LAS VEGAS - And you thought the fitness gadget war had hit its peak. Nope, here at CES 2013 there's lots of talk of how to use gadgets that pair with your phone to track your steps and fitness activity. And the first two products actually come from companies that have some serious experience in the space.
FitBit, which recently came out with its new Zip and One fitness trackers, has announced a new version that you can wear on your wrist. Similar to the Jawbone Up or the Nike Fuelband, the Flex looks like a high-tech bracelet; it comes in different sizes and five colors. Its Zip and One clipped on to your pants or a pocket and were easier to conceal.
Like those, however, it tracks your steps, distance, calories burned and sleep quality and then pairs with your iPhone or Android wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0. You just download the app for the iPhone and now select Android phones (Samsung Galaxy S 3 and Note) and you can see all the data on the fly.
The Jawbone Up has to be plugged into the phone and the FuelBand uses Bluetooth 2.0, which drains the battery faster. There are LEDs on the band to tell you how close you are to your goal, but there is no display to show more details like the other FitBits or the new Withings Smart Activity Tracker.
Withings' new tracker, which looks a lot like FitBit's One, tracks many of the same things: steps taken, distance covered, calories burned and quality of sleep. But it also now adds pulse measurement and strides run. Similar to the Flex, it pairs with your phone via Bluetooth Smart to the Withings Health Mate App to give you all the data, though you can see some of it on the small LED screen. The app is available for iPhone and Android.
The FitBit Flex costs $99.95 and will be available this spring. The Withings says it plans to announce pricing and availability at a later date.