Posted by Jim Martin 15 October 2013
Nike launches FuelBand SE activity tracker: now with sleep tracking and colour accents
At a special event in Manhattan, Nike has unveiled the second-generation FuelBand, dubbed the SE. It looks much like the original Fuelband, which launched in the UK in summer 2012, but now has colour accents like a recently launched smartphone…
The FuelBand SE has the same design with a matrix of LEDs for the screen, the familiar red-to-green LEDs for the daily progress bar and yellow, pink or red highlights where the older model had a silver metal clasp. See also: Nike+ FuelBand vs Fitbit One review.
There's still a single button which scrolls through the different readings, including steps, calories, time and NikeFuel, which is Nike’s own metric for activity.
Nike+ FuelBand SE: new features
The big news is that sleep tracking has been added - something that was oddly absent from the original Fuelband. And, just like the Jawbone Up, the FuelBand SE now has hourly reminders to keep moving - one of the features many people had been hoping for.
Other updates include the fact that the FuelBand SE is waterproof (I treated the original as waterproof and never had any problems!), and you can now click the button twice quickly to display the time. On the old model, you had to keep pressing to cycle through all the displays.
The FuelBand SE now has Bluetooth 4.0 so it can send data to your smartphone (which also must have Bluetooth 4) throughout the day. No more long-press button action needed to start the sync. The bad news is that there's still no support for Android. If you don't have an iPhone or iPad, you'll have to use the Nike+ website.
Nike+ FuelBand SE: missing features
Disappointingly, the new tracker doesn't have a couple of features we expected, namely an altimeter for tracking height climbed and a heart-rate monitor (or even compatibility with Nike's existing heart-rate monitor). At least, no details on these features were mentioned during the launch.
Nike+ FuelBand SE: updated app for iPhone
The FuelBand app has also been given a makeover. It was already one of the better apps for activity trackers, but there's now more information. Beneath the main NikeFuel meter is the activity graph (previously you had to rotate your phone to display this), so you can see both on screen at once. Below the graph are white dots representing the hours you've been active (or not) through the day.
A new NikeFuel per minute reading adds a measure of 'intensity' which was lacking, and something that Fitbit and others have.
Nike says thousands of hours have been put into fine-tuning the algorithm to make it more accurate. In the demos during the launch, athletes used the FuelBand SE to measure their performance while rowing, cycling and running and the SE band appeared to accurately measure their activity. With the old Fuelband a cycling marathon wouldn't add much to your overall tally.
In fact, you can now tag each training session in the app, so even if you're doing a Yoga class, your NikeFuel score will reflect how much effort you've put in.
Nike+ Fuelband SE: UK price and availability
The FuelBand SE will replace the original and goes on sale in the UK on 6th November. It will cost the same as before at £129. You can pre-order a Fuelband SE at nike.com/fuelband