Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Slate
- Tracks steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes
- Monitor how long and well you sleep
- Wakes you (and not your partner) with a silent wake alarm
- LED lights show how your day is stacking up against your goal
- Slim, comfortable and easy to wear (sold with both large and small wristbands included)
- Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
- Kindly contact Fitbit for any technical assistance
Make fitness a lifestyle with Fitbit Flex—a slim, stylish device that tracks all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. See how every day stacks up with LEDs that light up like a scoreboard as you get closer to your goal. Then wear it at night to measure your sleep quality and wake with a silent, vibrating alarm. Day or night, Flex fits comfortably around your wrist, is water-resistant, and has a 5-day battery life. It also syncs to computers and 150+ leading smartphones, so you can access your stats anywhere and see your progress in charts and graphs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What mobile devices are supported for syncing?
The Fitbit Flex can sync directly to select iOS and Android devices. IOS: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, iPod Touch (5th gen.), iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad mini. Android: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S4
How do I charge my flex?
Your tracker battery lasts for about 5 days. To charge it, remove the tracker from the band and place it in the charger until all 5 lights are solid.
If you are having trouble, your tracker’s charging contacts may be obstructed by microscopic dirt or debris that prevents them from making a good connection to the charger. Use hand sanitizer and a tissue or dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and carefully clean the charging contacts on your tracker. Do not submerge your tracker in water or use abrasive cleaners. Thoroughly dry your tracker before attempting to charge. Be sure to fully seat your tracker into the charger, with the charging contacts fully inserted into the charging cable enclosure.
How do I reset my tracker?
lf your tracker is not responding, it may be fixed by restarting.
1. Plug your charging cable into the USB port and insert your tracker into the charging cable.
2. Insert a paperclip into the small pinhole on the back of the charger.
3. Press on the pinhole for 3-4 seconds.
Your Flex will now be reset. Take your tracker out of the charger and insert it back into the wristband.
Can the wristband irritate my skin?
The Flex wristband is made of a flexible, durable elastomer material similar to that used in many sports watches. It does not contain latex. The clasp is made of surgical-grade stainless steel and contains traces of nickel. As with any type of jewelry, some people may experience allergies. Numerous factors can cause an allergy, such as a nickel sensitivity, reactions to bacteria that can accumulate in watch wristbands or other wearable devices, a reaction between the wristband and your soap or perspiration, or an allergy to the material of the wristband. If you notice any signs of skin irritation or experience any discomfort, please discontinue use.
List Price: $ 99.95
Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B00BGO0QEO”]
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I purchased three of these,
Update 7/3/14 – Fitbit just came out with a new upgrade to the Fitbit app which adds some very cool GPS features and a bar code scanner in the Food Log. I’m adding details at the end of this review.
I bought 3 of these fitbit flex devices, one for myself, my husband and my sister. Before purchasing I researched several wristband devices such as the Jawbone UP, the Nike Fuel and and the Polar Loop. I also looked at the fitbit force which is a newer version of this band. The lack of water resistance on the force was a deal breaker for me. I wanted to be able to wear this band 24/7 and to be able to wear it in the shower or when swimming. That was part of what made it attractive to me. Also, after reading reviews about the clasp problems on the force and how many people lost them, I wanted no part of that. They are also quite a bit bigger and look clunckier. The wristband on the UP looked like it would catch on everything and had no display at all. The Polar had lots of quality problems. I wasn’t crazy about the looks of the Nike. The display is nice and I can see how people would like them, but not my style. The fitbit flex, to my tastes, had the coolest look. I also know a couple of people who own the fitbit flex and they were very enthusiastic about them so that influenced me as well.
So here is what I like about the flex: I like the way it looks on my wrist. All of us got the slate color. You can also order bands in a few different colors, both here and on the Fitbit site. It is lightweight and even though I don’t often wear a watch I don’t notice this on my wrist at all. The clasp was VERY difficult to secure the first couple of times until the rubber softened up a bit and until I got the hang of it. I secured it off of my wrist a couple times when it was new. Making sure the band and clasps are lined up correctly and then placing one finger directly below the clasp and my thumb directly above and squeezing hard was the way to do it.
I like that it’s water resistant and that I can wear it swimming or in the shower. It is safe down to 10 meters or around 30 feet. I like that the wristband is made of TPU rubber, which according to Wikipedia is a type of rubber used in automotive instrument panels, caster wheels, power tools, sporting goods, medical devices, drive belts, footwear, inflatable rafts, and a variety of extruded film, sheet and profile applications. I think it should hold up for a very long time. I like that the display on the band gives me a rough idea by tapping on it of my progress throughout the day. I can also check my progress on my iPhone 4S and see number of steps so far, calories burned, how many hours of sleep I got last night and how often I woke up or was restless. So far it seems very accurate. I can also track the foods I’ve eaten and the calories, my weight goals and weight lost, check on the weekly number of steps friend’s with Fitbits have taken and compare them with my own.
I like that I can wear it 24/7 and only have to take it off to charge it once every 7 days. It takes about 3 hours to charge with a USB thingie that comes with it. I use a wall adapter to charge it but could also use a USB port on my desktop or laptop computer. I’ve lost too many pedometers in the past by dropping them out of my pockets or forgetting about them and sending them through the washing machine, so the wristband seems like a much better option for me. I also like that I can connect wirelessly with my smartphone and with the little dongle included that goes into my desktop or laptop, can connect with those wirelessly as well. Software downloads for all of these are free. I’m also able to connect on my first gen Kindle HD 8.9 although I can’t see where it’s shown as a supported device so far. But it works with the Android fitbit software in the app store.
The step measurements seem reasonably accurate. Waving my hand slowly won’t register as a step. Waving wildly will. Driving in the car won’t register but reaching around quickly in the car sometimes will. Typing on the computer or Kindle won’t register. I’ve heard that swimming doesn’t register either but you can input the time and activity on your phone or tablet. When I first got the flex I started the iPhone app and watched my steps register on my screen as I walked around the house. That, and watching my steps on the treadmill have shown it to be pretty accurate for me, although not perfect. I think that all pedometers have some inaccuracies. What I’m looking for is a comparative trend where I can tell how much exercise I’m getting. The accuracy is good enough for me.
So I wake up in the morning, tap the wristband quickly a few times to tell it I’m awake. Then if I tap it twice I see one tiny blinking light, telling me I’m working on my first 2,000 steps. Later, when I’ve hit that mark and tap to check again, I’ll see one solid light and the second one blinking. There are 5…
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Why does this now have over 4 THOUSAND negative reviews?,
The Flex is fairly good – IF you understand its limitations. And it has a lot of them. This is a 1.0 version, the first wrist-based tracker Fitbit has produced. There are good reasons why there are so many negative reviews of the Flex. I strongly suggest that you wait for the technology to be refined by Fitbit (and others) before spending $100 or more on this.
I also suggest that you tune out the 5-star “this is AWESOME!” reviewers. I’ve had the Flex for 6 months now (acquired at CES 2013, long before retail availability) and initially I too was impressed by the technology. However, with long-term use, I think its inaccuracies make it nothing more than a pedometer with sleep analysis added in (and the usefulness of the latter is dubious as well). The IDEA of it all is excellent: to track your activities and see your progress over time via the great software that Fitbit has developed. However, all of this is predicated on the device accurately tracking your movements. If it fails in that aspect – and unfortunately it does, to a moderate degree – then all of the data and impressive charts and graphs are rather useless. The “awesome!” reviewers don’t realize this (yet) and just assume what they’re seeing is real; it isn’t.
The underlying technological problem, as I see it, is in the placement of the tracker. Up until now, Fitbit trackers were to be placed on the torso. Now, it must be placed on the wrist (yes, the tracker itself can be taken out of the wristband and put into your pocket but all of Fitbit’s calibrations and algorithms are designed for that wrist placement and you are making the problem worse by not having it on your wrist). So, if your wrist movement is ANYTHING other than the usual movement of either running or walking, your step count/mileage is going to be off – often way, way off.
Fitbit markets the Flex as an “activity monitor”, implying that it is capable of keeping stats on your physical activities. Well, because of the wrist location issue and the basic design structure of using two stride lengths for all calculations (your walking and running stride lengths), pretty much any activity that is NOT walking or running cannot be accurately monitored: the accelerometer senses whether you are walking or running and multiplies the appropriate stride length by the number of steps sensed (and arrives at a mileage distance). Any activity outside of that limited ability of the Flex, your stats are innacurate. This includes stair-climbing, hiking, tennis, golf, biking, working out, and pretty much every other “activity” that is not walking or running. The Flex is not really an “activity monitor”; it’s an expensive pedometer (albeit one with “sleep analysis”, which is actually only a record of how much wrist movement you had during the night: i.e., 2 hours of no movement = deep sleep, an hour of sporadic movement = restless sleep).
There are, however, aspects of the Flex that are quite good: it does accurately keep track of your walking and running, it does keep track of your sleeping patterns, and it also wakes you with a silent vibration on your wrist at the time you set to get up in the morning. And once out of bed and into the shower, there’s no need to take the Flex off: it’s almost completely waterproof (pressurized water being the exception). But the best, perhaps life-enhancing aspect of the Flex is its ability to keep you focused on your exercise goals (which is the main reason why, overall, I like the device and its software – to a point): if you DO consider it only a pedometer with cool software, which is what I consider it to be, you will not be disappointed (though the price may not seem worth it to others).
First, there’s the ‘onboard’ function to keep you aware of your progress towards your daily goals (total distance traveled, number of steps taken, or calories burned): each light on the row of 5 small LED lights on the band represents 20% of your goal and a quick glance and a tap on the band will tell you how you’re doing. Secondly, for the actual stats of your progress (or reviewing your daily, weekly or longer stats), you can view them in real time on your phone via the Fitbit App for iPhone and Android, or on your tablet or PC/Mac with the Fitbit ‘Dashboard’. This is where you set your daily and longer-term goals, view not only your stats but see them represented in charts and graphs, and log other information such as weight, weight changes, and food consumed. You can go further, but personally I would feel a bit silly setting goals where I would receive ‘badges’ for reaching them. But that’s just me. Overall though, the software is very good and keeps you aware – along with the band’s LEDs – of whether or not you are staying on track of exercise goals. But, again, just keep in mind that the wrist placement of the device gives the Flex an inherent flaw as to the accuracy of all this data – UNLESS you are using it only to…
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Jawbone UP vs Fitbit Flex — Fight!,
Several asked my opinion of the Flex after I had compared UP to ONE last fall. I’m more pleased with Flex than expected. This review will be specifically for those comparing the Jawbone UP to the Fitbit Flex. For those interested in my review of the One and Jawbone UP it is located here: UP by Jawbone – Large Wristband – Retail Packaging – Onyx:
UPDATE: I uploaded several head-to-head app screenshots.
UPDATE: I’ve found that I am storing quite a bit of water in the Flex band pouch where the module goes. Even though they say it’s shower safe, I’m pretty sure some funky stuff is going to be growing in there in a matter of time… But the band is replaceable!
My journey with personal monitoring devices/pedometers started a LONG time ago: Before Fitbit even existed, with a device called the SportBrain. It was a traditional belt clip style so old that it plugged into a base that used a dial in phone modem to upload the usage data to a server. It was old. But my interest in devices that can help monitor and tell me about my activity started then, and we seem to be now in a golden age of personal data monitoring devices. Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP, all of the Fitbit clip devices and so many more…
The biggest drawbacks I found on the Jawbone UP were that it had no visual feedback about your daily achievement toward your goal and the fact that it had no visual battery indicator. It wasn’t a problem for me personally, but for those who are hardcore driven on a daily basis to compare and achieve this could be a drawback for you. The next drawback about the Jawbone UP is that it does not wirelessly sync. You have to plug it into the headset jack of your phone to sync. If you are someone who wants data and feedback all day long, this would be a drawback.
The Fitbit Flex does have visual feedback in the form of small white lights: They blink as you’re charging, they have a special blink if you put it into sleep mode and provide 95% more feedback than Jawbone up. Jawbone UP does have status lights in it and they are used, but they could do a lot more with the lights they already have if they chose to.
If you can throw a snap bracelet on, you can easily put on the UP. I did find myself fumbling a bit with the clip mechanism of the Flex like I do when I have to button my own shirt cuffs. After it was clipped though, it feels secure and I am not one to put on and remove devices like this. I want to set it and forget it.
Fit & Feel
The Fitbit Flex feels very comfortable on the wrist. The pictures don’t do it justice. For me personally this is the one defining factor that really makes the Flex shine for me compared to the Jawbone UP. It feels super light weight, doesn’t grab, and doesn’t look nearly as big/thick as the pictures make it look.
The UP uses tension to stay on, while the Flex uses a clasp. The UP may have a better sense of solid attachment that wouldn’t come off no matter how hard you fling your arm, but the inverse of that is the Flex: It doesn’t have to monkey-grip your arm to be there and stay. You can have it fit a bit more loosely than UP and be comfortable.
When typing on at a keyboard, I prefer the feel of the Flex. The rubber is flat and thin so it adds very little against the edge of a keyboard. The UP doesn’t have the big square bump on the top, but it does have a bracelet shape/size all the way around, so it can prove a bit more of an annoyance up against a keyboard.
The Flex does have replaceable bracelets and colors, which means the device is more convertible and flexible going forward. That being said, it is less visually appealing to me compared to the UP. The UP can be a part of jewelry and most people would never notice. The Flex does have a strange-ish future nerd look to it. I don’t mind that, but some may.
I wear both in the shower with no issues. I’ve done a lot of swimming pool roughhousing with the UP with no issues, but haven’t tried with the FLEX. A commenter tells me that it is swimming approved, though the data provided might not be that useful.
Battery Life & Charging
Both the Flex and the UP charge in very similar almost identical USB adapters. They’re meant to be charged on a computer and in my experience shouldn’t be charged off of a phone USB wall charger. They both charged in similar amounts of time, and the Flex did last about 4 days on a charge. The UP can last as much as 10 days on a new battery, but I found that it has declined some since November. On this case, I say that both do about what they suggest. The UP fits snugly in the charger, while the Flex doesn’t feel nearly as secure in its…
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