FITBIT FLEX – A REVIEW
The world of smartwatches and fitness trackers are ever increasing. More tech giants seem to be interested in pursuing this specific sector. Due to the massive potential it has, we have a good deal of releases making the news these days. Besides regular players in the market, who have released quite a few devices, another smartwatch maker that has been stealing the light is Fitbit. Earlier this year, the company had come out with the Force fitness tracker until it was recalled, mainly due to reports of skin rash on about 10,000 customers who used the product. Fitbit was all set to put that saga behind with its new flagship and hence, the Flex. On a side note, the company has also said that all issues that were found in the Force have been dealt with, and an updated release is certainly on the cards. However, until then let’s go through the new Fitbit Flex.
The Fitbit Flex comes with an all-new look and design. It mainly consists of two separate parts – the sensor, and then the strap. The sensor is comparatively pretty small and that is probably because of the fact that the fitness tracker does not sport a LED display. What it has is five LED lights, which happen to indicate the number of steps taken during a day. These are activated only on double tapping the device. The strap is pretty lightweight and sports a very simple design. It is made of rubber, along with a plastic grey latch. Various colored straps have been made available to consumers, and that is rather a good step towards customization. A very notable feature of the Fitbit Flex is that of the clear band, above the LED lights in the tracker unit. This is what allows one to view their progress when wearing it. With regular use, the band is pretty susceptible to scratches and wearing. However, a range of bands are available from the makers themselves, so you can count on it.
The Fitbit Flex comes powered with Bluetooth 4.0 technology. One of the very good features of this device is that it periodically manages to wake up, connect to your phone and update the stats. Therefore, you can say goodbye to manual connecting and syncing. However, despite this, the problem lies in the fact that it still supports only a very limited pack of devices. Although, flagships of most companies are supported, the Flex still has a lot of catching up to do. Perhaps with the latest announcement of Android Wear, a lot more devices will be supported in the near future. The Fitbit Flex also supports iPhone’s 5S and 5C models. Support for Windows phone has also been announced, and that counts for brownie points from that segment of users. As a side solution, the presence of a USB dongle for syncing to your Mac or Windows PC does fairly well.
Performance accuracy, apps and battery
This fitness tracker provides step tracking and sleep tracking. It is certainly not 100 percent accurate but comes pretty close. Compare it to the Jawbone Up24, and it does a lot better. Question marks will always remain over the accuracy of fitness trackers, but the Fitbit Flex deserves a fair round of applause for the job it does. We are just into fitness tracking technology, and it will take some time for all the polishing that needs to happen. Fitbit’s app sports a hassle-free approach and even novice users will find things rather in place. However for the fitness crazy mob, you are allowed to get into depths of information, layer after layer. This certainly deserves some kudos. The app’s food tracking system appears rather haphazard, credit to the presence of a localized cuisine. Third party applications will probably deal with this issue a lot better, so count on that. Fitbit has also launched something new in the form of IFTTT. It will look to automate most of the device’s functions and improve the overall working of the Flex.
The battery of the device deserves a whole bit of praise. Despite the presence of Bluetooth and wireless syncing, it can easily last up to eight days.
Pricing and verdict
The Fitbit Flex is priced at $100. Considering, that it faces major competition from the Jawbone Up24 and the Samsung Gear Fit, both of which are priced considerably higher, the Fitbit Flex can certainly be termed as value for money. It also outperforms the other two on numerous counts.
However, everything said the Flex still did have a lot more potential that could have been offered. Even, the simple strap could have been made to like something of a stylish piece of a tech wear. It can basically be labeled as, the Fitbit One placed in a more convenient place of the body, i.e. your wrist.
The future releases of this product, however, will surely improve on all its aspects!