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MovBand UK Activity Tracker Review

Friday, 16 August 2013

A couple of months ago, three of the Where Are My Knees team were sent Movband trackers and some Movband accessories for review.  The Movband is an activity tracker that tracks 'moves' - its own record of movement - and miles travelled, every day.  You wear it on your wrist like a watch and throughout the day you can watch your moves increase. Tracking moves is done via a 3D accelerometer that tracks all kinds of movement.  The miles are calculated via your age, which you enter when you set up the Movband (it assigns you an average stride and uses that to calculate the miles you've travelled).

The device is very simple - it charges via USB, you pop it on your wrist and away you go.  Every night at midnight the Moves reset themselves so you can use it as an activity tracker.  The miles don't reset themselves but you can do this manually.

The idea of the Movband of course is to give you motivation to get more active.  You can set yourself personal goals (there isn't an online tracker or a way to upload your movements but you can use whatever recording system suits you - I took photos on my phone of the screen before I went to bed) and then monitor how you get on on a daily basis.

The tracker itself, as I mentioned, fits into a watch style wristband (the tracker works like a watch too and tells the time as well as having a backlight for night time use).  Because the tracker fits snugly into the wristand and is removable it means you can buy different coloured wristbands.  There's also a sweatband available with a pocket for the tracker but I found this uncomfortable and I can't see why you'd use it rather than on the wrist strap.

That's the Movband in a nutshell.  It's very simple, with no bells and whistles, and if you're looking for a basic activity tracker and something to provide motivation to get you more active, then it's definitely a fun and useful accessory.  Personally I own a GPS watch and a Heart Rate Monitor watch which I use to track exercise and running.  Both of these show calories burned, workout times, heart rate and so on, and really the Movband is not comparable to these.  For a start it retails at only £27.99 (compared to the £100 and £65 of the other watches I own).  Clearly the Movband is aimed at a different market to other fitness watches and activity trackers.  From what I mentioned about interchangeable, different coloured straps, it might not surprise you that Movband do a lot of work with Primary Schools to encourage children to get more active. Having had an amazing childhood of running round our local 'patch', playing Man Hunt, riding bikes and climbing trees, it grieves me to think of so many children these days spending evenings and weekends playing XBox or sat on social networking sites, and so I fully support this cause and this is a really applaudable section of their work.  Some of the things they do with schools are to have competitions for children to reach 100 miles in a certain amount of time, or giving out coloured bands for achievements such as 25 miles. Clearly this initiative works well and I think it's something that the Movband really lends itself to. I've also read about exercise instructors getting class attendees to wear them to track activity throughout a class and get people to be more active and animated during a session.

I personally think that Movband is a specific type of tool for a specific need.  If you want a measurement each day that will inspire you to get more active, this is perfect.  What it isn't for, is people wanting to know a tangible translation of activity based on your personal statistics, such as calorie burn or something backed up from another source like GPS or a Heart Rate Monitor.  On the first day I tried it I wore it on my wrist whilst scheduling blog posts on a Sunday and before I'd even left my office chair I'd racked up quite a few moves just by doing lots of typing! There also isn't guidance on 'what good looks like' so it's difficult to know at the end of the day whether your Moves and Miles are something to show off or something to keep to yourself - unless you join a group your only comparison is against your own figures (which for some people is obviously fine.) My best day was 14,970 moves and 17.5 miles but I'm not sure how impressive this is. Also there isn't a way to upload your results to the computer and track your activity online - the US version of the Movband you can, but with the UK version you can't (I spent quite some time trying to get it to work before realising I was on the US site - a bit confusing!) I think this is a bit of a shame, especially as the US version is actually cheaper, at $29.99 (about £20).

If you want a way to track activity over a daily basis, don't fancy wearing a chest strap/HRM and just want something fun to keep you motivated, then the MovBand is for you.

You can buy Movband in their online shop, it retails at £27.99.


  1. nice... awesome device... will buy this one...
    very appreciative article and well explained


  2. Do you know where I can find a cheaper alternative? My Learncliki adviser told me to get one, but I think £25.00 is a bit steep! Can you help me?

  3. Great stuff - measuring progress is one of the best motivators for pretty much anything you can think of. It is especially effective for exercise and weight loss. Pearson's law states - "that which is measured improves - that which is measured and reported improves exponentially."

    Great job with this post Rosie. Many thanks.

  4. The Movband is an activity tracker that tracks 'moves' - its own record of movement - and miles travelled, every day. You wear it on your wrist ... eactivitytracker.blogspot.com

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