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IT & Systems Management

New Nike+ FuelBand SE is tougher, more accurate, company says

Nike will revamp its fitness-tracking wristband in time for the holidays with the Nike+ FuelBand SE.

This isn't a major update over last year's original FuelBand, but an evolution that claims to offer more accurate fitness tracking, better battery efficiency, and an improved design.

If you're unfamiliar with FuelBand, the main draw is the way it converts all movement and exercise into a universal fitness metric, dubbed "NikeFuel." Nike says it spent the last year looking at users' fitness data, and now has tweaked its NikeFuel algorithms to be more accurate.

The company also updated the software with several new features: Users can initiate "Sessions" to figure out how much NikeFuel they've earned during a specific activity, and can track the intensity of their workouts with "Fuel Rate," which measures NikeFuel earned per minute.

A new "Win-the-Hour" feature prompts users to start moving if it looks like they'll miss their fitness goals, and users can now double-tap on the FuelBand SE to quickly see the time. The FuelBand app also supports groups and includes new milestones for users.

As for the hardware, the FuelBand SE uses Bluetooth 4.0, which reduces power drain while connected to a smartphone. Nike claims that the FuelBand SE will last up to four days on a charge, compared to less than three days on the original. The band is also more water resistant and more flexible, and the LED lights will automatically adjust brightness based on the surrounding environment.

Unfortunately, Android users need not bother with the FuelBand SE. As with the original, Nike will only support iPhones with its FuelBand app, so Android users should seek alternatives such as the Fitbit Force.

Meanwhile, iPhone 5S users can rack up NikeFuel points without even wearing a FuelBand, using a new Nike+ Move app that works with the phone's M7 motion coprocessor.

The FuelBand SE will replace the place of the original, and sell for the same $150. It's available for pre-order now, and will launch on November 6--along with the updated FuelBand app and Nike+ Move app.

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