Review of the Ki Fit activity tracker
The Ki Fit is an activity tracker much like the Fit Bit, which I have previously reviewed here. However, unlike the Fit Bit, the Ki Fit claims to track a little more than just steps and sleep – and from my experience (which I’ll go into further if you fancy reading on) it is certainly a more accurate device.
Ki Fit, from Ki Performance (the guys who brought you the Bod Pod, see my review here) tracks steps, movement, body heat, moisture and sleep. This means it tracks more than just activities where you are on your feet, but will track cycling, weight training, rock climbing – any form of movement. But it isn’t waterproof, so put your goggles away!
As with other device reviews I used the product for one month before putting these thoughts together. So read on for the full review.
What is tracked?
A key point about the Ki Fit is that it tracks more than other tools in the market. Using multiple sensors and having direct skin contact it can give a more accurate analysis of your daily activity, including:
- Galvanic skin response
- Skin temperature
- Heat flux
- Calories in
- Calories burned
The marketing material and science behind the device claims a high level of accuracy with the Ki Fit. I tried to prove them wrong, I mixed up the activities – running, cycling, hockey training, weight training. It was all tracked perfectly. I could always see, from the charts, when I had clearly been doing some sort of activity and how long for – plus the resulting impact that had on my calorie deficit for the day.
The sleep tracker was accurate as other devices I have tried (note: I have not tried Zeo which is supposedly the best) and I am always a little uncertain on the accuracy of these… can you really tell how well I slept just from my movement? Saying that, the sleep tracking seemed to match how well, or how badly I felt each morning.
There are various peripheral items you can purchase from Ki Performance (the key phrase there is purchase) such as the watch style monitor, giving you live data from the device and visits to the Bod Pod, giving you expert human analysis on your progress. More on the Bod Pod here.
Unfortunately the Ki Fit does not have an open API and does not connect with other apps. This is a shame as I really feel that self tracking is in dire need of a standardised dashboard where all tracking systems may sync to. APIs are key here.
UPDATE: The API is open to developers and Ki Fit are planning to integrate with other products and apps soon.
I was happy that the Ki Fit is worn on the arm; it provides a higher level of accuracy and measures more than just steps. But it is bulky… in fact it can even make you look like you’ve been tagged by the police or are on probation. Wearing it at work will get you funny looks, but client meetings can be even worse.
Whether you wear short sleeve or long sleeve it is still visible, so it really depends on how confident you are wearing something out of the ordinary. Would I wear it full time? Yes, I think I would. But I’m looking forward to a much smaller device being developed.
Another issue is that the device is not wireless (unless worn with the Ki Display, £60) and instead you have to sync through the very old school method of a USB port. This ensures that you keep the device charged, but does mean you can go for days, or even a week without seeing your data.
Lastly, the device is not waterproof. I once managed to wear it for 23 hours in one day, but there is still the matter of showering; which means you’re not always able to keep the device on and forget about it.
Up till now I’ve been quite positive about the Ki Fit, albeit with some minor UX flaws, which, to be honest, most devices have. But the biggest issue I have with the Ki Fit is the price.
The Ki Fit requires subscription for the dashboard access. The price varies… for example you could buy the Ki Fit for £99.99 and pay £16.50 per month, or buy the device and 12 months subscription for £268.99. Yet you will still have to continue to pay subscription after those first 12 months. This is a costly device in the long run and you should really consider whether it is for you before committing. And no, you cannot use the device without the dashboard.
UDPATE: It is worth mentioning that the Ki Fit is worth £149.99, so the different packages vary due to sometimes spreading the cost of the device over the subscription period or paying upfront. There is another option to pay £127.99 for the device and 1 month’s subscription, which is currently a limited time offer.
There is always a ‘but’. And here it is – even the higher end subscription, £16.50 per month, is a low price to pay to keep your health and fitness in check. Prevention is better than the cure, and the Ki Fit has a solid level of accuracy that will ensure you do keep your body in check.
The Ki Fit is an extremely accurate device. There are plenty of peripherals to make sure you are getting all the data, analysis and support you need from Ki Performance. But it all comes at a cost. They are a premium brand with a premium rate – that’s why athletes choose their products. But for your average Joe? It’s a tough one.
It really comes down to how much you are willing to pay for this level of accuracy and self-knowledge. The body data it tracks is great and certainly appeals to any quantified selfer – so I recommend that you look at the various pricing options available, look at the other devices on the market and ask yourself whether the premium price matches the premium at which you rate your health.
Want to see what the dashboard and reports look like? Check out these screenshots and a 7 day report here