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This topic is for feedback on Mumsnet product tests. If you're a company / brand and would like to run a product test on Mumsnet email

Tell Fitbug your tips for squeezing exercise into a regular day and read MNers feedback on the Fitbug Orb. Chance to win two free Fitbug Orbs. NOW CLOSED

(278 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Aug-14 16:59:31

This is the feedback thread for the 50 Mumsnetters who tried Fitbug Orb.

Here’s what Fitbug say: “The system sets you personal targets each week for steps and food, helping you improve your lifestyle at a rate you can gradually adjust to, so it’s not a hardcore exercise regime or a diet that you do for a short time, but a way of improving your habits for the long term."

Testers: We’d like you to post on this thread twice. First with your initial impressions, and then a couple weeks later letting us know how you got on. Please answer the questions below but feel free to add any other thoughts you may have.

First impressions:

Q1. Why did you want to take part in this product test?
Q2. What were your first impressions of the Fitbug Orb when you opened it? Did you like the look of it? If so, why? If not, why not?

Non-testers: What’s the easiest form of exercise that you manage to squeeze into a regular day? Do you have any tips to fit exercise easily into your day to share with other Mumsnetters? Maybe it’s taking the stairs to your office on the top floor of the building, or walking your children to school each day. Whatever it is, we’d love to hear it.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of Fitbug Orbs (worth £50 each).



missorinoco Wed 20-Aug-14 17:17:28

Non tester. I squeeze exercise on by getting up early to exercise
Slightly hard going the first few times, but it wakes me up, and I feel more energised for doing it.

rookiemater Wed 20-Aug-14 17:28:48

First impressions:

Q1. Why did you want to take part in this product test?

I'm a fitness gadget fan and have a pedometer and heart rate monitor that I use regularily to track progress. I had looked at buying a fit bit as I felt that maybe I should upgrade to a more modern thingymyjig, hadn't got round to it and then this product test came up it seemed like a great opportunity to try the fitbug orb without having to pay for it.

Q2. What were your first impressions of the Fitbug Orb when you opened it? Did you like the look of it? If so, why? If not, why not?

I liked the initial packaging - seemed quite modern and sleek. I was given the black band so quite happy with that. However once I opened it I was a bit preturbed by all the bits and pieces, it seemed as if it would be a bit tricky to put together, I was also a bit disappointed that the instructions basically just referred you to the website. I'm maybe very thick but I put the battery in the wrong way round to begin with so a few more drawings showing how you use a coin to open it, and demonstrating which way to go would be helpful for luddites like me.

I do like the look of the band - the black with the pink stripe on the orb looks quite cool.

scousadelic Wed 20-Aug-14 17:44:02

First impressions:

Q1. Why did you want to take part in this product test?
I am 54, very overweight and very, very unfit but am trying to improve so have lost a bit of weight and started trying to move a bit more so this seemed like a great chance to try a gadget that might motivate me when, being honest, I am not techno-savvy enough or focussed enough that I would have gone out and bought one. I'm hoping it will motivate me to improve

Q2. What were your first impressions of the Fitbug Orb when you opened it? Did you like the look of it? If so, why? If not, why not?
I like it. I too got the black band and am happy with that as I prefer unobtrusive yet stylish. Oddly, although I am not at all technologically proficient, I found it all quite straightforward. I was a bit confused at first that the links on the instruction leaflet weren't easy to find via the website (I like to click on a link rather than have to type in a huge thing in the bar) but found the info I needed via the website after a bit of pootling around.
I also really like the look of it in the band and agree with rookie that the black with the pink stripe on the orb looks quite cool. I like the small clip too, I have worn it to work, clipped to my bra strap so nobody even noticed it

mumsbe Wed 20-Aug-14 18:05:45

Non tester I squeeze exercise in first thing on a morning and last thing at night by doing pilates in bed I find its the best way for me and I walk most places instead of driving or getting the bus

HeySoulSister Wed 20-Aug-14 18:28:38

Tester..... With nothing to test!! sad

Anyone else still waiting for theirs to arrive?

Nightwish Wed 20-Aug-14 18:47:44

Still waiting for mine Hey.
I emailed them and apparently they didn't have my postcode on the form so couldn't send it so I had to give it to them.
Try emailing the lady who sent you the confirmation email, maybe the same type of thing.

GingerRodgers Wed 20-Aug-14 18:48:18

Non tester
I fit in little bits of exercise by trying to get up and down the stairs as mch as possible, so carry things down a few at a time rather than all at once.
Use the car less and walk more.
Put some music on and dance with the kids.
That's all I've got energy for!

idleweiss Wed 20-Aug-14 18:53:55

Non- Tester - Invest in some resistance bands, I use them to tone my legs while I'm ironing, breast feeding etc, and use them in the evening to tone my arms and stomach whilst watching tv!:D

Sorelip Wed 20-Aug-14 18:58:13

Non tester - I squeeze exercise in during my baby's naps. I try to fit in one exercise DVD (30 Day Shred is a favourite), and dance with my toddler, and fidget as much as possible.

NellVarnish Wed 20-Aug-14 19:24:31


Q1. Why did you want to take part in this product test?

I've had a couple of pedometers over the years and it when I've worn them, they've really motivated me to move more. However I've been very lazy of late and exercise has fallen by the wayside, as have the pedometers! I was keen to start C25k again having successfully completed it a couple of years ago when I saw this trial and thought the Fitbug would spur me on.

Q2. What were your first impressions of the Fitbug Orb when you opened it? Did you like the look of it? If so, why? If not, why not?

It looked great, I loved the packaging but found the instructions very hard to read, teeny tiny print on black card. Very modern design though. I was given the black one but would've liked any colour. The Orb feels like a little pebble to hold, very light and cute. When attached to the wristband it feels like you're not wearing anything as it weighs so little. I tried it with the clip too, which was really sturdy, held well and didn't leave marks on my clothes. I don't think anyone would notice you wearing this as it looks just like a watch or you could clip onto your bra. I've worn mine for 24 hours with clip, then wristband to see how it feels even though it's not actually working yet.

What I didn't like so much was the setup of the Orb. In fact mine isn't working yet and Customer Services are sending me a dongle now to try to fix the problem. It was quite frustrating to be honest as I tried everything to get it working, (and I had teenagers helping!). The instructions aren't very clear, and the white sheet of long links which came with it was awful. I couldn't get the bug to pair with my device at all. The website is good once you get into it and the graphics are nice and clear. Text on main page quite hard to read as well as it's tiny but entering food etc. is quite straightforward.

All in all the Orb is cute and if I could get it to work I'm sure I would love it. For anyone reading, Customer Services think the problem is with the version of my Bluetooth - something I would never have thought to check if I'd bought one. It's compatible with an iPhone 4S so I would've assumed it would work with any Bluetooth. I was ready to throw it out of the window at one point. grin

Top marks for Customer Service though as they replied really quickly and were keen to help fix the problem. Hopefully the issues will be fixed soon and I'll be able to update.

Thanks for the opportunity to test this MN and Fitbug.


Q1. Why did you want to take part in this product test?
Because I need to lose weight and I like gadgets...
I run already but weight is a problem cos I eat too much junk and I have a sedentary job ... This will prove that's the problem and might encourage me to move more

Q2. What were your first impressions of the Fitbug Orb when you opened it? Did you like the look of it? If so, why? If not, why not?

It's a nice neat little gadget... The packaging is bold, contemporary and stands out.... Mine is black and I must admit I'm relieved not to have got pink .... There is far too much pink associated with women and exercise ;)

The silicon strap fits well and fits small wrists too - I often have a problem that watch straps are far too big. I have since found it attracts cat fur so it often looks a bit grey or tabby-esque

Then on to set up.... The packaging claims 7 minutes, and for me that was probably about right .... Before I attempted the firmware update...

I have an iPhone 5s and have used other bluetooth 4 devices so that wasn't an issue.... Downloaded the app, created an account, paired the orb and completed basic set up...

It started recording sets and all was good ... Then I had the bright idea of updating the firmware ....

I got the same problems that others reported... It seemed to get stuck despair switching bluetooth off and on as recommended on the website...

I tried taking the battery out ... No luck, emailed support but got an automated message as it was Sunday late evening...

Then out of frustration, I uninstalled it deleting the pairing with my phone, and reinstalled the app, and suddenly the update worked... The orb showed the new firmware was active and it started recording steps once more ...

I have to say if I wasn't reasonably confident with tech stuff I would have given up long before..... The instructions for the firmware update aren't easy to do and when it breaks there is nothing on the web to tell you what to try... The website could do with some additional info and step by step guides rather than videos where everything goes smoothly....

I've since used it to track sleep but found the website for nutrition frustrating... I'll try that again over the next 2 weeks and report back...

So far it's love the gadget but I think the user guides and support need some more work... Plus why do companies do it.... Sell a product where the firmware needs more work so the first thing you have to do is a major update....

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 20-Aug-14 19:58:11

The only way I get any proper exercise is to get up early and go for a run before DH goes to work. I can manage an early start about 3 times a week.
I find it hard to get much exercise during the day with 2 small children as the youngest doesn't walk and the oldest is a dawdler. Most of my exercise is running after the crawler as she heads for danger.

Roseformeplease Wed 20-Aug-14 19:58:20

Tester here, but I didn't know I was one until the exciting arrival I. The post today. So chuffed!

1. Because I am both trying to lose weight and become fitter and feel that this might act as the voice of my conscience.

2. Getting it set up was relatively easy and I love its sleek beauty. I am a bit disappointed with the app and that you can't seem to add calories etc to the app, you have to go to the website to do this. Correct me if I am wrong. This means I have to press the gadget and wear it, check the app and go onto the website. This seems diddly when I have other apps that allow calories and exercise to be added, not just steps.

ThatLightbulbMoment Wed 20-Aug-14 20:11:35

Non tester.

I don't really squeeze exercise in as such, but my job is pretty demanding physically, and I can walk up to 10 miles on a work day (I have. a pedometer that I use every day and was stunned to learn that I walk so far!)

When I'm not working, I am generally running around after the kids and doing housework, which is also good exercise!

AnnField Wed 20-Aug-14 21:11:16

Non tester.

I walk as much as I can, including up the escalators at work and at the train station.

When I go back to work in September I plan to get up a little earlier 2 days a week so I can go to the gym on the way to work. That and once at the weekend should hopefully be easy to squeeze in!

heymammy Wed 20-Aug-14 21:45:13

I wanted to take part mainly because I have been increasing my activity levels recently to try and increase my poor fitness levels! I'm not particularly overweight, just very unfit. I do a fair my bit of walking and lots of cycling now but wanted to track my activity to see if what I was doing was useful exercise. I've tried mapmywalk which is a pretty good app but I kept forgetting to start the damn thing and would remember halfway through.

First impressions...the packaging looks very high tech and gadgetty <made up word>. Lots of wee pieces inside the packet, the orb itself is small and smooth, just like a pebble, I think someone said that up thread.

I got shocking pink which I would never have chosen for myself, way too garish so the wristband is out but I'll wear mine on the wee clip which is really sturdy, not flimsy at all so I know it will stay securely attached to my clothes.

Easy enough to fit the battery and it slides into the belt clip easily.

Setting up is where the problems began...quite straightforward initially until trying to get the app to read my gadget. Turns out only certain models of ipad3 are compatible. I had checked the web link in the initial brief from mumsnet and it did say ipad3 but it wasn't at all obvious that only a few models are compatible. So...I moved onto my phone, no dice there either, Samsung S3 minis are also not compatible! This would have hacked me off hugely if I had been actually buying this gadget. However I emailed customer services asking for a dongle and had the most polite email back, they are happy to send me one. In real life though the dongle costs extra.

So that's the current state of play! Waiting on the dongle to arrive and still actually really looking forward to testing out this wee piece of kit.

CMOTDibbler Wed 20-Aug-14 21:47:52

Non tester. I fit in exercise round whatevers happening - so sometimes thats running or cycling early, sometimes I run/cycle/swim at lunchtime, sometimes after work, or I do the latenight swim session at 9. I also have a turbo trainer for the bike so if all else fails I can train at home while watching tv on the tablet.

Mummageddon Wed 20-Aug-14 22:00:00

Non tester.
I've got some weights I keep in our bedroom and I do a few different types of reps and sit ups etc before bed. I can't usually manage going out for exercise because no childcare so I try to exercise at home once DC in bed

sharond101 Wed 20-Aug-14 22:00:38

I walk the dog for at least 1hour 30minutes every day. DS is 2 years old and walks some of it and is in his buggy the rest. We feed ducks and sometimes go to the swingpark en route which keeps him interested. I have found a local leisure centre with a creche so use this once a week to get a decent swim in too. Also encourage playing football, tennis etc to help us both run around more.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 20-Aug-14 22:06:40

Non-tester. A Jillian Michaels DVD first thing in the morning (after DD off to bus-stop at 7:30) does it for me. In the hols do more 'real stuff' (hill walking,watersports)

Purpleflamingos Wed 20-Aug-14 22:06:42

Non tester. SAHM to a 3 yr old and 5yr old. I squeeze in lots of walking where possible (easier when dd was happy in the pushchair). My favourite though is 10 mins on the trampoline bouncing with the dc. Lots of laughter and giggles. Can be done a few times a day too.

thewomaninwhite Wed 20-Aug-14 22:08:36

Running. Free and easier to fit into difficult work patterns (e..g shifts, childcare) than a class. Just run and go!

buffersandbumpers Wed 20-Aug-14 22:16:09

Get up and do 30 Day Shred or a Davina DVD first thing. Too busy during the day to find time and too tired in the evening. Weekends I get to do classes at the gym. Walking dogs gets me out but if that's with the children I don't class it as exercise as it's toddler pace, looking at every twig, leaf and insect in sight.
Use an app to record my weight daily but don't count calories (too fiddly IMO).

MTBMummy Wed 20-Aug-14 22:38:36

Tester here

Q1 - I wanted to take part as I have recently had a baby and I need to shift some of the remaining excess weight. I've been using various iPhone apps but they're not a single interface or designed to track all day.

Q2 - first impressions, it looks pretty and was very easy to set up, I've had none of the issues with firmware updates described by others. What I did wonder was how on earth the lanyard was supposed to be used, given it's only just larger than a wrist band, and how we're supposed to wear it round our neck.

I had an issue with the orb popping out of the wrist strap while putting my back back on, and it rolling off across the platform, thankfully a kindly passenger stopped it before it disappeared onto the rails. I do find the orb with the wrist strap quite bulky, and it catches on sleeves, back packs and most annoyingly it's difficult to remove my arm from under my DS when trying to put him down to sleep. I will add I do have very small wrists and wear the strap on it's smallest size, so this issue may be specific for me, which is why I was hoping the lanyard would be bigger.

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