out with the old…

Irony: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

In a beautiful twist of situational irony, less than 24 hours after sharing the news that my Fitbit reported that I had taken 2,655,566 steps in 2014, that same Fitbit promptly decided to function no more.

What at first appeared to be a low battery issue quickly became a flat line situation. No charger or adapter, nay, not even the paddles of life could bring light to my now dark device.


Readers with keen memory will recall that my Fitbit had another dramatic exit back in August. First the vibrate function died. Then, as I was trouble shooting that issue with Fitbit, my battery stopped charging altogether.

They agreed to replace the device, and a few days later I received a shiny new one.

While that customer service certainly deserved a round of applause, when this replacement unit died Friday evening I had a decision to make. Should I go through the replacement process again and hope for a better result – or – should I take this opportunity to try something new?

I chose door #2.

Based on my friend Sam’s recommendation, I decided to look at the Garmin Vivofit. A quick search on the interwebs revealed that a local retailer was selling it for $99 (reg price $149), so I wasted no time in getting to the store and snapping one up.


If you’re keeping track, I’m now on my third brand of fitness tracker.

During year one I used the BodyMedia Fit (the armband worn high on your upper arm). I loved it; it was by far the most accurate for tracking exercise and calorie burn. But it was an eye sore. No disguising that puppy.

For year two I moved to the Fitbit Flex. I burned through two of those bad boys in < 11 months. I liked the added features, like sleep tracking /analysis, as well as the less obtrusive wrist placement. On the downside, a battery life of ~5 days meant frequent charging. This was a definite drag, especially when both of the Flex units I owned started getting finicky in the charging department (this went on for months with each unit).

And finally, in year three, I’m using the Garmin Vivofit. I’ve only had it since Saturday night, so I can’t do a proper review yet. Here’s what I can tell you though, it’s year-long battery life alone makes it a giant improvement over the Fitbit.

I will definitely miss the silent alarm (a gentle vibration on your wrist at your wake up time), but I’m less likely to punch a hole in the wall every week as I try to wiggle a cord to coax it to charge my device. Nope, I won’t be missing that.

I’m in Atlanta for the week, and this is a heads down, real work kind of trip, so it will be a true test of my #Janathon resolve (which is still going strong, by the way). Wish me luck.

p.s. My niece is still killing it, too! #ZeroDaysOff

Get moving,

xoxo nancy

73 thoughts on “out with the old…

  1. John’s Fitbit Flex is showing signs of an early demise too but my One is still working fine… let us know how you like your Garmin! Good luck with your Janathon resolve and share a high five with your niece!

  2. So glad to see this post from you. As you know, I lost my Fitbit. I was thinking of getting the new Fitbit Charge HR when it comes out, but now you’ve got me thinking about the Garmin Vivofit. I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks.

  3. I’ve heard about sooooo many FitBit issues it’s almost ridiculous. Good luck with the new gadget!

    Welcome to Atlanta! Let me know if you need some restaurant recommendations 🙂

    • So far, so good with the new toy. Fingers crossed this one lives longer than one year. 🙂

      Our campus is actually way outside of Atlanta – so I won’t be getting to some of my old favourite restaurants (I built up quite the list from the many, many conferences Microsoft used to hold here over the 10 years I worked there…) My new company’s ATL offices are actually in Lawrenceville – so yeah, I’m way out there. 🙂 If you have any recos in this area, please let me know!

  4. Oooooo I’m interested to hear how you like it after awhile. Vivofit has always been my first preference (i started researching and chose it back when you got the first Fitbit – it was your post that inspired me). Keep at it with Janethon. The month is almost over!

  5. Thanks for the heads-up. I had seriously considered getting a Fitbit because I missed my little Zip. I was held back by the rubberized bracelet. I can tolerate the bracelet of my running watch for the length of a run, …. but all day? I had serious doubts.
    Your experience has now tossed me over the edge 😉

    Good luck with your new tracker! … and well done to both you and your niece!!

    • The unit is very lightweight, Jo – and I also love that I have the on-wrist display (instead of needing to sync with my smartphone for the data). And lastly, the fact that it’s also a watch = 2 birds, 1 stone. Not the prettiest (and considering I collect watches like I collect shoes and purses, this is a big hurdle for me…), but for now it’s convenient and keeping me on track/motivated.

      p.s. It was 2001 Audio Video that sold the unit for $99 if you’re interested. That’s their online price – but one store (Kennedy/Ellesmere) carries a low quantity of stock.

    • OMG, NH, it has already improved my quality of life! I was running around my house at 6:00 am yesterday, rushing to leave for the airport and panicked about having all my chargers. One less for me to worry about now! 🙂

    • I tested the Jawbone UP unit in January of 2014 – then returned it and got the Flex. I felt it didn’t do as great a job on accurately reporting steps/activity. Now that I’ve got the on-wrist display of stats with the Garmin Vivofit, I can’t see going back to a device that doesn’t provide that. That said, the one thing the UP has over Flex and Vivofit is it is a slimmer profile, so it’s the least obtrusive from an aesthetic standpoint. Let me know which one you end up with!

  6. I wish you luck! I know you’ll keep it up. But I’m only going to buy a fitness device when they become thin, feather-light and solar powered…I think 🙂

  7. Nancy, I somehow missed that you were back in Atlanta, probably because I have been MIA. I hope they are not working you to death, and remember downtown Norcross for the many cute restaurants we saw when we went there. Safe travels home, I hope you get out before the rain starts…

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