So many fitness tracking apps and bands exist that it's almost boring news when a new fitness device hits the market. When the Fitbit Flex first arrived, I (along with countless others) didn't pay it much mind at all. It was another way to track fitness and movement - so what?
There are some things, thought, that the Fitbit Flex does that other tracking bands don't do. Like what? And, more importantly, why should you hand over close to $100 for a tracking bracelet like this one? Will the Fitbit Flex help you lose weight?
Overall First Impressions
The first time I saw someone wearing the Fitbit Flex, I thought: what is that ugly, dirty, and slightly pinkish bracelet that guy is wearing? I found out later that it was a Fitbit Flex, and the guy wearing it had been wearing it for a long time. He loved it. Why? It might not be the best looking thing in the world, but it tracks movements, keeps tabs on your exercise level, and this bracelet is darn durable.
I'd love to see more data available on the actual Fitbit band. At present, what you'll see are some LED lights that let you know how you're progressing. But, the real data comes when you plug the small black box (this fits inside of the plastic band) into your computer via Fitbit's USB dock. You can also plug the small black information holder into a cellphone, which is far more practical when you're on the move.
When you do plug the Fitbit Flex into a computer or phone, you will see a ton of data. Water intake, activity levels, food intake, and even the amount of nightly sleep you get will appear in the neatly organized layout. The Fitbit wants you to take 10,000 steps per day, and that's the initial goal that you will try to achieve.
Not into taking 10,000 steps per day? You can set up your own goal, and that's easy to do with simple customization options. You do have to manually input food, water, and sleep data, but this only takes a moment to do. But, let's get to the really important question: can the Fitbit Flex help you lose weight?
Weight Loss Options
Technically, the Fitbit Flex keeps track of your steps. It also keeps track of your food, water, and sleep levels if you input this information regularly and manually. Some might forget to do this, though. Can this bracelet tell you what you are doing wrong? Can it offer suggestions? Tips? Anything else?
Well, yes it can. If you pay an additional $50 for the Fitbit premium account - that's a yearly fee, by the way. Premium account holders will get updates, helpful weight loss tips, and personalized information that includes how to take more steps and what else you can do to stay in shape.
My conclusion? These bracelets really need to provide heart rate monitoring; reminders to input data; and helpful hints without any added costs. Otherwise, you're just paying for a fun fitness toy that looks cool.