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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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Fitbit Battle: Zip vs. Flex

I’ve talked before about how much I love my FitBit.  On days that I am not so active it gives me a little kick in the butt to get a little more active, and on days that I am super active I love to see those high numbers at the end of the day. Earlier this year, the husband got a FitBit, too!  I have the Fitbit Zip and he got the FitBit Flex.  It was interesting to compare our steps at the end of the day, and helpful to have someone to tell me to get my butt off the couch or I wouldn’t meet my step goal.

After a few weeks of friendly competition, I started wondering if it makes a difference that I wear my FitBit clipped on to my bra, and he wears his on his wrist.  So, I decided to borrow his for a day and see if my steps came out different on each device.  Luckily, he is not as attached to his FitBit as I am, so he let me borrow it.  I actually ended up borrowing it two separate times because the step count came out so different the first time, I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just a fluke.


Before I get into how the steps worked out, let me tell you some things that I like and dislike about each FitBit.

FitBit Zip

– The small size and clip make it easy to hide inside of whatever I’m wearing.  
– It is the least expensive of all of the versions at $59.95.
– It uses a watch battery so you don’t lose steps while you have to take it off to charge it.

– It doesn’t track sleep and floors climbed like the other FitBits.
– It doesn’t have a silent alarm like the others.
– Since it hides inside my clothes all day I can’t see how many steps I have until I get home and it syncs with my computer.  (Yes, it has the capability to sync with my phone, but it has not yet cooperated.  That would obviously solve this problem if I can get that to work like it is supposed to.)

FitBit Flex

– It tracks more information than the Zip including sleep and floors climbed.
– It has an LED display that shows my progress towards my goal, and it vibrates when I reach my goal.
– It is a visual reminder of my need to be active.

– It is much more expensive at $99.99
– Wearing on my wrist isn’t always the most fashionable choice.  Not that I am a style maven by any means, but I like my bracelets, and a chunky black FitBit doesn’t always look pretty. (It does come in other colors, and buying other bands is something I would consider if I was wearing the Flex 100% of the time.)
– There is not an actual display to show me the exact number of steps, or a clock.

So, what about the steps? Well, here is how it turned out the first time:


This was on a normal weekday work day.  Since the step counts were so different, I decided that I should test it out on another day, too, to see if it was just a fluke that it was so different.


This time I wore it on a weekend day.  There wasn’t such a difference in steps, but the Flex did still track more steps than the Zip.

After testing this both of the days, I came to the conclusion that while it may not track more steps when I am walking, the Flex tracks steps when I’m not actually walking but it may seem like it in my upper body.  At work, I do a lot of movements that involve me standing or sitting in one place, but my upper body moving.  Things like sorting through papers, stocking shelves, etc.  From the looks of the step count, it counted those movements as steps, too.  Since during the second trial I was mostly doing things around the house and running errands, it didn’t count any walking-like movements when I wasn’t actually moving.

In reality though, it wouldn’t make sense to ever wear two at once.  Since mainly I compete against myself and my average steps, I’m not too concerned about which tracker I am using. It was a fun experiment though! I also kind of wanted to do this experiment because I’ve always wanted a tracker that I wore on my wrist – mostly because I  like the motivation of seeing how many steps I have at a particular time –  but I was never sure if I’d like to wear it.  It didn’t so much bother me to wear it, but just for a style/matching factor I don’t know that I’d want to wear it every day.  Ideally I guess I would somehow be able to switch between whichever one I wanted to use on a particular day.   For now, I will stick with my Zip until they come out with whatever the next generation of trackers will be.

9 Responses

  1. Very interesting! i HAVE noticed that my force thinks im walking when im doing a lot of upper body work, so i sometimes put it in my pocket if im doing a lot of arm movement.

    • I mean I figured the steps would be off just from the placement of the device, but I did not think they would be that different!

  2. Love this review! I’ve been debating which version to get myself. I was thinking of the Force, but can’t get it now due to the recall. Also, one of my coworkers said that her Flex doesn’t count her steps when she’s pushing her stroller, probably because her arms aren’t moving, which would be a big drawback for me, especially considering it’s also more expensive.

    • Yes, the Flex definitely does not pick up steps if you are holding on to something with the same hand it is on. My husband has mentioned that, and Heather has mentioned that about her Force as well. Definitely a downside.

  3. Very interesting…I have the FitBit One and a few co-workers have the Flex. We “compete” with each other regarding steps and they are always ahead of me even though I know I workout, walk, run, etc. more than they do. I’m convinced that they get steps for arm movements!!!

  4. I was so certain I’d get a force, and then I ordered one right at the recall. So now I’m seriously considering the polar loop, but as far as ugly bracelets go, I thought the flex one was slightly better than the loop. I love the look of jawbone, but I really wanted to be able to see the time.

    • I agree, the flex looks less like you are wearing a computer on your wrist than the Polar Loop. And the Jawbone is definitely the prettiest. But I agree that a clock or at least some kind of display would be ideal!

      • Garmin is also coming out with a new tracker, and I’m seriously considering that one (which says nothing as I’ve been “seriously considering” all of them for over 6 months, haha)

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