Nike FuelBand SE review

The Nike FuelBand SE is a fitness tracker that can monitor not only your steps and distance, but how many calories you're burning. It also doubles as a watch. Paired with Nike's own NikeFuel system, it can be a great way for friends to compete against each other and stay healthy together. But does it deserve your money over other offerings? Let's find out!

When you purchase a Nike FuelBand SE you'll need to download the companion FuelBand app to your iPhone. This is where all your data gets transferred to from your FuelBand. You can however see certain statistics right on the screen of your FuelBand without pulling up the app. Those include the time, NikeFuel accumulated for the day, calories, steps, and distance. Just tap on the button in order to toggle through each data metric. The screen on the fuel is unique from others and is visible in any kind of lighting, which is one of the things I've really liked about it.

Nike has made the FuelBand out soft silicon and plastic which make it fairly comfortable to wear. When it comes to comfort, I still think the UP24 by Jawbone is the most comfortable to wear long term but the FuelBand is more than useable at the gym and even on a regular ongoing basis during the day. The clasp on it clicks in place and is more sturdy than many others. A friend does however have issues wearing it during contact sports or while playing basketball. It doesn't feel very good if a ball hits your wrist and in some instances, it even caused the latch to come undone. Something to think about for those that play contact sports.

Nike FuelBand SE review

The FuelBand SE itself gives you current data right on your wrist but all of your logs and historical data is stored in the FuelBand app for iPhone. It's there that you can also add friends, earn trophies and achievements, and view analytics and comparisons. The main screen of the FuelBand app is an overview of your activity for the day. You can scrub through days as well as view longer periods of time on a graph. Under the pullout menu you can view your friends information and see all your achievements related to your NikeFuel points.

The FuelBand SE also has a feature called Sessions that you can control through the FuelBand app. This is where you can track workouts and easily separate them from regular data you collect from just doing what you'd normally do. I've seen some people use the feature to track sleep. It may not provide real time data like the UP24 does for sleep activity but you can at least track how many hours a night you're sleeping, and you don't even have to wear it to make that happen. Just log your night's sleep as a session.

Nike FuelBand SE review

If the social aspect is important to you, I've found more of my friends using the NikeFuel system than any other. Upon creating a Nike ID and searching for my friends, I instantly found a large amount of people using the app. Even better, a good majority of them are active users that regularly log data and rack up Fuel points. I can't say that for most other fitness trackers when it comes to the social component.

The good

  • The clasp is better and more heavy duty than other fitness trackers
  • The FuelBand app is easily one of the best designed fitness tracker apps available
  • Sessions are a great way to easily track and manage workouts
  • More friends seem to use the Fuel points system than any other, which makes it great for social motivation

The bad

  • During contact sports, it doesn't feel so great if a ball or another person smacks you right where the FuelBand sits
  • No true sleep tracking, even though you can use Sessions to do this as a simple way of tracking hours slept
  • Battery life isn't so great with a max of 4 to 5 days in one charge, if that
  • No vibration alerts for inactivity, something other trackers have been doing for a while

The bottom line

Nike FuelBand SE review

There are a lot of things to like about the Nike FuelBand SE and for the most part, they heavily outweigh the negative points above. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to specifically track workouts. The FuelBand app is a great companion and makes the task easy. And for those that need social motivation, you may be surprised how many of your friends are already using the NikeFuel system.

If you've tried out the Nike FuelBand SE, what do you think of it so far? If you picked another fitness tracker over the FuelBand, let me know what and why in the comments!

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Thanks for the review on this fuel band. You provided some good information. Great review! Sent from the iMore App
  • Ally, thanks for a great review on FuelBand. I have been lurking over couple of websites and watching videos on YouTube re: this. $149 is a bit pricey I guess I recently purchased the Nike shoe-pod sensor which sits in my Nike AirMax shoes and does a great job in tracking the distance I jog, calories burnt and gives me in-depth analysis on nike + website and their app on my iPhone. I would like to know if there's any compelling reason for me to buy this band? I jog daily for more than 3 miles and nothing apart from this Sent from the iMore App
  • Great review Ally! I've been using the Fuelband SE since it was released and have been loving it. I wear it all day, but you're absolutely right - it's perfect for tracking workouts, whether it's running, rowing, training, spinning, etc. I've been able to figure out how much "Fuel" I should reach each day based on my routine. I love how I can double click to see the time. My battery, however, usually lasts about 7 days! I would recommend it to anyone who is somewhat active and wants to learn more about their workouts.
  • It's too bad Nike is such an unethical company or I might take a closer look at this. Perhaps Apple rumored iWatch will have some of these functions....?
  • Withings, all of their product lines.
  • Great review.....I have been wearing one since mid January and these are a few pet peeves of mine. I can't seem to configure where it shows distance. I get the time, fuel, calories and steps. It is good with walking or jogging but not if for any reason you can't swing your arms. However if I wear the wrist band and use the regular nike + app at the same time! the readings aren't even close. I had to walk about 12 miles while doing a project for work, and was excited to see how that stacked up, but because I had to keep my arms pretty stationary I got no accurate measurement of the real amount of exercise. Same goes for cycling. I just went for a short 15 mile ride averaging 15 mph based on that speed and time and weight I burned over 700 calories. The wrist band reads 361 for my entire day. As stated in the article I have also had trouble getting the info to sync, and if you keep the blue tooth on forget about the battery lasting more than 2 days. I am hoping they would make one you wear on your ankle or something that would show your actual movements better. Anyway it does motivate me a bit and that is a good thing!
  • "it doesn't feel so great if a ball or another person smacks you…" What does that mean? It hurts? It's emotionally troubling? It's uncomfortable? It's psychologically destabilising, driving you express yourself with mushy language? Sent from the iMore App
  • You review is posted on this site, no credit given to you, but shows source as How Rude!
  • What an absolutely brilliant review. I now know what a nike fuel bands about and what it does. Brilliant knowledge, confidence and professionalism, apple execs should take note for their annual keynote sessions