Top positive review
1,999 of 2,063 people found this helpful
I purchased 3 of these
on 9 May 2014
I bought 3 of these fitbit flex devices, one for myself, my husband and my sister. Before purchasing I researched several wristband devices such as the Jawbone UP, the Nike Fuel and and the Polar Loop. I also looked at the fitbit force which is a newer version of this band. The lack of water resistance on the force was a deal breaker for me. I wanted to be able to wear this band 24/7 and to be able to wear it in the shower or when swimming. That was part of what made it attractive to me. Also, after reading reviews about the clasp problems on the force and how many people lost them, I wanted no part of that. They are also quite a bit bigger and look clunckier. The wristband on the UP looked like it would catch on everything and had no display at all. The Polar had lots of quality problems. I wasn't crazy about the looks of the Nike. The display is nice and I can see how people would like them, but not my style. The fitbit flex, to my tastes, had the coolest look. I also know a couple of people who own the fitbit flex and they were very enthusiastic about them so that influenced me as well.
So here is what I like about the flex: I like the way it looks on my wrist. All of us got the slate color. You can also order bands in a few different colors, both here and on the Fitbit site. It is lightweight and even though I don't often wear a watch I don't notice this on my wrist at all. The clasp was VERY difficult to secure the first couple of times until the rubber softened up a bit and until I got the hang of it. I secured it off of my wrist a couple times when it was new. Making sure the band and clasps are lined up correctly and then placing one finger directly below the clasp and my thumb directly above and squeezing hard was the way to do it.
I like that it's water resistant and that I can wear it swimming or in the shower. It is safe down to 10 meters or around 30 feet. I like that the wristband is made of TPU rubber, which according to Wikipedia is a type of rubber used in automotive instrument panels, caster wheels, power tools, sporting goods, medical devices, drive belts, footwear, inflatable rafts, and a variety of extruded film, sheet and profile applications. I think it should hold up for a very long time. I like that the display on the band gives me a rough idea by tapping on it of my progress throughout the day. I can also check my progress on my iPhone 4S and see number of steps so far, calories burned,how many hours of sleep I got last night and how often I woke up or was restless. So far it seems very accurate. I can also track the foods I've eaten and the calories, my weight goals and weight lost, check on the weekly number of steps friend's with Fitbits have taken and compare them with my own.
I like that I can wear it 24/7 and only have to take it off to charge it once every 7 days. It takes about 3 hours to charge with a USB thingie that comes with it. I use a wall adapter to charge it but could also use a USB port on my desktop or laptop computer. I've lost too many pedometers in the past by dropping them out of my pockets or forgetting about them and sending them through the washing machine, so the wristband seems like a much better option for me. I also like that I can connect wirelessly with my smartphone and with the little dongle included that goes into my desktop or laptop, can connect with those wirelessly as well. Software downloads for all of these are free. I'm also able to connect on my first gen Kindle HD 8.9 although I can't see where it's shown as a supported device so far. But it works with the Android fitbit software in the app store.
The step measurements seem reasonably accurate. Waving my hand slowly won't register as a step. Waving wildly will. Driving in the car won't register but reaching around quickly in the car sometimes will. Typing on the computer or Kindle won't register. I've heard that swimming doesn't register either but you can input the time and activity on your phone or tablet. When I first got the flex I started the iPhone app and watched my steps register on my screen as I walked around the house. That, and watching my steps on the treadmill have shown it to be pretty accurate for me, although not perfect. I think that all pedometers have some inaccuracies. What I'm looking for is a comparative trend where I can tell how much exercise I'm getting. The accuracy is good enough for me.
So I wake up in the morning, tap the wristband quickly a few times to tell it I'm awake. Then if I tap it twice I see one tiny blinking light, telling me I'm working on my first 2,000 steps. Later, when I've hit that mark and tap to check again, I'll see one solid light and the second one blinking. There are 5 lights total and each represents 2,000 steps (or 20% of my goal. I could set it up differently on my computer, using a different number of steps as my daily goal if I wanted to.) So I can see my approximate progress any time during the day. When I hit my goal of 10,000 steps the band vibrates and all the lights flash. That means you done good!
I can set up to 8 silent vibrating alarms on this fltbit. I have one to wake me up on weekdays (you can specify which days) and one at 8:00 each night to remind me stop eating for the day. The vibration gets my attention and is effective at waking me up. I set the alarms on my computer or phone.
At night when I'm in bed and ready to go to sleep I tap the wristband rapidly a few times, it vibrates briefly, and goes into the sleep mode until I wake it again in the morning.
So am I happy that I purchased the Fitbits for myself and my family members? Yes I am. It motivates me to walk or run more. I can connect to other friends and family with Fitbits to see everyone's weekly step progress but what really motivates me is just competing against myself. I'll find myself parking in the back of the parking lots at stores to log those extra steps or walking around the store longer because it's a good way to add even more. When I haven't reached my goal at night, I'll sometimes walk around the house several times just to hit a number. Now that can't be all bad, can it?
Update 1/12/14 - I'll keep updating this review with comments and observations as I use this device. I noticed that walking at a rapid pace is counted as "active minutes". Someone on a message board suggested adding a touch of lotion to the clasp if you're having trouble getting it to clasp when it's new.
Update 1/16/14 - A full charge is lasting just a bit over 7 days. It takes about 3 hours to recharge it fully.
Update 1/21/14 - Some people have complained about this band coming undone and losing it. I haven't had any problems with it at all, even when pulling tight coat and shirt sleeves over it, brushing my arm against things or the dog pulling on it once or twice. (I'm sure the dog could have pulled it off if I didn't stop him.) The other day I had the dog's leash wrapped around the wrist with the Fitbit and even with the dog pulling against the leash the fitbit stayed on. We walked this way a couple of miles before I noticed it and unwrapped the leash from my wrist. But even with all that agitation my fitbit stayed put. It has stayed on through enough that I'm not very concerned about losing it. I've only taken it off to charge it. I have the band snug enough that I can only put one finger beneath the band but I can move it a couple of inches back and forth on my wrist.
Update 6/9/14 - Still loving the Fitbit and still wearing it 24/7. The battery is still lasting about 7 days before needing a recharge and it still takes about three hours to charge. It has been working perfectly with no problems at all. My sister gave me these bands for my birthday a couple months ago Fitbit Flex Accessory Wristbands Three-Pack so now I switch to different colors that go with whatever I'm wearing. I really like the navy color. Fitbit is great motivation to keep me moving.
Update 7/3/14 - A new update that works with the iPhone devices that use the Fitbit app was released a few days ago. I've used it with my iPhone 4S and really like the new upgrade. It adds a whole new dimension to my Fitbit app. With the upgrade, I just click on the exercise icon on the dashboard which takes me to a new screen showing the days of the week that I've exercised. (Meaning a walk, run or hike, something in addition to the regular walking in my daily activities.) This screen shows exercise frequency by day of the week, it puts a check on the days that you do some planned exercise. If I click the little stopwatch in the upper right-hand corner, it takes me to a screen where I can click Walk, Run, or Hike. I go back and can then click Cues which takes me to another screen where I can select whether or not I want to hear spoken cues. I can also tell it which cues I want including: Distance, Time, Average Pace, Split Pace, and Calories Burned. Then I go back again an can select the frequency of the cues from every .5 miles to every 5 miles. Or, I can make the cues time based ranging from every 2 minutes, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 minutes. I can also select the volume of the cues. (Medium was perfect for me.) Then, back again to select a playlist from my iPhone's loaded tunes. Last, I allowed location services for Fitbit in my phone settings and I was ready to go. Now I see a big red circle with a Start arrow on the screen over a GPS map showing my location. I pop in my earphones, click Start and my music starts playing.
As I walk, I can see a screen showing how far I've walked, rate per mile, time elapsed. Every half mile a voice interrupts my music telling me how far I've gone and all the other things I've specified in Cues that I wanted to know. Then it goes back to playing my music until it's time for my next designated Cue. How cool is that? It works seamlessly. At the end of my walk I tell it I'm finished (or I could also pause it if I stop to talk to a neighbor or something). When I'm finished (or even during the walk or run) I can see a little red line showing my route on the map. The steps from my walk are added to my steps count, just as they always are. I love these new features. They add a lot to the Fitbit experience.
11/25/14 - Being such a big Fitbit fan, my friends keep asking if I'm going to buy one of the new Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Tracker & Sleep Wristband bands that have just come out or one of the newer ones to be released next year. I'm still thinking about it, but one of the big things I like about the Fitbit I have is it's simplicity. I don't have to take it off in the shower or when swimming and I can wear it 24/7. I also have accumulated quite a collection of different color bands, both from Fitbit and third party sellers. I mostly wear the black, slate, navy and white ones, but I like having some of the other colors too, to match my outfits. The new ones have a built-in watch. Most of the time I think I would like that. But I do have quite a few regular watches that I like to wear. With this Fitbit, I can wear them on my other arm. Fitbit on one arm, regular watch on the other. But with the new ones it would look kind of silly wearing two watches. Right now, only one Fitbit can be registered and used at a time. I think if they were interchangeable I would consider using both, simply because I like new technology.
Update 12/3/14 - If something happened to this Fitbit today, what would I replace it with? Another one just like it.
Update 12/26/14 - After almost a year of wearing these 24/7, none of us have had one come off accidentally. Even the cheap knock-off bands seem sturdy and reliable like the original. And I'm not a very careful person about pulling tight sleeves over it or draping grocery bag handles over my arm.
I have the steps across our back patio counted out by counting them myself. It is 60 steps back and forth once. (Yeah, I know, way too anal.) Oftentimes when I haven't hit my 10,000 steps for the day, I'll go out and walk back and forth with my iPad on the patio table to check my progress. I know from doing this that the Fitbit step count is dead-on accurate for counting steps when walking. Dancing will add steps which I think is fair since it's at least as good as walking for exercise.
Update 4/30/15 - Fitbit has an update that now allows you to track multiple Fitbit devices on your Fitbit app. I haven't tried this, but from what I understand this will allow you to go back and forth between other models and once registered it will recognize them automatically. It's tempting to try the Fitbit Charge or the Surge that can measure heart rate or pulse or have caller ID. They're bulkier than I would like to wear on an all-the-time basis, but would be nice for workouts. And new technology is always fun. The Flex is still my first love and I like the switchable bands, but I'll look at the new models now that it isn't an either/or decision. Here are their instructions for adding another Fitbit:
Update your Fitbit app (if you haven't already)
`Set Up a New Fitbit Device' from the Account tab in the Fitbit mobile app or Fitbit Connect
Finish the setup instructions, and start swapping - we'll take care of the rest!
Update 4/30/15 - With the nice Spring weather it's been a great time to get out and walk. Still loving my Fitbit which keeps track of all those steps. I've ordered a few more band from third party sellers, not because I really need them, but because there are so many new colors available. They even have prints and patterns now. My husband was asking why we need so many, but I noticed that he's been wearing the camo pattern one a lot this week. So hard to resist and they make my Fitbit look all new again!
5/1/15 - I just saw this Fitbit commercial on TV tonight and can't get that song out of my head. You can watch it on YouTube here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K0qVi_nF6y8. Great ad, Fitbit!
Update 11/30/15 - Almost 2 years and our Fitbits are still going strong. I've been wearing mine 24/7 the whole time except for a couple hours, once a week to recharge it. If anything happened to this one, I would replace it with another one just like it. It's simple to use, works well, and I love being able to switch to different color or patterned bands when I feel like it.
Update 12/8/15 - Fitbit just added a new firmware update for the sleep timer feature. Once updated it's no longer necessary to tap the Fitbit before going to sleep or when waking it. It will now recognize when you're inactive and have gone to sleep. It also has some new goal setting software in the app relating to sleep to make it easier to focus on getting more (or less) sleep. The graphic interface is pretty nice. I'm looking forward to using this since I've become something of a night owl and could really stand to get on a better schedule. One more thing to like about my Fitbit.
The update took about 5 minutes using my iPad and plugging my Fitbit into its charger while it updated. The whole thing was simple. A red arrow on the dashboard, in the sync area alerted me to the upgrade. I really like this new feature.
UPDATE 1/24/16 - Update 1/24/16 - When I purchased my Flex a little over 2 years ago it was advertised as being "Water resistant to 10 meters or 33 feet" which is 1 ATM. Their website now states: "Flex has been tested up to 1 ATM meaning it is sweat, rain and splash proof. However, the device is not swim proof. We also recommend taking Flex off before showering because, as with any wearable device, it’s best for your skin if the band stays dry and clean." The definition of 1 ATM, as I understand it is that it indicates that under static (nonmoving) conditions at 10 meters below the surface of the water the pressure of the water will not breach the seals on the device. But I can't take it into the shower? Perhaps even more confusing is the Fitbit Surge is rated at 5 ATM (50 meters) and has the same warning about not being swim proof and not to be worn in the shower. Are they just trying to ensure that users don't abuse the tracker?
That said, I always shower with mine, I never dry it off afterward except the top when I'm drying my arms. I don't swim often but when I do, I leave it on. If I were going to spend a lot of time swimming on a regular basis I might take it off since it doesn't track swimming anyway. But for splashing around in a pool occasionally, I don't worry about it.
My skin is somewhat sensitive to watch bands and I'm allergic to some metals and other materials. I couldn't be much LESS careful about the Fitbit and have never had a problem with the band and my skin. The underside is often damp from getting wet in the shower even half an hour later and it hasn't bothered my wrist. Being able to wear this 24/7 was a major selling point for me and it has worked just fine since January 2014.