Following the launch of Fitbit's new Force band, Nike is out with a follow-up to the original FuelBand called the FuelBand SE, and you bet the company isn't dropping its focus on FuelPoints. Tracking physical activity, steps taken daily, and amount of calories burned are the core of this sports fitness technology.
The new band is now available for pre-order today for $150 (£95) for its 6 November release, though it's limited to consumers in US, UK, France and Germany. Is this the FuelBand follow-up customers have been waiting for? We've taken the opportunity to round up the differences, similarities, and a brief look at Nike's FuelBand future.
Same build, more water resistant
Nike isn't veering too far away from its FuelBand roots with its new FuelBand SE version. You'll still find the same plastic build, packing a lightweight interior with a sturdy exterior. The screen still keeps 20 red/greed LEDs and 100 white LEDs to display FuelBand points and information. We actually have a hard time finding differences on the outside when the two are sitting next to each other.
The original FuelBand was water resistant, but Nike is taking things up a notch with the latest version. We don't have anything in the way of specifics on what makes it safer, but the company says it is safe to wear in the shower or "when dancing in the rain". Since it's not waterproof, Nike doesn't recommended it for use while swimming - bummer. What if the FuelBand could track swimmers' movements?
One of the giveaways between the original FuelBand and new FuelBand SE will be colours. The first FuelBand wasn't too fashionable, sticking with only one colour called "Black Steel". Nike has realised its customers want to add a little style to their lives and will make Pink, Volt (green with a hint of yellow), Black, and Crimson available.
The colours don't take over the whole FuelBand SE, however - you'll still see predominately black. It's a welcomed change over the first version, bringing a bit of pizzaz to your wrist.
Sadly, for whatever reason Nike is still choosing to stay away from Android with the release of the FuelBand SE. Like the original FuelBand, there's no compatibility for Android with the FuelBand SE - just the iOS app.
We've heard rumours of an Android app in development, but Nike has also denied plans for an Android app in the past. "To deliver the best experience for all Nike+ FuelBand users, we are focusing on the FuelBand experience across iOS and ", where you can sync your activity, set new goals, and connect with friends," said Nike in February. "At this time, we are not working on an Android version of the mobile app.
Nike and Apple have had a pretty cosy relationship, and that could be why an Android app has been put on the backburner. With the launch of iOS 7, the FuelBand SE will be able to integrate into the Nike+ Move app that announced alongside the iPhone 5S in September. Original FuelBand support hasn't been named.
Like a watch
The new FuelBand SE has gained the ability to double tap the face for the time to be displayed rather than merely press the button.
More movements, more activities, no cheating
The standout feature of the FuelBand SE are the improved sensors over the original FuelBand. Unlike the old band, the latest Nike+ FuelBand SE is calibrated so you can no longer fool it by punching the air. This means no cheating to gain FuelPoints - now you actually have to get out and be active... oh, the horror. Beware of your first-gen FuelBand wearing friends.
The FuelBand SE also has more activities added: track, cycling, rowing, full-on running, and somehow yoga. Bluetooth 4.0 has been added for instant data through the iOS app all the time rather than when you want to specifically sync it. Despite all the extras the band will still deliver the same four days on a charge the original FuelBand offered.
You can now set time intervals for the FuelBand to remind you to get up and be active. For example, five minutes of every hour the FuelBand can encourage you to get up and walk around and “3.2.1. GO! Sessions” have been added as a way to track specific activities throughout the day like hitting the gym in the morning and going for a run at night. This allows a user to track exactly how much NikeFuel they earned in that specific session of activity.
A “Win the Hour” feature tracks how much movement is accumulated at each hour throughout the day and encourages people to move more often by prompting users to move if they’re missing their goal. It also recognizes when goals are hit and lets users know they’ve "won the hour".
The original FuelBand was a little more basic, and just tracked your movements throughout the day. It couldn't pinpoint certain activities. If your arm was moving, you'd gain points. The FuelBand SE makes things a bit more sophisticated.
Taking cues from other fitness bands like the JawBone Up, the FuelBand SE can now track sleep. Unlike the original FuelBand, you won't need to take it off before hopping into bed. Nike still hasn't shown the interface for this technology, but we assume it tracks your sleeping patterns from "light" and "deep" sleep. There was no word if the FuelBand SE will wake you up in the mornings when your sleeping the lightest, like the JawBone Up.