Review: Fitbit Flex 2
The Flex 2’s slim design immediately catches your attention. It sits around your wrist, and you’ll hardly notice it is there. The elastomer material for the strap feels soft, doesn’t irritate even if you sweat, and the clasp mechanism feels more secure than some of the other Fitbit bands.
The Flex 2 is essentially a small module that sits inside the band. You need to remove it to charge it once every five days. More importantly, however, you can use this band with a bunch of other accessories such as compatible pendants and bracelets—now that is a fashion statement most rivals cannot make; it competes directly with Fossil’s Misfit wearables. Incidentally, the Sony SmartBand SWR10 released in 2014 followed similar design principles, but didn’t have a robust enough ecosystem of accessories to support it.
The Flex 2 is 30% smaller than the Flex; it’s also water-resistant, which is good news for swimmers.
There is no screen, but a set of five LEDs light up in patterns to notify you, for example, about calls, messages and reminders to move around after a period of inactivity. The lack of a screen does help reduce the footprint and enhances battery life, but the colour and vibration combinations can sometimes be confusing to remember, and you’ll reach for your phone more often to handle new messages and calls.
The Fitbit app (free for Android and iOS) remains one of the neatest ones among all the fitness bands that you can buy. The Flex 2 can also automatically detect the exercise, and since this is the first truly water-resistant Fitbit, it can also track swimming.
Depending on the level of activity, the battery can last around five days on a single charge. We would have expected more, considering there is no screen or heart-rate sensor to drain the charge. The irritating bit perhaps is the fact that this is yet another Fitbit with yet another type of charger—it will not work with your phone charger, or with the charger of another Fitbit you may already own, so it becomes yet another thing to manage and carry every time you head out of town.
With the Flex 2, Fitbit will appeal to two different sets of users—those who want a simple fitness tracker, and the more fashion conscious who wouldn’t mind splurging on accessories. The tracking is accurate, and if you can live with minor foibles such as limited notifications and barely acceptable battery life, the Flex 2 is worth considering.