I'll start out by saying I really love this new meter. There are a few differences, but mostly, I prefer it to the One Touch.
I suppose you'll want to know why. Okay, okay. I'll tell you.
- The Kroger meter strips are cheaper. But you already knew that one.
- The Kroger meter is smaller. Not a great deal smaller, but definitely smaller. Not only that, but when I have all the strips, the meter, extra lancets, and the "poker" in the case it comes with, it is still smaller.
- The carrying case is just plain cooler than the one that came with my One Touch Ultra.
- The poker that came with the meter is far more comfortable. In fact, with the exception of one time thus far, after I poke my finger, I wondered if it had done anything at all. I honestly didn't feel a thing. But, I managed to milk blood from my finger just fine, so apparently it worked. There are five adjustable settings for depth, and I used the middle one, same as the one that came with my One Touch Ultra.
- There is a built-in backlight.
- While both the One Touch and Kroger meters have a 5-second test, the Kroger meter will not start counting down until you have enough blood. The One Touch Ultra starts to count down almost immediately, and occasionally you don't have enough blood in time, resulting in the waste of a perfectly good test strip. Not an issue on the Kroger meter.
- The Kroger meter has similar features as the One Touch Ultra, including auto-on by sticking in the test strip, displaying averages for 7 days and 14 days, etc. But one thing the Kroger does that the One Touch doesn't is it has an audible feedback feature (which can be turned off). Basically, it beeps when it turns on, when there is enough blood, and when the test is finished.
- As I mentioned, the Kroger meter is smaller.
Now, despite all the positives, there are a few things that I either don't like or I'm just not used to yet:
- The strips come individually packages in foil wrappers rather than a vial. In a way, this isn't a problem. In fact, I can fit a lot more strips in my case in less space as a result. But it means not only tearing open the foil wrapper, but having the extra garbage to deal with. Not a huge issue, but different. The wrappers are actually extremely easy to open, so it isn't a big deal.
- The test strip goes in the bottom of the meter rather than the top. My One Touch Ultra, the strip goes in the top. Being on the bottom makes it slightly more awkward to apply the blood sample if I'm using the bottom side of my finger. Having the strip on top makes it easier, no matter where on my finger I poke. Again, this is more of an adjustment on my part than anything.
- The blood sample size on the Kroger meter is very slightly larger than on the One Touch. Truly, it isn't enough to make a difference to me, but I mention it because some people might have trouble getting that extra .1 microliter of blood (or whatever it is). For me, it is no worse, and actually the difference is moot since the meter won't start counting down until I have enough blood anyhow, so I have more time to squeeze out more blood.
- Calibrating the meter isn't a matter of just scrolling through some numbers. Instead, they have this calibration stick. You place it in the meter when you open a new box of strips, and it codes the meter for you. In a way, this is easier. However, it means you have to keep the calibration stick around. Even that isn't so much of an issue, however, since they provide a little place to keep it in the carrying case.