Why I moved from the Nike Fuelband to the Fitbit Flex

I got the Nike Fuelband a couple of months ago and it did motivate me to go out and be active (that is the point of all these fitness bands). However, over the last few weeks I noticed that my excitement was gradually wearing off. The futuristic looking band turned into something clunky on my wrist. I felt I wore the Fuelband but never made the best use of it. I think it is the design element of the Fuelband that back-fired on me.

Too much data revealed.

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The LED lights were one of the features that really had got me excited. It displayed (with a click of the button) all my personal analytics (Fuel, Steps, Calories) on the band and I feel this is the reason I almost stopped syncing the band with the iOS app. Soon after, I stopped using the iOS app. Ultimately, I lost interest in how many Fuel points I had earned and who I was competing with.

So, last week, I took off the fuelband and nicely placed it back in the box it came in. The Fuelband is a great fitness band but it just did not work for me.

Enter Fitbit Flex.

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After a week, I just love the Flex for various reasons.

The band itself is super light, water-proof, stylish and sleek. What I love is its simplicity. There are just 5 small “Knight Rider” style LED lights on the band that can be activated with two taps. Each light represents 20% of my goal. The Flex gives me just enough information to stay motivated. Nothing more and nothing less.

The Flex is so light that I sometimes don’t even know that I have it on my wrist.

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(My Activity - yellow bars are when I was at the Krav Maga class)

The Flex can auto-sync wirelessly to your computer or iPhone.

Sleep Tracking: At first, I thought this was just a gimmick. Actually, it is quite useful and fun to see the amount of time it took me to goto sleep, how long I slept and how many times I was disturbed. Before I goto sleep I tap the band five times to put it in sleep mode. I am going to take this data and plan how I can get better sleep so that I am more productive the next day.

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(I was suffering from a cold and woke up multiple times at night)

Silent Vibrate Alarm: On the days I do Krav Maga I have set a silent vibrate alarm (the band vibrates on my wrist to wake me up) for 6:20am - this is terrific so that I don’t disturb by wife and kid.

Water & Food Intake: I like the fact that the Flex gives me the ability to track how much water I have everyday and the food (calories) I consume. This is a bit of manual work but it is a start - you tend to become more conscious of what you eat once you are aware of how many calories you intake each day. I use MyFitnessPal (integrates with Flex) to enter all my food - they have a very comprehensive food database.

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Overall, I am happy with the Fitbit Flex. It helps me track my activity, water, food and sleep - the key ingredients of having a healthy and a productive day.

Would love to hear your experience with the Flex or the Fuelband. Thanks for reading.