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Fitbit Flex Review

Fitbit Flex [1] is currently retailing for S$129. It was launched in Singapore last year on the 29th May 2013.

Fitbit Flex is a wireless activity tracker that tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. It is also able to track your sleep quality (how long/well you sleep, how many times you wake up). It also has a silent wake alarm that gently vibrates to wake you at your desired time.

The Fitbit Flex is the third fitness band that I owned. I have the Jawbone UP [2] (S$189.90) and Nike FuelBand [3] (US$149 = S$190) as well.

Among the 3 fitness bands, the Fitbit Flex is very similar to Jawbone UP in terms of features and the lack of a display and hence I have switched to using my Fitbit Flex instead of the Jawbone UP. I thought of wearing 3 fitness bands, but it looks way too weird.

Personally, I prefer the Fitbit Flex instead of the Jawbone UP, partly because I own the Fitbit Aria [4] weighing scale and I want to consolidate my fitness data into a single ecosystem.

Fitbit Flex - Packaging Front [5]
Fitbit Flex – Packaging Front

Fitbit Flex - Packaging Side [6]
Fitbit Flex – Packaging Side

Fitbit Flex - Packaging back [7]
Fitbit Flex – Packaging back

Fitbit Flex - Packaging Side [8]
Fitbit Flex – Packaging Side

Fitbit Flex - Packaging [9]
Fitbit Flex – Packaging

The default packaging includes the Flex tracker, 2 wristbands (small and large), wireless sync dongle and charging cable.

Fitbit Flex - Packaging Contents [10]
Fitbit Flex – Packaging Contents

One advantage that the Fitbit Flex has over the Jawbone UP is that it can sync wirelessly via Bluetooth (Bluetooth 4.0) and it saves you the hassle of taking off the band, plugging it to your phone to sync and wearing it back again.

Fitbit Flex - Charging Cable [11]
Fitbit Flex – Charging Cable

Fitbit Flex - USB Head [12]
Fitbit Flex – USB Head

Fitbit Flex - Charger Head [13]
Fitbit Flex – Charger Head

You can also sync wirelessly to your PC/Mac using the wireless sync dongle that is included in the package. For Jawbone UP, you can only sync via your phone and for Nike FuelBand you can also sync with your PC/Mac using the provided USB cable.

Fitbit Flex - Wireless USB Dongle [14]
Fitbit Flex – Wireless USB Dongle

Since the Fitbit Flex doesn’t have any buttons, to activate the sleep tracking mode, you just have to tap on it rapidly for 2 seconds and your Fitbit Flex will vibrate and display two slowly dimming LED indicator lights (first and last LED).

If you want to switch back to the activities tracking mode, you do the same and your Fitbit Flex will vibrate and flash all five LED indicator lights three times and then display a spinning light pattern.

There are five white LED indicator lights on the Fitbit Flex to let you know the process towards your daily goal. Each light represents 20% of your goal. To see the process, just tap twice on it.

I tried to take a picture of the LED indicator lights but I couldn’t because it goes off very fast.

Fitbit Flex - Tracker [15]
Fitbit Flex – Tracker

Fitbit Flex - Tracker [16]
Fitbit Flex – Tracker

Fitbit Flex - Wristband [17]
Fitbit Flex – Wristband

Fitbit Flex - Wristband Tracker Slot [18]
Fitbit Flex – Wristband Tracker Slot

Fitbit Flex - Wristband Strap [19]
Fitbit Flex – Wristband Strap

When choosing a Fitbit Flex, you do not need to worry about sizes because the packaging comes with both small and large wristbands with adjustable buckle. The Fitbit Flex’s wristband is slightly more difficult to wear as compared to the Jawbone UP or Nike FuelBand because of the buckle.

Fitbit Flex - Wristband Buckle [20]
Fitbit Flex – Wristband Buckle

Fitbit Flex - Wristband Buckle [21]
Fitbit Flex – Wristband Buckle

Setting Up
Setting up the Fitbit Flex is pretty straightforward, I got it and and running within 10 minutes!

Fitbit Flex iOS App - Account [22]Fitbit Flex iOS App - Setup Device [23]
Fitbit Flex iOS App

Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 1 [24]Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 2 [25]
Fitbit Flex iOS App

Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 3 [26]Fitbit  Flex iOS App - Step 4 [27]
Fitbit Flex iOS App

Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 5 [28]Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 6 [29]
Fitbit Flex iOS App

Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 7 [30]Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 8 [31]
Fitbit Flex iOS App

Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 9 [32]Fitbit Flex iOS App - Step 10 [33]
Fitbit Flex iOS App

Fitbit App
Similar to Jawbone UP, the Fibit app is available on both iOS [34] and Android [35].

A nice touch by Fitbit that I personally like is the push notification that will be sent to your phone at night telling you how many steps you have left to reach your daily goal. My daily goal is 10,000 steps. Also once you reached your goal, your Fitbit Flex will vibrate letting you know you have done it!

Fitbit iOS App - Dashboard [36]Fitbit iOS App - Steps [37]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Dashboard [38]Fitbit iOS App - Distance [39]
Fitbit iOS App – Dashboard

Fitbit iOS App - Active Minutes [40]Fitbit iOS App - Calories [41]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Active Minutes [42]
Fitbit iOS App – Active Minutes

Fitbit iOS App - Weight [43]Fitbit iOS App - Sleep [44]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Lean vs Fat [45]
Fitbit iOS App – Lean vs Fat

Fitbit iOS App - Calories [46]
Fitbit iOS App – Calories

Fitbit iOS App - Weight [47]
Fitbit iOS App – Weight

Fitbit iOS App - Sleep [48]
Fitbit iOS App – Sleep

Fitbit iOS App - Food [49]Fitbit iOS App - Search Food [50]
Fitbit iOS App

The Fitbit App does include the ability to record our daily food intake but it is kinda useless to us (Singapore) because the food database is limited to the United States.

Fitbit iOS App - Search Food [51]Fitbit iOS App - Food Plan Step 1 [52]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Food Plan Step 2 [53]Fitbit iOS App - Food Plan Step 3 [54]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Food Plan Step 4 [55]Fitbit iOS App - Food Plan Step 5 [56]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Water [57]Fitbit iOS App - Friends- 7 Day Steps [58]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Friends - Messages [59]Fitbit Flex iOS App - Account [60]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Settings [61]Fitbit iOS App - Settings - Main Goal [62]
Fitbit Flex iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Settings - Wrist [63]Fitbit iOS App - Account - Goals [64]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Account - Alarm [65]Fitbit iOS App - Account - New Alarm [66]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Account - Advanced Settings [67]Fitbit iOS App - Account - Advanced Settings - Food Database [68]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit iOS App - Account - Advanced Setting - Units [69]Fitbit iOS App - Account - Advanced Setting - Sharing [70]
Fitbit iOS App

Fitbit.com
In terms of web interfaces, Nike+ has the best looking web interface (no surprise here). Fitbit has a pretty decent web interface while Jawbone doesn’t even have a web interface for it’s UP.

Fitbit.com - Dashboard [71]
Fitbit.com – Dashboard

Fitbit.com - Dashboard - Calories Burned [72]
Fitbit.com – Dashboard – Calories Burned

Fitbit.com - Food [73]
Fitbit.com – Food

Fitbit.com - Activities [74]
Fitbit.com – Activities

Fitbit.com - Weight [75]
Fitbit.com – Weight

Fitbit.com - Sleep [76]
Fitbit.com – Sleep

Fitbit.com - Badges [77]
Fitbit.com – Badges

Fitbit.com - Settings [78]
Fitbit.com – Settings

Fitbit.com - Fitbit Flex Settings [79]
Fitbit.com – Fitbit Flex Settings

Conclusion
The Fitbit Flex is extremely lightweight (13g) when you compared it with Jawbone UP (23g) or the Nike FuelBand (32g). Because it is lightweight and less bulky when compared to the rest, it is extremely comfortable to wear it to sleep.

I tried wearing the Jawbone UP to sleep but it is just too uncomfortable for me because of the weight and the design of the wristband and hence I only tried it once.

The official battery life on the FitBit Flex is stated as 5 days, but I managed to get 7 days of battery life maybe because I sync it with my iPhone once a day only. The Fitbit Flex is able to store about 30 days of data on the device itself, so you need to sync it at least once a month.

If I have to choose just one fitness band out of Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP and Nike Fuelband, I would choose the Fitbit Flex!

Fitbit Flex - Wearing It [80]
Fitbit Flex – Wearing It

Fitbit Flex - With Jawbone UP & Nike FuelBand [81]
Fitbit Flex – With Jawbone UP & Nike FuelBand

Fitbit Flex - Wearing It With Jawbone UP & Nike FuelBand [82]
Fitbit Flex – Wearing It With Jawbone UP & Nike FuelBand

Fitbit Flex [83]
Fitbit Flex