Fitbit Flex Review

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I’m turning over a new leaf. I’ll write about that later, but as part of said leaf-turning, I bought a Fitbit Flex 2. I’ll cover why later, but for now, let’s start with a nice review of how well a Fitbit Flex 2 works for a middle-aged, 40-something, man.

I used to have a different Fitbit, but the band that was attached to it was not replaceable, and it tore across the rubber some time ago. I never bothered to replace it, figuring it wasn’t doing me any good. The truth is, I was letting it count my steps, but not actually DOING anything to get more steps than I would just in my regular daily activities. Obviously, that doesn’t make for much difference in one’s life.

What Is The Fitbit Flex Like?

If you look at the picture on the outside of the box, or on Amazon, you’ll notice that the Fitbit Flex 2 looks like a narrow-banded, bracelet-type, watch.

In reality, the actual Fitbit Flex 2 is a tiny little hard rectangle with no band at all.

fitbit flex 2 actual size

The actual Fitbit Flex 2, shown next to a standard yellow highlighter.

That band in the first picture is one of two that comes in the box. There is both a small one and a large one. The Fitbit Flex goes into a hole in the back of the band. The band is made of rubber and holds the Fitbit in by having a just the right size hole for the Fitbit Flex 2. I have some concern that, over time it will stretch out.

fitbit flex 2 band hole

The reason I worry about the hole stretching out is that the Fitbit can’t just stay in there all of the time. It has to be charged. Unfortunately, you cannot charge the Fitbit while it is in the band. Instead, you have to take the Fitbit out of the band and put it in its charger.

The Fitbit bands still use the same, poke the metal prongs through the holes in the rubber bracelet type of clasp. I’m not a fan of this because they can (and do!) pop off if you catch the band on something, and you don’t always notice it popped off.

It’s a USB charger that comes with no charging block to plug it into; either supply your own, or plug it into a USB socket that provides power for charging, like on your PC or laptop.

fitbit flex 2 charger

They say a full charge lasts about five days, and that it takes about two hours to charge from empty. Even so, having to take that little piece out every time instead of just clicking the charger onto the back, like my daughter’s Pebble does, seems like a design flaw.

The reason for the individual pieces is two-fold. First, and foremost to the Fitbit people is that you can buy accessories for your Fitbit. Not only can you buy new Fitbit bands, but you can buy clips, and jewelry that holds your Fitbit Flex, and so on. I certainly don’t need that, but I guess maybe I should have bought one of the other Fitbits if I wanted something more integrated.

Check out my review of the Digits savings app.

The second reason is that the actual Fitbit is sealed up, so you can use it in the water. More specifically, you can swim with your Fitbit Flex 2 on.

Which brings me to the best part about the Fitbit Flex 2… price.

Although the theoretical list price is $99.99, they have them on sale everywhere for $59.99. Since Amazon charges sales tax where I live, I went ahead and bought mine at Target instead where I get 5% off with my Target Red Card debit card.

How To Use Fitbit Flex 2

The other slight downside is that the Fitbit Flex 2 has no real screen. There are a series of dots on it that light up in various colors as code for stuff like incoming messages, or whatever. I don’t really want or need that. You can get a rough estimate of your progress toward your goal by double tapping the Fitbit. It will light up between one and four lights. Each light stands for one quarter of your goal. So, if you are over 50% of the way to your goal steps, but less than 75%, two lights will illuminate.

This isn’t super helpful since there is a very big difference between 55% of the way and 70% of the way. The other thing is that there is no way to tell which way the Fitbit is facing, so the lights might start from the right one time, and from the left another.

Again, there are other models of Fitbit with little screens that show your exact number of steps right on them. They cost more, so this is a choice you are making. Limited screen and visibility, but dirt cheep price.

To actually use the Fitbit Flex 2, you use the app on your phone. From there you can set your step goal, and look at the exact number of steps your Fitbit Flex has counted. It will also track stuff like what you eat, and how much water you drink, but these are all manual entries within the app. I probably won’t use those, but it’s worth mentioning that they are there.

For now, it does what it says it does, and I guess that’s all I need for right now.

15,000 steps each day, and hopefully that takes care of my fitness and this little Buddha belly.

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