Fitness, Reviews

Fitbit One vs Fitbit Flex 2 – Battle of the Cheap Fitbit Fitness Trackers

Fibit One vs Fitbit Flex 2

FitBit has been and continues to be my favorite fitness tracker device manufacturers. I am not the only one because no debate on fitness tracking would ever be complete without the mention of FitBit. The reasons why they rule in the industry are many. The few quick ones I might mention include top-range devices with user-friendly interfaces, durable parts, extensive choices, budget-friendly and combining many features in single devices.

Well, it is my second year using the FitBit range, and, my previous device, the FitBit One, was one of the best trackers I ever had. It had features that suited me perfectly until I lost it. How it got lost is a story for another day. As I went online to find another one to replace it, I stumbled upon the entire range of the FitBit devices. To say the least, all of them were as attractive, but, I saw the FitBit Flex 2 and thought of buying it instead of the old One. They cost almost the same and had almost similar features. I have never regretted my decision, nine months after buying it.

As you would expect, the two devices, though from the same manufacturer, have more differences beyond their names. Now, because I have some experience with both models, I will conduct a FitBit One vs. FitBit Flex 2 comparison and highlight the key similarities and differences that make them.

Here we go.

Fibit One vs Fitbit Flex 2

In the box

Fibit One
Assuming that you have both devices delivered in their boxes, here is what you should find inside.In the Flex’s box, you will find a USB charger, a wristband and a removable module in case you want to change bands. In the One’s, you will find a wireless syncing Dongle, a USB charger, clip and a sleeping band.
Once assembled, you get to see the form factor (design) of each.

Design
fitbit-flex2-design

The Flex 2 is a wristband device while the One is the clip-on type

The design is the most noticeable difference about the two. The Flex 2 is a wristband device while the One is the clip-on type. In short, the Flex 2 is worn around the wrist, and the One can be clipped onto many places including the belt, shoe, pocket, socks or bra amongst others. This means that the One is usually hidden out of sight while the Flex 2 remains in view throughout its usage time.

The Flex 2 comes with removable straps in two sizes (big and small). Therefore, depending on the wrist size, the user chooses the gadget. Flex 2 has an all round upgrade in terms of comfort, looks, and function. The straps are secured in place by a belt clip. In yet another unique feature, it has a variety of colors for the user to choose. Concisely, you can have the same display but up to 10 color choices. The One is less flashy. It is a simple device made of hard plastic and is always black in color.

The design, therefore, affects the user in some ways. First, the One comes in handy for people who need to keep their hands free or those that do not want to show their gadgets. The Flex 2, on its part, is best suited for people who do not mind having a band on their wrists. Again, it suits busy people who can only afford a glance at their wrist as opposed to searching their pockets or belts for their device. Finally, its extensive color offering makes it a favorite of fashion-conscious people.

Display

The display plays a critical role in determining the design feature as discussed above. If you look at the Flex 2, you hardly see any screen at all. On the other hand, the One has a clear screen with some characters showing. It seems like FitBit omitted the display (screen) feature so as to come up with a sleek device, which is the Flex 2. Instead of having a screen like most other fitness trackers, it has a series of five dots on what should be the screen. This is the part where the belt straps lock into.

Flex 2 has five different indicator lights which flash patterns for various activities. The five dots in the Flex 2 each represents a workout level. The user sets a target and the Flex monitors how well they stay on schedule. When the one dot is flashing, it represents 20 percent achievement of the set goals. When two lights flash, it represents 40 percent achievement. Nothing else is shown on the minimal screen.
Fitbit-display
The FitBit one is quite different. It has an OLED screen (display) as a watch’s and displays statistics about the fitness activity as well as the current time. It gives real-time stats about the calories burned, the distance covered and the number of steps taken.This difference, just like the design, determines the user. In my case, I think the One is advantageous as it simplified my physical and mental burden. Physical because I did not have to wear a watch or link my smartphone to see the actual data of my stats. Mental because when I look at the dots in the Flex 2, I have to assume many things as the calories burned, the distance I had covered and so on. With the FitBit one, all you have to do is glance at it, and you have everything laid out bare.

Still, on the advantages of the One, it is important to mention that it has a flower that grows on the screen. Yes! A flower. The flower looks like a vertical branch with leaves on either side plus flower at the tip. This flower acts like the Flex’s five dots. When you start working out, it starts growing from the bottom. As your intensity increases, it grows taller and more leaves appear. When at the peak of your activity, it grows fully and “blossoms.” I found this feature quite interesting, not to mention inspiring as it makes the fitness sessions enjoyable (less serious).

Price

FitBit One retails at $99 and Flex 2 retails at $59.95 on company’s website
You should make no mistake of thinking that just because the FitBit One is more fun that it is any cheaper. That is not the case. In fact, if you look at both from your computer, you might think the One is costlier because of its bigger, more detailed display and chunkier design. Again, the Flex 2 looks like a simple bracelet. At the time of this writing, FitBit One retails at $99 and Flex 2 retails at $59.95 on company’s website. The Flex 2 might be smaller and less detailed, but it probably evens itself out by having a choice of wristbands and being water resistant.

Water resistance

water resistance
Let’s talk about water resistance, now that we mentioned it above. In this case, the Flex 2 dominates the One in that it is fully water resistant. It, however, resists water to a depth of 10 meters. The One is only sweat proof, meaning that if it ever falls into water, you might consider acquiring a new one. However, Fitbit has made it clear in the accompanying manual that although the Flex 2 resists water, you should avoid swimming or taking a bath when wearing it. However, in Flex 2, duration and swim laps are auto-tracked.

From this revelation, it is clear that the One should not be used near water environments such as swimming. If you are wary about sweat destroying your gadget, worry not because both models resist sweat perfectly. All in all, the Flex 2 takes the day because you do not have to worry about taking it off several times a day.

Battery

The Flex 2 takes about two hours to charge and lasts for at least seven days
If the charge worries you like waterproofing, you need to learn about the FitBit Flex 2 vs. One battery comparison. The similarity in the batteries is that both are rechargeable via USB cable. However, the One is better than the Flex 2 because it lasts for about two weeks after an hour of charging. The Flex 2 takes about two hours to charge and lasts for at least seven days. I doubt the seven days because mine starts giving notifications on the fifth or sixth day. I, don’t complain, though, because I find the Flex 2 more comfortable to wear.

Comfort

No complaints about discomfort have been reported with the Flex 2
Talking of comfort, I have heard several users of the FitBit one complaining of discomfort before they adjust to using it. According to its design, the manufacturer never intended to have it worn on the wrist. Rather, it was made to be clipped into some secure place as the belt or sneaker. However, as you saw in the box, it comes with a sleeping band, meaning you can convert it and sleep in it. One of the complaints I heard was about the chunky form of the One, that interrupts sleep if it ever gets to the wrong place. For example, if you rest your head on the wrist holding it, you might end up waking up after the pressure becomes unbearable.

Apart from discomfort, other users said that with time, the clip loses its grip on the sleeping band. When this happens, you would only expect one thing; waking up to a missing FitBit One, only to find it on the floor or resting beside you.No complaints about discomfort have been reported with the Flex 2.

Features

Now, with all the mechanical and design aspects clear, let us compare the FitBit One vs. Flex’s features (functionality). Some of the most critical measurements captured by any fitness tracker include the distance covered, the calories burned, the number of stairs climbed, the number of steps taken and the quality of sleep. Other gadgets come with additional functions such as a clock, alarm and active minutes, to mention but a few.
With the Flex 2, you need to sync it to your PC or smartphone to get the details
Talking of the number of steps taken, both the Flex 2 and One will calculate them for you. The only variation is that the FitBit one will count and display each step as you make it. With the Flex 2, you need to sync it to your PC or smartphone to get the details. The same happens with calculating the calories burned and the distance you have covered.

Another similarity shared by the two is measuring sleep quality. This measure counts and monitors the number of hours that you sleep. It also shows you the time of the night when you moved a lot or seemed restless. The Flex 2 automatically goes into sleep mode as you go to bed. With the One, you have to have to press a button on its side to activate sleep tracking. This poses one big risk: you might accidentally push the night mode button, and the device will start tracking your “sleep” regardless of whether you are walking or running! This is likely to happen when it is placed in the pocket.

Sleep tracking ends with an alarm going off after your scheduled hours run out. The One and Flex 2 are alike in that both have advanced silent alarm technology. This alarm wakes you up by vibrating. The smart thing about the silent alarm is that you do not have to wake everyone up when your noisy alarm goes off.
The alarm on the Flex 2 can only be set from the PC or smartphone
The alarm on the Flex 2 can only be set from the PC or smartphone. The FitBit one has a clock on its display, allowing you to see the time as well as set the alarm. Therefore, if you sleep with the Flex 2 and want to check the time during the night, you might have to consult your traditional clock.

Apart from the clock, the One beats the Flex 2 in that it records the number of stairs you take (floors climbed). Climbing stairs is recognized as an integral part of fitness tracking. Many people overlook the Flex 2 because it lacks this feature.

Syncing and compatibility

Fitbit-sync
The stairs and clock differences are far as the variations go between the two devices. This is because when it comes to syncing and compatibility with different Operating Systems (OS), they match. First, they both sync to smartphones using Bluetooth 4.0 (smart). They can use the same to link to Bluetooth-enabled computers, but, they use the USB cables to sync automatically. Regarding compatibility, they work perfectly with all the known OS: Windows, OS X, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. They are also compatible with popular fitness tracking applications like Spark People, Run Keeper, My Fitness Pal, MapMyFitness, Edmondo and Lose It!

Conclusion
As a lucky user who has experienced both devices, I agree that they are fantastic and very helpful in the journey towards fitness. Justifying that one is superior to the other would be misleading because people have different fitness goals. Some do not mind the Flex 2 lacking a display. Others prefer the One because it calculates the number of stairs they climb. The Fitbit one vs. FitBit Flex 2 comparison aims at highlighting the distinct features and functions that make the devices unique. The information contained herein will help interested buyers in making informed choices.

As always, no fitness device is ineffective: it is about choosing the right device for your lifestyle!

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  • dasman

    Since Fitbit has discontinued the One (and since I have just lost mine), I’m wondering if the Flex2 can be a replacement. The box says that it can be used off the band (ie., in a pocket). Have you ever tested the Flex2 off the band?

    I have no desire to have a wrist based tracker…

    Thanks,