I've recently seen some forum topics about the accessibility of some of the Fitbit devices. Here is a review from my blog. This is for the flex including the app. Enjoy.
Back when i was looking in to getting the apple watch, i hmmed and hawed about getting a fitbit. I figured i wouldn't as at the time, i wanted something that would tell me my pace and all, and not just my steps. However since i can use
<a href="http://runkeeper.com">Run keeper</a>
for that kind of thing, which i had been using, i decided to revisit the idea of a fitbit. Plus i've heard the apple watch talking, and it's very very crisp when it talks. So much so that it nearly sounds like words with Ss in them are whistled out instead of spoken lol. So that put me off the apple watch even more lol.
Over the past month or two, Fitbit have teamed up with Parkrun. They are running an
Spiciffically for parkrunners where you can get £15 off a fitbit tracker. You just need to enter your parkrun barcode to get the discount. I presume this was to celebrate parkruns partnership with Fitbit. This offer kind of reignighted the wwonderings about getting a fitbit. I wasn't really bothered by the amount of steps that i would do every day, but i did want to see how far i would walk every day without using run keeper all the time as its' battery lasts ages and Runkeeper is very hard on the iphone battery i find. Plus most of the features can be done through an app, so i wouldn't have to worry about using the Fitbit if i got one.
I decided that i would just splurge and go for it. The hard part now was to pick what one i would want. I eventually decided to go for a Fitbit Flex. This is a wrist band that can monitor your sleep and such too. I'd read reviews that the sleep tracker wasn't that accurate, but i don't believe no sleep tracker is truely that accurate. I ordered it on Sunday and have been waiting for the postman ever since. Thankfully, it came today, so I was able to play with it and see how it worked.
<h1>What is a fitbit flex?</h1>
The Fitbit flex comes in a box very similar to a small reed defuser. This is a pot withsmelly oil and reeds which the smell goes up and makes a room smell really nice. I now know why when i was in Decathlan at the weekend, when i asked to see the Flex, they told me that if they opened the flex to let me see it, they'd have to sell it to me there and then because once it was opened, it couldn't be closed again. I understand after seeing the box exactly what that means now lol.
The device itself is a tiny little thing. It's about half the size of a usb pen drive. One part slopes down, and the other end is just a rounded end. This fits nicely in to a wrist band. On the wrist band, there are LED lights which light up for different goals you have set. The device will also vibrate when you reach certain goals, and there is also an alarm function on it. The more expensive devices have screens on them, but mine just has the lights.
<h1>What's in the box?</h1>
In the box you get 2 different sized wrist bands, the flex which is in one of the wrist bands, a stand for a wristband, instructions, a usb charger that the flex fits in to, and a tiny usb dongle for the computer. This would be about half the size of your pad of your thumb. Maybe even smaller, but it's tiny.
<h1>Setting up the Fitbit Flex</h1>
I thought you could just go and set up the flex from the app. The app let me do so much, but kept telling me i needed to make sure my log in details were correct. I thought i was registering to create an account with Fitbit, but there was no option for that. Whenever i tried to select my device, it eventually braught me to the sign in page and wouldn't let me go any further. It then said i couldn't have an account. I must admit, i was rather disheartened and disappointed. I went on to the Fitbit website, and looked in the help section. I discovered that to create an account, you have to do it on the computer. Good job i have a laptop which i hardly ever use! After my sister kindly put Jaws on for me, i got straight on to the computer. I first of all had to go to
<a href="http://fitbit.com/setup">The set up page</a>
Where i had to download software called Fitbit connect. This would allow me to create my account and such. Unfortunately, i needed sighted assistance for this part as Jaws would not read the application at all which was a shame. I first of all had to plug in my tiny dongle, and then my sister set up my account and set up the flex then. You had to enter your height and weight, so unfortunately it was off to the scales for me. I hadn't weighed myself in years so got a bit of a shock when i heard my weight lol. Especially with the amount of walking and that we do. Once my account was set up, i could start setting goals and things with the actual app so at least i was able to do this bit. You can set goals for how many steps you want to take each day, for how far you walk each day, and how many callories you want to burn. You can also log what you eat and drink throughout the day. I'd say this could be potentially dangerous as you could start obsessing over weight and food and such, but hopefully you'd be okay. You don't have to fill in all of the fields though or set a goal for any of the fields which is good. There is also a sleep tracker which monitors your sleep and wakes you with a silent alarm if you set one.
The only bad thing is that you don't know when it's fully charged as it only flashes.
<h1>Testing the device</h1>
Last night i wore the flex to bed to see how the sleep tracker worked. For this, you have to go in to the app and where it says "how did you sleep?" on your dashboard, you should double tap this. You then get an alert that pops up which gives you the option to log sleep manually or "Begin sleep". I think for the "Begin sleep" function, you need to set a silent alarm, which is in your dashboard when you see "Flex connected" you can go in to that. You then set the alarm and lock your phone and sleep. There are different sleep settings. I have it on the "normal" one, but you can put it on sensative to track more movements or something. I think the sensative setting is used for if you have a sleep disorder as that's what it says it's for anyway. It counts rolling over as being awake but you are not actually awake. When it wakes you in the morning, it does it very discreetly. It does 4 short vibrations, followed by a longer one and 4 shorter ones again. I think it can snooze for 10 minutes, but this morning i unlocked my phone so it didn't do it again. You then hit the "i'm awake" button on the phone and it'll show you how many times you were awake and how many you were asleep. It also shows you how many times you were restless.
I must have been very active in my sleep because it said i'd done 239 steps this morning lol! I think it counts raising your wrist though as steps and such. However it doesn't start tracking active minutes until you're outside which is good.
I still know i'm wearing the flex, but hoppefully, i'll just forget i have it on. It's not heavy on the wrist, but i can feel it on me. I'm very cautious with my right hand as i don't want to get the flex wet or anything.
Overall though, i can't wait to use it. I'm sure the novalty will wear off and i'll just notice at the end of the day when i'm sinking it that i've done so many steps. Now though, i'm at the checking it all the time stage still.
I'd deffinetly recommend getting one if you're interested in steps and such. The app is fully accessible as well as the website. Just remember that you have to set it up first with a computer and working eyes.
Devices Accessory Was Used With
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I also have a Flex, which I set up about a month ago. There was a way to set up your account from the iOS app, and it involves creating an account on the Fitbit website, and then verifying your email address. At this time, no connecting to the computer is necessary. However, when setting up your profile, there are some accessibility issues. Namely, that you cannot select your height, as the picker items for this are not able to be manipulated by VoiceOver. The only way to configure this was for me to get sighted assistance. With regard to the battery status, Fitbit will send you a notification when your device's battery is low. If you sign up for it, you can also get an email notification. I used the Flex for about 7 hours after this notification, and it worked just fine. My only other issue with the Flex is that the Fitbit itself seems rather hard to fit in to the band itself. Thankfully, the wrist bands are cheap, and though I've already gone through one in the past month, I was able to get 3 on Amazon for $10.