Since this is a fitness oriented website I thought I should probably take a closer look at the latest craze going on, fitness trackers. Today’s review will cover the Flex from Fitbit. I had an opportunity to pick one up through a program at my day job so I went for it to see what the fuss was all about.
My overall thoughts on the Fitbit Flex are that if you need a little extra motivation and a fun reminder to get active then this product will have value for you. If you are hardcore about tracking heart rates, elevation gain/lost, etc then you may need to look elsewhere. The main functions provided by the Fitbit Flex are tracking steps, distance, calories that you burn over the course of the day, and active minutes. It also monitors your sleep and has a silent alarm that can be set to get you up and going in the mornings.
Initially I was a bit skeptical because it doesn’t have a display per say. It has 5 small lights that indicate your progress towards your daily step goal. An example would be, if my daily goal was 10,000 steps, then each light would represent 2,000 steps. So if I would tap (which is how you “command” the device since there are no buttons) the Fitbit and 3 lights come on with a 4th one blinking, then I have taken 6,000 steps and am currently somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 steps. As far as tracking general progress towards your step count the lights are adequate and I believe the device does accurately track your steps. Once you meet your goal the Fitbit does vibrate to alert you of your success. It’s a nice little attaboy after meeting your daily step objective!
To maximize the benefit of the Fitbit Flex you are going to want to get the app and sync it with your smart phone. There you can actually set your goals, see your total steps, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep. One feature that I do enjoy having is the exercise tracker which I can turn on when I start my runs and it will track time and distance for me. It really doesn’t have anything to do with the actual Fitbit but it does display the info alongside of all the other data the Fitbit does track.
The Flex does advertise that it is water resistant which I have to agree is accurate (Note that is water resistant and not necessarily water proof). I wear mine in the shower and have not experienced any ill effects due to water or sweat. I also have to agree with the advertised 5 day battery life. I can generally charge it on a Monday and it will last all work week. I’ll usually throw it on the charger Friday afternoon before heading home and I’m easily good through the weekend.
The only thing that I had trouble with was turning the vibrating alarm off. I just never could get the right force and frequency of “taps” to control it as well as I would have liked.
In summary, I feel the Flex performs exactly as advertised. You don’t even notice it when working out and it has remained reliable and functional thus far. I find myself periodically checking my step count and how many calories I’m burning just as a little reminder that I am making progress. The real benefit in my mind is that it’s kind of like tying a string around your finger when you were younger to remind you to do something. Every time I look at my wrist I’m reminded to get moving!
(Disclaimer: I purchased this Fitbit Flex out of my own pocket and receive no compensation for this review.)