A week ago I was sent a Fitbit Flex fitness tracker from Legal & General to test out and review. I’ve been wanting to exercise some more so I was excited about receiving a gadget to help me achieve that!
Packaging and appearence
The packaging contained two wrist bands, one small and one large, the Fitbit tracker, a wristband clasp, a charging USB cable and a Bluetooth dongle. I was sent a black wristband but it comes in a variety of colours – I think I’ll pick a new colour as I feel the black is a bit too bold and looks like a man’s ugly watch.
Setting it up was a little bit tricky at first but luckily the Fitbit website has lot’s of helpful setup information. I think the trickiest part, for me, was actually attaching the wristband to my wrist! It took me a few tries but now, just after a week, it’s second nature to me.
It was very easy to link the Fitbit Flex device to my iPhone using bluetooth and that’s what I’ve been using exclusively to check my stats as it’s the most convenient. You can also set it up with your PC using the provided Bluetooth dongle.
Using the Fitbit Flex
The device is comfortable to wear and it didn’t even bother me during sleep. The charge lasts for five days and you won’t need to take it off during that time as it’s waterproof (so you can keep it on in the shower!) As far as I can tell, the tracker is really only good for telling you how many steps you’ve taken as it works via a motion detector and does not contain a heart rate monitor. If you’re engaging in other exercise, you have to enter it manually and it will give you an estimate of how many calories you will have burned.
You also have to manually enter your food intake if you want to know if you’re in your “calorie budget” and the database isn’t great. It doesn’t recognize a lot of common foods and brands so you have to enter them as custom food items.
To activate sleep mode, you can either tap the fitbit rapidly for two seconds or you can manually activate it within the phone app and the same to deactivate. The issue with this is that you have to remember to do it! I have a very bad memory so this will take some getting used to for me. The other issue I had was when I was at a concert, the Fitbit buzzed every time I applauded – I later discovered it was activating sleep mode caused by the clapping motion.
Checking the stats
Checking the stats is super easy using your phone, it’s always up to date and simple to read. It’s great for motivation – One day I was at 9,000 steps and after checking the stats it spurred me to take a walk and reach the 10,000 target.
Below are 3 screenshots from the app; my most active day, my least active day and an average sleep (yes, my body clock is a little out of kilter) On the first day I took my dog for a walk and took a trip to see a concert in London in the evening, which involved travelling / walking around. It didn’t feel like I was doing a lot of exercise but evidently it was!
The second day was spent sitting at a computer, working. Even a short walk in the evening didn’t add up to much. Not sure why my calories burned is still quite high though, I found that a little confusing.
- Motivates you to exercise more – this is the best part about the device and it’s what makes it really worth buying. You can also link up with other friends using Fitbit and compete against them for further motivation.
- Comfortable – I don’t notice that I’m wearing the wristband most of the time and it doesn’t need to be taken off thanks to the waterproof design
- Easy to check stats – The phone app (available on both apple and android) always gives you up-to-date info on how you’re doing and is simple to look through.
- Is it accurate? – Not sure how accurate it can be since it only measures calories burned with motion detection and doesn’t have a heart rate monitor
- Can be confusing – Sometimes buzzes or the lights flash for no apparent reason. Lack of display on the device means you can’t check what’s happening.
In conclusion, I have found the Fitbit Flex to be a great motivator and has definitely made me exercise more. That’s exactly what I wanted from it so I’m happy but for those looking for a little bit extra such as heart rate monitor for further accuracy and better stats, it might be worth checking out Fitbit Charge which is coming out very soon.
Click here for more information on the Fitbit Flex and find out where you can buy one (currently priced at £79.99)