Product Reviews19th February 2014

Fitbit Flex Review

SLFirst reviews the Fitbit Flex wristband that helps you get more active

by Sarah Lawrence

Today’s technology seems to be changing our lives incredibly quickly. No sooner have I got to used to one new device, than the new version is being released. Not that I would change anything, as a Deaf woman I feel this new technological era has brought about significant improvement for people like me. Whether it is the ready availability of free live video communication or the new push button ordering systems at the Macdonald’s drive thru, technology is making things easier.

To support my new active living regime (it’s still a job in progress) I was looking for something that would help me understand what I was doing each day, so that I could slowly but surely become more active, burn off more calories, and take inspiration from what other people were doing through on-line support. A friend of mine recommended the Fitbit Flex, a wrist band with a smart little gizmo in it that records what you are doing 24 hours a day.

I ordered a black wristband that looks sleek and unobtrusive on the wrist. You wear it on the wrist of your non-dominant hand and then all you have to do is create an on-line account so that you can track progress. Within seconds of taking it out of the box, I was up and running and could almost instantly see a visual representation of my level of activity.

During the day the Flex tracks my steps, distance and calories burned. At night, it tracks my sleep quality and can be used to wake me gently in the morning. It uses a light system to let you know that it is charged and the different functions it is in. Importantly for me, the visual representation of my activity levels makes it easy to use to motivate myself to move around more, do more exercise, take those extra couple of steps. It is undoubtedly the motivation I was looking for to make me more active.

Flex allows me to set a goal and its LED lights show me how I am doing with each light representing 20% of my goal. I can choose which goal I want it t track — steps, calories, or distance. It lights up like a scoreboard, challenging me to be more active day after day.

Part of the registration process is the recording of my personal information like, weight and height, which means that the Flex bases its calculations about calories burned and distance travelled on my personal profile, not an average person. I like this aspect, it gives me more confidence that the information I am getting is more accurate and reliable.

I also like the fact that as soon as I set up my Flex and synchronized it with my computer, it automatically downloads the information onto my Mac as soon as I get anywhere near my computer. I can also track everything on my iphone which is an added bonus if I am out walking trying to ht a certain number of steps.

Depending on the time you have available to use the full on-line functionality, you can also log your food intake, amount of water you have consumed and get information about fitness and workouts. I can also override it if I do an exercise like upright cycling where my arms wont move very much, but I am still doing a good workout. I can input that information manually and it is instantly shown in the excellent visual display of my daily progress on my online account.

The 'gizmo' is re-charged by using a USB lead. I was impressed that even in constant use, it seems to last a week and I can easily charge it overnight ready for my activity the following day. I am really impressed with my Flex and I've been using it now for 2 months and I still check in on my progress every day.

Ease of Use – 9.8

Price – (approx £79) 9.5

Functionality – 9.8

Overall – 9.7 

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Technology / Product Reviews

19th February 2014