My old fitness tracker’s days are coming to an end. It is still working but it has been getting increasingly glitchy over the last year. I’ve known that it has been on borrowed time, but I’m still sorry to see it on its way out. As much as it has had a couple of stripes through the screen for some unknown reason – they’re not consistently there, only mostly – and the brightness has been fading substantially, I’m accustomed to the way it works and how it functions in my life.
My Old Fitness Tracker
I have been wearing a Fitbit Charge 3 since that was a new device. It had all the latest fitness tracker features when I first got it. Of course, tech has come a long way since then.
I’ve already ordered my next device. It should arrive later today. As much as I’m looking forward to that, I’m not looking forward to getting rid of my old one. I’m used to the way it works and the way it functions in my life. I track everything on it and use it as my alarm in the morning. I know the new one will do that too, but the adjustment is a nuisance.
The frustrating thing is that if the screen wasn’t becoming increasingly dim, I’d still love to keep the old one. It is perfectly visible in a dark room. At night, I can see it perfectly. However, even while on its “normal” screen brightness setting (the brightest one), it is now quite difficult to see it if I’m sitting next to a sunny window. According to the support forums on the brand’s website, I can see that lots of people suffered that same problem.
My New Fitbit Charge 5
To try to keep up with the consistency of what I like from my fitness tracker, it’s the Charge 5 that is on its way to me later today (update: it arrived by the time I published this blog later in the day). I’m looking forward to giving it a try, but not looking forward to the adjustment. Is this a sign of age or something?
I’m the same way when I get a new phone or laptop. I’m happy to get the upgrades, but not thrilled about having to adapt to all the things that are different and that I liked about the old device. I remember when I was so excited to replace my old gadgets with new ones. It really wasn’t that long ago. But it seems that no matter how expensive they are, they’re pretty much garbage in terms of longevity. Planned obsolescence may seem like a solid strategy for tech companies to make sure that we’re always replacing our devices, keeping them in business, but it’s not improving my opinion of them.
In case anyone in charge of creating devices – from fitness trackers to smartphones – is reading this, please know that when I use your device and it doesn’t live very long, my opinion of your brand falls. Loyalty falls. I think of your brand less as one that cares about a quality product – or the environment, for that matter – and more as one that will do what it takes to get me to buy more.
Brand Loyalty is Dead in the Fitness Tracker World
For Fitbit, that worked out this time because I didn’t have the time to really research an alternative brand. I chose the one I got out of consistency, not loyalty or a high opinion of the brand (which I used to have before their customer service tanked).
So, yeah, I’m looking forward to having a new device that works and has great features. That said, I’m not looking forward to having to go through all this again when I need another fitness tracker in a couple of years because they’re not made to last.
Note: It’s not just Fitbit. I switched to the Charge 3 after having two Garmin products that I finally got fed up with. It’s the entire tech industry. My experience just happens to be with a Fitbit right now, which is why they were named.