in Fitness, Technology

A few days with the Fitbit Flex

Friday May 17th, I picked up a Fitbit Flex from Target. I had one in my Amazon shopping cart for over a month now waiting for it to be in stock. Being a little busy this week, I missed out on ordering and they were now out of stock. Getting started with the Fitbit Flex was very simple; from taking it out of the packaging it took about 20 minutes to get a full charge and sync it with my phone. From there it, was ready to go on my arm.

First Test

To test out its accuracy, I took it on a walk with my dog, Dex, and RunKeeper on my phone. After the walk, both RunKeeper and the Fitbit had different values as for how many calories were burned and the distance traveled but they were close enough. I will continue logging the stats from both RunKeeper and Fitbit and update this post on friday.

fitbit walk screenshot Run Keeper screenshot

 

Sleep Monitoring

Setting the Fitbit in sleep mode is fairly easy, tap a few repetitive times until the 2 sets of lights alternate and your in sleep mode. When you wake up, do the same and you are out of sleep mode. On the iPhone and computer you get a graph showing details of your sleep; how long you slept, how long and when you were agitated, and the time you went to bed and got out of bed.

2013-05-18 17.44.18

Social Aspect

A lot of friends now have one of the few fitness trackers out there but unfortunately when I did a search for friends on facebook that also use the Fitbit results showed that my friends where using those other devices (Nike Fuel Band and Jawbone Up). This factor might be a good reason for me not to switch to the Jawbone Up but hopefully they will come out with one that syncs wirelessly.

Fb friends using Fitbit

Battery Life

The Fitbit lasted a full 6 days on a full charge even with me checking it a lot more then I should with regular use I gave me an extra 24 hours over the estimated 5 days. Thats one of the advantages of Bluetooth 4.0, it uses very little battery. Charging the device with the included charging cable takes less then 30 minutes so its easy to put it to charge while I’m working on my desk.

Charging cable for fitb bit flex

 

 

Pros

  • Meal input library seems to find what I need and let’s me input what’s missing. So far only thing missing as a can of Fanta soda.
  • The silent alarm feature is great and wakes me up quickly and is less of a shock then my phone.
  • Sleep monitoring is good as I’m sure I don’t get enough sleep and would like to improve on this.
  • Step tracking with calories burned and distance were pretty close when compared to RunKeeper which uses GPS
  • Wireless Syncing the main reason why I went the Fitbit instead of the Jawbone Up.
  • The new web dashboard looks and works great and it seems that they are adding new features to it.

 

Cons

  • At some point I checked the app and my calories burned for the day went down to 15 from the 2000 it was a few hours earlier then after a while it came back up to where it should have been.
  • While taking a shower the lights blinked as if i had tapped it but it wasn’t the case. Not sure if the water drops were interpreted as taps or if my hand hit something in the shower by mistake.
  • After showers a little water stays inside the band where the Fitbit slips in. It doesn’t affect the usage of the flex but I try to wipe it after or take it off before taking a shower.

 

Wrap up

When I purchased the Fitbit i was still on the fence about getting it or the jawbone up but now I’m sure that the fit bit works better for me. I really dont see my self taking off the Jawbone up to plug it in to sync, for a company that specializes in bluetooth headsets you would think that they would have the lead in wireless syncing. My only issue with it for now is that everyone that I know who has a fitness band is either with jawbone or with Nike so I haven;t been able to test the social aspect of the Fitbit.