When it comes to activity trackers, the Nike+ FuelBand is one of the most popular devices out there. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have stopped me and waved their wrist in my direction, indicating that we’re FuelBand buddies.
Given its heritage, it comes as no surprise that the FuelBand is seen as something of a fashion item by many, but it’s also a great piece of kit for anyone that wants to keep an eye on their daily activity.
There are some downsides to the device though, as I pointed out in my Nike+ FuelBand review. But Nike has clearly been taking note of the reviews, comments and feedback surrounding the FuelBand and has now launched the Nike+ FuelBand SE to address some of the issues raised.
The Nike+ FuelBand SE utilises the low-power Bluetooth 4.0 standard, which means it can be in constant communication with the partner app running on your iPhone. So there’s no need to hold the button to sync anymore, your NikeFuel level will seamlessly update. There’s still no word on an Android version of the FuelBand app though.
Nike claims to have significantly refined the FuelBand SE over its predecessor, with the new FuelBand able to track a variety of activities including running, cycling and rowing. This was always an annoyance with the original FuelBand, whereby you could spend an hour cycling, but receive no NikeFuel points for your effort.
Nike has added Sessions to the mix, which allows you to tell the FuelBand SE when you’re about to train. So, if you’re going for a run, heading to the gym, or climbing on your bike, you can tell the FuelBand SE that you’re starting a Session. You can then track how much NikeFuel you earn for each Session, and compare over time.
Win the Hour is an interesting new feature, which tries to encourage you to be active throughout your day, rather than just at set times. You can set yourself hourly goals as well as daily ones, and the app can send reminders direct to the FuelBand SE if you’re being too sedentary.
The FuelBand SE can also measure the intensity of your activity using a new feature called Fuel Rate. Fuel Rate will measure how many NikeFuel points you’ve earned per minute, giving you greater insight into your daily, or even hourly activity.
The Nike+ milestones really help motivate you to be active – whether it’s hitting 1,000,000 NikeFuel points, or earning over 10,000 NikeFuel points in a day, the milestones make you feel like you’re achieving something. With the FuelBand SE Nike has expanded those milestones, so you’ll now receive achievements based on Sessions, hours won, Fuel Rate and even streaks.
Nike claims that the FuelBand SE has improved water resistance over the original model, but it’s still not completely waterproof. That’s a shame, since I was hoping you’d be able to measure swims with the FuelBand SE, something that’s possible with the recently announced Polar Loop.
A couple of other features that are conspicuous by their absence are an altimeter, to measure how far you’ve climbed throughout the day, and a heart rate monitor. With the Withings Pulse sporting built-in heart rate measurement, and the Polar Loop offering the ability to pair with a chest strap heart rate sensor, it’s surprising that Nike hasn’t provided some kind of HRM functionality.
On the whole though, I’m looking forward to getting my paws on the Nike+ FuelBand SE. Despite having no shortage of activity trackers lying around, the FuelBand is still the one I wear every day, and I’ve got nearly 2.2-million NikeFuel points and a 277-day streak to prove it!
With Christmas coming, I think that Santa may find the Nike+ FuelBand SE on a lot of Christmas lists. Maybe he should wear one himself while he’s delivering the presents!
Check back soon for a full review of the Nike+ FuelBand SE.