About a month ago, I received a Fitbit Flex as a birthday gift. I promised you then that I would eventually share my thoughts on this fun little gadget, so here is my review!
Now, before I get started, I feel like I should give credit where credit is due. Beamer was my personal photography assistant while I prepared for this post. He said he charges 10% of any royalties earned from this post that isn’t even sponsored. Let me know if you’re interested in his services.
Okay, let’s get started….
What is a Fitbit?
A Fitbit is a device that can be worn to count your steps each day. The primary function is basically like a pedometer, but there are also several other awesome features that I cover below.
How to Wear the Fitbit Flex
There are many different models of Fitbits, but what I like about the Flex is that it can be worn around the wrist. I can’t tell you how many pedometers I’ve lost when they’ve been attached to my clothing.
The Fitbit Flex is actually a small device that slides into a silicone wristband.
They Fitbit Flex comes in several color options, but I like black the best because I think it looks a bit more professional/discreet. Each Flex comes with a small and large wrist band. They are both the same width but the large size is longer. I have super small wrists so I am using the small wristband.
Something cool about the Fitbit Flex is that there are lots of wristband and accessory options out there if you ever get bored with your original wristband. Fitbit sells multi-colored wristband packs, Tory Burch has a whole line of Fitbit accessories and you can even find wristbands on places like ETSY and Amazon. Lots of options! Even though I prefer the black for everyday and work, I think a bright color would be fun in the summer
How to Check Your Steps
One bummer about the Flex is that it does not show you your actual step count on the wrist display. In order to see your exact steps, you can either log on to the Fitbit website or check on the Fitbit app. This seems to be a deal breaker for some people.
The Flex *does* show your progress on the display using LED light indicators. There are 5 lights, and each one represents 20% of your total goal steps. You just have to tap the bracelet twice for the display to briefly light up and show you what percentage of goal steps you’ve reached so far. So for example, if you set 10,000 steps as your goal and 3 lights come up on the display then you know you’ve reached at least 6,000 steps.
I can see how not having a display could be a deterrent to some, but I truly have not thought twice about not having one on my Fitbit Flex. I downloaded the app and since I have my phone on my 90% of the time, I don’t really find it inconvenient to check my steps on there. I actually love the Fitbit App!!
I have a Samsung Galaxy phone and set up the Fitbit widget on my homepage. I don’t even have to open the app… I just turn on my screen and my steps are right there! (The phone is connected to the Fitbit via bluetooth)
How to Charge the Fitbit Flex
Charging the FBF is pretty simple. It comes with a USB charging cable, and you just detach the Fitbit from the wristband and pop it into charging cable.
The device is designed to be charged on the computer, but I just plug it into the base of my phone charger. It’s more convenient and I think it actually takes less time to charge. I have to charge mine once per week. Battery life can be monitored online, on the app, and Fitbit will also send you an email giving you a heads up that it’s getting low.
The Sleep Function
Okay, on to the cool features! Something neat about the Fitbit Flex is that you can use it to track your sleep, both the amount and the quality. You just have to turn the sleep mode on before you go to bed and turn it off when you wake up. The Fitbit will keep track of how long you slept as well as how many times you got up and the number of sleep disturbances you have. I think this feature is neat, especially if you want to have your sleep logged in one place.
So do I use it? I don’t really find this function too useful *for me* because I already know I don’t don’t get enough sleep and that my sleep quality is not too great But I know lots of people who absolutely love it.
I also think the accuracy of the sleep quality really depends on how much you move in bed. One night I couldn’t fall asleep for over an hour but since I was laying still, the Fitbit counted that towards my time asleep.
Also, one morning I forgot to tell the app I had woken up and realized it when I was driving to work! Woops.
So while it is a cool feature, I eventually stopped using it because I didn’t find it very helpful to me.
Other cool features
Connect with friends: Several of my friends have Fitbits and it has been fun to connect with them. I can see their weekly steps, start competitions with them, and send them messages of encouragement. It does help me feel a bit more accountable to know my friends can see my steps.
Water intake: The app lets you manually enter your water intake so you can keep track of it each day.
Food Tracker: Fitbit has an entire database of nutrition information, and food items can be entered to monitor calorie intake. Or you can take it one step further and sync your Fitbit with MyFitnessPal!
Weight Tracker: The Fitbit Flex lets you set a goal weight and keep track of your current weight. This is great if you want this information to be in one place.
Silent Alarm: The watch also functions as an alarm clock. Just set the alarm from the app or online, and the watch will vibrate when it’s time to get up. I’ve used this a couple of times and while it’s not the best option for a chronic snooze button abuser as myself, it’s a nice option to have! Sometimes I set the alarm to remind me of something, especially at work when I don’t want a noisy alarm going off.
Fitbit Flex vs. Charge
K got a Fitbit Charge for Christmas and while I don’t know everything about it, I can tell you a few differences between the two.
The primary difference is the size. Here’s a picture of both of them on my wrist… I feel like the Charge is way too big for me!
I have small wrists, though. I think the size is perfectly fine on K’s wrist.
Another big difference is that the Charge has a digital display. You view both the time and your step count.
If it matters to you (because it does to me), you have to physically push a button on the Charge to get the display to light up. I thought it would be cool to have the Charge double as a watch, but I don’t like the inconvenience of having to push a button to see the time. I glance at my watch about 1,000x per day and wouldn’t want to have to press a button every single time.
Other differences with the Fitbit Charge:
- It does not come with 2 different wrist bands. It comes in either large or small and you have to decide which size you’d like when you purchase it.
- There is no internal device to remove from the wristband in the Charge. Everything is permanently attached inside the bracelet. This means it’s not interchangeable with all of the other cool bands I mentioned above.
- It automatically tracks your sleep. You don’t have to set the sleep function! I think this is awesome since part of the reason I don’t track mine is because I hate messing in the app when I go to sleep.
Thoughts on the Fitbit
I have had my Fitbit Flex for over a month and I still love it and wear it daily. I was wondering if the novelty would wear off but so far it hasn’t! I love that it holds me accountable for how active I am. If I’m having an especially sedentary day, the Fitbit will bring that to my attention and I will be sure to get up and move a bit to get more steps.
Do I think it is worth the price tag? Absolutely! The Fitbit Flex is around $100. I think the price is worth having all of your info in one place, competing with your friends, keeping track of your nutrition and water intake, monitoring your sleep and being able to access all of your info right on your phone.
I have really enjoyed my Fitbit Flex and I highly recommend one if you’re looking for a way to motivate a bit of boost in activity!