One of the most prominent manufacturers of fitness trackers is the Fitbit. Fitbit has got a lot of products, so everyone can find something for themselves. They’ve got affordable products, expensive products, contemporary trackers, feature-rich products, simple products – they’ve got it all (read more: Best Fitbit South Africa). Today, however, we’ll be focusing on just one of their trackers, the Fitbit Flex. It features a comfortable wristband, and is very simple, but also doesn’t have a display, and has a bit of a problem with Android devices, but we’ll elaborate on all of this in the review below.
The FitBit Flex – A Neat Wristband
Announced in 2013, Flex combined features of Fitbit One and Zip, making it out to be a more versatile product than those two, but was also a carry-on, giving you a degree of convenience as well. However, the product is a little outdated now, and a little hard to find. The reason behind this is that Flex 2 has been made, and it’s a significant improvement on the old design. Even so, Flex is still fairly relevant, and, if you get your hands on one, you won’t be too disappointed in its features and overall performance.
One of the best things about the Fitbit Flex is that it has sleep tracking. This is a very useful feature, especially for light sleepers and people with apnea, or other sleep disorders. The device will track how many times have you woken up during the night, and with the firmware update that came at the end of 2015, the tracker doesn’t require you to turn on sleep tracking, as it will perform this action automatically.
Another advantage is that this little tracker comes with a wrist strap. This makes the device a lot more convenient, as you don’t have to worry about losing it or forgetting it if you’ve taken it out of your pocket. It’s fairly comfortable, though a little sweating may occur when you’re wearing the band because of the materials used. The sensor is also very small and inconspicuous, making the band very uniform and stylish.
FitBit Fex Screen
Something Flex doesn’t have is a screen. Again, this is not that high-tech of a product, and its features are a little limited. Instead, the product’s got five LED lights that come on once you’ve reached your step count for today. On the other hand, you won’t receive any notifications, so it’s extremely limited in that respect. Also, runners won’t benefit from the product too much, as it doesn’t have a heart rate tracker, nor does it provide any information that can relate to running or jogging.
In terms of accuracy, the Flex is almost always spot on. Compared to Jawbone Up, the Flex is much better. Whereas the Jawbone up will show you reached some 9000 steps, the Flex will show 11,000, and most likely be correct with that statement. The band will also let you see your progress too, something very nice to have when you’re working with a product with no screen.
FitBit Fex Connectivity
When it comes to connectivity and compatibility, the Flex is a fair at best. The product features Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, which is fast and reliable. The act of connecting is automatic, and you won’t have to turn it on now and again to see what’s going on with it. Instead, the product will update itself periodically. However, the scope of devices that the tracker can connect to is somewhat limited.
Flex works with Windows, Android and iOS, but, for all intents and purposes, it works much better with iOS devices. Android devices have problems accepting the product, and will often flat out refuse to connect to the band. However, on many occasions, the product has found to connect to Android devices after a few days, a phenomenon largely unexplained.
When it comes to apps for the Flex, they’re all pretty useful and pretty reliable, as well easy to navigate and operate. Not only that, but the apps can be very in-depth, providing experienced users with more data that they may need. The product does have problems, though, as the food tracking struggles a bit. As we said, Flex connects automatically to your phone, thanks to the IFTTT compatibility.
When battery life is concerned, the product has got a pretty good one. The battery life is pretty long, and you can expect the product to work for a week straight without being recharged. On top of that, with a little bit of management, you can pump that number up to eight or even nine days. However, it will take the product a few hours to recharge one you’ve emptied the battery completely.
Finally, let’s talk about the price. Flex is not the most affordable product, given it’s capabilities. It had a fairly steep price when it first came onto the market and now with other Fitbit trackers available at a similar price point but offering a ton more in terms of functionality, it’s difficult to justify what effectively is a price premium.
The FitBit Flex – Final Words
All in all, Fitbit Flex is a solid, although a little outdated fitness tracker. It has some interesting features to offer you, such as sleep tracking, activity tracking and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, but it has its flaws. It isn’t compatible with a wide range of devices, so read the fine print carefully. It’s a good carry-on, small, inconspicuous and light, but it pales in comparison to the other more contemporary devices. Lastly, its price is a little bit high, which hurts its viability.
Even so, if you need only the basic features with a bit extra on the side, Fitbit Flex is the product for you.