Pedometers: Fitbit vs Omron

Sunday, October 06, 2013

After a while with both the Fitbit Zip and an Omron pedometers, I have some observations to share. I have been wearing them both constantly, from the time I get up until I go to bed.

Cost: I paid $20 on Amazon for my Omron. I also paid an additional $1.99 for a safety leash as it didn’t come with one. I did initially get a more expensive Omron at Walgreen’s which was $49, on sale for $40 and with Bonus Card (cost $0), it cost $35. I just loved it . . . but it kept resetting itself (a known issue) so I returned it and got the one from Amazon. I’ve had no issues with the cheaper version since I got it more than 4 months ago.
Fitbit Zip: I got mine for free for being a captain of a Get Healthy/Exercise team at my job. On line it’s $59. You may be able to find it for as little as $49.

Display: The Fitbit has small digital numbers, with no backlight, which I can’t see (my aging eyes?) unless I either take it off or go into some sort of physical contortion to read it. It can only be clipped in one direction so if it’s on my waistline (belt, skirt, pants) I have to twist it around towards me to read it. The Omron can be placed in its little holder in whatever direction works best for you. It can also be in your pocket, purse or it seems just about anywhere as long as it’s with you and still be accurate.

Syncing: The Omron doesn’t sync to your PC and the Fitbit does. I don’t care about this. I have enough sites that I’m tracking information on. What I do care about, is being able to randomly look at my device throughout the day to see how many steps/miles I’m up to. You can hook your Fitbit onto your bra. This is not convenient for me and I do not see how I can contort myself enough to check the figures on the device. If you're fine with checking your figures once at the end of the day, this may work for you.

Omron will store up to 7 days in the device, so if you want to see what you did yesterday, you can hit the button and go back and see. If you want to check any previous information in Fitbit you MUST be syncing on the PC and you can log in to the site and see your past info that way.

I also find the Fitbit inconvenient as far as giving me current info that I’m interested in. It randomly changes the display between silly digital smiley faces, miles, calories burned (ridiculously inaccurate – 2,300 cals burned for 30 minute walk . . . really???) and steps (more accurate). You have to tap (smack) the device to get it to cycle through to the info you want to see. Whatever the last display I have the Omron set on, that is what it will stay on unless I change it. I did go into my Fitbit account on line and change the displays – so you have some leeway that way. Now it only switches between clock, steps and stupid faces which I still have to keep smacking it to see what I want. BTW – Watch out for the spam emails you’ll start receiving from Fitbit – Make sure you opt out of everything or they’ll inundate you.

So, you get the jist of my opinion . . . I’m glad I didn’t spend the money on the Fitbit or I would have returned it. I am now an Omron advocate and lover, more than ever. There are some people who LOVE their Fitbit – good for them! I’m not one. I will keep using both, just because I have them – and I do like to compare the results . . . which are very close and so it confirms the accuracy of both.

But if your eyesite is not that of a 20 year old and you like to check your stats throughout the day . . . I’d go with the Omrom . . . IMHO.

If anyone has any specific questions – feel free to ask.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks! I've been using the Ormon for over a year and I love it. My Ormon starts on the 4th step. I find it to be accurate as far as distance and steps. I didn't want to pay for a fitbit if I could get away with a device that does what I need. I don't care about sleep tracking.. I find that I do usually log into Sparkpeople to add in my steps, but don't bother with the calorie count at this time. Wearing a pedometer really did make me go the extra to do more steps. Didn't lose weight with it though, except maybe the first few weeks. But it has made me more active, which can't be bad.
    2064 days ago
  • PCOH051610
    Great blog? I do have a FittBit and have used an Omron pedometer in the past. I had to giggle at your description of trying to read your FittBit when it's attached to your bra emoticon .

    For me, the FitBit won out and they have fantastic customer service. I lost my FitBit One and they replaced it.

    It just goes to show that we all are different and gave different needs with regard to our fitness " gadgets".

    2163 days ago
    I am so glad Nancy that I read your informative blog! I have been wondering about the fitbit, and even but it on my wish list. I just want to be able to count my steps through out the day, and check and see if I've walked more than 20! LOL!

    2170 days ago
  • EABL81
    Good to know. I haven't bought any tracking device so far, but I may break down and do that at some point. Thanks for the great info.
    2172 days ago
    Wow a lot of different opinion's , I have been thinking of getting the fitbit, or maybe even the spark's. I have a weight watchers one it is big but I can read it! It does steps and miles. It has a clock and stop watch. I wear it on my waist what I don't like is if I dump it against something it will reset, or if your in a car you need to pause it. That can be hard to remember to do and the button can be tricky. Oh well I'll waite to hear more feed back on the spark tracker.
    2173 days ago
    LOVE my Omron pedometer - have replaced it with the same or similar models - works fine and has a clock, so I don't even need to wear a watch!
    2175 days ago
  • KAYDE53
    I don't have a FitBit, but I do have an Omron & for what I paid for it (it was mid-range, the one recommended at the time by Consumer's Research) it has been an excellent, and very accurate pedometer. I had one before that was worthless. I like the fact that it stores several days like you said, so if you don't get around to tracking, you can do it later. Thanks for the info, I've been thinking about Fitbits or the Spark Tracker! emoticon
    2175 days ago
    Thanks for the great information. I ordered the new one from spark and it has arrived but I just haven't had the time to set it up and try it. I'll have to see how it compares.
    2175 days ago
    The Fitbit shows your overall calorie burn for the whole day including the calories you use to just live and breathe, that's why that number is 'high'.
    I wear mine on my bra when I'm at work, it clips on just fine with the fitbit facing outwards in the centre of my bra. Forget its there and it does the job perfect.
    I love how it syncs with my iphone5 and my computer so I can check up on my stats on the go whenever I want.
    It's the only 'pedometer' type of thing that has worked for me and been accurate on step count.

    At the end of the day it's down to personal preference, but I did want to clear up the calorie thing.
    2175 days ago
    Yes, thanks for both your comments. It's so true .. . it's a little like iphone vs android - once you love with one you tend to stick with it ;)
    The Omron actually starts tracking after 4 steps, which I prefer. If I stand up to get something from the table 3 steps away, I don't really want it to track that, but everyone has different preferences. I find, for me, I really don't need a sleep tracker to tell me if I slept or not . . . I know that as soon as I'm up in the morning - Now, if there was something that could put me to sleep and keep me asleep - I'd vote for that! Oh, and the Omron is definitely bigger but it doesn't bother me as it's under my shirt anyway and helps me read the display.
    2175 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/6/2013 10:56:23 AM
    This is the first review I have seen that favors the Omron. I am glad you like it. We received one from my company in May. I had already purchased the fitbit one. The Omron is large and bulky so I haven't ever bothered to use it. Mine can be synced with the computer, must be the more expensive model. I have loved my fitbit one since I purchased it in Dec. The only problem I ever had was when the clip wore out and I lost it. That is my major complaint, the clip is chincy and if you use it, it doesn't last and a replacement clip is expensive so I love your idea of using the lanyard for the Omron. I think I will do that when my replacement for the fitbit comes. Since I lost it and there was still a warranty, they are replacing it for free. I wonder if you emailed fitbit with your complaints if they would upgrade you to the one for free? They have great customer service. Might be worth a try. I am keeping my Omron as a back up in case I lose my fitbit again. Thanks for reviewing. Every one has different experiences, its nice to have options and the zip doesn't have all the features I would want, mainly no sleep tracker.
    2175 days ago
    My experience is a bit different. I bought the top of the line model in both. The Omron did me well for years but it doesn't count every step. It starts at 10 in a row I think. Other than that I liked it very much even though it was bulky and the main clip wore out. Thank goodness I had a tether which came with it.

    The Fitbit is wonderful and accurately counts my steps instantly as I'm taking them - all of them. It even counts stairs and has a stop watch function which I used for the first time yesterday. I have the FitBit One. I took one of the tethers from one of the Omrons I have and put it on my FitBit and now it is doubly secure.

    My vote for what I've found out between the two is FitBit wins.

    2175 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by LOUIE-LILY