Fitbit Flex vs. Fitbit Charge - Which is the Better Fit(ness) Tracker for Me?

Fitbit Flex available in Slate or Black
Fitbit Flex available in Slate or Black

Fitbit Flex

“I want one...I want one...I want one.” That would be my thought each and every time I saw someone wearing a Fitbit Flex Fitness Tracker. “How do you like it?” I would inquire, always receiving the same response: “Love it!” Sigh. I want one. It’s sleek, streamline, almost (dare I say) sexy? It’s a quiet little understatement that one active (or trying to be) person would say to the world. Step. Step. It was all sooooo easy....that is, before Fitbit started introducing new models.

Fitbit Flex Features

When I first decided this new fangled item was for me, the only Fitbit available on the market was the Fitbit Flex. It had so many cool features:

  • Accurately tracks steps taken, calories burned and distance traveled.
  • Tracks sleep patterns: monitor how long and how well you sleep. Wake peacefully without disturbing your partner with the silent, vibrating alarm. (Note: The Flex needs to be placed in Sleep Mode.)
  • Sleek and lightweight, this device is durable enough to withstand rain, the shower and your sweatiest workout, and comfortable enough to wear while you sleep.
  • Set your goal and the Flex helps you reach your goal. LED lights indicate your progress, each light representing 20% of your goal.
  • See real-time progress by syncing wirelessly with smartphones, tablets and computers. Automatically syncs with select through Bluetooth 4.0 with select devices, saving you the hassle of having to connect cords or manually enter data.
  • Free online tools provide a network of support. Monitor your progress online with a customizable dashboard equipped with tools, charts and graphs so you can visualize your progress.
  • Challenge your friends for extra motivation. Compete against and cheer on your friends and family. Compare stats and see how your progress measures up.
  • Celebrate your progress. Earn Fitbit badges for daily, weekly and even lifetime achievements.
  • Get more from your favorite apps. Automatically connects your data with popular health and fitness apps. Your device and selected apps work together to streamline your experience and help you reach your goals.
  • Rechargeable battery. Lithium-ion polymer battery can be charged with the included cable, which connects your device to your computer's USB drive.


Price of the Fitbit Flex

So many cool features! Then, imagine my delight when Kohl’s put out a $25 rebate if you purchased this handy little gadget during the 2014 Black Friday Sale Spectacular! This rebate bonus, coupled with their offer to give you $15 in Kohl’s Cash for each $50 you spent, brought my soon to be wrist adornment down from $99.99 to a net cost of $44.99. BARGAIN! Even my husband proclaimed he wanted one!

I placed our order and waited for my little beauties to arrive.

Fitbit Charge in Slate
Fitbit Charge in Slate

Fitbit Charge Features

There was just one problem...when researching what made the Fitbit Flex so glorious, I learned there was going to be a new kid on the block: The Fitbit Charge.

The new Fitbit Charge trackers trade the existing Fitbit Flex's LED dot readout for actual OLED displays, showing the time of day, steps taken, and Caller ID when paired to a nearby smartphone. Here’s the skinny:

  • Get motivated with instant personal stats right on your wrist. Accurately tracks steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned and distance traveled. The clock, stopwatch and countdown functions make tracking time and workouts convenient.
  • Check your stats, even in low-light conditions. The backlit digital LED display offers a clear view no matter the lighting.
  • Discover your sleep patterns. Monitor how long and how well you sleep. Wake peacefully without disturbing your partner with the silent, vibrating alarm. No need to place in Sleep Mode, tracks automatically.
  • Designed with comfort in mind. The textured band is durable enough to withstand rain, the shower and your sweatiest workout, and comfortable enough to wear while you sleep.
  • Free online tools provide a network of support. Monitor your progress online with a customizable dashboard equipped with tools, charts and graphs so you can visualize your progress. Log your workouts and meals for insight into your daily habits.
  • Challenge your friends and celebrate progress for extra motivation. Share and compete with your friends and family in challenges and on the leaderboard. Earn Fitbit badges and milestone updates.
  • Get call notifications on your wrist. Caller ID displays incoming calls from your phone, keeping you connected on the go.
  • Track your runs, walks and hikes. MobileRun provides real-time distance, time and pace stats on the display. Sync with your phone to review routes, split times and workout summaries.
  • See real-time progress by syncing wirelessly with smartphones and computers. Automatically syncs with select devices, saving you the hassle of having to connect cords or manually enter data.
  • Rechargeable battery. Lithium-ion battery allows for convenient recharging without the hassle of buying and installing replacements.


Fitbit Charge in Black with Caller ID
Fitbit Charge in Black with Caller ID

Pros of the Fitbit Charge

What? Caller ID? Tracks stairs climbed? I returned my Flex (sorry Kohl’s) and got my partial refund (I had already spent the Kohl’s Cash), and purchased the Fitbit Charge. And I “Love it!”

Personally, it was the Caller ID that got me. I have found this to be such a GREAT feature. Imagine running along your favorite path, your smartphone safely tucked into your armband, tunes playing in your ears, sun shining on your face...and your phone rings. I don’t know about you, but I have to stop, un-velcro my armband, then try (oh try) to read my caller ID through the plastic in the glaring sun. By then, the call has gone to voice mail. BUT....with the Charge, a mere glance at my wrist tells me who is calling! Fabulous!

Because both Hubby and I have Fitbits, I find myself constantly asking him how many steps he has taken. He reaches for the his phone to open the App, read the results, and replies. With the Charge, I merely glance at my wrist and the information is right at, well, my fingertips.

Bottom Line - Flex vs. Charge

So...bottom line, if you need something to just get you moving and off the couch, either the Fitbit Flex or Fitbit Charge is a great choice. And if you can find another Kohl’s deal with the rebate and Kohl’s Cash, jump on it! But if you’re a runner, and your wallet can afford the few extra bucks, I say get the Fitbit Charge! You won’t regret it.

A final note:

Fitbit is slated to introduce another Fitness Tracker sometime in 2015 - the Fitbit Charge HR (priced at around $149.97). It’s a little bit large for my taste, but does include a continuous heart rate monitor that provides feedback. This was not something that interested me, but I could see how it could be of great benefit to someone interested in monitoring their fat burning rate, or...of course, heart rate.

Happy Fitness Tracking!!

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