Fitbit Flex 2 preview: Simple, stylish tracking
Fitbit announced two new activity trackers to its portfolio just before consumer electronics show IFA kicked off in Berlin.
The Charge 2 and Flex 2 are the latest to join the company’s line-up, with the latter replacing the original Flex to bring all-day activity and sleep tracking in a new simple, but stylish offering.
We got our paws on it during the show to see how it differs from its predecessor and what it will bring when it arrives in October.
Fitbit Flex 2: Design
The Fitbit Flex 2 is the smaller and more simplistic of the two devices unveiled at IFA. It follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, offering a small removable tracker that is housed in an elastomer band as standard, but can be placed into specific accessories that are available separately. It is removed by simply slipping it out from the underside of the band.
The tracker has five LED lights that shine through the elastomer strap to display progress, with each LED representing a 20 per cent increment. These lights, which sit vertically rather than horizontally as they did with the original Flex, will also show through the bracelet and necklace that have been designed to fit the tracker within them.
The elastomer band for the Flex 2 is a little bulkier than the first Flex, offering a chamfered edge, which ties it in with the newer devices within the Fitbit line up, including the Alta and Charge 2. It is also textured which differentiates it from the original Flex that has a smooth finish and the result is lovely.
The Flex 2 is nice and slim, making it a subtler device than the likes of the Charge 2 and the Alta, mainly down to the lack of display as it is around the same size as the Alta. The Flex 2 is fastened in the same way as the Alta using a two-pin method rather than a buckle. This again makes it less bulky than the likes of the Charge 2, although the two-pin system is a little less secure than the buckle from our past experience.
The Flex 2 comes in four colours comprising black, lavender, magenta and navy. There is also a bangle available in silver, gold and rose gold, as well as a necklace in gold and silver, all of which are sold separately. We saw them on display and they look interesting, as well as nice enough to wear with smarter clothing, but if you don’t want to spend the extra cash, the elastomer band is good on its own.
Fitbit Flex 2: Features
The Fibit Flex 2’s big selling point is that its the company’s first and only waterproof tracker, allowing you to go for a swim with it. It also adds call and text notifications to the Flex party in the form of colour-coded LED lights.
It won’t tell you who is calling or let you read the text like the Alta and Charge 2 will, but the LED lights will light up blue for calls and purple for texts so you’ll at least know something is going on.
In addition to these features, the Flex 2 will do the same as the original Flex. It will measure steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, active minutes and sleep duration, but not elevation. It has SmartTrack so it will automatically recognise exercise and it also has a five-day battery life, though we weren’t able to test this during our time with it.
The Fitbit Flex 2 is a lovely, simple tracker that has a more interesting and exciting design than its predecessor. Not a great deal has changed in terms of looks, but Fitbit has done enough to ensure the new generation doesn’t look like a boring rubber band.
The addition of a couple of extra features, including smartphone notifications in some form and the waterproofing are definitely welcomed too and we love that there are interchangeable accessories too.
For the lower-end of the activity market, it certainly looks like the Flex 2 has a good thing going on, but we will let you know for sure when we review it in full.