Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hello new Fitbit Flex

Following the loss of my Fitbit One - great device, terrible wearable - I had to get another tracker.

I don't like the Nike+ FuelBand concept and my experience with Jawbone's Up wasn't great either. I didn't want to get another tracker that couldn't be easily worn either, so that was the Withings Pulse out.

So, with the more capable Fitbit Force not being available yet in the UK, I decided to go with the cheaper and less functional Fitbit Flex (£80/$100).

Interestingly, it's not an integrated bracelet as I originally thought, and the website suggests. Instead, it's a small hard pod (waterproof) which slips securely into a flexible rubber band worn around the wrist.

You only have to take the pod out of the band to charge it once a week. Syncing with the Fitbit website is automatic thanks to a dongle which plugs into a USB slot on your computer.

In terms of day-to-day use, the Flex is excellent if simple.

Of course, it doesn't have the screen of the One, so you can't see how many steps you've taken, or levels you've climbed on-device. By tapping it, it will show you how many steps you've taken in terms of the flashing of 5 small leds, each of which represents 2,000 steps.

If/when you reach 10,000 steps in a day, it flashes and vibrates.

The other key feature is the sleep mode, which you toggle on by tapping on the band for a couple of seconds until you see the end two leds light up. It's a similar process to reset to active mode. This process takes a bit of getting used to, but it's not rocket science.

So, in conclusion, while Fitbit Flex is the most simple of the wearable lifestyle trackers you can buy, that's it best feature. It's small, there's little messing around, you just wear it, and - if nothing else - every week you'll get an email detailing your activity and sleep totals. And if you want more information, you can log into the website for daily totals.

Certainly, I'd recommend it as an excellent place to test the market if you're interested in wearables.

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