The new Nike+ FuelBand, announced Thursday, is a direct competitor to Jawbone’s similar UP wristband. Jawbone suspended production of the UP in December and issued full refunds to customers after complaints of battery and synching issues. Like the Jawbone UP, the FuelBand is worn around your wrist and can be synched to an iPhone or PC to upload activity data.
“The NIKE+ FuelBand is a way for Nike to further evolve the exciting possibilities of merging the physical and digital worlds,” said NIKE, Inc. President and Chief Executive Mark Parker, in a statement. “Nike has always been about inspiring athletes, and the NIKE+ FuelBand will help motivate them in a simple, fun and intuitive way.”
Designed to measure your movement throughout the entire day, from walking and running to biking and ballet, the waterproof band also allows you to set daily goals. The FuelBand will notify you through its LED software whether or not you meet those goals.
So, what makes the $150 FuelBand different from the $100 Jawbone UP? For starters, the Jawbone UP can stay charged for up to 10 days, while the FuelBand lasts only four. However, the FuelBand has internal USB, which could make using the Jawbone seem like a hassle when having to use its required USB-to-headphone jack adapter to charge.
Although the FuelBand is heavier, it offers a polished user interface and web access for $50 extra. In theory, the FuelBand could make for a better experience, especially for previous Jawbone UP owners burned by issues with early models. The FuelBand is available for pre-order now but won’t ship until Feb. 22.
Athletes like Lance Armstrong have already endorsed the FuelBand, claiming the tool will help people meet daily and weekly fitness targets.