Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fitbit versus Samsung Health

As mentioned in a previous post, I procured myself a new fitbit. This allowed for me to compare the Fitbit One to the Samsung Health App I've been using on my phone. While the comparison will be going on for a while and I could get into all the minutia about the different accelerometer chips used in the different device, I thought it would be simple and handy to just use the two for a while and see how they compare. 

I've had the Fitbit for roughly a week. The first figure shows the step comparisons between the One and my phone. As you can see they track pretty closely. There are a couple of deviations though, namely on 6/12 and 6/18. 
To more closely see the variation I evaluated the difference between the two devices as shown in the second figure. Positive values are days the Fitbit counted more steps and the negative values are where it counted less steps. 6/12 and 6/18 are clear on this chart and also correlate with days I charged my Fitbit, i.e. it sat on the charger while I racked up some extra steps with my phone. To the contrary, I charge my phone each night so there is no corresponding variation with my phone.  However, there is one day my Fitbit logged >2,000 more steps than my phone. This was 6/10 and is the day I went to see Cage the Elephant in concert, so perhaps my jumping around at the show registered with my Fitbit, but not my phone. 

Removing the three outliers from the dataset I get an average step difference of 221. This means the Fitbit counts a few more steps than the phone on average. This difference is not drastic though. From the data I am averaging 8803 steps per day (using the phone as the control). Thus the error, based on this limited data is a mere 2.5%.

The  table also has a few of the other comparing points for the two devices. While the preliminary data seems to have ruled out accuracy as a factor for preference the comparison really seems to be one of convenience.

The phone is always with me, but not always on me. It is big and cumbersome. At the gym I'd like to sit my phone and use it as a timer and to record my workouts.

The Fitbit is small and, when I remember to wear it, is on me at all times. And that's the rub. Charging days in particular can be tricky to remember to wear the Fitbit and can lead to some off counts. Otherwise, as it's largely a single function device (unlike my phone which contains much of my life at this point) it can be more easy to forget.

Both devices have a host of features and can be a good fit to a program. Thinking largely about going to the gym it seems that wearing the Fitbit, while using the phone to record my workout works. Add in a need for music and now I have yet another device either a bluetooth headset or a clip-on mp3 player to charge and keep track of. I love the tech there'll be no shortage of devices I think I might need, but for now the one-two Fitbit/Phone combination seems to work.