Fitbit Flex Review

There are so many tracking devices out there and I’ve been on the fence about getting one for a long time. I love my Green Garmin for running (x-country skiing too) but that’s all it does AND I am thankful for that. It tracks my kilometers and my times. It’s what I wanted to help move my running to the next level last year and that it did!

At some point, I want to upgrade my Garmin but just waiting until my first one bites the dust and I can save the money for the one I really want.

Enter tracking device #2: The Fitbit Flex.

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Before Christmas I was kinda thinking about getting a FitBit; my main reason – SLEEP. I wanted to track how much sleep I was actually getting. Let’s be honest, with a 2-year-old and 4.5 year old, I can be up a few times in the night for whatever reason.

So on Boxing day, I bought one. It was on sale and tax-free – that kinda made the purchase that much better. I’ve worn my FitBit Flex every day except when charging it.

{Please note: these are my opinions. I was not asked to do a review, I was not provided with product. I’m simple writing my blog post on something I use daily}

What I like about the Fitbit Flex:

  • It’s comfortable (you kinda forget it’s there)
  • Easy to wear
  • It makes me accountable to getting my 10,000 daily step goal
  • Gets me moving a little more through the day as opposed to sitting too much
  • Notify’s you when you hit your goal
  • There are daily, weekly and goal challenges you can do in groups
  • There are community groups you can join (create as well)
  • There online support helps you out.
  • There are days when I walk/run around my house to get my daily steps in (10,000)

What I don’t like:

  • My first dongle didn’t work properly (they replaced it) and then the second one didn’t work very well right away. It now works fine.
  • The sleep function doesn’t always work – WHICH IS THE WHOLE POINT OF ME GETTING IT. Seriously! It doesn’t sync with my tablet (the sleep function) and sometimes NEVER syncs when I update it from my computer. SUPER ANNOYING!
  • There is NO education piece attached to it. What do I mean by this? They could have taken the opportunity to educated people on how many steps per day is recommended for health benefits (10,000 in case you didn’t know) and get people working towards that goal. Fitbit is also a business and I believe the are more focused on making a profit (I get that) then properly educating those that buy their devices.
  • It still doesn’t always sync.
  • It doesn’t work with a Blackberry – so frustrating. I can only updated it when I am home since I don’t have an IPhone or Android device (phone).
  • Their online support don’t always reply. The second time I contacted them, they failed to reply but magically my Fitbit Flex started working again really well a few days later!
  • I’ve had my tracker vibrate to tell me I’ve hit my daily goal (10,000 steps) when folding the laundry and doing dishes – ummm….really? That’s weird because I wasn’t moving my feet. Well, sometimes I dance around when doing the laundry – um, yeah no. I was sitting on the ground and it vibrated to tell me I hit 10,000 steps.

What would I do differently?

  • I’d buy the next one up (FitBit Charge). I don’t like wearing my watch and Fitbit at the same time – super bulky and annoying. I’d like the automatic sleep sensor rather than turning in on and off (which doesn’t always for me with the Fitbit Flex).
  • It would be great if it was compatible with a Blackberry operating system. It connects to my Samsung tablet which is great but I can’t take that everywhere in order for my Fitbit to sync and update throughout the day.
  • Possibly not purchase one at all and save my money for the next Garmin I want and only use it for running…forget sleep. I probably will never get a full nights sleep for at least 15-20 years 😉

Don’t get me wrong, I purchased it. But, I purchased it thinking it was the right device for what I wanted at the time AND the price was right. I’m happy I have one but I think I’m more frustrated with it then I actually enjoy it.

Do you have a tracking device?

Love it or hate it?

Which one do you recommend and WHY?

Again, {Please note: these are my opinions. I was not asked to do a review, I was not provided with product. I’m simple writing my blog post on something I use daily}.

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23 thoughts on “Fitbit Flex Review

  1. Thanks for sharing! This time last year I spent hours researching tracking devices and settled on the Jawbone UP24. It sounds similar to the flex in that the main purpose is to track steps (with the same 10,000 step daily goal) and sleep (interruptions, hours and light vs. deep sleep). I wore the UP24 for months and kind of became addicted to hitting my step goal. Then the band died and I missed my goal (breaking a several month streak, argh!) and fitness tracking became less of a novelty. Jawbone replaced my band two times within 5 months (because the second one died too!) but after all of the hassle of having the units die and my stats go haywire I just stopped using it. Overall it was a good experience for the first 6+ months though and I think I got very good at just knowing how much activity I needed to do in a day to hit 10k steps. Now I have a Garmin to track just my runs and I’m happy with that. 🙂

    • Funny, I’m wondering how long I’ll actually wear it. I may stop soon and then just wear in on day when I start training for race. It would be cool to see how many steps one takes during a week of training for a race!
      Thanks for the tips on the Jawbone!

    • One thing I do really like is that you can encourage your “friends” on your the fitbit program to get their steps in and doing challenges against one another. It’s a good motivator for those who may not be so active normally.

  2. I have a FitBit One and have only been using it a couple of weeks – I like it because I can hide under my clothing and then transfer it to wrist band to wear it to bed. I think the sleep functiong is not very accurate with these models because it tells me I am awake/restless ever time I turn over or move my legs and or arms… I know that is movement but I am not aware of most of it. Very sensitive.

    I do think I will keep using it for some time!

  3. I have a Fitbit Flex also, and the main problem with it is that it’s not actually tracking your steps–it’s tracking the motion of your arm, because in theory, you swing your arm every time you take a step. But this means that if you’re walking while holding a stationary load (a box, your child etc), it’s not tracking your steps. And if you’re doing an activity like kayaking or canoeing, it’s counting those arm motions as steps. I also found that it would put itself in sleep mode while I was doing random activities and I couldn’t get it back in normal mode. And like you said, wearing the Fitbit plus my watch is too bulky. I think my new Garmin actually tracks steps… I should look into that.

    • You know I’ve questioned how it monitors your steps, along with it putting itself in sleep mode last week while I was trying to get the last the shampoo out of the bottle so I could wash our girls hair.
      Which Garmin do you have?

  4. My husband has issues with the step counting for the reason of it counting arm motion as steps – he is a musician and has to take it off anytime he is playing/teaching. There’s actually no scientific or hard evidence behind the 10,000 steps a day, some organizations only suggest 7-8k, so that’s prob why they don’t include any info on that.

  5. I also have a Fitbit flex, so I know exactly what you are talking about in all of these points. I actually got mine as a surprise Xmas gift from my boyfriend’s parents. Like you, I was really only interested in the sleep function, but I can NEVER remember to put the fitbit to sleep when I got to bed. When I do, however, I’ve found its sleep analysis to be stunningly accurate.

    The random vibrating you experience when you’re doing daily activities – you mention that you think it’s the device telling you you hit your goal, but I wonder if it’s actually the device thinking you’re putting it in sleep mode? Mine does the same thing, like when I’m chopping vegetables, and it’s because it thinks I’m tapping it to sleep.

    I agree with another commenter about the 10K steps thing. I have never seen any scientific evidence supporting this number – it seems arbitrary, like the whole 8 glasses of water a day thing.

    I’m enjoying my flex as a gift, but I don’t think I’d buy any Fitbit product for myself. The amount of data is offers is great, but I’m just not interested enough to ever upgrade my product. Sorry, Fitbit.

    • Glad I’m not the only one, however I wish I would have known this before!

      I wonder if it’s putting itself in sleep mode as well. It did it the other night while washing the girls hair in the bath. Weird!

      I really want to see what it does when I start training again for a race…10k, 1/2 mara., should be interesting to see how it tracks!

  6. I’ve been thinking about getting a tracking device recently- mainly to be accountable for hitting 10,000 steps daily, so I’m glad you reviewed this! Fitbit was on my list of devices I was considering, but given your review, I think I’m leaning towards a company with better customer service (not to mention device functionality)!

    • My suggestion is to google the crap out of the top 2-3 devices so you can get as much info as you can. I’m sure there are other devices that have similar issues. I actually have another one I might do a review on – I one it in a contest.

  7. I bought a flex right before Christmas and it is interesting. Sometimes it can take up to a 6+ mile run before it will say I hit 10,000 steps. I beat the band up fairly quickly so I ordered a cute fabric one on Etsy. I sometimes put the tracker in my sock while I sleep and it doesn’t seem to track as well when I do that. I’m not sure, part of me wishes I had bought the Up instead.

  8. Pingback: I Gave Up My Fitbit Flex for the Week | Piper's Run

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