Fitbit Flex Activity Tracker: Maintain a healthy, active lifestyle with help from this wireless activity tracker, which tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and sleep patterns for 24/7 monitoring. A wireless sync dongle is included for easy connectivity to your Windows, Apple® or Android device.
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Busting some myths about the Fitbit Flex
Posted by: Ucla74 from: Rapid City SD on
First things first: If you fasten/unfasten the clasp a few times (it took me 3 times), the holes in the band will loosen up and the Flex is very easy to take off/put on from that point forward. The very first review of the Flex on Amazon made that point quite clearly.
Second, there is a reason there's no manual: generally, people don't read them. That's why you need to go to the website to initialize your Flex, and, hopefully, read the other instructions. FOR EXAMPLE: If your results are really inaccurate, you may need to change the default from Non-Dominant wrist (sensitive calibration) to Dominant wrist (less sensitive). [My experience: I'm using it on my non-dominant wrist, and I spend much of the day on the computer. I'm right-handed, and that's the hand I use for mouse/touchpad. My Flex is on my left (non-dominant) hand, and my results are well within my expectations for other movement.]
Third, MEASURE YOUR STRIDE. If you walk, as I do, try this: Put a pencil or other straight object on the ground, just behind your heels. Walk 10 steps, bringing your heels together on the last step. Put another object behind your heels. Measure the distance in inches between the two straightedges and divide by ten. Bingo: You just got a fairly accurate stride. If you are a runner, run a known, accurately measured distance, **counting your steps.** Divide the distance by steps and convert to inches.
No, the Flex doesn't have an altimeter, so it can't measure "flights of stairs." (Neither can the One, actually: it measures 10' changes in elevation.) But nothing in the Flex's literature should have given you any impression that it has an altimeter. So not having something it never purported to have, is not a problem with the device.
If you do even the most basic research, you'll know the Flex only syncs via Bluetooth to a very, very few Samsung devices (two or three, I believe) and iPhones/iPads. On the other hand, it doesn't suck your Android's battery if you can't sync via Bluetooth. It takes _maybe_ two seconds to sync to my computer via the USB device, and by the time I look at my phone or tablet, the updated info is in both the Fitbit app *and* MyFitnessPal. (If you really want to sync to your phone or tablet, there are cables available to accept the Flex's USB dongle, and plug into a micro-USB port.)
Before getting my Flex, I was using the Android app CardioTrainer. I'm still using CardioTrainer, because (a) it's on my phone and (b) I get to listen to music while I walk. The step counts between the Flex and CardioTrainer are within 1 percent of each other (using the same stride length, and having the phone in a back pocket).
No, of course the Flex isn't a heart-rate monitor. So no, of course it's not going to *precisely* tell you how many calories you've burned. But the algorithm should be useful for the vast majority of people. If need or want pinpoint accuracy, then yes, you need a heart-rate monitor.
Bottom line: For what it is intended to do, the Flex is as close to perfect as I could ask for. Everything I expected it to do, it does, and very, very well.
84 out of 89 found this review helpful.
Read the Instructions / WORKS GREAT!
Posted by: CLEVERSTORM from: Southern, NJ on
1. Roughly Accurate when you enter your personal running and walking stride distance; in the settings dashboard under your profile. I saw a lot of people complaining about inaccuracy but I don't know if they even dove that far into the dashboard of the software, this isn't guesswork people.
2. No issues when using it to monitor my sleep pattern when using the software correctly; make sure you have the latest Bluetooth 4.0 installed on your android/apple device before downloading the Fitbit application.
3. Asks for Blood Pressure, Glucose and Blood Pressure readings to gather information for those who are really serious about their health.
4. I barely know its there when I sleep, throughout the day. Having two separate bands for small and large wrists are a plus. I am 6' 3" at 227lbs and the large fits me just fine.
5. Charging was extremely fast and the device syncs with ease on my iPhone 4S with the 6.2 update; Bluetooth only transfers when I open the app, not when it's running in the background. So this saves on my phone and tracker battery.
6. Water Resistant; I've run with it, grabbed a shower and swam with it in the last 48hrs and I have had absolutely no issues.
7. Vibration in the tracker is a major plus for me and allows me to wake up just fine. I despise the audible way we have been accustomed to using. Your sleep pattern is very important to a productive day and lifestyle. This was a major reason I chose this device.
1. There should be a barcode scanner built into the application for ease of adding in foods that are not in their system. Logging in a new food can be a little time consuming.
2. The locking system for the band my not be suitable for contact sports or recreations that you may come in contact with another or the ground. Maybe a band with a locking clasp would be beneficial down the road. I thought I might lose it during laps in the pool or running and I didn't, but still worried I may. So far so good.
3. No Altimeter like previous devices for tracking of elevation, this would be a great feature in such a small form factor, maybe it will be there in the 2nd generation. Fitbit does offer this feature with other devices they manufacture.
If you want an extremely accurate device for calories and distance, go out there and spend the money on a GPS device like; GARMIN, POLAR or MAGELLAN. I own a GARMIN and POLAR product that do exactly that in two separate areas. I've never read anywhere where Fitbit claimed to do just that.
This device is made to keep you moving and push you to follow individuals goals you've set to maintain a healthy lifestyle or put you back on the right track to consuming the foods that are good for you. This is not bulky like the Jawbone up and connects wirelessly. The Fitbit doesn't have a numerical display like the Nike Fuelband, but read the reviews on that and it's a major disappointment to a lot of Nike fans, plus those new to the idea.
I would recommend this product for those looking for a comfortable band that can sync wirelessly with your phone or computer and are looking to watch your running, walking, sleeping and consumption with food/water.
Good Luck and Stay Healthy!
39 out of 41 found this review helpful.
Posted by: taug from: Connecticut on
I have worn the Flex for around a week now. It seems to be fairly accurate. I am a previous zip user and the numbers that I got from that device are around the same. I have read ALOT of reviews online, and it seems people are complaining that it calculates steps when waving arms and typing. Mine does not do this at all. In fact I have the app open on my desk and monitor it to see if steps are tracked when I type and they are not. I also drive 1 hour to work and 1 hour back every day it it maybe calculates 5 steps. My Zip did the same thing. I did however make sure that I wear it on my non-dominant hand and have the setting online set to "dominant". The dominant setting makes the devices less sensitive and maybe thats why people are have accuracy issues. Overall, I really enjoy it and it helps me reach my daily goal of 15,000.
21 out of 21 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Byron0 from: Brooklyn, NY on
As a longtime fitibt user (fitbit ultra > fitbit one) my one complaint was always having to remember to take them out of my pocket when changing clothes and putting it in the wristband to track sleep. So upgrading to a wearable tracker was a no brainer. I strongly considered the Jawbone Up and Nike Fuelband but wasn't impressed with either after giving them a close look. I've been wearing the Flex and my One for a few days now to compare stats and I'm happily surprised with how similar the results are. I've even counted off a couple hundred steps while watching the app and the step count is pretty spot on (for me at least).
The wristband is very lightweight and easy to adjust. As someone who doesn't wear things on their wrist often it's very comfortable and I quickly forget that I'm wearing it.
25 out of 26 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Briana from: on
I did a lot of research on fitness trackers before buying this thing. I wanted something to count my steps but needed it to be durable for the life of a zoo/aquarium worker. I work in an aquarium, but often deal with handling larger animals on a daily basis. Therefore- whatever I decided to buy and wear on my wrist 24/7 would have to be able to withstand a lot of water splashing & dunking, as well as stand up against a lot of blunt force trauma & scattered claw showers (because, let's face it, working with the unpredictability of animals does not always allow you the foresight or time needed to remove precious electronics from your body).
So far, so good.
When I finally decided on the flex, I went into best buy & explained my situation to the clerk. He was helpful in selling me a year (maybe 2 year? I should check on that) warranty in case my life decided to murder my new investment (I realize selling the warranties is part of the job, but I appreciated it nonetheless). I was skeptical, told myself if it died in the 14-day original trial run, I would return it and explore other options. I had a whole team of coworkers looking up to my decision as they wanted to get whatever I got, so that we could "compete" in friendly workplace step-counting.
I have had this thing on my wrist since the beginning of April with zero complaints. I have recommended & managed to get about 8 of my friends & coworkers to get the same thing so that we can have challenges together. Out of my entire group, mine probably goes through the most rigorous tests.
So far it has been:
Slammed into a heavy door
Dropped into the bottom of a salt water tank
Stolen by an iguana
Licked by an octopus in 50 degree water
Repeatedly dunked into buckets of delicious thawed fish water
Swimming with stingrays
Also licked by stingrays
Touched by sharks
Yanked by small children
Etc & so forth
I mentioned to a family member that I forgot to take it off during a snorkeling session & she panicked. Reminded me that it is "water resistant" not "water proof".... As a precaution, I now remember to take it off prior to snorkeling. But that is the only time that I remove it (aside from when it is charging).
The step counter seems accurate, I have watched it move as I walk before, & while I may have some Italian blood in me (ie, I talk with my hands a lot) it seems to do a good job measuring my activity.
I also enjoy the app & the fact that I can screenshot the end of a busy day at work to send to my boss in hopes of a raise or a "feel good bonus"... Still working on that.
All in all, very great product. I got awesome customer service from Best Buy, & I managed to help y'all sell a couple more to the people around me.
I truly hope that I do not jinx myself by posting this... But if you're looking for a tiny activity meter that can still accurately measure your activity while doubling as a mermaid, you have found your product.
17 out of 17 found this review helpful.
Great activity tracker and easy to setup
Posted by: AHiggs13 from: Lexington NC on
I have used the FitBit Flex for about 3 days now and so far I really do love it. I have no used any other activity tracker before but this one was super easy to set up. There isn't much to it and the simplistically of the tracker makes it very comfortable on the wrist. The band is very flexible and easy to wear and I am used to wearing bracelets so I don't even feel it on. I have connected it to my Galaxy S3 and it is very easy to connect and sync so I can see my activity levels in a snap. The fitbit app for my galaxy s3 is easy to use as well and it does feel like it would be easy to track food and other activity in the app on a daily basis.
The battery on the Flex seems to work great. I have used it for 3 days now and there was still at least a 60% charge. Its very easy to pop the actual tracker out of the bracelet and charge with my USB port on my computer while I'm writing this review.
The only drawback that I have come across is the fact there there is no instruction manual with the item in the box. It is all online and you go to fitbit website to get a step by step set up which is pretty self explanatory. A PDF download for instructions online would be nice but I did find everything that I needed for setup on the website and I am really liking this item. I feel that it will help me realize how active I am and motivate me to get up and get moving.
Then online website can get very in-dept with your food intake, activity levels, even your water intake and blood glucose levels can be added to the dashboard to help with tracking purposes. All around a great product. I hope they come out with more colors for the bracelets I would buy different colors and change them out if it was sold.
16 out of 16 found this review helpful.
Posted by: fq1234 from: on
I purchased this as a present for my wife. She loves it and uses it daily. I'm more of a techie though and there are a few things I think could be improved. 1st - Battery life could be better. It typically needs charged (taken out of the bracelet and plugged into the wall) every 4-5 days. This is less than what is advertised. 2nd - Although it monitors sleep, it is not automatic like other models. You must tap it to tell it when you are going to sleep and when you are getting up. 3rd - The step count does not seem to be very accurate, which I'm basing on the experiences of my wife and my coworkers. My wife reached her 10,000 step goal after a 12 hour day of driving. Our car is a pretty smooth ride and there is no way she actually took 10,000 steps so I believe the unit is a little too sensitive. My coworker had the opposite problem when she was running. She would run the same distance each day and noticed a wide variety of step counts depending on where she wore the unit. 4th - The internal transmitter is pretty weak. It often won't sync with the phone or laptop unless it is right up next to them. 5th - I think the unit is quite overpriced for what it is. It appears to be a gyroscopic or acceleration sensor, a battery, a bit of memory, a very weak transmitter, and an app.
18 out of 19 found this review helpful.
Must read directions on how to use it
Posted by: blazeoc from: sandy, UT on
So overall I am okay with the purchase. Price point is solid, website and tracking is solid.
I ran 7.16 miles this morning and when I came back to sync it, it only showed 6.7 miles. So not as accurate as it should be to be honest.
Slept with it last night and I would say the sleeping part of it was accurate. When I awoke I remembered to look at the clock to remember those times and when I looked at the report this morning it was spot on.
Again overall I like the purchase but do not expect dead accurate results. I don't think you should ever expect that from any of these devices to be honest.
15 out of 15 found this review helpful.
Very good product, easy to use, loving it.
Posted by: JStandley from: Gig Harbor, WA. on
As of 5/07/2013 I have only owned the device for a week now but I am liking it quite a bit so far.
Set up was easy, plug in device, recognize device, sign up/login and you're off and tracking.
Nice looking dashboard online, iPhone app is great for quick stats and entering water, food, activity, etc.
I linked MyFitnessPal app so that I could better track my meals and again set up was very quick and easy. The Flex will track and monitor your daily burn along with calories consumed and give you up to date net results.
I walk quite a bit between a full time job and a part time job so tracking my daily movement was huge for me. It seems to be pretty accurate so far after having tested my movements with the Nike+ devices previously. I am still figuring out the tracking and just how accurate it is though.
The biggest surprise for me in liking the Flex is the sleep tracking. I wanted to test this out but I didn't realize how much I would like this function of the device. Wear it to bed and when you wake up you log in when you went to bed and when you woke up and it gives you the time it took you to fall asleep, times awake during the night, how long, and sleep efficiency. It's not incredibly detailed beyond that, but that is very nice information if you have trouble sleeping or are just curious what type of sleeper you are. When reviewing your sleep activity it would be nice to be able to expand your timeline to view the awake times a little better. The bar graph shows lines and you hover the mouse over them to view awake time, but the lines are very small and you can easily jump from one line to the next. I wish the timeline could be expanded a bit more to really comb over the details.
You can edit almost all the settings for your device such as steps goals, calories burned goals, but you cannot set water consumption that I have seen and the default 48oz is way too low.
Syncing is very easy on the Flex. You can either open up the app on your phone and it will auto sync, or the device comes with a USB device that will detect the Flex if you're within 20ft of your PC for any length of time. You an also manually sync with the PC device.
The device is very comfortable which was my biggest concern. I have the Nike+ Sportband and I found that when I wore it to work anytime that I did heavy lifting it would pop off my wrist. The Flex has not done this once. It snaps in nice and tight, stays high enough up on the wrist so that when I bend my wrist to does not get strained like my Nike+ Sportband did. The flex also looks nice too, not flashy or over the top at all. Hoping for small display in the future, but not a huge deal if they don't come out with one.
It's only been a week so the device is still figuring things out, but I like it quite a bit so far and have very few and very minor complaints that will most likely be fixed in future app updates.
After going to the gym a couple times I've noticed the Flex definitely tracks more movement, as far as it being an accurate representation of your movement in the gym is based on the individual. The hour and a half I was in the gym the Flex dashboard graph shows solid red lines, whereas the lines before and after that time are yellow for moderate and blue for regular movements. I also added the activity into the activity tracker so that I could match the spike in movement with the correct activity.
13 out of 13 found this review helpful.
Why I miss my Fitbit
Posted by: Rudy770 from: Spartanburg, SC on
The wrist band clasp is so flimsy that I never noticed when my 1 week old $140 fitbit fell off and got lost. So even though I loved it and loved the ability to see my daily movement at a glance or chart it on the browser. The joy and thrill was short lived, I thought it a bit weak of a clasp but foolishly trusted the manufacturers surely would have thought of this and maybe it just looks flimpsy, I'm sure there is a reason tehy had to make it this way. well I guess either they did not think it through or the intention was for the buyer to fall in love with what it does then lose it and have to go out and buy another. You know they've made wrist watches for quite a long time and the clasp is a bit more secure - maybe because watch makers don't want you to lose your watch during the first week after you buy it. Maybe a future version of the fitbit can come with GPS so you can track it down or they can sell them in a 12 pack or maybe - lets get radical and create a better wrist band!