Fitbit Flex

The Fitbit Flex is Fitbit’s response to competitors differentiating with a wrist-band form factor, such as the notorious Jawbone UP.

Fitbit Flex

Fitbit Flex: Fitbit’s answer to the Jawbone UP

One of the main complaints with the Fitbit’s original form factor (see Fitbit Classic, Fitbit Ultra and Fitbit One) is that the diminutive activity tracking device was easy to lose (often more than once). It would fall off the belt or people would forget to take it off (and it would end up in the washing machine). In response to this feedback, taking a cue from the Jawbone UP, the Fitbit Flex is worn on the wrist – just like a bracelet – and is a lot more difficult to lose (and a lot easier to remember to wear).

The Fitbit Flex is available in four colors and is designed to be worn day and night. It tracks calories burnt, sleep, steps and distance. It syncs wirelessly in the background to a smartphone app, which in turn syncs with the Fitbit website.

You can check your progress, analyze stats and get social (compete with friends) via the Fitbit website and mobile app.

The Fitbit Flex doesn’t have an on-device display (unlike other devices in the Fitbit family), but it has lights that glow depending on your goals for the day. Fitbit also removed the altimeter – so you can’t track stairs climbed (check out the Fitbit One instead).

Like it’s smaller, more playful sibling – the Fitbit Zip – the Fitbit Flex’s actual device tracking hardware is a module that you can remove and place in different color bands.

 

Device Facts

Tracks: Steps, Distance, Sleep Hours, Sleep Quality, Calories Burned, Active Minutes

Company: Fitbit (Twitter and Facebook)

Release: January 2012

Website: Fitbit Flex

Launch Price: $99  USD

App: iOS and Android

Form Factor: Wristband

Alarm: Silent Vibration

Display: None (LED Lights)

Sync: Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth Smart, Wireless USB dongle

Color Variations: Black, Slate, Teal, Tangerine

API: Fitbit API

Third-party Connectivity: Fitbit One compatible apps

Buy It: Fitbit Store

Key Features

  1. Low-energy Bluetooth Sync - compared to the Nike Fuelband, which uses an older (more power hungry) Bluetooth, the Flex can wireless sync in the background with compatible mobile apps without draining either device’s battery
  2. Shower and swimming-proof – you don’t even have to take off the Fitbit Flex to take a shower after exercise
  3. Indicator Lights – there’s something to be said about distraction vs simplicity. If you want numbers and stats on the device, go for another device in the Fitbit activity tracking family. And if you really want minimalism, go for the Jawbone UP which has NO indicators or display whatsoever
  4. Vibrating Alarm – can wake you up in the morning gently at the most optimal time, so you feel refreshed and energized for the day ahead

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2 Comments

  1. This is exactly what is nedeed! I use a variety of devices for self-quantification; Zeo sleep monitor, Body Media armband, Garmin heart rate monitor, scale for weight/fat/muslce mass, blood pressure monitor, thermometer, Moodpanda iPhone app to track emotions, FATHM iPhone app to track time, etc.All these sites have cool info displays on the web, but i have to enter all the data into excel daily to match them up against each other and figure out correlations.Faster please!J

  2. I like the iPod case and the pedometer thing. Great idea to track your steps…that’s a great “workout but not ralely workout” sort of thing that’s right up my ally. I need to get more into workout gadgets, I just end up spending way too much on lululemon gear that doesn’t ralely do much (other than stroke the ego)…

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