if I’m working out on a stationary bike, the intensity level doesn’t register well because I’m barely moving. I wish that there’s a way to set the motion sensor sensitivity level on the device itself.

My Impressions of Bodybugg SP

Bodybugg SP

What I like about it:

Sensor, sensor, sensor, sensor!
Bodybugg SensorsThe Bodybugg SP device has 4 different sensors that monitors your motion, skin temperature, skin perspiration, and air temperature. From skin/air temperature, the sensor can get a good estimate of what your body’s composition is (muscle is warmer than fat). Also, Skin perspiration can be used as a gauge to determine intensity level (fixing the stationary bike or car problem).

Syncs to Android or iPhone.
You can pair your Bodybugg SP will your Android or iPhone to view live data and also log food intake without having to be on a computer. Since you’ll always have your phone around, it’s convenient to just quickly pull up your phone to log food intake whenever you consume anything. Definitely more convenient than making sure you remember to log your intake the next time you’re in front of a computer.

Web management interface provides recipes.

I know it may sound silly, but this is actually useful. You can cook food following recipes from the web management software and then add that food to your food journal and it will log correct nutrition data into your food journal. Also, in the Fitbit interface, if I ate salad, I’d have to log: romaine lettuce, tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, tangerines, etc. In the Bodybugg interace, I just have to break down the dish once, save it as a custom recipe, and then reuse the recipe in the future whenever I want to log the same salad again.

You can get a glimpse of the online interface starting at 1:59 in the following video:

What I’m not too fond of:

Too expensive and the web management interface costs $$$.

Come on, are you serious Bodybugg? Not only does the device itself cost twice as much as a Fitbit, there’s a monthly subscription fee to use the web management interface. Bodybugg’s 6 months subscription costs just as much as Fitbit’s premium 12 months subscription. Somebody at Bodybugg needs to do some market research.

The form factor is not comfortable to wear all day everyday.
I would feel awkward wearing a bodybugg to work everyday. Even if I wear it under my clothes, it’ll look like I tumor on my arm. This leaves it only useful for wearing when I’m actually doing rigorous activities.

Syncing is a pain.
Bodybugg SP syncs over USB, over an optional wireless transponder that is available for purchase separately, or an Android phone/iPhone. I’ve read reviews that the Bodybugg SP app sometimes stops syncing. Which makes reliable syncing possible only through USB, or through coughing up more money to buy the wireless transponder.

No on-device display.
It’s true that the Bodybugg SP can sync to smartphones to display things, but what if I don’t have a smartphone with me? Also, it’s kind of a hassle to pull out my phone to see how well I’m doing. Having two devices to solve one common use case is a bad idea.

Time to Choose

FitbitbodybuggspWhen deciding between two products, I like to make my decisions based on what features I value more and which things I hate more. Personally, the convenience of the Fitbit paired with the Bodybugg’s mandatory online subscription made Fitbit the clear winner in my book. This is not to say that the Bodybugg SP isn’t a good product. It’s just that the Fitbit fits me better. For those who prefer to get accurate measurements, is planning on wearing the tracker only during exercising, and don’t mind paying for the subscription fee, then go for the Bodybugg SP.

Lastly, if you’ve tried either one of these devices and have some personal experiences with them, please help the community by sharing what you like and not like about these devices in comments section below!


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  1. bathilda said,

    FYI, I’ve had my fitbit for about a month, and it has survived two trips through the washer and one through the dryer! I was SO surpised.

    7 years ago
  2. Thaya Kareeson said,

    That’s awesome! Mine went through the wash once and K.O.’ed. I got a second one though :).

    7 years ago
  3. amy said,

    My boyfriend got me the fitbit for my birthday and I have never been so obsessed with walking at least 10,000 steps a day as it suggests I should. I really like the fact that I can see how many steps he has walked. It’s like a mini competition almost and I’m pretty stoked to say I’m kicking ass. Just in case, I love ya hun, you can do it!! Oh the forums are really nice too. I’ve read some really motivation threads about people who have had such a hard time with keeping themselves in check with their fitness plan. With the fitbit, particularly, they were more aware of their goal. I am looking forward to losing that last 10-15 lbs! OH, the last thing that is really cool too is the sleeping chart that shows you how many hours you have slept and how well you did sleep.

    I don’t know anything about the body bug, but I dont think I need anything more than what I can already get with the fitbit though.

    7 years ago
  4. Robin said,

    I have worn both. While I love the size and convenience of the fitbit, I feel the bodybugg has been much more accurate for the calorie counting 24/7. Both are not as accurate with exercises such as Elliptical or biking, but BB is much better with the accuracy, IMO, when running or walking. I dont like the bulky armband for the BB, but I forget it’s there most of the time. The BB online input of your food to me is much better than fitbit. I get a better breakdown of the micro-nutrients which is important to me. If you are looking to just be inspired to walk more steps and get a grasp on your eating – Fitbit is perfect. If you are a exercise and nutrition junky – I feel you will get more bang for your buck with the Bodybugg.

    7 years ago
  5. Thaya Kareeson said,

    Thanks for visiting and for sharing your thoughts Robin! That is exactly how I feel. I love to keep the Fitbit on me to remind me and be healthier. I’m not too into counting exact calories, so the Bodybugg wouldn’t work too well for me. BB will definitely work much better for people who are more disciplined (like you) though. Congratulations! 🙂

    7 years ago
  6. Alex said,

    I have been looking into get the fitbit (I currently have the bodybugg but I’m always looking to get more input on my exercise levels) and your site helped a lot with my decision making on getting the fitbit. I want to say that I love my bodybugg, the only problem I have is actually syncing it to my comp since it can be a annoying to worry about actually sitting down and plugging it it. But as far as if it feels awkward to wear I have never had a problem. I actually wear it to sleep with me and never really notice it. It is a bit bulky and I imagine women would find it more of a problem since it is not the most fashionable thing to have on with a dress, whereas men can hide it with pretty much anything they wear. The online subscription can be a little bit pricey but the fact that you can also go down to any 24 and ask them for help with anything about it is a huge plus. Pretty much all the trainers at my gym wear one and if there is ever something you want to know they are more then happy to help you.

    7 years ago
  7. Thaya Kareeson said,

    Thanks for helping others by sharing your experiences!

    7 years ago
  8. Mark said,

    I went with Fitbit and use it in conjunction with Adidas MiCoach. I’m replacing a Suunto T-4 (not that it isn’t a good product – it is). Having started a beta blocker the strict heart rate based calorie burn calculation was WAY off. I hope thus is useful.

    7 years ago
  9. Thaya Kareeson said,

    Thanks for helping others by sharing!

    7 years ago
  10. Ang said,

    I bought the FitBit because it syncs automatically to my LoseIt! App which is where I track my food daily. It’s a free app on iPhone or you can sign up online. I like it because I can create custom recipes like my lettuce wraps and don’t have to enter the ingredients every time, just like the BB site that you pay for!

    6 years ago
  11. Thaya Kareeson said,

    Wow! That’s awesome! I didn’t know you can sync to the LoseIt! app! Thanks for sharing!!

    6 years ago
  12. megan said,

    Thanks for the comparison. I have the bodymedia armband (same creators as the bodybugg, but it has sleep tracking). I’m currently looking at the fitbit for my parents as they’re trying to get more activities and walking into their daily routine.

    It sounds like the fitbit has a lot going for it. I don’t mind the subscription for the armband, but having a fitness tool that doesn’t require extra money to use would be great.

    The fitbit sounds like it does a great job of estimating, and that sounds like it’s enough to get the job done for most people. The main goal is to hold you accountable and if it can do the same thing as the armband for less, than it sounds like a clear winner.

    I’m tempted to get the fitbit and compare the readings to see how far off they are.

    I also read that the fitbit can be linked to a site called It rewards you for the fitness activities you do with points. The points can be redeemed for giftcards or services. It seems like they’re still building up their reward partners, but definitely a cool way to get people motivated. If they get more partners (especially mainstream, like Amazon) than that would be perfect. Get healthy and essentially free things.

    Thanks again for the review!

    6 years ago
  13. Thaya Kareeson said,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Do report back on the differences you find! Best of luck on your health journey!

    6 years ago
  14. Carmen Paradis said,

    IU’ve had the fitbit for about 9 months & found it very useful–though currently it has quit synching–not the first time. What I find most annoying is the calorie intake side of the computer interface–entering what I eat is very cumbersome–often I eat the same things for breakfast but still I have to input each item separately. Similarly the portion on serving size is cumbersome. Nevertheless I have managed to lose 20+ pounds using the system.

    6 years ago
  15. Matt Trudo said,

    Hi everyone. I have used the bodybugg for over a hear, both the V3 version and the SP (which out of the two I prefer the V3 with the watch as it gives more realtime data. I just ordered the fitbit to give it a try. The main reason that I ordered the fitbit was because I really like the loseit application which the fitbit sync’s to. I like the bodybugg platform as well, but it is not as convenient to log food and the armband can be a little irritating to wear all the time. I will let you know what I think about the fitbit when I get it. One thing I will say, I have been using the fitbit website for logging over the the last few days, and I don’t like the food logging capability nearly as much as the loseit app. I do like how it has other parameters that you can measure such as blood pressure, and I think the journaling capability is a really nice feature, one that loseit should really look into, but all in all I still really like loseit. Hope this helps. Thanks

    6 years ago
  16. Jasmine said,

    I had not stumbled across a lot of articles previously about Bodybugg SP, so thank you for writing a comparison! I think its critical that you wrote “People with different body compositions burn calories at a different rate (people with more muscle burn calories faster)” because surprisingly many people do not know how that simple fact effects tech devices they use. Overall, I love that more options (devices) are becoming available for people to track their progress towards their fitness goals. All of the comments were very insightful, I’m still looking around to see what I like best. Great Read.

    6 years ago
  17. Thaya Kareeson said,

    @Carmen Paradis
    Congratulations on your success!!

    @Matt Trudo
    Thanks for sharing your insight!

    6 years ago
  18. Stephanie Inge said,

    I have really enjoyed and learned so much after reading through your blog and all the wonderful comments that I found to be very helpful. Question…my friend has the latest version of the Bodybugg, which is how I got on the kick to research comparable products. Just when I thought I had my mind made up, I discovered a related product BodyMedia Fit Armband.

    Curious if anyone has tried this and if so, how does it compare the two that are reviewed and compared on this blog. I read some reviews on Amazon and they were very mixed, so now I am thoroughly confused. Thanks yall!

    6 years ago
  19. Matt Trudo said,

    I have the bodybugg (both versions) , the fitbit, and have looked at the bodymedia stuff as well. The bodymedia has incorporated a section that assesses sleep patterns at night (fitbit does this as well). I like the online platform for the bodymedia better than bodybugg also. I didn’t know about the bodymedia device until after I had invested in the bodybugg. I think it is pretty much the same device, just a different online platform. All in all, I have worn my fitbit and bodybugg at the same time for a few days and the calorie burn are pretty close to the same on both devices. Step count was a little higher on the fitbit, but not by much.Hope this was helpful.

    6 years ago
  20. robert said,

    Do you have to have the online membership to track the bb results? Debating between the two but don’t like the idea of having to pay constantly.

    6 years ago
  21. Mike HeyBales said,

    I’ve used the BodyMedia version of the BodyBugg for 3 months now (they make BodyBugg), and have done a lot of research into it because of some questionable effects. BodyMedia’s site does add on sleep analysis of the data.

    First to the comment that these extra sensors help with better accuracy because of body heat, sweat, ect.
    The difference of muscular person and non, as measured by body heat at a super small patch of arm, is meaningless. The difference between rest and active could be meaningful, if used.
    But no. Walking on treadmill in gym with fan blowing on me keeping cool with heart rate avg 100 gave exact same estimate of effort and cal/min as walking up/down hills in 100 F heat with HR @ 125 avg. Time of activity was correct, effort was not. HR is more accurate, which it cannot do.
    And riding bike in heat with HR avg 160 gives even less accuracy, which should be enormous calorie burn.

    This made me research their claim of studies that show accuracy to be great. Well, the one study showed for non-intense activities, ie walking and daily life, it was pretty accurate. Same study showed terrible accuracy for any real workouts, and in fact they went back to BodyMedia who tweaked their algorythms and improved their accuracy after the study. But that is not in their software now, as it required telling the app what the data was showing. Too hard for website use I guess.

    As to galvanic skin response, it’s not for sweat, but merely to tell if the unit is on your arm (think 9-volt battery on tongue effect). I had a day I forgot to put it on, and the sensors touched the band, and thought it was on-body all day. I wrote BodyMedia about this, they said that can happen, don’t let sensors touch anything when off arm.

    And since there is no way to put in your own activity if it thinks it was on-body, you cannot correct or add to the activity your own more accurate figures.

    FitBit site lets you do this, even if it has activity estimated already.

    So both are glorified pedometers really, with 3-axis motion sensors. More could be done with the BodyMedia/BodyBugg, but it is not used.
    Shoot, even the base metabolism as shown during sleep, was exactly based on a formula that estimates basel metoblism based on weight. Not lean body mass, not on fat percentage, not on heart rate, not on heat differences, just weight. And then the more you toss-and-turn, the site will up that estimate. And all activity estimates are based on that flawed foundation. It can’t be accurate.
    BodyMedia’s site doesn’t even do distance that it sounds like BodyBugg does, and FitBit does.

    So based on their claim that lacking accurate information is the main reason for failure to lose weight, they don’t have it.
    They have success because they really underestimate activity, and if you are accurate entering foods, and have a plan that cuts calories, you’ll about have to lose weight.

    I’ve not been impressed to say the least. But guess what I’m still wearing and entering food into? Yep. Spent the money upfront for the account, gonna use it. Annoyances and all. Besides, it seems mighty hard to get money back from them if not happy.

    Oh, the food entry is easy, though I wish you could submit updates to their existing database rather than always creating new food items to use. In case no one has noticed, food makers are saving money by slowering lowering serving sizes, so the existing database is getting more inaccurate.
    The food analysis is nice, thought I only look at major category percentages. Not sure if FitBit would break out Carb-Prot-Fat, ect.

    Also, FitBit is open API’s, and as some commented, other apps can import the data now. BodyMedia is closed, though they have a developer program for resellers.
    And since FitBit already syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth, won’t take much for an app to do that on Android phone, if someone wanted to.

    6 years ago
  22. Thaya Kareeson said,

    Thank you guys for sharing your impressions of the two devices. I am sure many people will find your comments quite helpful.

    6 years ago
  23. Sage said,

    To anyone who has the BB Sp – How does synching the BB to your Android work? Is it glitchy or does it work as it is supposed to? Thanks for the info.

    6 years ago
  24. Robin Ramm said,

    Sage, I have the BB SP. Synching was no problem at all once set up properly. Having had both the original BB and the SP, I have to say I prefer the original and tended to look at it more than I did with my phone – but it worked fine. I guess if I was more of a phone person it would be better.


    6 years ago
  25. Robin Ramm said,

    Matt, how do you sych to the fitbit with Loseit?

    6 years ago
  26. Zel said,

    The BodyBugg is a great product, when it works. Customer Service is great, if the product works. HOWEVER, if you find that it stops working, so does Customer Service.
    Customer Service was great at training me on its use and answering all my questions. I was losing weight and eating healthier with the assistance of the BodyBugg and related software.
    Then one day, I found that the BodyBugg no longer works with my computer… my computer could not download the information from the BodyBugg. At first, BodyBugg Customer Service was great… they logged into my computer to make sure that I am not running any of the software that is not compatible with the BodyBugg and ran diagostics, et cetera. They found no conflicts, no problems. When it still wasn’t working, they replace my device. When it was found that even the new device was not responding, they escalated the matter to a higher level of customer service… that meant, ignoring me!
    At first they did respond to say that it must be some software that I had downloaded. I advised as to the software downloaded (I had just bought an e-Reader), and was advised that this is not the problem. After that, they no longer respond to my inquiries as to what the problem is and how it will be resolved. I LOVED the BodyBugg while it worked and asked that they try to fix the problem, but also asked that if they could not fix it, then to refund my money… they will do neither.
    So, think twice before spending your hard-earned money!!!

    6 years ago
  27. Joyce said,

    How well does BodyBugg work with a Mac?

    6 years ago
  28. Christopher said,

    I’ve been searching and searching to find an activity tracker/calorie counter/pedometer/all-in-one device that does not absolutely require the data be uploaded via the internet to a website. I’m an Active Duty US Sailor, currently deployed in the gulf, so I can’t sync a device to a computer and have it upload to a site. Are there any that offer a software solution where I can track and use the data on my laptop? I bought the fitbit ultra before I considered this factor. I haven’t received it yet as it takes a while to send things out to the ship I am on.

    6 years ago
  29. Mike HeyBales said,

    Found this site showing several devices that can just sync to the computer only.

    I notice FitBit’s site indicates this raw data is from export from premium membership, so unless someone takes the open API’s and makes an app, not likely there.

    6 years ago
  30. Leslie said,

    I have had BB with display watch for about 3 years. In the last year, I have had a real problem with irritation on my upper arm when the bodybugg has been worn for a couple of days. I do take it off at night. I have cleaned daily, made sure it was not too tight, etc. I have stopped wearing it because of the continous irritation.
    The FitBit sounds like a possible solution and may purchase in the next few days after I check other reviews.
    The comparison above was very beneficial. Thanks!

    6 years ago
  31. Sue said,

    I have a fitbit, and love it. I travel the world extensively for my job, and it is extremely easy to remove to go through security, which makes it a plus for me.

    Since it is light weight, and can be placed anywhere on my body, makes it a true benefit.

    6 years ago
  32. Mandy said,

    Thanks everyone for your comments here it really helped me on my quest to getting one of these little gadgets. I just saw that they now have a newer version of the fitbit called fitbit ultra and its selling for the same price! I saw a comparison done by a customer on amazon and the fitbit recorded slightly less activity and calories burned – but i would think that this would be better than recording more than you have actually done!

    6 years ago
  33. Allyson said,

    Hello all… I am really considering purchasing the BodyBugg but I have a general concern about wearing it at all times. I am a truck driver & i work in the warehouse at times. Winter time is approaching & I will have to wear layers of warm clothing. Could this very well affect my data & my accuracy??? Thanks a lot…

    6 years ago
  34. Mike HeyBales said,

    I’ll comment that several times wearing a suit coat, it would come loose and slide down enough to give the off-body sound.
    Now in a warehouse, not that bad. In a suit in a suit setting, not great having the tones come from my arm.
    And getting it back into place was next to impossible without removing the coat, and still having an issue through the long sleeve shirt.
    Warehouse with arms moving up down ect would probably cause problems.

    Forget accuracy, you’ll likely get an exaggerated calorie count from arm swinging.
    Spending a day cutting down a tree gave me 8 hours of intense rate exercise (2 level of activity rated), more than I’d ever seen on jogging or biking. and estimated cal/min was off the chart, but I barely broke a sweat and the heart rate had no problem.

    6 years ago
  35. Deborah Barnhart said,

    Great comparison Thaya! And I love the imput from everyone and that it is so recent. My problem: I am 52 & going through the fun of peri-menopause which gives you severe fluctuations in hormones which can cause weight gain. Most of my adult life I weighed 100 pounds (am 5’2″ tall). I gradually put on weight over the last 9 years to about 135 lbs. I was not in good physical shape and had a couple bad falls at home because my balance and core muscles were so bad. I started working out with a personal trainer 3 X a week (1 hour of weight lifting, situps etc.) plus 30 min of aerobic like the eliptical. I also cut about 500 calories a day from my diet and after 9 months–ta da–I have gained 10 pounds! I know some of it is muscle but I have also had to go up a pants size. So I am going to buy the Bodybugg because I want the more acurate data (24 hour fitness has them on sale until Nov. 30). Hopefully by getting some data on my activity and adding in my calories (I have been good about writing down everything I eat) I can finally get a caloric deficit. And for the record, I eat about 1500-1600 calories a day and my worst crime is two or three oreos–I’m not a whole pie eater. However, I have to sing the praises of exersize because my resting heart rate was 100/min. and it is now 65. My core muscles are extermely strong as are my arms and legs and my shape has steamlined. I am way healthier than I have been in years, I just have to pare off the weight! This may be TMI but I will check back and let you know my thoughts on the Bodybugg!

    6 years ago
  36. Rob said,

    I am so glad I found this blog; thank you for doing such a great neutral and objective review.
    I was leaning towards the Fitbit because of the significant price difference (not only upfront, but throughout usage as well), but kept thinking that the BodyBugg/Body Media may still be worth it if the level of accuracy is that much greater.
    From what it sounds like in the comments – the accuracy benefit of the BodyBugg is negligible at best. Also for me – not being able to wear the armband to work (or not wanting to rather, if it would be noticable)cancels out any accuracy benefit.
    Ultimately the greatest benefit of this type of device is that it creates an awareness of how well you are balancing your calories consumed with your calories burned; and in my opinion this type of device is the first thing someone that is looking to lose weight should be buying. We can balance a checkbook down to the penny and never overdraw our accounts, because we have trained ourselves to always be aware of how much money we have. There is no magic to weight loss or weight gain – if you eat 3000 calories a day, but only burn 1500 you are going to gain weight. If you go on a diet and cut your daily calories down to 2000 you are still going to gain weight – just not as fast. I doubt there would be such an obesity problem in our country if everyone were trained to balance their calorie “checkbook” everytime they ate something. Food labels make the calories consumed part easy to track, these devices make the calories burned part easier to track.
    Thank you again!

    6 years ago
  37. Keydo said,

    Great blog. I was looking for a strapless calorie counter and also narrowed it down to Fitbit & Bodybugg. After reading the review and real world experience comments from everyone, I’m sad to say that I won’t be getting either. Mostly because it just won’t fit my needs which is accurate calorie counting. As much as I wanted to get rid of the strap, it seems like there is just no current substitute for measuring calories burned without including heart rate into the equation… This site saved me money and a lot of experimentation time. Guess I need to purchase new batteries for my heart rate strap and watch.

    6 years ago
  38. Matt Trudo said,

    Keydo, I do understand what you are saying, and my response would be that no system is perfect. There are pro’s and con’s to every system in the market at the time. What I would say is that if you are looking at you caories, tracking your expenditure, and honest with what your goal is, either, or neither is probably the the right choice.

    6 years ago
  39. Linda said,

    I purchased a fitbit approximately a year ago and I immediately loved it. All you had to do is take it out of the box, charge it up and set up the online site and it worked exactly like they said it was supposed to. I wore it everyday and loved it. The syncing was very easy. All you need to do is be near your computer and it also has a mobile site that you can access on your phone. The only downside is that it will not update directly to the phone yet, you have to update to the computer first. Well long story short, I lost it and couldn’t find it for months. The fitbit is so small that you really can’t tell you are wearing it at all, which is also a downside because it is so easy to misplace. I debated getting another one to replace it and then on Cyber Monday, they were offerring the Bodybuggsp on line with free shipping for $99 which is the same price as the fitbit. When I bought my fitbit last year, the bodybugg was selling for $249. So I figured instead of buying another fitbit I would buy the bodybuggsp for the same price and I could sync it to my iphone. I have now had my bodybugg for a little less than a week.

    The bodybugg has been nothing but a hassle since I got it. It was very time consuming and difficult to set up. The serial number on the bodybugg wasn’t reconginzed by the internet site so I had to call customer service. Then it wouldn’t sync correctly with the iphone. It kept losing connection. I spent over a half hour on the phone the following day with tech support and they couldn’t fiture it out and I was told “someone will call you within 24 to 48 hours”. Well then it stopped working all together on the weekend and their customer service is closed on the weekend, which is very frustrating. I was able to find some assistance on line and reinstalled and reactivated all the software and it now seems to be working with my iphone ok however the activity information that is updating from the armband to the iphone is not updating to the internet site like it is supposed to. To get it to update to the internet site you have to take it off your arm, pop it out of the holder and connect to the USB cable. Also it is very uncomfortable to wear. Seems that the band is either too tight or slipping off my arm and the body bug device itself almost suctions itself to your arm. It is very bulky, even under a sweater you can still see it. The real time of the results, once I got it to finally actually work with my iphone, are great. Especially if you are a person that has their phone with them all the time. However it is draining the battery in my phone much faster than before I had the app installed.

    Well in the middle of getting the bodybugg and trying to get it to work, don’t I find my fit bit that has been missing for months. It had gone throught he laundry (washer and dryer) and was on a pair of pants in my closet that I haven’t worn in a while. I read on this blog that someone else accidentally put theirs through the wash so I figured I’d try to see if it would still work. I charged it overnight and it seems to be working fine, which considering it went through the wash, was pretty impressive to me. So for the past three days I have been wearing both devices and they are pretty close. The fitbit is higher on steps. Probably averages about 500-1,000 steps more than the bodybugg for the day. I have read on other sites that it seems to run higher on steps than the bodybugg, however the two are almost identical on calories burned for the day. So I would say that either one is probably giving you a pretty good estimate of your calories burned for the day. Also the fitbit lets you override data, like if you take a yoga class or ride a bike (which are activities that it doesn’t track well), which I don’t think the bodybugg lets you override anything you do while you are wearing the device.

    I am probably going to send the bodybugg back. If it worked the way it was supposed to, it would be great. However the level of technical and syncing glitches are so annoying and it still is not updating to the internet site correctly. Plus their customer service is horrible. You can tell the person is just reading from a manual. Also for my purposes it is just too bulky to wear all day long every day. Also the fitbit internet service and tracking is free, where the bodybugg comes with only 6 months free and is then $10 per month. Having owned both, I would have to say the fitbit is just a better product. It works exactly the way it says that it will and seems to be pretty accurate when compared to the bodybugg. For women who probably don’t want to be wearing an ugly black armband with a nice dress, the fitbit clips on pretty much anything and is so small that it is very hard to see under clothes. If you are looking for something that is small and easy to use and reasonably accurate, I’d say the fitbit is the way to go.

    6 years ago
  40. Deborah Barnhart said,

    Linda, From what I have read, the Bodybuggsp will only transfer data wirelessly to your phone or the wrist device you buy separately. In order to upload to the internet, you have to do as you said, take it out of it’s sleeve and connect it by USB cable to your computer. The fact that it couldn’t be done wirelessly was one of the negatives listed above, although not clearly. I previously posted that I was buying the bodybugg but after more thought I ordered the Fitbit. It did seem less technically cumbersome and gave very similar results. It should arrive today and I’ll post after I wear it awile. Good Luck!

    6 years ago
  41. Faith said,

    Love the idea that the BB tracks my calories burned; however, I do not like the food logging. I used LoseIt before I bought my BB and I absolutely loved how easy it was to log food. The LoseIt app allowed me to scan my food by using the UPC code on food packaging. The BB food logging to me is tedious. I have a hard time finding any of the foods I eat. I really like the recipe builder but most of the time I can’t find the ingredients I need to enter in the database. Too bad I have to pay for the website access just to read the amount of calories burned.

    If anyone knows whether or not I can access the information from the BB without paying, please let me know. I am now logging food in LoseIt and adding in the calories burned from the BB website.

    6 years ago
  42. Deborah Barnhart said,

    I am still new to this, but you should be able to access the calories burned info from your Bodybuggsp (the sp is the smart phone version) with your app on your smart phone. I don’t think subscription to the BB website is necessary once you load the app. Without the subscription, it just won’t load to the internet. However, if that doesn’t work, there is a “wrist display” watch-like device that will pick up the info from the Bodybugg (the regular one–I’m not sure if it works for the sp) and you can read the calories burned on that display. However, it costs $50. Long term, that would be cheaper. Hope, this helps! And thanks for the info on the LoseIt app–I will give that one a try.

    6 years ago
  43. Julie said,

    I have had the BodyBugg for a few years now. It took about a week to get used to wearing the band and after that you totally forget it’s there. I have lost 50 pounds and maintained for 1 year. I now want to lose my last 30 pounds but I am really tired of wearing the band. I want to try FitBit but am afraid of the accuracy of burn. If it’s based off only motion and an “average” sized person, not taking into account fitness level, I have no idea how accurate it could be. I was going to purchase the FitBit and wear it at the same time as the Bugg to compare but don’t want to spend another $100. I may just do it though because I am really curious if it’s as accurate as the BodyBugg.

    6 years ago
  44. Robin Ramm said,

    Julie, I think it’s totally worth it. I’ve worn both and 5 months ago switched to just the Fitbit. You will see on a daily basis by wearing both how the steps and calories compare. I know now that the calories were about 100-200 less with fitbit but the steps were a bit more. Since it was consistant, I feel it’s as accurate. You can tweak the settings to be more like the info you get from BB or just realize it will be off a bit. I love how small it is and easy to wear.

    6 years ago
  45. Julie said,

    Thanks for the information Robin! I am glad to hear it’s close to the same as the Bugg. That makes me want to try this even more because I am SO tired of wearing the arm band. I think I have a permanent indentation in my arm! LOL. How is the sleep feature? I really really like the thought of knowing if I’m getting good sleep or not.

    6 years ago
  46. Robin Ramm said,

    Julie, sleep feature is cool. I think it just detects movement or lack of. I am “awake” more than I thought I was.

    6 years ago
  47. Julie said,

    I think you’ve sold me on this. My subscription on the bugg is good until April so I’ll buy the fitbit and wear together for a while just until I’m sure of the accuracy and then finally retire the bugg. It’s done me well and I would still recommend it to those trying to lose weight. I’m just over the band and excited at trying the fitbit.

    6 years ago
  48. Julie said,

    Does anyone know if the Fitbit online tool has the option to enter ingredients for a recipe in order to get the nutritional info loaded per serving? The bodybugg offers this but I can’t find this option on Fitbit.

    6 years ago
  49. Stephanie said,

    does anybody know if there are any problems having 2 fitbits in the same place? Will data from one upload onto the other person’s profile? any other cross-talk or any other concerns?

    6 years ago
  50. Sharon Madison said,

    In summary:
    I don’t mind wearing my bodybugg 24/7.
    I like having the activity data for the entire day.
    I wish it was easier to log custom foods on my iPhone.
    I wish I could access the bodybugg program on my work computer, but have not found this to be possible without administrator privileges
    My preference is to stick with a system that will evolve with mobile technologies and allow me to carry my historical data with me regardless of the device/system I choose to use for monitoring my activity.

    In general, I exercise on a fairly regular basis with mild to moderate cardio and resistance training (5’6″, 123lbs). This started in 2002 when I asked myself, “How much time are you willing to give to workout each day?” In those days the answer was, “12 minutes,” so that’s where I started. My workout sessions grew over time in excess of 90 minutes, but with minimal exertion. I do sweat, but I don’t significantly increase my heart rate. Over the past 10 years it seems that as long as I’m doing SOMETHING, even if it’s for only for a short duration and low intensity, I’m much more likely to follow through. And something is better than nothing at all, right?

    10 years later at the age of 40, I have found this strategy to be less rewarding and needed to make a change (still 5’6″ and bouncing between 125 – 129lbs). Two years ago I started using the bodybugg for weight maintenance, but stopped after the first 6 months due to subscription fees. In November 2011 with a change of employment, it became evident to me that I needed to pick-up where I left off and paid the $79.95 subscription fee.

    I have the bodybuggV3 that I wear 24/7 to monitor my activity and I use the iPhone applcation for logging my caloric consumption. So far the system is working well for me, but I do not have the wireless transponder and find daily synching to be tedious. There are occasional glitches with the synchronization, but it has vastly improved since 2009 when I first started using the system.

    The biggest benefit I’ve seen is that I am far more conscientious about what I put in my mouth, and can see that I clearly need a change in my diet. My opportunities for a lengthy workout are limited these days, so knowing the up-to-the-minute status of my daily throughput is more important to me now than ever before. I find the iPhone application for logging food easy to use if the food I’m eating is already in the database. Unfortunately, you have to go to the website to enter custom foods. This is not always possible for me, particularly when I’m at work because in order to access the program you need to have adminstrator privileges. I also see little benefit in the planning portion of the application. It doesn’t seem to allow you to do any forward planning for yourself, and that’s a real drawback. I like the idea of the example meals, but I don’t follow them.

    Since I’m not willing to follow their meal plans, I can’t easily forward plan, and I am unable to log custom foods on the fly it is important that I know what my activity status is before I eat a meal. I went to the apex fitness website to order a transponder and found they are backordered for the next two weeks. In essence, the biggest drawback for me is the functionality of online application and my inability to update my activity on the fly. A problem I hope to resolve before the end of the month.

    As for weight maintenance/loss, it’s the end of the holiday season, so my activity levels have been at an all time low while my consumption has been pretty high. I can see and feel the difference without an activity tracker like bodybugg or fitbit, but I like knowing where improvements must be made on a daily basis and think that these types of systems help me to focus on my health. My goals are modest with respect to weight/fat loss. Therefore, based on the comparisons offered here between the fitbit and the bodybugg, the bodybugg is a better fit for me for the following reasons:
    1. Number of paramters – The bodybugg monitors multiple parameters related to activity (i.e. with my modest goals, accuracy is important).
    2. Loss prevention – The fitbit sounds much more convenient than the bodybugg, but I would be one of those individuals that would either wash my device or lose it during my daily routines. With the bodybugg I know where it is at all times. It does get a little annoying and can be difficult to readjust under my clothing, but I’d rather be a little annoyed with discomfort than very annoyed by losing the device. Losing the device means that my ability to track my progress is interrupted AND I suffer a financial loss.
    3. Data Portability – Now that bodybugg has roped me in with their online subscription, I am less apt to change devices. Once my data has been logged I don’t want to lose it. An observation/speculation: unless companies selling these types of products can get in on the ground floor with new users, or have an easy way to transfer historical data, then it seems to me that customer conversion could be a challenge. I know I don’t want to lose any of my data after I’ve put significant time and energy into generating it (literally). I expect to see the bodybugg to continue to evolve with mobile technologies, and would be reluctant to try anything new without a significant improvement in ease of use (something that I still have to test for myself with the bodybugg transponder) and portability of my data.

    6 years ago
  51. Mom2acrew said,

    I have a condition that makes my metabolism very slow. Would I then be better off with the body bugg? I like just about everything about the fitbit better, except I really am looking for accurate calorie expenditure.

    6 years ago
  52. Patti Glenn said,

    I have had the bb 3 for a few years now, and lost 20+ lbs (and kept it off) and agree with what has already been said here. I am looking for an alternative because the folks at Apex just don’t seem to understand good customer service. I have a new computer and had just purchased a 6 month subscription renewal for the online service (which is annoying having to pay for anyways) and now my bb doesn’t work. Their tech support is super lame and after a month of trying to fix the issue, which happened when I updated the software – now it won’t upload data, and entering food it more tedious than normal as on a Mac the system will close out after 30 seconds…hardly enough time to log food. The system, when working properly was a time commitment – but it worked. Why? Because you see everyday what you are eating and what you are burning. Even if it’s not accurate, it’s a consistent measuring device that does work. I will be looking in to trying fitbit just because I also am a fan of LoseIt and am now totally annoyed with my BodyBugg (after all, these devices are not magic, they are just tools – you still have to do the work to get results).

    6 years ago
  53. Mike HeyBales said,

    I have a condition that makes my metabolism very slow. Would I then be better off with the body bugg? I like just about everything about the fitbit better, except I really am looking for accurate calorie expenditure.

    Both start out with you doing your stats (age, weight, sex, activity level) so it can calculate your BMR based on formula. You decide sedentary, active, ect.
    Then as you use it, they adjust that based on how much movement you actually have during the day. For instance, you may estimate sedentary because of office job, but then the senors notice the 8 min walk in, walking at lunch, walking at break.

    So the biggest part of the accuracy is having more than just 4 possible levels to your BMR, upon which everything else is based. So that gets more accurate based on actual amount of movement. But those sensors aren’t going to magically help tell you your real BMR. But since the formulas are based on studies and pretty accurate anyway, this just helps.

    In your case, if you have been tested and shown to have a low BMR compared to avg, it would not know that.

    6 years ago
  54. Kristen said,

    so for those of you who do intense cardio (HIIT and High intensity cardio kick boxing) and weights do you find that one or the other monitor does a better job of calculating and tracking calories burned?

    6 years ago
  55. Julie said,

    For high intensity the bugg is more accurate. For everything else the fitbit over calculated by a 200 calorie average. So i have been taking that into accoynt as i would rather under estimate than over estimate burn. Just something to deal with for the convenience of a smaller piece of equipment that i dont have to wear on my arm.

    6 years ago
  56. Julie said,

    And honestly between the two, I still trust the accuracy of the bugg over fitbit simply because of the skin sensors and the 50lb weightloss. I am liking the fitbit, just not as much as the bugg 🙁

    6 years ago
  57. Mike HeyBales said,

    The BodyBugg is not a HR monitor, and as such can not tell the difference between arm swinging at a certain pace with a high or low effort. It’s the same pace, and given the same level of effort.

    Confirmed by comparing indoor jog on treadmill with lower heart rate and fan blowing, to July heat on hill sprints and much higher heart rate. But my stride turnover and therefore arm movements were the same, always are.
    And calorie estimates were exactly the same cal/min.

    Glad I had the HR monitor on, and saw that both estimates are sadly way off for real exercise.

    My response way up the thread gives a study where it was seen the BodyBugg/BodyMedia/SenseWear device (same thing) are very inaccurate for specifically exercising, unless that is walking. Daily activity great.

    But wear a HRM and leave the BodyBugg off so you can just record a much more accurate calorie estimate in the off-body activity. If the device recorded your activity, you can’t overwrite with anything else. Must be off-body.

    To the comment about the skin sensors, company confirm that is merely to know when the device is on the skin, and if you allow it to touch a moist band, or even not so moist, it will think it is on-body. Mine did that 2 times when I forgot to put it on all day. It thought it was.

    6 years ago
  58. Zo said,

    I purchased the BodyBugg in Jan 2010. I had good weight loss results, loosing about 18 lbs over the course of 7 months using the online food tracker against the purported calories I was burning. However, the calorie burn results reported on the elliptical at 24 Hr Fitness were almost always double what the BodyBugg reported. I used the BodyBugg consistently for about a year, then stopped wearing it once my subscription had expired. I let the BodyBugg sit unused for about 6 months before renewing the subscription again in 2011. Midway through my new six months subscription the unit stopped taking readings. It had no problems charging and appeared fine, but it simply stopped working and taking measurements. It never suffered drop damage or had excessive water exposure beyond sweat…maybe the bikram yoga classes killed it?
    Technical services were unable to assist with problem, and referred me to customer service. The customer service rep said that my only option was to purchase a new BodyBugg at $179.00 to replace my existing unit and said the best compensation she could offer me for my failed unit was a $10 coupon. Oddly, she volunteered that the BodyBugg’s reliability after the 1st year (warranty period) is very hit or miss but failures are not uncommon.
    I will loose an additional $30 on my unused subscription (3 months remaining – not refundable), but I will not invest in another Bodybugg given my experience and concern that I may likely need to replace it once again after one year, replacement cost + subscription charges makes the Body Bugg a costly endeaver compared to other options.
    Bought a FitBit today for both my wife and I based on feedback posted here.

    6 years ago
  59. Psybrdoc said,

    Has anyone compared FitBit with Jawbone up? And, there are rumors that jawbone is going to put out a next gen Up. Does anyone have any information on that?

    6 years ago
  60. Linda said,

    To Stephanie – My husband just got a fit bit a couple of weeks ago and I have had one for over a year. We have been using one charger stand to sync both units at home and it has not crossed any data. There is a unique identifier in the unit itself that uploads to your page only. You can’t have two pages open at the same time, you have to log one person off and one on, but once it updates to the computer it automatically updates to the iphone app so we both pretty much access the info on our phones. You do not have to be logged on to your page on the computer for it to update and send the results to your phone. So far it has worked great and saves me from bringing my charging station back and forth from work.

    6 years ago
  61. Deb Anderson said,

    I use a FitBit. FYI, if you have a smartphone, you can link the FitBit and web management system up to a MyFitnessPal account, which gives you the ability to save a recipe instead of having to repeatedly enter different ingredients. Now I log all my food on the myfitnesspal app, which then syncs the food and calories to the fitbit app and site.

    I leave the base at work, and so it syncs every time I sit at my desk, which is awesome. It is very simple and easy to use, and as I have an 8-month old baby, that helps me a lot.

    6 years ago
  62. Cheryl said,

    I have both and I like the Fitbit much better than the Bodybugg. The Bug is a pain, the service costs too much, and I hate that everyone sees the stupid thing on my arm. Also, I never could get it to sync correctly or consistently with my iPhone.

    The FitBit is small and I can wear it in my bra. It tracks my sleep and I can connect the My Fitness Pal app (food diary I use) to my FitBit account.

    6 years ago
  63. miranda said,

    I have the phillips direct life and now the fitbit. The phillips is waterproof and I’m a swimmer so pretty much my best option there. The fitbit for non techies is a breeze to use and being able to check your steps etc. via the display is helpful. It also has some fun social groups, like one that converts floors to the equivalent mountain peaks. Being able to clip it anywhere is helpful, too. It stays put no matter what you are doing.

    6 years ago
  64. Joe said,

    I got my Fitbit free when I bought an XBox Kinect. I found it to be very helpful in starting my weight loss. I even bought one for my wife. Several of my co-workers also use the fitbit that previously had Bodybuggs. The cost of the online subscription cost made it easy to justify buying the Fitbit.

    6 years ago
  65. Sandra said,

    I have owned both the bodymedia and fitbit. I have found that the fitbit has been more accurate in measuring the steps taken than the bodymedia (I counted 1000 steps on multiple days and checked the data for each device and the bodymedia tended to underrecord the number of steps that I had taken whereas the fitbit was pretty right on the mark). I agree with some of the prior comments that the sensor for activity in the bodymedia is not that accurate. I found that it was more a function of how hot it ws in the area that I was in than how hard I was actually excercising. The other problem that I personally had with the bodymedia is that I actually got sores from it on my arm when I wore it 24 hours a day (I cleaned it several times a day to be careful as advised). I tried only wearing it during the day but still got the sores. I eventually had to stop wearing it and it took several weeks for the sores to completely heal. My skin does tend to be fairly sensitive so I am not sure that this would happen to everyone.

    My main objection to the fitbit is that I did lose my first one whilst exercising and would advise being really careful to be sure that it is on all the way. It is so small and lightweight that I didn’t even realize that I had lost it until I later in the day. I am now extra careful about making sure that it is on really securely to prevent losing it again.

    Due to the sores that I received from the bodymedia and the increased accuracy I prefer the fitbit by far.

    6 years ago
  66. Rosemary said,

    I have had my FB for about a year and a half and I LOVE it. I chose it over the BB because of the size and wearability and am very pleased with those features. For me, the readout is also a critical issue – I will literally take a longer walk/jog if I haven’t burned the calories I need and just have to take a quick look to find out where I am in my workout. I did not have time to read all the comments posted so I hope I don’t repeat. Unless you are a real calorie freak, I don’t think it needs to be exact. You just need to make sure the calories you burn are greater than what you eat on a routine basis; I target a 500 calorie difference each (not that I always achieve that!) and have lost a little over 40 lbs. If you want to use the FB on a stationary bike, you can place it on your shoe so it will register the activity. On the downside, the sleep monitoring does not seem to work for me. The sensitive setting indicates I am awake 25-30 times a night (which I do not think is the case) and the regular setting does not register all the times I am awake. I agree with one comment above re: logging food items; it would be nice if I could copy a meal or combination of food items from one day and add it to another rather than entering the whole thing each time (the meal/recipe feature is OK if you use something a lot but if you only eat half, like leftovers for lunch the next day, you have to half each item and some of my meals are complicated!). I do have to say, customer service for the FB has been excellent for me. I had problems with my first two FB’s, stress cracks and falling apart, but they replaced my last with a FB ultra and it has held up very well to daily use (I wear it pretty much 24 hours day, just not in the shower).

    6 years ago
  67. Chrissie Maze said,

    Can the BB be used at all without a subscription?

    6 years ago
  68. Cheri said,

    Really appreciate this discussion. My trainer at 24 Hour Fitness asked me to log my food. I tried logging online with BB and found it cumbersome and user-unfriendly. I already had the Lose It app on my iPhone, so I decided to check it out. It was very easy to log food and it’s great to scan barcodes for virtually any food and automatically have the nutritional info entered. Even though 24 Hour has a deal with the BB, my trainer was more concerned with my logging than with selling me a BB, so I’ve been logging for 2-3 months. Did NOT want to log my food but I find that it keeps me accountable. There’s even a feature to have the log sent to my trainer automatically every day.

    Bought the FB a month ago because of its link with Lose It. I like that it’s small and undetectable on the center of my bra. I still log my food and exercise with Lose It check my physical activity with FB. It motivates me to move more and always take the stairs instead of elevators. I admit there have been times I walk around the house to get to the 10,000 step level! Love how it syncs wirelessly and easily loads on my computer to check my progress throughout the day. FB checks my activity level and will make an “adjustment” to my Lose It page. Although my food could be logged with FB, I much prefer the interface with Lose It. Since I love toys, I also purchased the Withings scale that syncs with both programs and automatically records my daily weight. (I like the scale for the weight portion but don’t believe it’s accurate for the Fat/Lean percentages.)

    Happy to hear that there is modest difference in the way each unit records movement. I don’t expect completely accurate information — in fact, FB records the resting portions of my workout as “lightly active” when I’m actually gasping for breath for the next set of exercises!! It also doesn’t count time on the Stairmaster as stair steps! WTF? It’s why I log my exercise on Lose It. I’ll try it on my shoe next time and see if that helps.

    The sleep function is an interesting gimmick. Tells how long it takes to get to sleep and how many hours spent asleep. It registers movement and awakened periods during the night. It’s interesting.

    Basically, from what you all have said, I’m glad I chose FB for myself. It works for me.

    6 years ago
  69. Pamela Thomas said,

    I have worn the bodybugg for several years, and I cannot say enough nice about it. It was the missing ingredient in my weight loss plan, and it changed my life. When you can see that your calorie burn went from 1 calorie a minute to 8 when you started working in the yard, believe me you are going to do a LOT more yard work, LOL. I have special diet and health problems, and I track every calorie I eat as well as my bodybugg reported burn. For me the burn is very accurate: I can predict my weight loss with great accuracy at all times. This is in itself a great incentive – you know if you just keep moving and eat right success will come. I didn’t know that before, and I didn’t know what kind and how much movement would work for me. It has changed my life.

    I have had reasonable support from customer service, and I do not mind syncing the armband with my computer – you just plug it in the USB board, log on to your account, and go. I did manage to drown and then fry my first bodybugg, and I had no problem transferring my subscription to a second device.

    I would rather NOT wear the armband (I do take it off while sleeping to give me arm a rest), and I would rather not pay for a subscription. I would like more downloadable graphs and informtion, too. But until I’m convinced another device will be as accurate as the bodybugg, I’m staying with it as it has proved itself to me time and time again.

    6 years ago
  70. Rick said,

    Thanks to everyone for the comments…I read through a bunch but not all…is it fair to say the calorie burn will be understated with either device when engaged in long duration activity, and that error increases with intensity… Moving from heart rate zone 2 to 3 to 4 for instance…

    6 years ago
  71. DanetteHalloran said,

    Hi Thaya, I was wondering if you have any follow-up comments regarding the fitbit after using it for a few months. I was a bodybugg user but the armband gets hot and feels bulky in the summer. Do you have any added opinions about the fitbit?

    6 years ago
  72. Julie said,

    Danette~ I’ve been using the fitbit for a few months and it’s very comparable to the bodybugg which I used for three years. Much less bulky and the online tracking tool is free. As a diehard bodybugg fan, I love the fitbit!

    6 years ago
  73. Heather said,

    Wow, awesome comments from everyone. This has helped me quite a bit. I was really stuck between which one to buy. While in theory I think the BB would be more accurate, I am already logging my food with MyFitnessPal, which will sync with the FB. Plus I am not sure I’d like the strap on my arm, and I think the challenge to hit 10,000 steps with the FB will engage me.

    My concern with FB is whether or not it will accurately measure my cross-fit type workouts properly, but since it’s an estimate anyway…

    6 years ago
  74. Lori said,

    My BodyMedia subscription expired a few months ago. I had not renewed because I don’t like the armband showing and with spring coming I knew I would not wear it. Ok, so I’m pretty vain but the arm band gave my a unsightly muffin top in my upper arm. : ) I loved the insights that I got from wearing the device and it helped me lose weight when I actively used it. I thought the syncing was a hassle but the info was fantastic. I miss having that knowledge. I recently stated using the LoseIt app on my phone and absolutely love the bar scanner feature. After reading all the comments, looks like I will be getting a FB in the near future. Thanks to all for sharing!

    6 years ago
  75. Erin said,

    On my 4th Body Bugg and don’t know why. It is a piece of junk! Doesn’t sync, forget the iPhone app it hasn’t worked from day 1. Stay far away! JUNK JUNK JUNK!

    6 years ago
  76. Vickie Lynn said,

    I have had my Body Bugg for almost 2 1/2 years and my husband has had his Body Media for a little more than a year. I cant imagine life without it. Now to be honest, it took a while to get used to the arm band, and for a while I did have heat rash under it where the metal sensors touch the skin, and in the summer I spend more time in the water than I do anything else and it has to guess at my calorie burn since it is not waterproof.. I try to get it back on my arm as soon as I get out of the water, but I end up with the MOST unsightly tan line!!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the display can be worn as a watch (kinda bulky for dressing up) or clipped onto a pocket, bra strap, t shirt, or even just carried in your pocket. you push a button on the display, press the button on the display and today’s numbers, yesterdays numbers, your daily goal numbers and a specific trips numbers can be displayed.. the settings include: steps taken, calories burned (at a 98% accuracy rating), time of consecutive activity and clock function.

    You have up to 12 alarms you can set for your BodyBugg where it will beep to remind you of something, there is an audible alert to let you know when you have reached each of your daily goals. You set your “awake time” and wear it 24 hours a day for the first few days to determine your resting heart rate so you can take it off at night and still get an average calorie burn calculation.

    I have gotten the Polar strap (that goes around your chest and sits directly under the bra on women) and it caused a rash all the way around my body.. I thought it was just me, but my sister ended up with the same rash from hers. I looked it up and it states that it can happen until you are used to it.. umm, no thanks!

    I bought a Sportline S12 ECG Heart rate watch, and while I liked the heart rate ability, and it was actually quite accurate for steps, distance and such, but I wore it to work and every time I bent my hand back, or bumped it, it would shut my step tracker off.. if there was a lock function to keep it from shutting off; it would be more than worth the $40.

    I think I want to get a FitBit so i can see if it is more along the lines of what I am looking for at a lower price! If it can be as accurate as my Body Bugg and no monthly fee, I am all about it! I am so in love with my Body Bugg, but the cost is kind of discouraging my want to continuing with it; but I am so addicted to knowing my activity level every day, I dont know that I could just give it up!

    6 years ago
  77. Julie Hanna said,

    @ Vicki I too had my bugg on for almost 3 years and let me tell you I love the fitbit. After I got over the initial shock of not having the bugg on my arm, I got used to not having to wear it. I compared the two by wearing both the bugg and the fitbit at the same time and there was about a 200 calorie difference (the fitbit over-estimating). Also, the fitbit can’t take into account the level of intensity however I would rather under-estimate my calorie burn that over-estimate. I am very happy with the fitbit even though I’m a die hard supporter of bodybugg. Trust me, I do NOT miss wearing that band on my arm. I got over it after year 2 LOL.

    6 years ago
  78. Tina said,

    I didn’t see this mentioned, and I don’t think it’s well known – BUT – it’s a VERY important piece to consider: the body bugg device has Nickel in it, and if you are allergic, you will break out.

    I bought one for my husband 2 years ago. It sat in a box, he wasn’t motivated and didn’t want to use it, so after talking about it, 5 months after it had sat unused – he told me he didn’t think he would ever do it (doesn’t get into logging food so what’s the point of tracking calories burned if you don’t know what you ate?) so he told me to go ahead. I was excited but felt bad taking his Birthday present, but the alternate option of $300. sitting in a box helped me get rid of the guilt.

    Within the first 2 uses, I was noticing my arm was getting red and sore. I thought it was just getting used to it, and it would go away. Then I thought it was too tight. Finally, when I talked to the – coach? whoever it is that helps you set up the Body Bugg from the company – I asked – “Is it supposed to irritate my arm? I have red welts where the metal touches the skin” She told me it has nickel, and should only irritate if you have a nickel allergy. I don’t recall them mentioning that on the website but maybe I missed it.

    Anyhow – after using it last january for maybe a couple of weeks (Constantly moving it around on my arm during the day to alleviate the rash) I gave up dieting. I decided to bite the bullet a couple of weeks ago, and reactivate the monthly membership – to the tune of $50 for 6 months. IT seems like the sensitivity to the Nickel has gotten worse – the skin on my arm is still sore and I haven’t worn it for a day. Very disappointed. I do like the accuracy, but am afraid it’s not really going to work. Plus – I am using MyFitnessPal software and it apparently synchs with the fitbit, so, I kind of like this option. I will probably put the BB up on Ebay and hopefully can get enough to pay for the fitbit (since the package was $300 and probably only had 2 full months of use, I’m thinking I could get $100 or $150 out of it).

    Good luck to anyone else trying this – but DON’T spend the money if you have a sensitivity to Nickel (I also have issues with cheap jewelry – so not sure if that’s related or not).


    6 years ago
  79. Connie said,

    I have had three fitbits in less than a year I keep getting duds and now they don’t even return my e mail to eathier get one that works or give me my money back oh I even got the extra $49.00 membership and this was my birthday present to myself I fell very cheated.

    6 years ago
  80. Tracy said,

    Hi, may I suggest using a calorie counting app with Fitbit? I use (Lose It!) and it can link with Fitbit. I love the Lose it App! It has an extensive food database including restaurants. I’m also able to created own foods, scan barcodes from packages with the nutrition data, and create my own recipes. It’s also very easy to add a meal I’ve eaten before. I’ve lost 32 pounds so far with the help of this app. Thanks for your review.

    6 years ago
  81. Jan said,

    I have the Fitbit. I log my food and water on Myfitnesspal and it syncs with fitbit. I use runkeeper to record my walks and that syncs too. Myfitnesspal give a more detailed description of what you are eating and items can be scanned.

    6 years ago
  82. Vicky said,

    I am starting a fitness bootcamp in a couple of weeks and would like to use a device that will give me a good estimate of how many calories I burn during the 1hr workouts. Will the Fitbit be able to track calories burned if I’m doing things other than walking/running?
    I own a bodybugg and watch display and I was going to use that because, though my account is inactive, I thought I could at least wear it to a couple of the workouts and get an idea of the calories I burned but I called technical support when my digital display wouldn’t work and they told me I would have to have an active account. I hate the idea of having to pay $10/month just to use a $200 device I bought. So, without monthly fee, the bodybugg is a piece of junk 🙁
    So, does anyone know if the fitbit will be able to track calories burned (at least a better ballpark figure than guessing) during a bootcamp style workout?

    6 years ago
  83. Danette halloran said,

    Vicki, I agree about the bodybugg it is so frustrating that you need a subscription to use it. I finally decided on the. Nike + iPod shoe insert and I LOVE it. You can track calories, distance, time, etc. it works well and I have found it highly motivating.

    6 years ago
  84. Stevie said,

    I love my fitbit and one of the best parts, besides the FREE web interface is the other apps that it syncs with. It will sync with iCardio and override the activity level automatically for the rowing workouts I do wearing the heart rate montior and the iCardio app. It will also sync with MyFitnessPal which has very easy food tracking including remembering meals. From reading though the things people don’t like about fitbit, the syncing with other apps will overcome most of them.

    6 years ago
  85. kimberly said,

    hi thank you so much for this review . have you done a review on body bug yet if so can you please provide a link. thank you

    6 years ago
  86. Tina said,

    Thanks for the comparison, I had heard about the BodyBug and then when I joined MyFitnessPal, they have the FitBit on their tools. I wanted to know which tool would be best for me, not just go with the one the MyFitnessPal suggests. I am happy to know after reading your comparison that the FitBit is the right tool for me too, and since it will sync with MyFitnessPal that will be all the better!

    5 years ago
  87. Kellie said,


    I am trying to chose between the bb and fitbit and right now the only thing keeping the bb in the running is im not sure if the fitbit can track other activities other then walking/running. For example i am a rock climber and martial artist, so will either device track the calories i burn doing thoese activities. Thanks in advance for your help,


    5 years ago
  88. Miranda McGuinness said,

    In answer to the question about logging activities–the fitbit has a long list of activities with predetermined calorie burn. One fun aspect from a climbing scenario is the “stairs” counter. It works via an altimeter and tracks height climbed in 10 ft increments. There is a 7 Summits social group that has every one climbing virtually via the stair counter,

    5 years ago
  89. amanda said,

    I just used my fitbit for the first time. Clipped it to the front of my bra like they tell you to do and took my dogs for our usual Sunday AM hike.

    3 miles later, I check my fitbit. It’s dead. No display, nothing. I don’t feel like messing with the bra so I stick it in my pocket and keep going. 4 miles later we’re back at the car I check my fitbit again. Its display has come back to life — YAY!

    Sort of.

    According to fitbit, my 7 mile hike counted as 726 steps towards my fitness goals. Ooooh, but those 726 must have been really hardcore because fitbit math says they burned 6,647 calories.

    A little googling tells me I’m not the only one stupid enough to sweat while wearing this activity tracking fitness device. Seriously Fitbit??? Don’t tell people to clip something in a place that’s likely to get sweaty if your device isn’t sweatproof!!

    I’ve run half marathons with heart rate monitors strapped across my chest — soaking wet, they work just fine. If Fitbit can’t handle a leisurely walk with my dogs (one of which is a Pug), it has no business being clipped anywhere it might come in contact with skin.

    Heading back to Best Buy now to return my dead FitBit. Won’t be coming home with a new one. Could not be more disappointed. Maybe I’ll try a Body Bugg this time??

    5 years ago
  90. Yvette said,

    Thank you for this article! I currently have BodyBugg SP and am looking to try the Fitbit. The bodybugg is okay, however there are some cons making me want to switch:
    1. Monthly fee to use BodyBugg website.
    2. As a woman I hate the visibility (esp in the summer) of the BB. I hate the never-ending questions about it. I wish I could get paid for all the questions I get asked about it. No thank you!!
    3. I hate the syncing method. It may seem simple, but as busy as I am, I hate to have to plug up to the computer to upload data. Also, I have the SP version which is supposed to allow you to see your data via an app on your phone. It is so funky to use and not worth the extra money and hassle.
    4. Lack of ease to check my stats. See #3.

    Needless to say, I’ll be trying fitbit soon!

    5 years ago
  91. Danielle said,

    I have worn my fitbit every day for the past 9 weeks. I have never had a problem with it. I use it in conjunction with the MyFitness Pal app. so I can enter in what kind of exercise I am doing (as well as food I am eating) and it will adjust the calories for that on my Fitbit dashboard. I sense that the distance and steps are not totally accurate but it is a good enough guideline for me. I love how tiny it is and if I had a BB I doubt I would wear it this much. I also appreciate the easy syching… as well as the long battery life.

    5 years ago
  92. Erin said,

    This insight is great. I have been researching a good product. I know that everything is not going to be “as” accurate as I would want, but I do want something that will last.
    With that being said, has anyone heard about a product called Basis? It does not look like it is out yet, and I’m trying to get some professional insight about it. It looks as if it will lack on the online “motivation” aspect, but gives you all of the monitoring you need, but I could be wrong. Any help will make my day!

    5 years ago
  93. Debbie doo said,

    Thanks for writing this article and all of the comments. I landed on the fitbit and will let you know my experience once I get it! Thx!!

    5 years ago
  94. PJ said,

    Yesterday I received an email from Groupon Goods that offered the Bodybugg SP for $99 delivered and I bought one but today after reading the review and comments I am wondering if I would have been better off with a FitBit.

    5 years ago
  95. Ashley said,

    @PJ I did the same thing and am now questioning if I made the right decision.

    5 years ago
  96. Christie said,

    Just bought the Fitbit and love it. I wear it clipped to my bra and wear it at work. I have a very active job but not so active I sweat so much it messes up the device! I use it with MyFitnessPal but track my workouts seperately! I got the Fitbit because I do walk a lot at work and have a physical job climbing up and down work stands. So far it’s tracked very well! I love it!!

    5 years ago
  97. Carmen said,

    Love love love my Fitbit! It is so addicting and has made me a healthier person. Also love that it is so small and discreet. I use MyFitnessPal to log food and it works fine. I also use endomondo to log my workouts and they automatically upload to Fitbit.

    5 years ago
  98. SalGal said,

    I am actually comparing the Fit Bit and Bodybugg, by wearing both of them at the same time for a month. Fitbit does not seem very accurate at all for Calories burned, which is what I’m looking for, (calories in vs calories out). 300 calories difference between the 2 trackers! Bodybugg calories burned are always higher, probably because the sensors are more accurate than FitBit.

    I wear the body bugg and the FitBit at night as well, and I can see my sleep pattern with both, but I think the fit bit estimates calories burned, and with the body bugg I can see the actual calories burned. I like the fact that the
    Bodybugg syncs with my Android phone, the FitBit does not unless I’m syncing on my computer and within a few feet.

    FitBit is easy to lose as well. Already lost one and had to replace it.

    5 years ago
  99. Shawnie said,

    I had my Fitbit one day at the gym then I got home and it wasn’t on my waistband 🙁
    I went back and looked inside, underneath everything, in the parking lot, in my car….no luck finding it. I lived that thing. Now I’m trying to figure out if I should get another one or try something different that may not just fall off my pants.

    5 years ago
  100. Shawnie said,

    I had my Fitbit one day at the gym then I got home and it wasn’t on my waistband
    I went back and looked inside, underneath everything, in the parking lot, in my car….no luck finding it. I lived that thing. Now I’m trying to figure out if I should get another one or try something different that may not just fall off my pants.

    5 years ago
  101. Shawnie Nix said,

    I had my Fitbit one day at the gym then I got home and it wasn’t on my waistband
    I went back and looked inside, underneath everything, in the parking lot, in my car….no luck finding it. I loved that thing. Now I’m trying to figure out if I should get another one or try something different that may not just fall off my pants.

    5 years ago
  102. Teresa said,

    I have owned 3 different bodybuggs (even back when it took batteries) and now just switched to the fitbit one. I have to say that my last bodymedia armband gave me significantly higher calorie burns than my previous apex bodybuggs and I was always a little leery of it’s optimistic projections. For example I would have to have a fairly active day to burn more than 2000 calories on my original bugs, but when I switched to body media (a Costco deal was cheaper than renewing my existing subscription), I could have a fairly sedentary day and burn over 2000 calories. In fact I rarely burned less than 2000.

    So here it is day 2 of my new Fitbit One and I believe even though it doesn’t have all the sensors of the bodybugg, it is giving me a calorie burn of 1900 for a fairly sedentary day with an elliptical workout thrown in. While the fitbit is “step oriented”, I did read that if you activate the stopwatch before beginning a workout, it will measure your activity in a different, more sensitive way, and I think this worked fine. I am happy that I am no longer getting exaggerated calorie burns and hope this will help me finally knock off the 10 lbs I put on recovering from two sinus surgeries this year.

    I also got tired of wearing something on my arm people always wanted to ask or comment about and I got tired of paying the monthly access fee. All in all I am very happy with the switch.

    5 years ago
  103. Gail said,

    Just want to mention the issues with Bodybugg if you use a MAC. Every time there is a system upgrade, Bodybugg stops working and it takes them forever to figure it out. (Apparently there are compatibility issues with Apple and Java). This totally throws you off your game when you can’t log in for days on end. Tech support provided no solutions or suggestions and even acted as though it was my fault for doing a routine upgrade. There have been many negative reviews posted regarding this incompatibility issue. I am so frustrated I am shopping for a new system.

    5 years ago
  104. Sue said,

    My husband bought me the newest Fitbit for Christmas, the force. It is a slim watch type band and has the display that you can check anytime to see where you are on your step goal, miles, or calories burned. The issues I have are (1)it did not come with any kind of instructions. You have to go on the website and dig around for hours to find out all the functions(I still have yet to figure all of it out, over a month). (2)a piece of the battery cover broke off. I went to CS and asked them to send me a new cover so I wouldn’t be without my fitbit and they “don’t have any in stock”. But I can send them my fitbit and they will replace the whole band. That seems kind of senseless to me since they will have to replace the battery cover also.
    You only get a 45 day return/replacement warranty and I think that is pretty low considering my husband paid $130 for it.

    4 years ago
  105. Marie said,

    I have had a body bugg for 3+ years and have decided to upgrade to fitbit due to the aesthetic of the new arms bands and hoping for new technology. I have been wearing both simultaneously for a week now and am more impressed with my old bodybugg than I was before this experiment. I do fitness classes and wondered how accurate my readings were, but after looking at my own data, I realize it’s pretty consistent at least within Itself. For example, I do Zumba with multiple instructors. With the different instructors I burn different calories due to the varying levels of intensity. Yet if I compare data of classes by instructors, my readings are very consistent time after time. I really hope that Jawbone uses the technology that they acquired from acquisition and make something like the bodybugg even better! I hope they don’t phase it out and I have to get something else that’s less advanced.

    3 years ago


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