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If you are anything like me, then you live for the information you receive from your weekly/daily weigh-ins and the workout summary from the dreadmill.  I am an analytical person.  I am a number-crunching, data munching animal.  I truly live for the numbers.  My philosophy is, if I am going to be spinning my wheels all day then I better know the average speed, calories burned and distance traveled.  So, one day I said to myself, “Self, is there a gadget out there where I could not only track my workouts, but also track how active I am throughout the day?”  And as it happens, there are a lot of really useful fitness trackers on the market using the latest in ever shrinking technology.  My extensive research ultimately led me to decide between the Fitbit One vs. Fitbit Flex.  In the end I narrowed it down to one, more specifically the Fitbit One.  It is a great little device that tells you how many steps you’ve taken throughout the day, miles walked, flights of stairs climbed, calories burned and hours slept.  It can also tell you the quality of sleep you’ve had based on the amount of times you get up or toss and turn during the night.  Oh, and it also tells time. (that little fact will be more significant later in this article)  The device came with the following:

  • Fitbit One tracker
  • USB dongle for wireless syncing
  • USB charger for charging the device
  • Silicon clip to wear the device
  • Wrist band to wear the device while sleeping

After many months of use, I was truly satisfied.  I received real time information directly to my device.  The app also has a feature where you can track your calories alongside your activity.  But if you are a loyal member of the MyFitnessPal community, then you will be happy to know that it will also sync your activity to the Myfitnesspal app. This completely blew my mind as I am now able to track both my activity and calories in one app.  Which really helps to motivate me and keep me on track.  However… there was one caveat.  I could never seem to keep up with my device.  It’s an itty bitty little thing and if I sat it down somewhere oh forget about it Literally… I would almost always forget about it.  I might not find it again for another week.  I don’t know, maybe it was just me, but I would never remember to unclip it from my clothes each night.  I would find myself looking all over the house for it, thinking I must have lost it.  In the end, I would rummage through the laundry basket for the clothes worn the previous day and there is where I would always find it.

Well, one day my darling husband decides after years of marriage that he would help out around the house by doing the laundry.  (Note to self: Does husband helping around the house do more harm than good?  The jury is still out on this one, kids. But I digress…)  As you have probably already guessed, my Fitbit One ended up being washed, dried and put to the side without anyone ever noticing.  When I discovered that my device had literally been through the ringer, I thought my tracking days were over.  In my grievous state, I decided to go ahead and charge it one last time.  And then…Great Hera! It turned on!  The information on the display was slightly distorted, but who cares!  It still turned on! Sadly, my sweet joy soon soured.  Although it was operational and seemed to be tracking, it no longer synced the info to the app or online dashboard.

After my series of unfortunate events, I decided to contact Fitbit to see if something could be done.  I have to say that their customer support team were the absolute best! They tried to help me troubleshoot with my device, but it was beyond repair.  Although I was just outside of my warranty, they still agreed to send me a replacement device.  I explained how it was really difficult keeping up with the Fitbit One and asked if I could try their wristband model called the Fitbit Flex.  Since the two devices were priced the same at $99.95 the customer service representative honored my request.  When the Flex arrived I was so excited to get tracking again.  Inside of the packaging was the following:

  • Fitbit Flex tracker
  • USB dongle for wireless syncing
  • USB charger for charging the device
  • 2 wristbands in a size small and large

The Flex basically does all the same things as the One.  It tracks steps, distance walked, stairs climbed, calories and hours slept.  It even wirelessly syncs via your smartphone or computer to MyFitnessPal and the Fitbit app/online dashboard.  The only real difference is that the Flex does not have a display that gives you the stats of your activity.  Although it looks like a watch, no display means it does not tell time.  It only displays blinking lights that tell you how close you are to your goal of 10,000 steps. Each blinking light represents 2000 steps. Fitbit One vs. Fitbit Flex Once you have reached 5 blinking lights, the tracker will vibrate alerting you that you have made your goal.  I was bummed about the no display thing.  Especially the no telling-time thing, but I knew there would be some trade offs. I’ve had the device for a few months now and overall I am happy with my choice.  During my daily activities, I have noticed that the Flex seems to track slightly higher numbers than the One, but within a reasonable margin of error.  It is lightweight and comfortable to wear throughout the day, but be careful if you are carrying bags on your wrist.  The band is held in place by a silicon coated metal clip and can slip out if you are not careful.  There are interchangeable wristbands available for purchase that come in a rainbow of colors.  For all you fashionistas out there, you can purchase the Tory Burch for Fitbit designer wrist bands or pendant.  I will admit that the lack of display took me some time to get use to, but fear not my fellow data maniacs, you can still review your progress in real time on the app or online dashboard.  In the end it came down to practicality.  After all, what good is a tracking device if I spend more time tracking it than it tracking me.