Friday, June 20, 2014

Thoughts on the Fitbit Flex

After I returned the Jawbone UP24 I had about a week to try out a Fitbit Flex. I was nervous about taking on the responsibility of a new fitness band because I accidentally lost the UP24 at a soccer field the last day I had it. Oops. Luckily someone found it and we got it back.

To be totally honest, my review of the Fitbit Flex is a little skewed by my experience using the UP24.

First impressions: 

*The band was tricky for me to put on. There are two little prongs on one side of the band that you have to press in to holes on the other side. Not sure why I had such a hard time with this, but it immediately made me frustrated with the band. 
*I felt like this band was strictly functional, as it had zero visual appeal, unlike the UP24. The Flex has a little line where it can show lights (more on this in a bit). I was a bit more self-conscious wearing this band. I don't consider myself terribly fashionable, and most days I am dressed at least 75% of the time in workout clothes, but I still didn't like that I was obviously wearing a fitness tracker.
*The app is "eh".



What the Fitbit Flex can do: 

I will admit that I wasn't as interested in digging too deeply in to all of the functions of this band. Here's the immediate things I discovered it can do.
*Track steps
*Tracks calories burned
*Tracks weight
*Track sleep
*You can input extra exercise
*You can input food and water intake
*You can connect online with other Fitbit users (I never tried this)

How is it different from the UP24? 

*It keeps your weight front and center on the app screen, which I found obnoxious, though if you were tracking your weight, this maybe could help (Weight was part of the screen I didn't include in the dashboard shot below).
*There are more options for exercises, for example instead of just saying you did a cycling workout at a certain exertion, you could input how fast you were going. 
*I felt like there were almost too many menu options. It overwhelmed me, I like things simple.
*The Flex told me that that 10,000 steps was 5 miles, though I feel like this tracker wasn't adding up the steps as quickly as the UP24. Not sure why, and I wish I could wear them both at the same time and see if that were true! 
*The Flex also seemed to be more liberal with the calories it thought I burned. I suppose I like it more for that reason!

This was my highest activity day when wearing the Flex.


What was great about the Fitbit Flex:

*I loved that you could tap the band twice and little lights would illuminate to give you an idea of how far you had come with your steps in the day. The more you walk, the more lights light up. I believe it has five lights total. 
*The app seems to just constantly update. I had it open on my phone on the counter next to me while I made dinner and it added steps immediately as I moved around the kitchen. I also had zero issues with it connecting to the band via Bluetooth.
*The list of activities seems more comprehensive, so it likely would give a better idea of how many calories were burned.
*When you hit 10,000 steps for the day the band throws a little party! It vibrates and lights up and celebrates. 

My overall impression and final verdict: 

I didn't like the Flex as much as the UP24. I didn't like wearing it on my wrist, I didn't like putting it on, and I didn't like the app as much. If I had to choose one, I'd pick the UP24. There were a few features that were appealing to the Flex, like the ability to tap the band to see how many steps you had walked, but nothing that would make me think twice about choosing the UP24 instead. 

I also thought the app needs a little more, I don't know, "oompf". It is boring. 

The price might be the main thing that would drive a user to the Flex. When I checked on Amazon, the Flex was just under $100, while the UP24 is closer to $120. 

4 comments:

  1. Great review on the Fitbit! My husband is actually looking into getting one and is currently doing some research to see if it's a good investment. I will refer him to your post!

    Btw, I'm also from Seattle and found your blog from FannetasticFood.com! :)

    Have a great weekend, Sybil!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Polly! I hope the review was helpful, despite not exactly being thorough :)

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  2. I have a fit bit, I agree the App sucks. But I was an a bodybugg user for a long time and loved that app, just hated wearing it on my upper arm. I was hoping I would love the fitbit just as much but I find I hardly even check it. I do like that you can use MFP app for food tracking and it does sync with the fitbit software.

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    1. Thanks for pointing out that I can connect with MFP. That would be super useful for someone tracking their food intake!

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