Product Review: Fitbit Flex, GoPro Hero 4 Silver, Blendtec blender

20160409_205602-01Product reviews haven’t been part of this blog – however, I’m about to write my first one.

What’s sparked this? Last year I started using three new “gadgets” that I acquired with the intent of being more active and healthier. Having used them now for several months I decided to evaluate the pros and cons of each one. All of these were inspirational items for me. Meaning, products I’d considered purchasing for some time and done a fair amount of preliminary research.

My intent is simply to share my opinions based on my experience.

Fitbit Flex

For Christmas (over a year ago) my wife got me a Fitbit Flex. It was top-of-the-line at that time.  I considered the Nike Fuel Band, but found it cost prohibitive and the reviews weren’t that impressive.  I elected for the Fitbit, but never used it until a few months ago.

The Fitbit Flex is simple. The tracking FOB fits into a flexible, rubbery wrist strap that tracks activity. To see your activity levels, sync the device with a computer via a provided USB receiver, or through a smart phone via the Fitbit app; my preferred method. To charge the Fitbit remove the FOB from the wristband and place it in the charger that connects to any USB port.

Pros:

  • The black wrist band is simple, but stylish enough. It clasps easy and feels sturdy even during rigorous activity.
  • It tracks each step taken. LED lights indicate activity level achieved.
  • Decent battery life.
  • It reminds me to be more active just by virtue of having it on my wrist. I’m more conscious of physical activity and it helps me strive to walk a few extra steps or even head to the gym. Technically a string tied to my finger could achieve the same results – although it would be less fashionable.

Cons:

  • No visual readout other than LED flashing small lights
  • Must sync with smart phone or computer to see any real results
  • No heart rate monitor
  • Higher end versions have more display space so they probably give you more information, including a clock – activing as a watch.

Recommendation:

I would not recommend the Fitbit Flex. I would prefer a device that gives more information than just flashing lights. Consider the higher end models to get more functionality, not just tracking steps.

GoPro Hero 4 Silver

GoPro has done a fantastic job marketing this product to be so much more than just a camera. The compact size, unique wide angle, water proof casing, and ability to mount or wear it – make it something I’ve wanted for some time. The Hero 4 Silver takes high-res video, single shot photos and multi shot burst photos.

Pros:

  • Size! The small compact size, even when in its housing is perfect to take almost anywhere.
  • Water proof case. This case allows me to take it to pools, water parks and lakes for amazing video creation.
  • Versatile – it mounts to my mountain bike or my Stand Up Paddle Board.
  • Encourages me to be more active as I continually look for new ways to be moving and capture videos and pictures.

Cons:

  • Battery life could be improved.
  • Requires additional purchases. A high quality Mini SD card is needed for storage, plus the accessories mentioned above. I also purchased a $20 accessories kit on Amazon.com with a myriad of mounting accessories.

Recommendation:

Worth every penny! It’s been a blast to use and I’ve just scratched the surface of the realm of possibilities for this device. If you’re active or adventurous in any way this little camera is worth having.

Blendtec Designer 725 blender

In full disclosure, I used to work for Blendtec (note the key phrase being ‘used to’).

The Designer 725 is Blendtec’s top-of-line residential blenders. This blender has a sleek touch screen interface and multiple blend cycles that take the guess work out of blending. Almost every morning I use this blender to make a protein shake and smoothie for me and my family. At night we make smoothies, ice cream and other fun recipes.

Pros:

  • Preprogrammed cycle make it easy to use (even for even my kids).
  • Sleek and stylish blender makes my wife happy as she takes pride in her kitchen appliances.
  • Blends amazingly. My kids don’t even know when I add spinach to all of their drinks; it blends it smooth and fine without any pieces or chunks.
  • Helps us eat healthy by consuming more fruits and vegetables.

Cons:

  • The $650 price tag. It’s a great blender, but expensive.
  • A high-power blender is loud, especially when blending frozen fruit or ice.

Recommendation:

Get a Blendtec, but a lower priced blender. The Classic series is a solid choice for around $300. A refurbished Designer 625 looks good, has lots of featured and is $280 cheaper than the 725, while still carrying a 7 year warranty.

Have you tried any of these or have similar products that you like? I’d love to hear your ideas and feedback.

DJ

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