The FreeStyle Lite is one of the smallest glucometers on the market, which makes it a great choice for people on the go. Its compact casing easily fits in your pocket or purse, so you can test anytime and anywhere, and the backlit display and test-strip port light mean you can test even in dim lighting. While the test strips are available in most stores, they are among the costliest.
Test-Strip Costs & Availability
We visited local pharmacies and online stores to evaluate the availability and cost of the test strips the FreeStyle Lite uses. The test strips were available in almost every store, which means it's not difficult to find refills. However, the average cost of each strip in a 100 pack was $1.22. While it isn't the most expensive test strip on the market, it's more expensive than most. For comparison, the cheapest test strips of the glucometers we reviewed are less than 25 cents each. This price difference can add up very quickly, especially if your insurance doesn't offset the cost.
Design & Features
The FreeStyle Lite glucometer is notable for its small size and rapid test results. The unit measures 1.57 x 2.90 x 0.65 inches and weighs only 1.4 ounces when loaded with the required CR2030 battery. It has a speedy test response time of 5 seconds when testing blood glucose levels between 20 and 500 mg/dL, which is equal to many meters in the industry. However, the meter's compact size means it has a small display: The screen is only 0.7 inches in height, and the text is only 0.375 inches tall. And although the display is backlit, it's not high-contrast. If your diabetes affects your sight, then this isn't the glucometer for you.
The FreeStyle Lite can be used with two computer programs: FreeStyle CoPilot Health Management System and FreeStyle Auto-Assist. CoPilot is a free Windows-based program that helps you and your doctor evaluate trends from past test results and other key information. The FreeStyle Auto-Assist Software is both PC- and Mac-compatible, and it interacts with your glucometer to log test results and other information you choose to input manually, such as time of day and insulin doses. Both health-management systems require a USB cable to connect your glucometer to your computer.
Ease of Use
The test strip needs only 0.3 microliters of blood, which is the least amount required of any glucometer we evaluated. It can also use blood taken from the fingertips, palm and upper arm, although blood from the fingers yields the most accurate results when low blood sugar levels are suspected, as is the case with all meters that offer alternate site testing.
The FreeStyle Lite doesn't require coding for you to start testing, and the strips use patented ZipWik technology for fast blood-draw times. A test-strip port and backlit display make it possible to test in low-light conditions.
The Final Verdict
With its small size, speedy testing and lifetime warranty, the FreeStyle Lite is a good glucose monitor for people who have active lifestyles or need a device that is easy to see in any lighting conditions. This meter requires a very small blood sample and has a lot of useful features that make it worth considering.