The BodyMedia FIT Link Armband is best suited for athletes and fitness enthusiasts wanting a detailed, precise health monitor. The Link is a newer version of the Core model worn by contestants on "The Biggest Loser," explains Christina Tynan-Wood with Family Circle. "The Link takes multiple readings from your body to offer an accurate picture of your overall energy output." Both wireless and USB sync options are available, connecting the armband to BodyMedia's comprehensive fitness account.
In-depth monitoring. According to the manufacturer, the BodyMedia FIT Link Armband uses four sensors to collect over 5,000 data points every minute. It monitors skin temperature, perspiration levels and how fast heat leaves your body, resulting in what experts say is a very accurate picture of the calories you are burning. The Link even differentiates between moderate and vigorous activity. Because it combines detailed biometrics with its accelerometer, it can record non-step activities more accurately than bracelet trackers. The armband doesn't include a display; users must upload data to see their stats.
First-class accuracy. "If you're serious about tracking every calorie burned as accurately as possible, this makes the other trackers look like toys," says Danny Sullivan of CNET. Experts say the BodyMedia FIT Link is excellent at tracking steps taken during the day, without confusing arm movements for steps like some activity trackers. The Link uses Bluetooth to wirelessly sync with iOS and Android devices; it also includes a USB cable to connect to PC and Mac computers. Time Tech's Ben Taylor finds the Link doesn't sync as well as other popular trackers. BodyMedia's companion fitness site, the Online Activity Manager, lets users chart the food they eat, set goals and receive motivational advice.
Conspicuous design. "One of the biggest drawbacks to the [Link] is that it's not particularly comfortable," says Danny Sullivan. He says the band is too obtrusive for him to forget he's wearing it. The BodyMedia FIT Link's built-in battery lasts two to four days before needing a three-hour recharge -- a much shorter battery life than the seven- to 10-day span of most bracelet-style activity trackers. BodyMedia includes three free months on their website; afterwards, the tracker costs $6.95 per month, which significantly adds to its overall cost. "Over a two-year period, that puts the Link's price at around $240, compared to $100 to $150 for the other bands," explains Sullivan.
Testers include the BodyMedia FIT Link Armband in their evaluation of activity trackers, categorizing it with devices that cannot be read in real time. Using a mix of fitness equipment and real-world simulations, editors evaluate the Link's ability to accurately measure steps and calories.
Review: Activity Trackers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
The BodyMedia FIT Link Armband ranks as number 17 in this comparison of 26 fitness trackers. A more cumbersome syncing process, higher price and limited battery life bring its total score down.
Review: 26 Fitness Trackers Ranked from Worst to First, Ben Taylor, Jan. 9, 2014
Danny Sullivan tests the BodyMedia FIT activity tracker, along with the Jawbone UP, Nike+ FuelBand and Fitbit One. He says it beats other trackers in accurately recording calories burned through exercise, but is not the most comfortable design.
Review: My Life with the BodyMedia Fit Activity Tracker, Danny Sullivan, June 18, 2013
4. Family Circle
The BodyMedia FIT Link Armband is included in this list of the 10 best activity trackers. Reviewer Christina Tynan-Wood gives only a brief write-up on each device, reporting that the Link is very accurate because of the multitude of readings it takes.
Review: The Best Activity Trackers for Staying Fit, Christina Tynan-Wood, Not Dated