The Fitbit Flex tracker is Fitbits first wrist style activity monitor. Their prior entries into the fitness tracking field mainly consist of pedometers and scales. But this device can actually be worn on the wrist, much like a Nike Fuel Band or the Jawbone UP. In this quick review I will take a look at the design and functionality of the device itself, and the application support it has.
Out of all the Fitbits, this one is easily the most fragile. It is definitely not my favorite Fitbit, at least not in terms of durability.
The actual unit sits inside a rubber wrist cradle on the back of the wristband. It feels very lightweight and secure – there’s no way this thing will fall out, that’s for sure.
The wrist strap feels like a very thick rubber band and gives the impression that it would be pretty tough to break it. There is no wiring or anything inside the band, save for the brains of the operation, which is the center tracker that stays snug in its holster.
The device is sort of hybrid between the Nike Fuel Band and the Jawbone Up in that it does have a small amount of on device feedback. The unit has 5 LED lights that show you current daily goals and progress. So for instance, if the Fitbit Flex lights up with 3 lights that means you are at 60% of your daily goal. I actually kind like this minimalistic design and I feel it is one of the major strengths of the device. No fiddling around with complex buttons or endless set up options.
I am a fan of the Nike Fuel Band and the Jawbone UP because they give you a lot more feedback. But the Flex is somewhat of a compromise between the 2.
Fitbit Flex Features
For a budget activity tracker, the Flex is pretty feature rich. Here is a quick overview of the things that stood out the most to me.
Fitbit Flex Sleep Tracking
the Fitbit Flex has very basic sleep tracking. Since it only contains an accelerometer, it will only show you a small amount of metrics, such as your total sleep time and how much you moved throughout the night. There is also a manual sleep mode, which will also track your time to fall asleep when you initiate it. Tapping the device rapidly will turn this feature on or off.
The battery life is phenomenal on this device. Since it doesn't have a lot of feedback on the heads up display and only operates with led lights, it can go about 6 months before needing a charge.
The flex supports Bluetooth 4.0 and is compatible with Andrid and iOS. Syncing is handled very well. The device will automatically sync when you are in range of a Bluetooth enabled smartphone or pc. It noticed it does this periodically – around 1 -3 times a day. I am always a big fan of automatic syncing and I am glad Fitbit choose to incorporate it with this unit.
Is The Fitbit Flex Waterproof?
Like all Fitbit trackers, the Flex is waterproof to 1 ATM or 1 meter. This means that it is o.k for it to become wet, but not completely submerged. Fitbit recommends you remove your tracker when showering.
Lastly, the Flex tracker also has a silent alarm, which is unusual for a budget fitness band. I found the Fitbit Flex alarm to be a little weak but that may be due to the devices small size.
I found the Fitbit app to be adequate, but I a little lacking. I much prefer the Nike Fuel Band or the even the Jawbone app to this one. The Fitbit application just feels like it's missing something. There’s just not much to it. It gives you everything you need to know, such as your steps, the calories you burn, your daily meal intake, alarms, and sleep tracking. But it isn’t quite as intuitive as some of the other fitness tracking applications.
The Fitbit Flex activity tracker is a bare bones no frills device. The app isn’t all that intuitive. However it is very easy and simple to use tracker that is pretty decently priced (around $99). As a comparison, the Jawbone Up is around 130, and the Nike Fuel Band comes in at around 150.
This device is probably best suited for a beginner or someone who is looking to get their feet wet with their first fitness tracker purchase. And as a beginner’s fitness tracker, the device has everything you would need and will encourage you to be active and get and exercise to meet your daily goals.