CES 2013: Fitbit announces Flex wristband, watch out Nike and Jawbone

Summary:I am a huge fan of activity trackers and it looks like Fitbit just announced the ultimate one I have been asking for with their Flex wristband. Will Nike respond with a new Fuelband?

CES 2013: Fitbit announces Flex wristband, watch out Nike and Jawbone

I just bought a Fitbit One in early December and find it to be the best activity tracker for me, with one exception. That is the form factor that I don't find as appealing as a wristband like my Nike+ Fuelband that I keep wearing while carrying the Fitbit One. Today, Fitbit just announced their upcoming Fitbit Flex that is essentially the Fibit One in a wristband form factor. I am pre-ordering mine soon.

The Fitbit Flex supports all of the great tracking features of the Fibit One, including steps taken, hours slept, floors climbed (shown in screenshot, not in listed activities), distance traveled, and more with the great new silent alarm feature that wakes me daily. The Fitbit One is very small and I was just thinking the other day that Fitbit should simply make a band to fit it into. It turns out that you can take out the Flex and insert it into other color bands so you are not stuck with just a single color. I would love to have seen just a simple band option for those of us who already purchased a Fitbit One.

I still wear my Nike+ Fuelband every day since I like using it as watch and the form factor is attractive. It doesn't track much though so has limited utility. The Jawbone UP is great for tracking activities, but the iOS only connectivity kills it for daily use as I switch between Android too often. I like that I can use the web to see my Fuelband and Fitbit data and am not yet sold on Jawbone's iOS only approach.

One thing we don't see with the Fitbit Flex is a viewable display with your stats. Instead, there is a simple row of LEDs that give you percent status complete. I keep my Fitbit One tucked in my pocket and never look at it anyway, especially with the slick Bluetooth 4.0 wireless sync to my smartphone, so I don't think I will miss this display aspect. We also FINALLY see that they are releasing an Android application for select devices that support the Bluetooth sync functionality.

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Topics: Mobility, CES

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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