Sunday, August 23, 2015

Leaf vs Fitbit

My leaf by bellabeat finally came after about a month + wait. I have to say it is so, so pretty compared to all the other fitness trackers out there. In addition to the tracker itself, you also get a necklace chain and bracelet to help you accessorize. Leaf for the win on that!

Let me give you a little background. I have been a fit bit user since October 21, 2013. Despite some issues (which I'll get into later) I have been very happy with Fitbit. I started with the fit bit flex which is probably the comparable model to the leaf. I upgraded in February 2015 to the HR model which is what I will be comparing today.

For those of you that don't know what the leaf is let me give you a little background. This is staight from the website: The LEAF is a sleep, stress, and activity monitor. This smart piece of jewelry works as a tracking system for your health and provides insights and helpful reminders to keep you on track. Monthly cycles (ovulation, period, and contraception intake) are tracked through the app so that you can have greater awareness of your reproductive health. It can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, or a clip. LEAF syncs with the app and all of your data is transferred wirelessly. The LEAF also vibrates to remind the user to either be more active or reduce the intensity of her workouts based on her set preferences.

Let me start with my first con right now: I bought the leaf expecting to get stress alerts. I have two young kids and thought this would be a great. I expected the leaf to vibrate through out the day when my stress levels were high. How it would do this. I have no idea? But I can tell you the leaf does not do that. It does offer breathing exercises for you to do, but it is just whenever you want. I have to say I am disspoainted about the stress feature. 

First, here is the picture of both on my tiny wrist. I wear a small HR and the leaf was a little bulkier than I thought. Weight wise the leaf is heavier (but not heavy), but I did prefer to wear the leaf just because I liked to look at it. Once you wear it a few times, it is just like other jewelry. 

My fit bit strap broke off, so I took the leaf on vacation. I can't tell you how many compliments I received on my pretty bracelet.

Side note: fit bit for the win. I sent support a picture of my broken fit bit and they sent me a brand new HR. That is excellent customer service. Side, side note: I haven't had to deal with leaf customer service and I assume they are great! 

Another way to wear the leaf is to clip it to your clothes. You can't work out any other way and this is probably my preferred method. Speaking of exercise: I am not a fan of the leaf app because it won't tell me about my exercise. I have worked out 5 times with it and I still only get my overall step goal. It's says the app should tell you about prolonged periods of excerise, but mine has yet to do that. Once it does, I might appreciate the app more.

As you know both the Fitbit and leaf track sleep. I compared the two and this is what I got. It was a night of little sleep (crazy kids). 

I love how the leaf tells me my quality of sleep. Something fit bit does not do. Leaf wins on the quality of sleep! And boy, looking at these just makes me tired. 

Overall the sleep is close enough that I trust both. I slept with the leaf clipped to my pajamas pants and the Fitbit obviously on my wrist, so I honestly think the leaf was more accurate on the sleeping end. I am a huge arm mover in my sleep. Regardless, they both pass my sleep test.

Now things get interesting, the steps......

I synced the two devices at basically the same time. Both right after a workout at the gym. I ran /walked for 49 minutes. I believe it was about 3 miles. My leaf was clipped to my chest and my fit bit again on the wrist. I was also on the treadmill, so the leaf loses on this one. I think it doesn't quite catch all the steps. 

Now for a few other things. 

Charging: The leaf works on a watch battery. It does not have to be charged. How amazing is that? I love not getting the email that my Fitbit battery is low. I have to charge my HR every 3 days. Such a pain. Leaf wins on this.

Food: the leaf does not yet sync with my fitness pal so you can not see your daily intake or calories left, I really missed this feature. Maybe not too important, but a feature I love. 

Challenges: the fit bit offers challenges which the competitor in me loves. You can compete during the day, week, or weekend. It is so much fun to rally friends and feel motivated. The leaf offers nothing like this. Fit bit for the win!

Friends: similar to the challenges Fitbit also allows you to view your friends total steps, weekly. It is fun to see where your are among your friends. While this isn't a must, I do enjoy this feature. No one for the win, but leaf can take note.

Ovulation/period: don't cringe. The leaf does cater to women which is nice. I personally don't have any reason to track mine, but you can. In addition, you can set a reminder to take your birth control, your leaf will vibrate to alert you. Lastly, it'll also tell you the days you are fertile and the day you ovulate. I would have loved these feature about four years ago. So, for me, not a great feature, but I understand how this could be a huge selling point to many women. 

Pricing: the leaf is $119, but this was the preorder, so I am not sure if price will stay the same. The flex was $99.95 (and you can interchange it with other fancy bands). The HR charge was $149.95 and is not interchangeable. The bonus is you can see the time, steps, calories burned, all on the face of the fit bit.  A very fancy feature that rivals the apple and garmin watch. 

Summary:  I love fit bit. Besides a few technical malfunctions that they refused to address, fit bit has always been excellent at customer service. **Because so many asked I had an issue with the floors registering. I would walk 100 floors, when in reality I maybe went 5. Fitbit assured me it was used error. I guess thankfully my band broke, so I received a new one.** Otherwise, they go above and beyond to make things right. But, it is an ugly band. I wear it constantly, so a fancy band similar to the leaf would be nice. 

The app of the fit bit is above and beyond. They have almost everything a fitness guru could want:  Exercise tracking, nutrition tracking, and competitions with friends. The leaf, where do I start...The actual tracking component is adorable and makes a great stament piece. That is about it. The app is lacking tremendously. Does nothing but track sleep and steps. The good news is the app is fixable. The leaf created a great piece of hardware, so tweaking the software should be easy. The question is how long will it take for the leaf to rival the Fitbit!? 

If I had to buy a tracking component today, hands down the Fitbit. If I had to buy one in 6 months, the leaf. I think they have huge and amazing things ahead. They just aren't there yet. 

Let me know what you think.