Death of a Fitbit Flex
So long then, Fitbit Flex. After tirelessly tracking more than 4.5 million steps, my Flex was declared dead this afternoon.
Flex, during our short time together, you counted more than 4,591,000 of my steps, covering an estimated 3650km. You tirelessly counted that I burned off 1.8 million calories between July 12, 2013 and February 4, 2015, and you vibrated out of sheer joy every time I reached the magical goal of 10,000 steps in a day.
Flex, you quickly took the place of my short-lived Jawbone UP.
You watched over my sleep, and although viewing my own sleep logs has silently become a “premium feature” on Fitbit.com, I have logged everything to a free Google spreadsheet via IFTTT.
In fact, Flex, it was using Fitbit’s sleep logs that highlighted my sleeping problems in the first place. Now how’s that for actionable analytics?
Flex, apart from the occasional silicon band breakage, nothing could tear us apart. We were inseparable since you rode into my life on the back of a FedEx truck in July 2013. Nothing else was able to prize you from that coveted spot on my left wrist – despite challenges from Misfit Shine, a Sony SmartWatch 2 , the Polar Loop, an ERI band, a FitBug and the NuBand Activ+: In fact I even made sacrifices for you, and gave up wearing a watch to be together with you in comfort.
We even stuck together during the torrid times when software updates stopped you from syncing with Android devices, at least for a week or so. And I clocked up my highest ever daily average distance, 8km, during February 2014, during the month of the bungled Fitbit Challenge at Mobile World Congress.
And now – without warning – you’re gone.
It’s not only that my wrist that feels naked without you, although at least you’re reunited in Dead Electronics Heaven with my late Samsung Galaxy S4, with which you shared so much (data).
It’s also that I can’t help this creeping feeling that every non-tracked step is a wasted stop. How’s that for indoctrination by wearable trackers?
Cause of death
A quick post-mortem reveals that you very probably succumbed to water seepage through a hairline crack in your tracker case.
Flex, we rarely showered or went swimming together, due to the design fault in your silicon casing that always ended up needing careful drying out, otherwise it would start to smell worse than a third armpit. But I became so accustomed to you being there on my wrist, Flex, that I simply forgot to take you off before my shower yesterday – with fatal consequences.
My iPhone app is pining: It simply laments “Looking …” as it tries in vain to locate Flex. The lights are off, and there’s nobody home.
Ironically, I log in to Fitbit to pull the stats for this post, and get prompted: “
As for your last resting place, Flex? Your maker, Fitbit, rather helpfully advises: “Do not dispose of the Flex with household waste.” Instead, I am to take you to my “electronic equipment waste management authority”…
It’s too early to make a hard and fast decision on how I’m going to replace you, Flex. For starters, I’m looking for something where my own data isn’t now suddenly a premium feature, which sadly appears to rule out the entire Fitbit range. It’s MY sleep data, so why the heck should I pay to get it back?
I’d quite like a Withings Activité, except they still seem to be impossible to get hold of, and their PR people aren’t very helpful. Nor have I checked the small print yet to see whether or not they’ll let me retain ownership of my data.
What do you think? Tweet your wearable tech suggestions to @MrNesjo.