Fitbit Flex Review

 

Well, if you’ve read any of my posts on here, you know I’m a numbers guy so today I’m taking slight divergence off my typical personal finance pontification to review the Fitbit Flex.  Fitbit advertises itself like this:

Never stop moving with Fitbit Flex. Wear this slim, stylish device all the time and get the motivation you need to get out and be more active. It tracks steps, distance, and calories burned and shows you how you’re stacking up against your daily goals. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle, helps you learn how to sleep better, and wakes you silently in the morning. Access your stats anytime on your computer, tablet, or from smartphones – both iPhone and Android. Flex is your perfect companion, and stays with you everywhere – even in the shower.

I purchased my Fibit Flex back on May 15.  Due to high demand and backorder I received it a month later on July 16.  I have worn it everyday since then giving me about 2 months worth of experience to share with you.  At its worst, the Fitbit Flex is a glorfied, over-priced pedometer.  At it’s best, it’s a personal activity monitor that keeps you goal oriented and has a dandy alarm.

Here’s some pros and cons from my first 2 months:

PROS

  • It’s always on.  And, by that I mean it’s always on you so you never forget it, and it’s always turned on so it’s always tracking.  For someone like me that can forget a grocery just about anything that isn’t nailed to my person, this is helpful.
  • It’s comfortable.  I don’t wear a watch.  I don’t wear bracelets.  In fact I don’t wear any jewelry, not even a wedding band.  So, for me to tell you it’s comfortable, you can believe it.  The Fitbit Flex comes with 2 bracelets for different wrist sizes with multiple adjustments on each.  I think both would fit my somewhat smaller than average wrist just fine, but for now I wear the smaller of the two.  After you put on the bracelet and take it off a few times, it becomes much easier.  Initial tries to latch the bracelet are typically a little difficult.  Warm it up in your pocket to make it more malleable.
  • It’s basically waterproof.  I swim with it and shower with it.  I haven’t gone scuba diving with it and would not recommend that unless perhaps you’re running an underwater marathon.  I actually usually wash the Fitbit and bracelet in the shower to keep it from getting funky.
  • It charges relatively quickly (about 2 hours) and carries a charge for about 5 days.  I barely miss any steps when I just plug it in to the USB while at work.
  • It tracks well.  I usually do morning runs on about a 3 mile loop, and Fitbit usually gets that distance about right.
  • Sleep tracking is cool primarily for the data associated with the amount of sleep I get each night over time.
  • Online interface is informative and easy to use.

2 Biggest Pros

  1. Motivation – I am someone who when faced with my abysmal number of steps is motivated to do more either later in the day or on the next day.  Witnessing a history of your past efforts is a great way to induce change.  I have become much more active as a result.
  2. Alarm Feature – I’m a morning person.  I love to be up and getting things done or working out, but my wife is a light sleeper so any conventional alarm wakes her permanently from her sleep cycle.  I seriously think she’s sleep disordered.  Anyway, the vibrating alarm in the Fitbit Flex has solved this issue.  I never mentioned the alarm when I bought it because I wanted to see if the vibration would wake her too or she would even notice.  She never noticed.  After a few days I mentioned it.  Now, occasionally, she might notice if my wrist is awkwardly positioned in a manner that reverberates the vibration, but for the most part there is a higher degree of harmony in our household

CONS

  • Fitbit Flex oversells some features a bit.  On the web interface, there’s options for tracking weight, heart rate, blood pressure and glucose.  However, the Fitbit doesn’t actually measure any of these.  So, unless you’re dedicated to filling out that information in a regular manner, these aren’t very useful.  The sleep tracker really only works as a movement detector which maybe suggestive of the quality of your sleep or not.
  • No GPS.  For something in this price range, it would be nice to have an embedded GPS Tracker.
  • The Fitbit Flex doesn’t give a shit about your P90X routine, the 50 laps that you swam, or your 30 mile bike ride.  That is, it doesn’t track any of this.  Basically if it’s not a walking or running activity, don’t expect Fitbit to track it effectively or perhaps at all.

So given all of this would I buy it again?  Yeah, I would.  I really like the motivation it brings.

If you have any more questions just post in the comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.

Posted in All Other
  • http://debtblag.com/ Debt Blag

    Wow. Pretty comprehensive review. Can you remind me what sort of deal you got on this thing?

    • http://sunkcostsareirrelevant.com/ Slug @ SunkCostsAreIrrelevant

      Ha, I bought it just like everyone else. If I have a relationship that could potentially bias my opinions I always acknowledge it.

  • aphoid

    Regarding con #1, the Fitbit Aria can track your weight and body fat %. They could probably build other devices that could do HR, etc… Wife and I love our Fitbit Ones. We gave Fitbits to our parents and can see how much exercise they’re getting. The social pressure is good too.

    • http://sunkcostsareirrelevant.com/ Slug @ SunkCostsAreIrrelevant

      That’s a good point on the social pressure. I forgot to mention how you can follow your friends with Fitbits on the dashboard.

  • http://thebrokeandbeautifullife.com/ Stefanie @ brokeandbeau

    I’m surprised there’s no GPS in there. I guess you could just use a free app on your phone, but then that’s just another thing you have to carry around while running :/

    • http://sunkcostsareirrelevant.com/ Slug @ SunkCostsAreIrrelevant

      Yeah, that would be like running with a brick. No interest in that.

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