Earlier I wrote a review about my new FitBit Force. My review raved over it and from a feature function I still think the device is in the top ranks. However, my attitude changed a great deal recently. I lost my FitBit Force a few days ago. One minute it’s on my wrist, I checked it regularly, and the next moment I look down and my arm is bare. Gone. Somewhere during my day I must have hooked the band on something and I experienced a much complained about design flaw in the Force. The band.
Now my $135 fitness device is someone’s lucky find in a parking lot or store.
If you spend a few minutes searching around you will quickly find that I am not alone in this type of loss, in fact it’s quite common. I wish I had looked deeper into the flaws than focusing on the technology pros and cons, the design flaws I missed.
So there’s really nothing I can do other than post my story for those that currently own one and for those thinking about purchasing one to think twice and take extra steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.
I also wrote to FitBit customer support, not sure if that will do any good, but I did. I added my letter below. Ironically or good timing, depends on your point of view my wife began reacting to the Force’s second major flaw. The skin burn from the metal. I attached the picture of her arm to FitBit as well. The more I think about it the more angry I get that I lost a fairly expensive device due to a simple design flaw.
Oh well. The Internet reaction will eventually force the change for the better. I am just another voice in the pile on this issue.
Here’s my note to FitBit.
Shortly after the New Year I upgraded my Jawbone Up to a FitBit Force. In fact I purchased two, one for myself and one for my wife. I did this move for many reasons and I wasn’t disappointed at all with the move. I even wrote a review on my opinions and experience on my blog, Why I Switched From A Jawbone Up To A FitBit Force https://binaryblogger.com/2014/02/03/switched-jawbone-fitbit-force/ .
However, my attitude has changed. My skin is rock solid so I was not having reactions but a few days ago I succumb to the other fatal flaw in the FitBit Force’s design. The band, specifically the locking mechanism. I was at the gym, unless I shower I always wear my Force, and I had it on at the conclusion of my session as I checked my steps, stairs and calories. From the time I put my jacket on and got dressed at home I realized that the Force was no longer on my arm. I looked in my car, the garage, the house, went back to the parking lot of the gym. Nothing. The band de-clasped and the Force fell off without me noticing it. Somewhere someone has a $135 prize.
My wife developed the skin reaction, almost looks like a burn, beginning this week like the recall notice stated. The metal reactions gets a pass from me, it happens and the QA process could have had people like me and some people can’t wear certain jewelry because of this.
My real gripe is the design of the clasp which put me out the cost of a Force. As I begin to look at other products, non-FitBit, I see that their bands have the simple watch like ring band to hold it together or wrap around the writs like the Jawbone. Not saying this would prevent all loss, but I don’t see a rash of lost device complaints with other options out on the market.
I don’t normally write to manufacturers to express my disgust and for what it is I still feel from a feature function, application support and website FitBit has it right and has one of the top products out there with the Force. Product design needs improvement beyond the materials it’s made with. As I look out there I can see there are many owners that have lost their devices in the similar manner and ironically a co-worker lost his leaving the office a week prior to me. I feel bad because I convinced four others to go with the Force and have since warned them to take care. One guy used a small piece of scotch tape to hold the band together if his popped.
I hope that this message finds someone who will read it and pass it along to product design so the next iteration of models addresses this. Because you can have all the bells and whistles integrated into a device but if it has a problem of falling off without the user noticing it matters very little.
PS – I attached a pic of my wife’s arm. But I am sure you have seen plenty of these already.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.