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.