• 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Sadly Returned the Fuel Band SE

    • Written by from Los Angeles

    After wearing the original Fuel Band for about a year and a half, I was excited to upgrade to the new band. I had several technical problems, but when I got it working is when I was really disappointed. The upgrades seemed like a step in the wrong direction, and I had some very strange data downloads that coincided with using the app. Neither Verizon nor Nike could confirm that the app is what drove the data usage, but I didn't have it before and I haven't had it since I got rid of the Nike Fuel Band app.

    Not sure if I am going to go back to the older Fuel Band or try something new.

    Buyer beware or at least wait until Nike works the kinks out.

    113 of 127 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    I wanted to love it, but...

    • Written by from Fort Worth

    As an "original Fueldband" owner, there was a lot to like about this band. The sessions feature was pretty slick, as was the "win the hour" reminders (when I actually saw them). Alas, this seems to be a case of Nike over-promising.

    The most significant issue with the Fuelband SE is that Nike has designed the ambient light sensor so that the watch gets dimmer in direct sunlight, rather than brighter. The result is that the SE was almost impossible to see in direct sunlight. Unlike my original FuelBand, which was easily read, the SE was so dim I almost couldn't tell it was on. Shading it with my hand resulted in the LEDs brightening up a bit, but even then, my original was easily 2-3x brighter. As someone who lives where there are a lot of sunny days, I just can't justify wearing something that gets dimmer the brighter it is.

    Second, the "win the hour" feature, while neat, never really seemed to work. I can count on one hand the number of reminder messages I've seen in the six days since I've had the SE. It's supposed to flash a message across the screen and play an animation, but the problem is that you'll miss it if you don't happen to glance at your watch right that moment. So basically, if you glance at your watch at 10 minutes to the hour (or maybe it's after the hour) each hour, you'll see the message. Of course, if you've remembered to look for the message, you don't exactly need a reminder. The iOS app is supposed to have reminders, but I never saw one (iOS 7, iPhone 5).

    The app itself is something of a disaster. There's a lot to love, but it's plagued with connectivity issues and, as mentioned, doesn't do reminders.

    In short, the things that have been promised prove to be the very things that don't perform as expected. "Win the Hour" is useless to me if I never see the reminders (either on the watch or in the app). Sessions are great, but if I can't even see the display when I'm out running, what good is it if I can only check progress once I get inside? A fancy app is certainly nice, but what goes does it do me if I spend as much trying to get a stable connection as I do actually using it?

    This is kind of a sad day for me, as I've returned my SE. I was extremely excited to get this as an early Christmas gift and really wanted to love it, but Nike's given me a product that's a step backwards in usability (this seems to be a trend with high-end tech companies these days. I'm looking at you, Apple). Basically, I "up"graded to something I couldn't see in the sunlight, that gave me movement reminders so infrequently that I never saw them, and would go for hours upon hours not connecting to the app (usually requiring me to kill the app and restart it). I've gone back to my original FuelBand and am happy to be back to usability, though it's starting to show enough wear that I may have to replace it soon (FitBit perhaps?). I feel like Nike hit a home run with the first band, but in trying to improve with the SE ultimately took a step backwards.

    I would *strongly* advise against upgrading to this version if you're a 1.0 user. I'm willing to bet those who have never had a FuelBand will be perfectly happy with the SE, but those who owned v1 may be sorely disappointed. I know I am.

    137 of 156 people found this useful