Fitbit Flex: a follow up review…

Alright, so it has been a couple day and I think It is time to do a review of sorts of the Fitbit Flex. So here we go:

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Dun dun DUUUUNNNN….

After the nightmare inducing rage of trying to synchronize my Fitbit at least one of my many devices, It eventually decided to sync to my phone. Neither my mac nor my pc would work for some reason. Also the program for the computer doesn’t actually show you anything, you need to go on the website after the sync to see how you are doing and stuff. So here is tip number 1: don’t bother trying synchronizing via computer, the app works better and has many useful features which we will talk about in bit.

The overall quality of the product is a bit of a mixed bag. The rubber use for the bracelet doesn’t feel very nice and there is noticeable flash left over from the molding process. More interestingly, the bracelet that came with the Fitbit has a surprising but mostly negligible¬†defect: there is a small groove that follows the left edge of the bracelet and a lip protruding on the right side of the bracelet, suggesting that the two halves of the mold used did not align perfectly… It is barely noticeable and nit picky but noteworthy.

The Fitbit flex comes with two bracelets, one large and one small. The two give enough range for it to fit on any one’s wrist. For some reason, when I wear mine, it feels almost too tight on my wrist despite having some wiggle room. If I fasten it one hole looser, than it’s too loose. My wrist must have an unconventional size…

The actual tracker is removable and has to be pulled out of the bracelet for charging. That is a bit annoying as the tracker fits pretty snugly in the bracelet and can be hard to grab. The battery life is something like 6 to 7 day so it is not that much of an issue.

The tracker half removed
The tracker half removed.

There are two modes: normal/walking mode for the day and a sleep mode for tracking sleep patterns. How do change modes? By wildly taping the device for 1 to 2 second until it vibrates and display a light pattern. Brilliant. Also, there are no instruction contain with the box, and the only way I knew about was by stumbling through the FAQ when my Fitbit was not cooperating. Thankfully, you can retroactively log your sleep through the app in case you forgot or could not be bother to turn the sleep mode on.

It seems pretty accurate most of the times. You could shake violently and not see the step count go up for example. It does seem to have trouble with more subtle movement tough. I have seen the step count increase by 150 after I had typed an email while at the office and I suspect that some steps were “counted” while I was driving to and from the office.

The phone app has some pretty cool functionality that makes the fit bit worth it. It allows you to see your current step count and, if you slept with the Fitbit, check your sleep pattern. It also feature a burnt calorie tracker and food intake tracker. That way you can track how much calories you spent and how many you ate. This is a nice feature if you want to follow a specific diet for example. The application can also use the GPS tracker inside your phone to give stats while you work out. It will trace on a map where have been, tell you how long you have been working out and what your pace is. It is a really cool tool for runners and you don’t actually need a Fitbit to use the app. So here is tip number two: the app is worth it by itself, even without the tracker.

I went for a run around the lake/pond of the Apartment complex. Pretty cool!
I went for a run around the lake/pond of the apartment complex. Pretty cool! The two breaks in the path were when I took a short break.

In conclusion: The bracelet it self feels like something out a mildly successful Kickstarter but the app makes up for it in its functionality. Would I recommend this product to a friend? Not really. The Fitbit Flex feels like it was design to cater to the upper class New York socialite who need to feel good about themselves and to impress their fellow socialite. If you are looking for a good activity tracker, you are probably better off with one of the more expensive one, which have more features and are probably more accurate. It is functional enough to give the impression of a high tech gadget but really is more like a overpriced pedometer. It works for what I need it to do but it is a bit of let down.

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3 thoughts on “Fitbit Flex: a follow up review…

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