Fitbit Flex 2 Review
Fitbit Flex 2 Review
When the Fitbit Flex was first introduced to the market, it served as an entry level fitness tracking device. It featured a discreet design and carried out basic tracking functions in addition to sleep tracking. There wasn’t much to it when it came to activity tracking.
Recently, however, Fitbit has introduced an update of their smartband – the Fitbit Flex 2. This device features some of the latest technology including waterproof abilities and some basic smartphone notification features. Fitbit also gave the flex 2 a complete change up with customizable accessories. However, even with these upgrades, there still are some better fitness trackers available. Speaking of better activity trackers, you should note that there are differences between a smart band, the likes of the Fitbit flex 2 and smart watches. Many of these differences revolve around the design, where smart bands do not feature displays to provide access to recorded data while on the move, and functionality. Recently, smart bands have been featuring more and more functions than in the past. But even while this is the case generally, smart bands have far fewer features than smart watches which include GPS tracking and Heart Rate monitoring. More on the unit in the below Fitbit Flex 2 Review.back to menu ↑
Design and Setup
Compared to its predecessor, the Flex 2 features a smaller tracking component. It is about 30% smaller. But just like it was with the predecessor, the tracker component slips into an elastomer band (standard size) which comes included in the box. In terms of size, this new band is narrower and is now the same size as the Jawbone UP3 thus increasing the competition. The band hugs and contours the wrist tightly courtesy of the supple elastomer material used.
The bands available for use with the Fitbit Flex 2 vary in color. The colors include lavender, black, black and navy. With these color ranges and options, you can easily have the band blend with your fashion taste. In addition to this, the bands are also designed complete with varied textures and patterns. Now you probably are thinking of how rough the band must feel on the skin. But on the contrary, the band as stated above provides great comfort.
Upon purchase, you get two bands of different sizes. To get your hands on the classic bands with the colors of your choice you will have to make the purchase separately.
Fitbit has retained the button clasp securing mechanism on the new Flex 2. Truth be told, for most persons, this mechanism proves to be fiddly and may need assistance to put on the band on their wrist. If you cannot bear the button clasp, there are third party straps that feature watch buckles that you could purchase.
Speaking of optional strap options, Fitbit also features its own line which for the most part makes the device like more of a jewelry accessory than anything else. You might have seen this before with the misfit fitness trackers. The jewelry bands are sleeker and have more appealing for individuals looking for a discreet look.
Fitbit presents a wide range of bangles in gold, rose gold and silver that are pleasing to the eyes and are classy. While you may be looking to go with these classy strap options, you should be warned, they are not in the least cheap. But a high cost is a small price to pay for style and exquisite taste.
Also worth mentioning is the pendant accessory option available for those who for some reason will dislike the wrist strap bands. With the pendant, you could have the fitness tracker around your neck, but you will lose out on the sleep-tracking and SmartTrack functionality. The SmartTrack functionality allows the pendant to automatically pick up and differentiate the activities you indulge in such as swimming and running.
The Fitbit Flex 2 has a major improvement on the positioning of the LEDs. On this unit, they are now vertically positioned and much easier to look at while on the move.
Like with any device from Fitbit, the Flex 2 is designed to work with a functional companion app for iOS and Android which connects via Bluetooth. When we fired up our test unit, it prompted us for an update of the software. You might be prompted too but this is not a time-consuming process. Once the update is complete, you will set up your profile and goals after which every activity you indulge in will be synced to the app. to view reports, you have to visit the apps, dashboard.
Aside from providing you with a breakdown of the reports, the app allows you to customize the notifications you would prefer to be relayed to the smart band. Unlike with smartwatches, the notification settings are limited. And understandably so since you are working with a single row of LEDs. You can set the Flex 2 to vibrate and light up in shades of blue and white when a message from any messaging app on your phone comes through. For calls, the band will vibrate and the LEDs will light in a wave pattern. Though very basic, the notification system does it best with what it is provided with. More customization is however expected in upcoming updates of the device.
Fitbit App and Activity Tracking
The strength of the Flex 2 lies in its comfort and the fact that you will forget about it. The steps taken in a day will be recorded automatically as will your sleep. In the past, Fitbit SmartTrack feature only kicked in during long walks, cycling, and running But now, with the addition of the waterproof feature, swimming has been added to the list. The SmartTrack feature can be configured to your liking on the app. the settings are however minimal.
Right out of the box, the swim tracking feature is turned off. You will need to manually turn it on if you are interested in this feature. Fitbit says that the setting is so that they can save the battery life for individuals least concerned with swimming which is actually quite thoughtful of them. For the swimmers getting this device, the moment you switch it on, also remember to type in the length of the pool to ensure the lap counting is accurate. It, however, is not as accurate as the apple Watch Series 2.
Speaking of lap counting, we experienced an off reading. But honestly, this was mostly due to the many stops I made during the laps. For stronger swimmers, the readings may be much more dependable. Last but not least, the unit also detects the swimming strokes you use.
If you are not much into swimming, you will still benefit from the unit courtesy of its waterproof feature which means that you will not have to take it off when you hit the shower.
With regards to running, the Flex 2 does not feature a GPS tracker or a Connected GPS mode which allows the device to use the smartphones GPS tracker. The time tracked while on the run is accurate but that is just about it. The data you get only include the impact of the activity undertaken during the day and the number of calories burned in the process.
Unlike the Charge 2, the Fitbit Flex 2 does not calculate the distance covered and recorded by the accelerometer. This takes away most of the fun from using the unit. As for the number of steps taken, the unit is as accurate as they come.
To know the activity progress you have made throughout the day according to the goal you set when you first setup the app and the Flex 2, you can double tap on the tracker. The LEDs will light up showing you the progress. They are a total of 5 LEDs so each LED represents 20% progress. When you achieve your goals, the device will vibrate to notify you of your success.
It is quite disappointing to note that the unit does not come with an altimeter. This is to mean you cannot keep track of the number of stairs you climb daily. The Flex 2, however, tries to make up for this shortcoming with reminders to prompt you to stay active throughout the day.
More challenges have been added to the app. They are fun and much more informative. The app can take you on a guided tour of some of the famous landmarks. Each step you take during the tour is counted and graphed for you. In addition, you also get fitness and health advice.
Even more fun is the addition of a community tab in the app which allows you to share stories and encourage each other in your fitness journey. Quitting is harder with this addition.
Sleep tracking was a breeze on this unit. The analysis is quite useful. It provides the duration of time spent sleeping which is better and more accurate than a general sleeping duration. The difference is that the former will take into account the time spent awake and restless during the night and deducts this time from the general time thus a clear indication of our sleep quality.
Charging and battery life
The addition of the waterproof feature was a big one but not the end of the story with the Fitbit Flex 2. The unit also comes with a long battery life and does not need regular recharging. This is despite the fact that we received lots of WhatsApp and Messenger messages throughout the day. We managed to get a whopping 5 days on a single charge. And in the event, we restricted the messages coming through we surely could have stretched it out even further.
To charge the unit, all you need to do is remove the tracker from its strap and place it on the USB charging cradle it comes with. You should be warned, the unit charges very slowly which we found to be quite odd for such tech. as such, I only charged the Flex 2 when I was at my desk. This way I did not feel I was losing out on my daily activity goals. Charging overnight meant I would have to forego the sleep tracking which I was not ready to lose.back to menu ↑
Should I buy Fitbit Flex 2?
Without a doubt, the Flex 2 is indeed a decent improvement over its predecessor. The addition of waterproofing makes it a desirable device even for non-swimmers. For the latter, it means not having to worry about taking it off during showers.
That said, it is also important that being a smart band, the unit comes with rather basic tracking features. Also, while the design of the unit has been upgraded, the elastomer band still leaves more to be desired.
The Fitbit Flex 2 smart band is a pretty decent upgrade from the original Flex. That said, it still is pretty basic for an activity tracker in its price range. Speaking of which, the Fitbit flex 2 price is affordable and arguably best for what it is offering.
This our own version of what this incredible gadget is. Feel free to leave a comment below on the Fitbit Flex 2.
- Waterproof in saltwater and freshwater
- Decent swim tracking abilities
- Comfortable to wear
- Basic swim metrics
- Basic design which still leaves more to be desired
- No third party notification support
- Limited notification setting and features