Thursday, September 11, 2014

FitBit Flex (Product Review)

*Disclaimer* - I purchased this item and have received no compensation for this review.

For the technical specs - visit to the FitBit website.

I'm going to do this a bit different than my normal product reviews with a basic list of pros and cons. I have been using the FitBit for 5 or 6 weeks now, I really wanted to get a sense of what it does and doesn't do before I wrote this.

Good

  • It is EASY to use. I have the FitBit flex, which basically looks like those rubber bracelets everyone wears. So fashionable. I am currently wearing a black band, but I have a few replacement bands in various colors on order.

  • The actual tracking device is teeny tiny. It easily slides into the super sweet "bracelet"

  • The FitBit Flex is WATERPROOF. I have never taken it off for showering or when I went to the hot springs in Glenwood. Not super sure on use while swimming as I don't do that :D
  • I like that I don't really have to DO anything for it work. There is an iPhone app and you can either set it to sync manually or all day long. I have mine set to sync all day, which drains the battery a bit more, but updates many times a day. Below are views from the website on the computer and the app.

Computer

  • The FitBit works Garmin Connect. That means that it I am not "duplicating" anything with the use of this app. In the event I actually do some running outside - where the "Track exercise" tab is a time/calorie burn will appear. The FitBit steps will be offset by the calories burned by running (If I burned 3000 for the day from steps, it would subtract the Garmin calories from that number to not duplicate calorie burn).
  • The FitBit also syncs directly with My Fitness Pal (food tracking app). I only enter the food I eat into My Fitness Pal and then FitBit tells me my calories consumed and the amount of calories I have left, based on the goals that I program in. Initially, to lose the 10 pounds I've gained in the last 6 months, I put in the most difficult - 1000 calorie deficit. I have since adjusted to 500 calorie deficit and it doesn't make me feel like crying.
  • The FitBit also tracks sleep patterns, which I actually find pretty interesting. Apparently I actually fall asleep pretty quickly, and other than a small amount of tossing and turning, I sleep pretty well. (So why am I so tired getting an average of 7.5-8 hours a night)?
  • I really like the "friend" aspect of FitBit. You friend people either via email or Facebook and  you can compete for number of steps. (All other information is usually private, i.e. - weight and weight loss goals). I currently am in "competition" with Dave Mari and L. L is a machine and I likely will never beat her. I couldn't even catch her the week I ran a marathon and she only ran a half. It is a big motivator to keep moving.
  • The battery charges pretty fast. I have never let it go below "medium" charge, but like most electronics, the charger plugs into a USB and I have it in my car and every other day I am able to fully charge on my morning commute.
  • You can change all of your goals as often as you want. (Number of steps, miles, etc.)
  • You can use the FitBit for alarms, although I have not used that function.
Not So Great
  • The battery life kinda sucks. It is supposed to last 5 days, although I don't think mine has ever gotten close to that. Part of that is probably because I have mine set on all day sync.
  • IT IS ADDICTING. For real, I am obsessed with this stupid thing.
  • Price - a bit steep at $99... You can probably get one used, as I bet most people that invest in one give up after a while.
  • Be aware that this is NOT 100% accurate. I should not even have to say that, but lets be real. There is no GPS in this device and I have yet to have the mileage come within 5-10% of what I am running. I feel that might be a good thing, as it is underestimating my movement.
  • Steps - I find that they are probably under, if anything. Especially on the treadmill. Again, same, better to underestimate I think.
  • As far as calories "remaining" - the number does not match what My Fitness Pal says. Not sure which is more "accurate" - just know they aren't the same.
Overall Thoughts
  • Just like any other product, the FitBit can be a useful tool for either weight loss or just getting your butt off the couch. BUT YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO USE IT....
  • Related: Although I personally have not lost any weight while using it, L has lost 6 pounds (as of last weekend) since we got these the first week in August. In all fairness, I am not really using as a weight loss tool, and on days I overindulge, I do not log all my calories.
  • I really do like the FitBit... if it can help keep me in check, I will keep using it.
With that said - if you want to friend me, find me on Facebook :)

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the product review. I've always wondered what these things did and if they were worth the money. Sounds like it could be a useful tool. I need to get more diligent about the food I put in my mouth and this might be the kick in the butt I need.

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  2. I could see me getting addicted to all that data! I kind of want one, but at the same time figure I have survived this long without it surely I can keep surviving,

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  3. I love the sleep tracking aspect! I think that is super interesting cuz I'm totally dedicated to my sleep! I remember that arm Bugg thing (remember those?) did that too and I wished I could justify spending the money.

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Week in Review (November 7 - November 13)

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