Fitbit Flex Review: where tech and sweat meet
With all the different activity trackers on the market today it can be hard to decide which one to go with. Many questions race through my mind like, “Can I get it wet?”, “How long will it last on a charge?”, “Will it bother me throughout the day?”, “Is it really worth it?”. Well, I have gotten my hands on the Fitbit Flex and I will answer these questions plus many more.
At first glance, the Flex looks like bracelet with a black bar running across the top of it, but it is so much more. The Flex allows you to track your steps, calories consumed and burned, distance, and sleep. The Flex is “water-resistant” and can be submerged to 10 meters. Now the only information available on the Flex itself are 5 small dots that appear once you double tap the device. Which doesn’t sound like much, but the amount people use their smartphones these days, it is really no big deal. Well, lets dig into it and see what we got!
What’s in the box
- Flex tracker
- Large & small wristbands
- Wireless sync dongle
- Charging cable
- Free Fitbit.com membership – includes ability to log and track activity, food, sleep, water, body mass, weight, and more
Now, you can only set the Flex to display your current status of a goal. So lets say you want to walk 10,000 steps a day, well double tap the screen and if you’ve walked say, 4,000 steps, two dots will glow solid saying you’ve completed 40% of your goal. This can also be applied to distance or calories burned. The display is small, but it is really all you need to get a quick update throughout your day. If you really wanna know how far away the mailbox is, just open the app and start walking. The app will update in real time how many steps you have gone, kinda cool!
The band is made of a high strength rubber material with a metal clasp holding the band together around your wrist. The tracker itself is removable from the band and is made of hard plastic. The tracker fits inside the band very easily and is highly unlikely to fall out. The band feels great and isn’t made of some crap you think is going to break. Fitbit has done an excellent job at designing the band for all the elements, I forget it is there most of the time.
Like I said before the Flex is much more than a pedometer on your wrist. With its interactive app, I can track all sorts of data throughout my day from water intake, distance, steps, sleep and calories.
One of my favorite features that works really well is the sleep monitor. In order to put the Flex into sleep mode you just tap is five times and it will start vibrating letting you know you are in sleep mode. In order to bring it out of sleep mode you do the same thing and wait for the vibration. It is really neat to see how much “quality” sleep I get throughout the night and how many times I am restless or awake. The app allows you to see back one year of activity, which is nice to track how much sleep I received on a given night.
Battery life on the Flex is roughly 5 days, per Fitbit’s website. However, I have been getting about 6 to 7 days of life out it. Charging the device is easy as well, just plug the tracker into the adapter and about 75 minutes later you are good to go.
The syncing of the Flex is “ok”. You can set the app to update in the background, which uses more battery, but I don’t notice a difference on my HTC One M8. However, even when I have background sync enabled and I open up the app, it still takes around 20 seconds for the Flex to sync up. Now, this doesn’t sound terrible, but my wife has a Fitbit and on her iPhone 5s, it syncs in about 3 seconds every time. I’m not sure what the deal is with this, but like in every relationship and in technology, there is always give and take.
The app is easy to setup and use. It took me about 2 minutes to setup an account and sync my Flex to my phone. The app itself is laid out quite nicely with your Dashboard as your main screen that lays out all the stats of the current day. You can then switch over to the device itself and add “Silent Alarms” which is a fantastic feature. The silent alarm will vibrate your arm for whatever time you set it and won’t wake up the entire household when it goes off. You can also edit your Fitbit profile, check your battery status or previous activity from past days. Fitbit will also send you an email when your battery is low, so nice!
Now, whatever you do, do not become friends with anybody on Fitbit unless, they are lazier than you. I have a few friends who are, lets just say, over-active, and they are constantly taunting me and cheering me on to do more steps. It is actually a nice feature, the app allow you to request friends that are in your contacts or who have a Fitbit account. Once they are your friends, they can see how many steps you have done throughout the week. This also allows you to cheer on your buddy who is doing great or to “taunt” your friends to pick up the pace. I get taunted daily, thank you honey!
Another last minute feature is the integration into BlinkFeed, if you’re not sure what this is check out my HTC One M8 review, which post onto your feed your best day or you can just see what Fitbit has to say by selecting it in your BlinkFeed.
The Flex is an awesome activity tracker that has a lot of functionality and you don’t have to worry about it getting messed up. Fitbit also has widgets that can be placed on your home screens, sorry iPhone users take that up with Apple. Overall, I highly recommend the Fitbit Flex because not only does it challenge you to be more proactive, but it makes it fun as well. The Flex comes in many different colors and would be the perfect gift this Mother’s Day! Check out the official Flex site here!