The Fitbit Flex is the first activity tracker from Fitbit that users wear on their wrist. As a result it feels like the Nike FuelBand, but without all of the features.
The actual Fitbit Flex tracker is a small black device that fits inside the wristband. The design allows users to switch out the wristband for a different color, and makes it more flexible than other devices. While the FuelBand comes it three sizes with spacers to adjust the sizes, the Fitbit Flex has just two sizes that allow for varying sizes.
The Fitbit Flex uses a set of notches on the wristband to set the size. The method makes it a bit difficult to get the wristband on and off at first, but after a few days it becomes easier. Not that anyone will have to remove the wristband very often.
During the review, the Fitbit Flex only left my wrist once or twice a day when I worried it would get too wet. Water can easily get under the wristband and into the pocket that holds the device, which is uncomfortable. I also feared something might happen to the connector pins on the tracker.
Aside from those few instances, however, the Fitbit Flex stayed on my wrist and was fairly comfortable to wear. The flexibility made it easier to wear for long periods of time than the rigid Nike FuelBand. It’s almost possible to forget it’s there, which is a good thing.
The comfort makes it easy to wear for the sleep tracking feature. The device measures movement during the night to see how soundly the wearer sleeps, just like the Fitbit One. The results seemed mostly accurate. It’s hard to tell how much movement it takes to make the Flex register restlessness or wakefulness.
During the day the stats seem more accurate. The device can track steps, calories burned and a new “activity minutes” stat. Unlike the FuelBand or other Fitbit devices, however, users have to use the iOS or Android app to get any actual numbers.
The tracker only has five LEDs that show how close the wearer is to their daily goal, which defaults to a goal of 10,000 steps out of the box. The app syncs data from the Flex quickly, but it’s an extra step some may not like. In practice it feels faster than flipping through options on the FuelBand.
Overall, the Fitbit Flex is a great activity or fitness tracker. It’s easy to wear and harder to forget than other Fitbit devices. At $99.95 it’s cheaper than the FuelBand, but the same price as the One, which has many of the same features. Users who want to use the Fitbit system have to decide between the two. It will likely come down to personal preference.