- Slim and light
- Water resistant
- Choice of bands
- Basic tracking
- Short battery life
Fitbit Flex 2 review: Fitbit’s first fully water-resistant fitness tracker is still simple at heart, offering less functionality than trackers like the Fitbit Charge 2 but also a more compact form factor and slimmed-down asking price.
Fitbit has had a very interesting year indeed. Its first attempt at a full-on smartwatch (the Fitbit Blaze) might not have been a resounding success, but more traditional fitness trackers like the Fitbit Charge 2 have been as enjoyable as ever, while the company ended 2016 by buying out Pebble, a fellow wearable manufacturer.
The Fitbit Flex 2 is its final product of the year, a basic tracker that can measure your activity and provide simple feedback via its string of LEDs. This updated Flex is also fully water resistant, a feature that was sorely missed from the Charge 2 - at least, if you like the odd dip.
So is this affordable fitness wristband worth a purchase? Here's our full Fitbit Flex 2 review.
Fitbit Flex 2 Review: Design
The Flex 2 is a pleasingly slim and light tracker, designed to sit on your wrist and pretty much be forgotten about. It's certainly comfortable to wear, and you get two sizes of rubber wrist band included in the box, to guarantee a snug fit.
The ‘brain’ of the tracker is a tiny plastic pill that can be snapped in and out of bands, any time you want to charge it up or switch design. You've got a great range of bands to choose from, including loads of colours and even some jazzy jewellery if you want to look glam while you work out.
There's no kind of display on the Flex 2, just five LEDs in a neat little row along the front edge. These light up white to show you how close you are to completing your daily step goal, whenever you give the band a sharp tap. The more lights that flash, the closer you are.
The final LED is coloured and can be set to glow a certain hue whenever your phone receives a call or a message. The Flex 2 will also vibrate to get your attention, which is great if you're always missing alerts. And if you want to be constantly bugged to move around more, the tracker will even regularly buzz to remind you to stop being so lazy. Thankfully this can be deactivated using the Fitbit app.
Of course, compared to a lot of wearables, that's some pretty basic notification support. It's more of a nice-to-have bonus rather than a killer feature.
Fitbit Flex 2 Review: Features
The Flex 2 is definitely aimed at the casual fitness enthusiast, with its basic tracking features. Unlike the Charge 2 there's no kind of cardio monitoring, while you also miss out on some nice features like the stress-busting breathing regulator.
All the Flex 2 can really measure is how many steps you've taken throughout the day and total distance covered, which it then uses to ascertain how many calories you've burned. There's no record of how many flights you've climbed, just a summary of how many ‘active minutes’ you've achieved in your day.
That said, the water resistant design means you can at least track your swimming sessions, so you don't need to count laps off in your head. And the Fitbit Flex 2 does a reasonable job of recognising what kind of activity you're doing, with only the occasional mistake. For instance, the Flex seems to think that pushing a buggy is actually a cycling session.
You can check out your activity history with the Fitbit app, which is free to download for iPhones and Android mobiles. Again, the information presented is pretty simple, but fine for a quick idea of how active you've been.
The final Flex 2 feature is its sleep tracking, which does a reasonable job of working out your light and heavy periods of sleep. If that's your bag. You can also be gently roused from your slumber using the alarm function.
Fitbit Flex 2 Review: Battery life
Although the Flex 2 is a simple tracker, the battery life isn't anywhere near as strong as we'd hoped. Over a week of life between charges is what we expected, but in reality we rarely made it to the end of the fifth day.
Charging is accomplished with the bundled proprietary dock. There's no way to charge the Flex 2 with your standard microSD cable or similar, if you find your tracker dies when you're out and about.
Fitbit Flex 2 Review: Verdict
If all you want is a simple motion tracker that can measure your daily steps or swim sessions, the Flex 2 is perfectly fine. However, anyone who's serious about their workouts or who demands a stronger set of features should definitely look elsewhere.
You can grab the Flex 2 from O2 for £80 right now.