17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2015
Tried for years to lose weight and never stuck with diets or fitness programmes as I get bored. This little gadget has been amazing for me in providing the incentive to keep going. So far I have lost 11lbs in 8 weeks! The Flex tracks your activity throughout the day and calculates the calories burned and active minutes, and by downloading the Fitbit app you can log in and note the foods you have eaten. The simple goal...to burn more calories than you consume. Certain activities like cycling or using a rowing machine don't register on the tracker but you can enter a record manually on your phone, tablet or laptop. At the end of the day you can check your goals such as daily steps, distance and calories burned and get great satisfaction at seeing all those lights turn green......if not then it's back out for another walk with the dog! The Flex also tracks your sleep pattern, has a vibrating alarm function that really works (I am a heavy sleeper and it wakes me up) and notifies you during the day when you reach your goals. My daughter has since bought the Fitbit Charge which includes a watch display, numeric step counter rather than just lights and keeps track of floors climbed. If you can afford the extra go for the Charge although the Flex is an affordable and reliable little gadget that I am more than happy with.
1,639 of 1,699 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2014
Update 7/3/14 - Fitbit just came out with a new upgrade to the Fitbit app for the iPhone which adds some very cool GPS features. I'm adding details at the end of this review.
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 I also looked at the fitbit force which is a newer version of this band.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 6/6/15 - several people have asked about water resistance in comments and emails, so with summer here I will add yet another update. In one place on their website they recommended against swimming with it and taking it off when showering because while water won't hurt the tracker "wearing it 24/7 does not give your skin a chance to breathe".
This is from their technical specs which can be found here: http://www.fitbit.com/flex/specs
Device is water resistant, and can be submerged up to 10 meters."
10 meters is 30 feet. So I guess it depends on where you look on their site. When I purchased mine almost a year and a half ago the 10 meter thing was prominent on their website. And as you can see from their website it's still in their specs. 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.
543 of 589 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2013
I didn't buy my fitbit flex from amazon, but rather a high street catalogue shop and in fairness that was because I wanted it then and there as I was about to go running and wanted to try it out.
I already had a fitbit zip which was good but the amount of times I left it on the bedside cabinet meant days went without any tracking. so I thought the wristband would be better for me.
I use the large band and I'm happy that it's comfortable (if not the easiest to put on with one hand - but it won't come off) and I forget it's on my wrist.
I like the sleep tracking function - it has shown me what I already know - I'm a restless sleeper - but no advice on how to change that!
More so that anything else I set a target number of steps on my iphone and throughout the day give it a double tap and see my progress. I've yet to not achieve my goal as I find myself quite competitive and don't want to be beaten by a machine.
The up side of that is I'm spending more time with my dog out long walks and after 3 weeks of using it I've lost 6lbs in weight. my overall goal was to become more active and fit and as a result I knew I'd lose weight but I didn't think it would be that quick.
the iphone app is ok but the web dashboard is much better if you have the time to log in to it. the graphs are more detailed and easier to follow online. there is a fitbit premium service you can join for £39.99 but I did the one week trial and couldn't really see what all the fuss was about.
the flex is well made and easy to use and it's great if you can get your friends into a fitbit - you get a progress chart on your phone and it constantly updates showing who is in the lead for the week with the total number of steps - another great way to get motivated.
I think the price seemed a bit much when I was buying it but now that I have it I enjoy using it.
my only two complaints are:
1. that there is no indication of when the battery is about to go flat - except in the app,
2. that the online fitbit store differs from country to country and the UK doesn't have replacement flex bands yet - there's nothing wrong with mine but it's orange and a bit bright for me - I'd rather have had the slate - but like I said earlier I couldn't wait for the delivery.
I hope this has been useful.
988 of 1,077 people found the following review helpful
I waited a long time for this to be released onto the market and now I've used it for a few weeks I'm not quite sure about it. There's an expectation (probably fuelled by the hype around these devices) that they're something more sophisticated than a pedometer that sits on your wrist - well, even with all the complex algorithms and blurb, they're still measuring movement at wrist level. That said, if you understand this and make the necessary allowances you should be able to get a decent benchmark on your daily activities but a £10 manual pedometer will do the same for you.
Here are my pro's and con's:
Sits nicely on your wrist and is comfortable and unobtrusive.
Quick indication of your planned "steps" for the day.
Great app with continual bluetooth connection - this is the best out there.
Doesn't need to be removed for bathing.
Tracks sleep pretty effectively.
You can integrate other data (BP, food, water weight etc.) on the web site. This is a novelty when you first start out but who seriously has the time to do all this?
Water gets in the bracelet and it gets gunky in the strap.
Unpredictable tracking of movements - it tracks cycling but for no logical reason and not accurate so it throws the figures way out. Same for cross trainer. Same for typing.
Battery life is short - 4 days max for me so far.
If the battery goes flat you lose all the unsynchronised data - easy to do if you're not near a charging point and I don't think there's any indication on the device that it's going to fail - you have to refer to the app.
So, I'm unsure about it. It's as good if not better than any of the others out there but it's really not much different to the old fashioned pedometers. Probably the natural successor that we've all got to have, which is why I bought it! I'll keep it going but can see it eventually making it's way to the back of the drawer like all the other life-changing gadgets that I've bought........
UPDATE 22 JULY 2013...
Well, I've stuck with it and reckon it may end up in the back of the drawer. Couple of things that really don't do it for me:
If you do anything fairly active (like a bit of DIY), you can easily put it into sleep mode.
Battery life is pretty poor.
Just tried to update the software - completely hung and needs a reset.
Strap is really nasty in the hot weather.
UPDATE 28 AUGUST 2013....
It froze completely and went into no response mode. Tried all the reset recommendations and nothing. Wouldn't hold a charge, didn't respond to taps etc. Sent it back (thanks Amazon and Fitbit - great customer service) and got a new one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2015
The Fitbit Flex is superb - tracks your steps, calories burnt, 'active minutes' and sleep. If you link your account in with something like My Fitness Pal, your calories burnt will pull through to MFP (which is extremely helpful if you're trying to lose weight and walking off the calories to do so, rather than awful awful dieting). I would warn that anyone who's not tech savvy will probably not agree with me - you really need to use the app to its full potential, and the Fitbit website, to really see all of the benefits. If you just want something to track your steps, this is probably a really expensive way to do it.
The app is great (new features being added all the time - the most recent one updated to now show more detailed information on your sleep, if you wear it through the night). It'll show you detailed information by day, week, month, 3 months, a year... you can start challenges with friends, change your goals... all in all it's a fantastic little gadget with a great supporting app and website.
Multiple colour bands available, though I'd shop around for them - pricey on Fitbit's website as they add a lot of postage. I found Fitness Digital a good place for them, even with their postage added on it was £5 cheaper (couldn't find the pink/purple/teal combo on Amazon unfortunately).
My band lasted 6 months before it started to show wear and tear to the extent I had to replace it (constant wear, only take it off to shower - you can apparently wear it in the shower, but I don't like to). I don't think 6 months is too bad, and it gives an excuse to buy a new colour!
One of the lovelier things about the Flex is that it vibrates when you've met your steps goal... if you see someone get a little shock and then grin wildly in the street, their wrist probably just had a vibrational party.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2014
I bought this after doing extensive online research and even considering whether to wait for new Fitbit Force or go for this one (Flex) and finally decided to go for Fitbit Flex as this seems to satisfy all the main points that I was considering..viz :
- excellent battery life ( lasts 5 to 7 days)
- ability to sync with both smartphone (mine is a Samsung S3 (LTE Model)) and laptop (Windows 7)
- Shower proof (though I tend to take it off while taking bath)
- 3rd party API Support also available as per DC Rainmaker's website
I have had this for a little over a month now and a few days back I managed to slightly tear off my wrist band! But having read another review about how good Fitbit Customer Service is, I decided to contact them via fitbit site on saturday morning..and by evening there was a response from them and my complimentary wrist band is on its way now (with a link on how to correctly insert the flex in the wrist band as well)! Fantastic customer service!
One of my colleagues (who is incidentally my role model in terms of running, he is in his late 50's and runs half-marathons and marathons at a much faster pace than myself), has just bought it as well. So now we can share our stats and get motivated from each other.
Oh yes, one last point - it is fairly accurate as well in terms of measuring distance as I have measured the distance reported by Flex and compared that with my Garmin FR610 and it was spot on! Also measures the steps taken accurately when I have measured it multiple times - just a small reminder though that the LED on the wrist band should be facing towards the outside of the wrist..Also, you can wear it in either left hand or right hand - and just need to let the Flex know which is your dormant hand - do-able via both Fitbit app as well as via the program on laptop.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2015
I started out by using the app by itself on my phone as a pedometer and calorie record and found it useful but not entirely accurate as I didn't carry my phone round with me all the time, and as a result it did not record all my steps and activities. I am now getting a more accurate record and the flex also records my sleep times and episodes of restlessness, which is interesting - my best nights' sleep are often not those in which I've spent the longest time in bed - quality not quantity!
I got this free as a bundle with a phone with a major supermarket and I'm very happy with the phone and the flex. The only thing that is sometimes a bit annoying is having to sync it with my phone to see detailed progress towards my goals.
If I hadn't got this for free I'd probably be kicking myself that I didn't get the fitbit charge with the heart rate monitoring as this gives a read out on the band itself and you can see if you're achieving your heart rate targets and step targets just by pressing a button. The heart rate does make a big difference to the amount of fat burned off by exercise and this is my primary goal. However I've still managed to lose 2st 12 lbs since Christmas with just walking 10,000 steps daily and following a slimming club diet, so it's doing its job, and overall, I'm happy.
I'd be happier still if the wristband wasn't so chunky and unappealing, but I'm looking at Etsy and Ebay to find something that looks a little more like jewellery and a little less like some kind of electronic tag! But that's just me being fussy!
I'm still using it but the minimal information on the wristband is really irritating me. I really want a tracker that stands alone and can be read without synching with my phone. I also want more information on how many steps I have still to do - if I aim for 10,000 and 3 lights are on then it could be anything between 6001 and 7999. I downloaded a pedometer to use alongside it and this helps. Considering selling this and buying a fitbit charge. It was a free gift with my phone, so I'm not too sad, and I'm glad I tried it as I now know exactly what I need from a fitness tracker!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2014
I've been thinking on and off about something like a Fitbit for a while now and finally took the plunge. I'm really impressed with it and am so glad I bought it. I'm the kind of exercise and fitness person who is motivated by targets and technology and I guess you have to be to want one of these things, otherwise it's a bit pointless.
I regularly check my target progress and find myself pushing myself to move more, work harder if I feel I'm behind my progress for that point in the day. I've only had it a week and I've not missed my step target yet as I hate to be beaten it!
I've seen some other people mention issues with false reading etc. I've found none of that, so maybe it's just a case of spending a bit of time on the website defining the settings such as Dominant vs Non-dominant hand etc? Either way, other than the odd bumpy road while driving giving me a few extra steps it's pretty much spot on. I've tested this using the iOS app and watching the step counter in real time and I move about and sit and work etc.
I use Endomondo to track all of my exercise and linking this with my Fitbit couldn't have been any easier. I now get a really detailed overview of my daily activity which just keeps me motivated to do more and get fitter.
Finally I really like the sleep mode. I know I usually sleep well anyway but it is interesting to see how much I move about and how varying bed times etc. can have an effect. Combined with the "silent" (aka vibrating) alarm it's a really good option if you share your bed and don't want to make your other half up if you're up and out first.
All in all, I love it. Great product
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2013
I have to respond to some of the negative reviews that grumble about the Fitbit flex.
The two main grumbles are
1/ The flex is difficult to connect to your wrist and yes I have to uphold this one. It's not easy and Fitbit would do well to review the connector.
2/ I doesn't measure accurately. Well I haven't counted my steps, but it seems fairly accurate to me. There are times when I'm pretty much at the computer most of the day, when I check my fitbit dashboard later there's no activity apart from the odd blip where I strolled to the kitchen and make some tea. Then when I take a walk, I can clearly see when; the activity shoots up. If there is any error it's likely to be a 'systematic' error which might mean you get 200 extra steps consistently every day (because our behaviour tends to be fairly consistent every day). If you're competing against yourself (as I am), that's not a problem, you just set your step target accordingly.
So onto the benefits, and the reason I gave it a 5*
Well this little gadget motivates me and as a result my weight is coming down and I'm much more active. I've set the device to 10,000 steps and to be honest that's a challenge for me, but I get annoyed if I don't get my 10,000 steps for the day (and the jolly little celebratory buzz from the Fitbit when I reach this goal).
Consequently I'm parking further away from work (longer walk in and no parking charge), taking a lunchtime walk (thinking space), finding excuses to walk to the shop (I used to take the car), and playing rugby catch with my 7 yr old son (he's never see so much of me!). In fact with the petrol and parking savings, Fitbit's probably paid for itself and thats before the health benefits (weight loss) and family benefits (more active with the kids). In short, it's a motivator because it sets you a straightforward challenge. 10,000 steps MUST be walked or run, I must get the smiley faces on the dashboard; I must get the Fitbit buzz.
I also like the silent alarm (buzz) in the morning. When you're half asleep it's like someone gently squeezing your wrist to wake you up. You can also set it for individual days, so you can sleep in at the weekend.
In my view, Fitbit is worth the dosh.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2014
Firstly, i spent quite a long time (over a number of lunch hours) reading a multitude of reviews on all the current crop of "fitness" tracker devices. What i learned from all of this is that they all seem to have their good points, and all seem to have weaknesses. What sent me down the Fitbit route was simply being able to chat to some colleagues who were real-world users of these devices. Out of the them, the Fitbit just edged it for my money.
So, one week in and here are my thoughts on the Fitbit Flex...
* Set up was easy. Given there was no documentation or user instruction within the box, intuition (and the web) led the way for me, and i had mine up and running, synched to my phone within 10 minutes.
* The strap is reasonably comfortable. I neede the larger of the 2 straps included within the box, and the securing clip snapped into place with a reassuring click. Yes, its a little more bulky than say a watch strap, but it is a lot lighter.
* Water resistance? It claims you can wear it in the shower, but i wondered why you would want to track your "steps" in a shower anyway. I'm used to removing my watches and rings before showering so removing the fitbit was no issue.
* Battery life seems good. It came with about 1/2 a charge, and i've only needed to put it in for a full charge just once in a week. What i've started doing is plugging it in for a top up every other day (whilst i'm in the shower) - it seems quite happy with that.
* Colour. I read a few comments about how some of the brighter coloured straps seemed to get dirty and show up the signs of wear quite quickly. I opted for the Slate Grey strap (which oddly looks kind of blueish) - this seems to have kept clean.
* Phone App. The iPhone app is quite intuitive to use, and has a reasonably clear and simple layout. I cannot comment on the iPad app as my iPad is not compatible with it (i have an iPad 2 and you need one of the Bluetooth v4 iPads - 3,4, Air for the app to work). The web-based dashboard is well laid out and user-friendly too.
* Device user interface. This is all done via "tapping" onto the front panel. You can get it to show your progress towards whatever goal you have setup (steps, activity etc). Quite simple and straight forward once you work out which bit responds to the tapping. I found it responds better to being tapped with a finger nail, than the soft pad of a finger.
* Sleep mode tracking seems to be effective. Once you get used to the fact that you have to tell it you are going to sleep (tapping several times). I found it recorded my sleep/restlessness very accurately.
Not-so good points
* The Calories burnt figure seems to be over-zealous. I presume its based on a generic algorithum that uses the basic stats (height, weight, gender etc) to work out your basic metabolic burn rate. As i guide i guess its better than nothing.
* The Flex does not log altitude, so does not keep a log of "floors" traversed. This means you get no entries in that area of the activity log (on the app and Dashboard). A minor niggle as i guess the dashboard is designed to cover all the various Fitbit devices available.
* The activity tracker can cause you to double-up on steps if you are not too careful with how you log your activity. For instance i go out for a walk around our business park at lunchtime. When i get back i can see it has logged the steps taken. If i then go into the activity tracker and try to enter in a "Walking" activity it will then calcualte a number of steps taken for the duration of your activity and add then onto your total, thus doubling up. If you wear your Fitbit when out cycling it can also lead to erratic counting - whilst wearing my fitbit on a 20k ride it logged 26000 steps!
The worst points
* The food log is horribly US-centric. Entering in items such as fresh fruit and veg can be problematic as the list it presents seems to be veg portions from numerous restuarant chains. I found that i had to add in my own "custom" entries for most of the stuff i tend to eat. This is a one-off, as once an item is in your personal list then it can be picked in again. It's a pain. It does seem to have a bar-code scanner on the app, but i've yet to get it to work on any UK product!
* Also on the food log, the custom entry area on the iPhone app is dreadful. I cannot find how you can enter in decimal / fractional values for grammes/ounces etc as the default pop-up keypad only contains the numerics. So i tend to use the Web dashboard for adding in custom entries into the food logger, and use the App for on-the-go entering of stuff that is already in my list.
I like the simplicity of the Fitbit. The dashboard and app are good and easy to use, once you have got over the niggles about the food list. I guess it can be whatever you want to make from an activity tracker. I do a lot of cycling so use other gadgets (Garmin) for tracking my cycling activities, and use the Fitbit simply for tracking how active (or not) i am at work and home. The food / drink tracker is a handy guide to see roughly what i've eaten, but if you are on a proper diet plan (Slimming World etc) then other apps are better at accurately logging your food.
There seems to be some integration with the Fitbit intelligent scales (for weight/BMI etc) which i've not yet explored, but their scales are on order so may provide an update once i've used them.