iFit Active review

Under its dull exterior is a suprisingly competent fitness and calorie tracker
iFit Active

The fitness tracker market has exploded in 2014, and while the Fitbits, Jawbones and Misfits of the world are dominating, it's also seen newcomers all bring something different to the table.

Essential reading: Best activity trackers and bands

The iFit Active is one such device, and while it might not have the appeal of the big names, it has an eye-catching list of features. However, at $79, the iFit Active is far from a budget option, and with the Jawbone UP MOVE and Misfit Flash both coming in at under $50, the iFit has to produce something special.

Read on through our iFit Active review to see how it fared:

iFit Active: Design

Let's get this out there, the features and build of the iFit Active are some of the worst around. The bland black module is less than inspiring, and the device comes with two accessories: a clip and wrist strap.

The wrist strap is bizarrely designed with an awful clasp that takes an age to attach. The overall aesthetic is so bad that you wouldn't want to wear it on your wrist in public – so we opted for the clip instead.

Using the clip is slightly better and one of the iFit Active's strengths is that it works on your belt, or just shoved in your pocket. The clasp on the clip isn't particularly strong though, and is prone to falling off.

Overall, the design is particularly disappointing given the price. If it was a $12 fitness tracker like Pivotal Living we could accept it, but it's $79: not good enough.

The iFit has a basic LCD screen, which will show steps, calories and when you're entering into sleep mode. It's not very clear to say the least, especially in direct sunlight but it does the job and acts as a gateway to the iFit's calorie tracking features.

iFit Active: Features

The iFit Active is a “3-in-1" tracker, which means that it will track steps, sleep and calories. The first two are elf explanatory, and we'll come to appraising them later, but the calorie tracking is quite unique and actually relatively well done.

The way the iFit Active deals with calories is to calculate the difference between in and out. If you walk around all day and go for a run, you'll see a number for your calories burned as a minus figure. However, you can quickly and simply add the calorie content of your meals, by clicking one of the buttons and then choosing a rough estimate of your intake.

It's not hugely scientific, but if you're in the habit of watching your calorie intake, it takes roughly five seconds to log a meal, without whipping your phone out or choosing a multitude of options, and it gives you a better indication of your calorie balance throughout the day.

iFit Active: Sleep and step tracking

The step tracking features of the iFit Active performed in line with other trackers we tested it against, so there are no complaints over accuracy. Importantly, it did this when clipped rather than strapped to the wrist.

Like most of the competition it records your light sleep, deep sleep and awake time using movements of your body. Of course, this requires the wrist band, unless you clip the sensor to your favorite pajamas.

Like most sleep tracking features, the lack of analysis means the novelty wears off after a while – however, if this is a big draw the the activity tracking world, the iFit won't let you down.

iFit Active: App and battery life

The app itself is much better designed than the wearable, and it's easy to flick between your steps, calories and sleep tracking. Most tracking can also be done within the app as well and you can add calories here too.

We did have some issues with syncing with the app. And it flatly refused to connect to the app for a long period, which was infuriating – a big mark against its name.

We were also impressed with the battery life, and it managed in excess of five days tracking between charges – a decent score, even against the big name bands.

However, the charging cable features a bizarre design, which requires you to tie it to the electrical contacts with a special strap – a perfect example of the gulf between the software and hardware quality of the iFit.

iFit Active
By ICON Health & Fitness
Cast aside the awful build quality and backwards design and what’s left is a perfectly usable activity tracker that can be discreetly clipped to your belt or trousers for step tracking as powerful as any basic fitness band. For calorie counters the easy logging is a big win. However, at $79, there are better looking bands on the market for even less money. The result makes it hard to recommend over more aesthetically pleasing and seamlessly working opposition.

  • Easy calorie counting
  • Accurate step tracking
  • Works as a clip
  • Horrible design
  • Horrible strap
  • Connection issues

1 Comment

  • kimspassion says:

    • Looking for a review on the new ifit duo

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