I’d been desperate to get my hands on a wearable activity tracker for a while, I’d eyed them all up and could never afford them. I’m a total stats geek and the idea of being able to track my activity and sleep 24/7 was very exciting, and I ould create graphs, all the graphs!
Then, earlier this year Mr Chick treated me to a FitBit Flex as a present. So here is my long overdue review!
The FitBit Flex is made of a rubber wristband that comes in a variety of colours, I chose black for it’s “go with everything” potential and because the turquoise wasn’t in stock! Inside is a small device with lights that flash across the top to show your progress towards goal. So if your goal is 10,000 steps each light is worth 2,000.
Set up was very minimal, just plug the dongle into your computer, install a bit of software and you’re away. If you have a smart phone the device also syncs through bluetooth with an app so you can keep track on your stats throughout the day, and it also tracks your sleep.
I very quickly fell in love with it. One of the reasons I chose the Flex was because it synced with My Fitness Pal. It adjusts your calorie value on MFP throughout the day depending on how many steps you have walked, and if you log an exercise in MFP it automatically adjusts on FitBit. This works perfectly, and I’ve had no problems with it at all. It’s also waterproof so you can wear it for swimming, bathing and showering as well without worrying about it, though I found that it was worth taking the device out of the wristband and giving it a bit of a dry off after it had been in water or otherwise it starts dripping water on you later on!
I love how easy to use the dashboard online and on the app are and how simple the set up is. The gadget needs recharging approximately once a week using a USB charger. It sends me an email to remind me the battery is low and I just plug it into my laptop while I’m working to charge it up.
The first problem I had with the Fitbit was about a month after I bought it. I walked to the train station carrying a heavy bag which I transferred from arm to arm as I walked, and occasionally carried hooked over my arm. When I got on the train I looked down for my FitBit and it was gone. I was quite ridiculously distraught as I’d become quite attached. I contacted FitBit support and told them it had fallen off and then promptly sent me another one for free, which was great customer service, so I was only without it for a week.
A week later I wore it to Roller Derby practice and someone came up to me about an hour in holding my wristband which she had found on the toilet floor. Ever since then I have worn the band with electrical tape around the clasp to stop it falling off. I really think the band design needs some serious rethinking, as an £80 wristband that falls off so easily isn’t a good idea!
Once the tiny device that sits inside the wristband also fell out during a roller derby scrim, it was probably got caught by someone in the pack. Suffice to say, though I love the functionality of the device I hate the wristband, which is also starting to look a little shabby after a few months of wear.
With regards to actually tracking activity, with a few adjustments to the set up it’s step and mileage count seems pretty accurate. I found it was far more accurate at counting steps if I set it to say I was wearing it on my dominant wrist, even though I wasn’t. It vibrates when you hit your daily target, which is a nice feeling when out for a run or walking home from the shops! It doesn’t count swimming or skating very well, often I’ll do a 3 hour Roller Derby training session, come home stinky, sweaty and exhausted, to find that my FitBit thinks the only “active minutes” I’ve had today are the 2 minutes when I walked across the car park into training, it does, however, offer you the opportunity to manually add these activities through the fitbit app, or MFP if that’s what you use.
Overall I would recommend the FitBit Flex, it’s waterproof and has a great functionality, measuring steps, active time, predicting calories and even monitoring your sleep patterns. Keep an eye on that wristband though, to make sure it’s secure, and if the majority of your exercise isn’t walking or running, be prepared to have to enter it manually.
Find out more about the FitBit Flex.
The FitBit Flex is available on Argos for £79.99