For those individuals looking for a way to monitor their physical progress, whether you want to learn how many steps you take during the day, how much exercise you’re actually getting, calories burned, and much more, you’re likely looking to the Nike Fuel Band SE.
This review is for the Nike Fuel Band SE (2ndGeneration). Nike released this particular device at the end of 2013 and had an original retail price of $149. That basically put it right in line with its main competition, which happens to be the Jawbone UP24 in the Fitbit Force.
The Differences are Clear
While the Nike Fuel Band SE is right in line with those other competitor products with regard to price, as soon as you pick it up you notice a distinct difference. The interior portion of the band appears to be plastic with the outer portion some type of silicone or rubber synthetic.
The fuel band has a great status button that illuminates a wonderful LED display where you can track your steps, calories burned, Nike fuel points earned to that particular point, and a specific function called Hours Won.
On the opposite side of the LED display is the clasping mechanism and data port. One great asset of the Nike Fuel Band SE is it snaps closed quite easily. Once secured, it stays closed well, which is a problem with some of the other competitor brands. The last thing anyone wants is to be jogging or doing any type of activity around the house or outside and lose the band. You don’t have to worry about that with the Nike Fuel Band SE.
Nike provides a USB cable to connect the band to your computer so you can download information for better tracking on a long-term basis. It also comes Bluetooth enabled so you can wirelessly transfer the data to your computer instead of using the cable. The choice is yours, which is a great asset for those who may not have a Bluetooth enabled computer or have concerns about security.
A Major Limitation
One of the major limitations or downsides to the Nike Fuel Band SE (2ndGeneration) is that it only works with Windows and Apple based operating systems. The Google Android and others will not work with this particular fuel band.
One of the major concerns people have when looking at devices like this is how long the battery will last. People don’t want to hook up their devices to a charger when they should be using them on a regular basis. After all, when you’re going to be tracking your activity throughout the day and week, the less time you have it off, the better it’s going to be.
Now, Nike essentially lists the battery life at three days. However, upon closer inspection and determining the type of batteries as well as the actual use, it can go for about seven days, based on actual testing.
Keep in mind, Nike’s estimation is extremely low compared to competitor bands.
The Nike Fuel Band SE weighs in at approximately 1-ounce, so it is incredibly comfortable to wear. Most of the time you can forget you’re even wearing it as it feels like little more than a lightweight bracelet. From a distance, it might appear to others as though you’re wearing one of those silicone style wristbands with words, logos, or other images imprinted on them for various causes.
There is a wrist measuring guide on the side of the box that makes it easy for you to determine exactly what size your wrist is. This should be done before you actually purchase your Nike Fuel Band SE. Keep in mind, though, inside the box are two links that allow you to add more length if necessary to ensure a proper comfortable fit.
The band is water resistant, which means you can do dishes, take a shower, and do other activities without being concerned about water getting onto it. It’s not designed to be immersed, such as in a bathtub or pool, but none of its competitors are, either.
Overall, the physical aspects of this band are similar to the previous generation, which makes sense since there was nothing really wrong with the previous generation.
Information Displayed on the Band
The Nike band has an excellent LED display, as mentioned, and will indicate fuel points, calories burned, steps taken, hours won, and the current time. Now, Nike’s emphasis is on fuel points earned, which is essentially achieving goals that you establish for yourself and improving on them over time.
The app will display the fuel points on every page so you’ll be clear on what you’re earning with each particular day, week, or month. Keep in mind that your goal is going to be fuel points rather than steps taken, which is a significant difference between other bands.
Nike also offers suggestions to increase your activity a little or push yourself quite a bit more. The app offers a colored ring that will begin to fill up as you earn more fuel points and get closer to your daily goal and this is a simple visual way to keep track of your progress.
Checking out your activity on the app allows you to see daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly progress. This is the only place, though, that you can actually see your calories burned.
Nike has something called Hours Won. You basically have to be active for at least five minutes in an hour to have won it. Then you can see how many hours during the day you actually "won". This is a great reminder for people who have relatively sedentary jobs, such as sitting in front of a computer all day. It’s a good reminder to get up and move around for at least five minutes every hour.
The Sessions part of the app allows you to select the activity you’re taking part in, whether it’s baseball, jogging, soccer, or anything else. Keep in mind that if you enter the wrong goal or other information, the only thing you can adjust at the end is the time.
Trophies is an interesting aspect of the app that can be a great motivator for people. You can have streaks, going green for a hundred consecutive days, for example, and more. That can be a great motivator, so the reward system will keep you busy for a long time if you want it to.
The Social Aspect
With the Nike Fuel Band SE, you can connect with friends on social media and that can be a great way to motivate one another and stay connected. You can also search Nike’s social network to keep pushing each other and measure yourself against others' successes.
If you’re looking to measure your activity, keep track of how active you are, and you’re not so concerned with diet and other aspects of health, the Nike Fuel Band SE is a great asset. If you’re looking for something more detailed regarding nutrition and other aspects, this might not be the ideal band for you.
Overall, the Nike Fuel Band SE is a great activity tracker with powerful motivational tools that can be extremely beneficial at helping you stay active throughout the day, week, month, and year ahead.