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Summary:

Fitbit is following up its hot-selling Ultra fitness tracker with two new devices, the Fitbit Zip and Fitbit One. Both will support Bluetooth 4.0, allowing for more real-time syncing with compatible devices. Fitbit is also introducing new social tools to better motivate users.

Fitbit, mobile health
photo: Fitbit

Despite a lot more competition in the mobile health tracker market, Fitbit (see disclosure below) is still arguably the best known name in the market and sits atop the Amazon.com’s list of outdoor gadgets and accessories. Now, the company is working to maintain its place with the introduction of two new activity trackers, the Fitbit Zip and the Fitbit One.

Both devices sport Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, expanding the wireless syncing features of the current Fitbit Ultra. Bluetooth 4.0 offers very low-energy usage and easy pairing, which makes it ideal for health and fitness accessories. The advanced Bluetooth support means users will be able to sync with compatible devices such as the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 and the third generation iPad to track their progress. And coming in October, users will be able to get real-time notifications as they approach or complete daily goals or pass friends on a new daily leaderboard system.

Previously, Fitbit Ultra synced only when it came close to a wireless base station that connected to a computer. Fitbit’s iOS and Android apps were only able to show a snapshot of the data from the most recent sync. Now, the mobile apps will be a lot more useful to users, helping them see their current progress more easily and also them to engage with Fitbit’s new social features, which includes messaging with friends.

Fitbit ZipThe Fitbit One will replace the Ultra, which is being phased out. Like the Ultra, the One will not just measure daily steps, distance and calories burned, but it also serves as a sleep monitor, tracking sleep time and the number of times a user wakes up. And the One will also feature a new vibrating alarm so users can wake up without having to disturb their partner. The One, available in Black and Burgundy, is also 40 percent of the size of the Ultra and will sport a clock and provide motivating messages. It will sell later this fall for $99.95, the same price as the Ultra.

The Fitbit Zip is even smaller than the One at about the size of a quarter and will focus solely on activity tracking. It will be sold in five colors and will also come with a Bluetooth 4.0 microdongle, which can be inserted into any computer for wireless syncing. At $59.95, the Fitbit Zip will allow the company to widen its appeal to more cost-conscious consumers. The Fitbit Zip is available now while the Fitbit One can be pre-ordered.

Fitbit, which is now sold in 7,000 locations in the U.S., is facing more competition from the Nike+ Fuel Band and Striiv gamified pedometer. But CEO James Park believes the company can stay ahead by smartly leveraging technology innovations like Bluetooth 4.0 to make Fitbit trackers even more useful and seamless for users.

“With wearable health devices, you just want the devices and sensors to disappear into your lifestyle. That’s the big thing,” he said.

Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

  1. I see they still haven’t fixed the fundamental design flaws that caused me to lose not one but two Ultras that were supposedly securely fastened to my belt.

    Would it kill them to make a non-disposable product by adding, let’s say, a clip ala 99 percent of flash drives?

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    1. Amen to that. I lost one about a month ago and it must have just slipped up off my pocket. No clue where it could be.

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  2. A keychain, not a clip. Sorry.

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    1. How about FindMyFitbit.com! Their customer service is pretty good and they have replaced a lost one for me – but they are easy to lose. A leash or some sort would be good.

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  3. My wife and I have the original Fit Bit’s that require a computer to sync, while I have almost lost mine a few times my wife’s went through the washing machine, needless to say it did not survive so well. Still having trouble pairing it to her account via the USB connection on her Mac.

    I would consider a new BT 4.0 capable one down the road. My wife’s newer Fit Bit came with holster clip that was a better design, but I do agree they need to make these more secure.

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  4. HI Ryan Kim
    Despite a lot more competition in the mobile health tracker market, Fitbit (see disclosure below) is still arguably the best known name in the market and sits atop the Amazon.com’s list of outdoor gadgets and accessories.
    Thank you

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  5. maybe the men could try fastening them under their outer clothes, like to their underwear? I have had mine for a while, and have never lost it. I strap it to my bra though. when I am wearing something strapless, I attach it to my panties. I bought mine and I already owned a bodybugg. Fitbit wins my vote hands down! The calorie count is exactly the same when doing activities. The bodybugg is bigger and pinches my arm. I was sensitive in the metal to the conductors. It didnt track my sleep. The website is not as user friendly. Plus after the initial time frame, you have to subscribe to the tune of $80 for 6 months! also, the customer service on the Fitbit cannot be beat! When my Aria malfunctioned, they overnighted me one for free, and when I lost my docking station while vacationing, they sent me a replacement free of charge! After dealing with Sprint customer service for my phone for the last 12 years, I have to say-good customer sevice puts them way over the top. Anyone on the fence about Fitbit, should definitely get one in my opinion!

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