Fitbit Flex – More Than Just a Step Tracker
|June 14, 2013||Posted by Running at Disney under Health & Fitness, Product Reviews, Running Gear|
Step trackers….there are quite a few out there, so how do you choose?! Well I had been wondering the same thing for quite some time and after doing some research, I settled on the Fitbit Flex. I went with this one for a few reasons.
- It has a wristband
- It tracks sleep
- It has bluetooth syncing
- It has a very user friendly web and phone apps
The product was announced quite some time ago and I had been frequently checking the website to see if there was a release date. It just kept saying Spring 2013. So for my birthday this year (March 20th if you’re wondering!), I asked B to preorder one for me. And after almost 2 months, it FINALLY arrived!!
The Flex itself is very small and actually slips right into the wristband. Both are waterproof and you can actually buy different colored bands to change it up a bit. I went with this because I wanted something I didn’t have to take off. If I had a step tracker that I had to clip to something, I know I would constantly forget to put it on. This never leaves my wrist!
I was very happy to find out the Flex actually comes with 2 wristbands, small and large. I have tiny wrists so the small is a perfect fit for me. But I am so happy to have the larger band for when I do heavy lifting because it fits over my wrist wraps.
Each band has a clear “window” that shows through to the Flex. The one downside of this product is that it doesn’t actually show your numbers of steps, but only lighted dots to indicate where you are to reach your goal. There are 5 dots and each one represents 20% of your goal. All you have to do it tap the flex and they will light up.
Even though a display would be nice, I kind of like the subtlety of this design. It actually looks more like a bracelet than a step tracker, like the Nike Fuel Band does.
So now let’s dive into both the web and phone apps!
Both dashboards give you a quick snapshot of your day including steps, distance and calories burned. I love having this right on my phone so I can check it throughout the day. The great thing about the Flex is that it syncs over Bluetooth, so as long as that is turned on on your phone, it will sync every time you open the app! I’ve even had it open while I’m walking and it will count the steps. It also comes with a dongle (love that word!!) that fits into a USB in your computer to wirelessly sync as well. It’s very small and I just keep it plugged into my laptop.
Activities & Step Tracking
The activity trackers gives you more of a visual of your daily, weekly or monthly steps. You can also enter your various activities and get reports on your progress over time. The default setting for steps is 10,000 per day, which I didn’t think would be a lot at first, but I was quickly proven wrong. When you reach your goal for the day, the Flex vibrates and flashes to let you know!
This is by far my favorite feature on the Flex. I’ve always been interested in my sleep patterns because often times I will get 7-8 hours of sleep and wake up exhausted. So this was a huge factor in why I went with the Flex over other trackers.
When you’re ready for bed, you tap the Flex a few times until it vibrates flashes. Then when you wake up in the morning, you would do the same to turn it off sleep mode. As soon as the flex syncs, it will give you a report of your sleep pattern for that night. SUPER COOL!! You can also see other reports to show your average hours slept, total times awake and more. I wake up nightly between 1 and 3:30 to pee so that’s a constant in all my reports. I’m not sure what I will do with all of this information, but I find it all very interesting. Now if I could just remember to turn it on sleep mode every night…
This was another feature that really sold me on the Flex. It has a “silent” alarm you set through the phone app and the device will vibrate to wake you up at those times. It will then snooze and go off again in 9 minutes just incase you didn’t get up, which is great for me! I have a seriously hard time getting up in the morning. I’m one of those people that will hit snooze for 45 minutes and still not get up. This has actually been wonderful because it seems to wake me up easier and it’s also not as jarring as an alarm. It also doesn’t wake B up like my alarm would, so double bonus there.
Food & Water Tracking
Both apps have food and water tracking features, but I haven’t used them yet. I’m not a big fan of tracking these things. I constantly forget to do it or it takes too long because my meals have too many ingredients and then I just end up getting frustrated and quitting anyway. This is one of the main reasons why Weight Watchers never worked for me…but that’s a story for another day. However I can see this being a great feature if you are into that so you have everything in one place.
Well that’s just a basic snapshot of some of the different interactive features available on both the web and phone apps. As you can see from the screen shots there are many other features as well, but I really haven’t explored those much.
I’ve had the Fitbit Flex for a month now and so far I LOVE it. I don’t even notice that it’s on most of the time and it’s really helped me be more aware of how much I move, which I actually thought was a lot more. The first full day of work that I wore it, I was horrified by how little I moved. By the end of the work day, I had only taken around 2,500 steps! Needless to say, I need to get up from my desk more…
The technology and interactivity of the phone app has also been great. I love that it syncs wirelessly and that I don’t even have to think about that…it’s like magic! The one downside is the battery life, which lasts for about 5 days. So I generally find a time where I know I’ll be sedentary (work) for a while to recharge it. It can’t be expected to last forever right?
So what do you think? Have you tried a Fitbit product? Do you have a different step tracker that you use? Do you want to try the Flex?
Disclaimer: I purchased the Fitbit Flex on my own and was not contacted by the company to do this review. As always, my opinions are my own.