Some of my friends are really into video games, others keep up with the newest cell phones, and still others are crazy about the latest cars on the market. My obsession? Fitness gadgets.
In the whole scheme of things, I’m probably not as bad as the typical American consumer (or so I hope) when it comes to buying tech toys. However, even if I can’t afford to buy them all, I do obsess over reviews of new fitness apps, pedometers, running gadgetry, and the like. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to lose that stubborn last 15 lbs for, like, ever. You’ll also know that I’m a running and yoga enthusiast. It should only stand to reason that I’m interested in keeping up with what people are saying about the newest and best ways to track progress and encourage improvements.
So a couple of months ago, I started thinking about buying a little fitness gadget of some sort. Maybe a Nike FuelBand, or a Jawbone Up. A friend had the FitBit Zip and really liked it, so I looked into that one. In the end, I found a great blog post on GetGrok that compared four popular fitness tracker gadgets with a rather clinical precision, and no seeming bias. The blogger gave pros and cons for all four devices, and in the end, the pros that struck a chord for me were those for the FitBit One.
I was getting ready to put the money down on the One when I realized that FitBit would soon be releasing a brand new device, the FitBit Flex. So I decided to wait. And wait I did. Weeks turned to months, and my obsession grew. I signed up to be notified the moment they were ready to ship. I read every single blog post and review I could get my grubby little paws on. I talked about the Flex to anyone within earshot. My coworkers took to wearing headphones the moment that I started waxing poetic about my soon-to-be newest gadget’s ability to track steps, sleep and calories (and more – so much more!).
At the end of April, word began to float around the web that the Flex would be available on May 1st. I imagined that someone in development must have suffered a gruesome death for getting this vital secret past the front lines. I celebrated that soon I’d be wearing a weird rubber bracelet that knew my every fitness secret.
May 1st rolled around, and the product was still not available online. What? Shipping on Amazon was now projected for the end of May. Another month? Why me?????? I went into a tailspin. How would I live another day? (Now I’m starting to see what it must be like to be one of those annoyingly insane iPhone fans who camp out at the Apple store like little consumer lemmings.)
Luckily, stalking the FitBit Facebook page had its advantages. Someone posted that they had found a new Flex at Best Buy. Then another, then another. Rejoicing, I called up my nearest BB and made a purchase for pick up. I’ve been FitBit Flex’n it since Saturday, and despite the odds that reality would fall wildly short of my just-short-of-insane expectations, I’m pretty happy so far.
It’s only been a couple of days, so I’m not going to give any kind of formal review here, just a few notes:
- I really like tracking my sleep efficiency. 94% last night – not too shabby.
- The FitBit Flex interacts with a lot of different apps, which makes it so much easier to use. I’m using this one with FitBolt, LoseIt, and Sleep Debt, but at present there are 27 apps that sync up with the FitBit, making it easy to keep your existing online fitness routine while still using the device to its best advantage.
- It’s cute! I thought it would be a bit unwieldy but it’s really pretty similar to wearing one of those little rubber charity bracelets (like a LiveStrong bracelet). People also notice the lights and get excited 🙂
- Right now there are only black and slate versions, but three more bracelet colors are being released soon, and since the device itself can be popped out of the bracelet, you can switch colors by outfit if you want.