The Fitbit Flex, a year later…

So today is April 14th, which was the day last year when I first received my Fitbit flex fitness tracker and went on a rage fueled rant on of horrible an experience it was to try to synchronize it, among other things. I did a more level headed review the next day where I went a little more in details about functionality and feel of the device. Now It is exactly one year later, and after wearing the thing pretty much everyday, I feel like it’s time for a final round up of my thoughts on the device. So how has the Flex performed over a year?

First of all, the bracelet did not survive the whole year, breaking sometime last September, only after about 5 month of use, which in my opinion is shockingly bad. It would not be an issue if the bracelet were relatively cheap to replace, but the official replacement bands are $15 a piece, which is a complete rip off. There are some third party bands that are little under half the price tough and, so if you ever need a need band go for one of those. The ones I bought seem to be of better quality than the original too! It’s been almost 7 months since I got them and the one I am using is showing none of the signs of fatigue that the Official band had after 3 month…

I don’t want to sound too tin-foil-hat-y but it’s almost as if Fitbit wants their band to break quickly, so they can get more of your hard earned money… You know, planed obsolescence and all that.

One of my biggest gripe with the Flex at the time was its inability to synchronize constantly with my phone. Sometime the only way I could get the damn thing to work was to turn off and on bluetooth on my device and hope that it would work. There were couple update that made it marginally better but the ultimate fix proved to be to switch back to android. I did write about it but I did get a new android phone last December, the lack of app support on Windows Phone was starting to rub me the wrong way. The Fitbit Flex had no issue connecting with my new phone and has been far more consistent. I am not sure wether my phone’s bluetooth was the issue or if the Windows Phone was just sub par, either way, It doesn’t appear to be Fitbit’s fault.

Talking about the app, it is still the main appeal of the Fitbit package. They added a couple new features, you can track which hour of the day you walk more than 250 steps (meant to encourage you to take brief walks if you have a desk job for example) and you can now set a goal of how many day a week you want to workout. Some of the clunky UI has been improved as well. The accuracy of the tracker is still dubious at best though…

One thing that I notice that did not improve however is battery life. While it used to be able to keep its charge easily for almost 7 days, it now only last for 4 to 5 days. It is not necessarily a big issue but also means that it might become useless before I go thru the three other spare bands that I bought.

Conclusion time: After a year, do I feel like it was $99 well spent? Ehhh… Almost. The fact that the bracelet failed after only 5 month and stupid pricing for replacement is definitely a big negative mark for me, and while the sync issue seemed to be caused by my phone, I have yet to figure out why it never work on either of my computers. While it does everything it says it does, I still think it is a bit over priced and mostly for show. I would not buy it again but I would keep it and use it if someone else gave it to me. I am starting to look around for a possible replacement/upgrade but it seems that the fitness tracking industry took a dive, while the “smart” watch business see to have took its place as the new cool tech wearables. The problem now is that smartwatches are even more overhyped and overpriced than the fitness tracker ever were so I might have to stick with the flex for now…

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