Fitbit began shipping its Flex wristband today, finding its place among established wearable (but expensive) fitness devices in the market.
Flex is Fitbit’s answer to big-name companies like Nike and Jawbone who have their FuelBand and Up wristbands respectively. Bracelets seems to be the form-factor of choice for many exercise enthusiasts as they are easy to keep track of and don’t get in the way of your workout. They become an accessory as opposed to another device you have to find a pocket for.
Fitbit’s Flex shares a lot of the same functionality as the FuelBand and Up wristbands. It will track your steps and calories burned, how far you actually went, and it will look at your sleeping patterns and make suggestions based off of that data. The difference is, it costs $100 in comparison to the FuelBand, which goes for $150, and the Up, which goes for $130.
It can also wirelessly connect to your phone or computer using Bluetooth 4.0. That means you won’t need to pull out a wire to view your activity data on your phone and can start evaluating yourself anywhere. Its social components keep you engaged through competition to see who can walk the most steps in a week as well.
One thing that’s missing, however, is the ability to track your “climbs.” That is, if you’re walking up stairs, the Flex won’t be able to tell that you’re on an incline and burning more calories. Fitbit’s other devices have this feature, but it’s curiously missing from Flex. For those who live in areas like, say, hilly San Francisco where Fitbit is headquartered, this could be a deterrent.
hat tip Engadget; Flex image via Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat