Abbott Freestyle Flash Glucose Meter Review

By on June 29, 2013

abbott freestyle flash This meter has been discontinued. The FreeStyle Flash Glucose Meter by Abbott Laboratories has been around for several years now. When originally released, it was a watershed of new technology that was welcomed to the market. Even today, it is still more advanced and offers better testing that many of its newer peers.

The hallmark of the Flash blood glucose meter is that it is small and, you guessed it, fast. Results take just 7 seconds. Of course, Abbott now has two newer models (Freestyle Lite and Freedom Lite) that produce results in just 5 seconds.

Does this make the Flash any less relevant today? Absolutely not.

Key Advantages

  • Cost. The Flash can be had for as little as $21.99 on many sites. This means you get many of the best features found in recently released products for a fraction of the price.
  • Size. Small convenient size, perfect for taking with you on the go.
  • Small Sample Size. The meter only requires a 0.3 microliter sample size – Same as the newer models.
  • Fast. Seven second test results. Only slightly slower than current Freestyle models, and still faster than many other competitors.
  • Display. The Freestyle Flash has both a back light and a test strip light.
  • Alternative Site Testing. The Flash has this too: finger, palm, forearm, upper arm, calf and upper leg. The most in the business.
  • Disadvantages

    No real disadvantages to the product jump out. Obviously, certain features may be less attractive to others. For example, the meter only stores 250 tests. For people who test frequently and/or do not like to download results frequently, this may be an annoyance.

    Further, the battery life is roughly half that of comparable meters, approximately 500 tests. While not overly expensive to swap out the battery, it can add up.

    Lastly, I suppose that if you are buying a new meter, I would consider a newer model. This meter is just fine, but there are newer options, including options offered by Abbott.

    Test Strips

    The Freestyle Flash must only be used with Freestyle Test Strips. To Compare the BEST prices on strips, check out our Diabetic Test Strip Price Comparison page.

    Bottom Line

    For the money, the Freestyle Flash is a good meter at a good price. It has some great benefits, like the lighting feature and many alternative site testing options. The test strips are about average in price compared to other Freestyle meters, so the cost to run the meter is about average. While it appears that Abbott is eventually going to move away from the Flash, it is still available for purchase.

    In fact, to be fair, at the time this review was written, Abbott did not disclose any plans to discontinue the meter. Moreover, most manufacturers support meters (including providing test strips) for years after any given meter is no longer offered for sale. So, if you are looking for a great meter at a great price, don’t be afraid to consider the Flash.

    Other Considerations

    Abbott offers a proprietary glucose testing management software called Co-Pilot. While the software is free the data cable must be purchased for an additional fee (approximately $30).

    The company also provides 24/7 telephone support for its meters in case you have that important question at 3:00 am.

    Like most competitor companies, Abbott has an extensive knowledge center. They also have an “Ask the Expert” service staffed with Certified Diabetes Educators.

    Technical Information

    Model Freestyle Flash
    Auto. Shut Off 2 minutes
    Battery Type One CR2032
    Battery Life 500 Tests
    Alternative Site Testing Yes
    Memory Capacity 250 Tests
    Storage Temp. NA
    Operating Temp. 40 to 104 F
    Result Range 20 to 500 mg/dL
    Sample Size 0.3 microliter
    Test Time 7 seconds
    Weight (battery) 1.4 oz. (yes)
    Size (Inches) 1.6 x 3.0 x 0.8
    Backlit Display Yes
    Warranty Lifetime
    Coding Required Yes
    Software Available Yes