When considering purchasing a wearable, many prefer the idea of a slim line band that silently tracks your steps, calories burned and distance travelled without a large interactive display that other options offer.
- Price: $129.95
- Sizing: Small (140 -176 mm) and Large (161 – 209 mm)
- Compatibility: iOS, Android and Windows
- Battery Life: 5 days
That design is what made Fitbit a household name and the Flex is an affordable, wrist-worn fitness tracker that improves upon the classic design of the band.
If you’re one of those people who would prefer a modest, no-nonsense device the Flex might be for you. Visually, its design towers over other wearables of around the same weight and size, though, it is slightly chunkier than, say, Jawbone’s thinner bands. The Flex is simplicity at its best. Its rubber, 13.99mm-wide band comes in small (140 – 176 mm) and large (161- 209 mm) sizes and features a sleek, contemporary design. The Flex also offers one the widest ranges of colors on the wearable market, making it the iPhone 5c of the wearable world. The only issue with the rubber design, and it’s a small one, is that the clasp tends to catch, and when it does it comes undone with little pressure.
Adding to the futuristic design is the sophisticated row of LEDs that line the top of the band. These lights are in the only visual reference you get from the Flex, but they are quite a useful quality. The LEDs respond to your physical activity and show how your day is going compared to your chosen goal. There are five LED indicators and each one is representative of 20% of your daily goal. 20 % is pretty broad, and the wearable itself doesn’t offer any other real-time indicator of your progress, but still, it’s a useful feature that reminds you to press on if you’re feeling like calling it a day. To display your progress, you simply tap the display, and to bring the device out of sleep mode, you tap five times. The lack of display also means that less power is being exhausted when it’s being used. You’d think that would do wonders for the battery life, but it only lasts about 5 days before it needs to be charged.
Every other feature you’ll be accessing for the Flex will be accessed via the Fitbit app on your smart device. The Flex uses Bluetooth 4.0 to sync wirelessly to just about any smart phone currently available. Through your chosen smart phone you can view steps taken, calories burned, hours slept, quality of sleep and distance travelled. Though, the Flex doesn’t seem to be the best option in terms of accuracy, its pedometer is sometimes off and the sleep tracker is known to be unreliable. The app itself also offers little in the way of meal tracking. Maybe not an issue for those wanting a general overview of their progress, but for those looking for a spot on analysis, a higher end option may be a better option.
Then again, that’s one of the Flex’s most appealing aspects, its price. At $129.95 from the Fitbit website and even cheaper through certain retailers, the Fitbit Flex is without a doubt one of the most desirable low-end wearables. For the price, it does cover most of the essentials you’re after with a few neat added features. One in particular is the ability to set reminders and alarms that alert you by gently vibrating. In addition to being a very calmly way to be stirred awake, it’s also not going to be of bother to whoever might be sleeping beside you. The fact that it’s water resistant is also very appealing. It’s not always you’ll find such a cheap wearable that can withstand a bit of moisture, and it’s one feature that most fitness fanatics really treasure.
The Flex is a slim and stylish option for those looking for the bare essentials from their fitness tracker at a reasonable price. And for those who like to customize, the huge range of colors available is a feature that’s too good to ignore. But if you’re after something with a few more features, an interactive face and something a little more accurate, your money might be better spent elsewhere.
- Sleek, professional design.
- LEDs offer a simple progress overview
- Oddly only lasts about 5 days
- Clasp tends to catch