Following months of speculation, Fitbit has last week announced two new activity trackers – the Charge 2 and Flex 2. The new wearables bring welcome new additions, without breaking too much ground.
This is our guide to the new Flex 2 activity tracker. Our overview of the Charge 2 can be found on this link.
Both devices were debuted at IFA in Germany. This is Europe’s largest consumer electronics show. The number of visitors totalled 245,000 last year, and this year is likely to top that. We visited Fitbit’s stand, spoke to some of the staff and tried out the new activity trackers.
The Flex 2 is an update to the San Francisco’s original Flex device, released back in 2013. This is the company’s slimmest tracker yet and for the first time for a Fitbit device is water resistant.
The wearable is now 30% smaller than the original model and features a removable core unit and interchangeable slim, classic fitness bands in seven colors. The tracker slots into bands, bangles and pendants so there are quite a few customisation options.
The core unit has a very small form-factor measuring 31.7 x 8.9 x 6.8 mm. Inside the core unit, you will find a 3-axis accelerometer and Vibration motor.
A simple LED display uses 5 color-coded lights to show progress toward your daily goal, and keeps you connected with call and text notifications.
There are a number of design options to help you tailor the look to your liking. You can choose from a range of luxe, premium mirror-finish bangles in silver stainless steel, and 22k-plated gold or rose gold stainless steel, or elegant lariat-style necklaces in silver stainless steel or 22k-plated gold stainless steel.
The features are fairly standard and cover the basics. This means the tracker monitors your steps, distance, calories, active minutes and hourly activity. You will also get automatic exercise tracking for running, sports and aerobic workouts and personalised weekly exercise goals.
To help you stay active throughout the day, Flex 2 sends Reminders to Move that encourage you to take 250 steps every hour.
At night, the tracker will monitor how long and how well you sleep, set a sleep goal and bedtime reminder to form good habits and wake you up gently with a silent alarm.
When you get calls and texts, Flex 2 vibrates and the discreet vertically positioned LED display flash colour-coded lights to let you know. Tap twice on the tracker to see progress against your Main Goal. This will also be displayed via the LED lights.
The tracker saves 7 days of detailed motion data—minute by minute and daily totals for past 30 days. To make sure you don’t lose data, make sure you sync regularly with the smartphone app.
The app itself is beautifully designed, and is the same software used by other Fitbit trackers.
Battery life and water resistance
The battery life is up to 5 days depending on use, settings, and other factors. This is the same as the original device.
Apart from the design, waterproofing is the biggest change compared to the original device. This is Fitbit’s first swim-proof wristband. The device is water resistant up to 50 meters, whether you’re in the shower, pool or ocean, and it automatically tracks your pool swims including laps, duration and calories burned in the Fitbit app.
The tracker is available for preorder on Amazon and Fitbit’s website now. It will start shipping in mid-September.
The Flex 2 is a step up from the original device. Small functionality improvements, big design improvements and waterproofing mean that the new tracker makes the original Flex redundant.
During our brief time with it, we were impressed with the sleek design and small form-factor. Unfortunately we could not test the accuracy, but if Fitbit’s other devices are anything to go by the tracker will do a good job.
This is obviously the year when fitness tracker meets fashion and Fitbit is tapping into the trend. The ultra-thin, removable tracker hides in bands, bangles and pendants, so you can wear it in a way that’s all your own.
If you are after a no hassle, discreet tracker that covers the basics, and has a comprehensive app to go along with it, the Flex 2 is a great option.
Fitbit Flex 2