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Fitbit Flex 2 hands-on review: A slicker design and swim proofing

Fitbit Flex 2 hands-on review: Fitness tech giant Fitbit brought two important new trackers to the table at IFA 2016 and we went hands-on with them in London the following week. Here’s what we thought of the Flex 2.

The original Flex married intelligent design, simple operation and an easy to understand progress bar into one tracker, but that was back in May 2013, now the Flex 2 is here three years later and along with a refined design, also boasts one important new feature.

Much like the original, the Flex 2 consists of two fundamental parts, the tracking core and a wristband. The original Flex’s straps featured a clear ‘window’ to let the wearer see their progress throughout the day, but the five LEDs laid into the Flex 2’s core now run along its length and correspond to five holes cut directly into the new straps, making for a cleaner, thinner, lower profile design on the wrist with greater visibility as a result.

Having said that, the Flex 2 doesn’t have to be worn exclusively on the wrist. There are four primary band colours and ‘packs’ that contain additional colourways, in total offering up seven different options. However, not unlike the jewellery partnership with Tory Burch that accompanied some of the company’s previous trackers, the Luxe range lets you snap the Flex 2’s core into a metal bangle or fine chain link necklace in silver, gold or rose gold; for those who want a bit more bling from their activity tracker.

Functionality wise it’s still a case of tapping to check progress towards your daily goal (at which point it vibrates to let you know that you’ve reached it), but it wirelessly synchronises with a revamped mobile app that includes a leaderboard allowing you to challenge your friends or your cohort, and the new design also brings with it hardier water resistance. As such the Fitbit Flex 2 offers swim tracking as well as a range of activities including walking, running, biking and even general aerobic exercise, which it intelligently detects by way of the company’s SmartTrack functionality. There’s also automated sleep tracking, with the intention of this being a true 24-hour wearable.

The Flex 2 measures activity in steps, calories burned and distance travelled, but the progress LEDs also serve a dual purpose with different colour and vibration patterns for move reminders and call or text notifications when paired to your smartphone.

Battery life looks as though it’s about the same as the original Flex with a quoted five to seven days of use on a single charge, but anticipated longevity being on the conservative side, closer to five days, depending on usage. Like its predecessor, the Flex 2 also charges using a proprietary magnetic adapter to USB.

Fitbit Flex 2 hands-on review: On wrist

The Fitbit Flex 2 is out now, replacing the Fitbit Flex priced at £49.99.

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