Review: Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR is the ultimate tracking device. I’d tried the majority of fitness devices and smart watches on the market but none do it as well as the Fitbit Charge HR. It measures steps, distance, calories burned, floor climbed and the time.  It’s safe to say that Fitbit have had the majority of these things covered for a very long time and none of them disappoint in Fitbit’s latest device.

The Charge HR  also uses Fitbit’s PurePulse which provides continuous heart rate tracking. I’ve been waiting to see how this device performs in this category for a long time and I have to say it blew me out of the water. Heart rate monitoring is instant and it tracks in real-time based on how much you’re exerting yourself. It’s safe to say that Fitbit had all other bases covered and this is just another thing that the company can tick off the list.

It provides accurate information about how quick heart rate should be based on your weight. There are 3 different zones which include Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak. You’re able to start a workout by holding down the button. You can end your workout by holding out the button. At this time you’ll be presented with how long you spent in each zone which will calculate a more accurate calorie burn reading.

Another new feature that the FitBit Charge HR has over it’s younger siblings is ability to show Caller ID. I liked this feature but think they could’ve probably taken it further with the ability to show reminders or get you up and about every so often. It’s welcomed nonetheless but feels a bit gimped.

I found the sleep tracking to be much more accurate than other devices that i’ve used in the past. With other devices, automatic sleeping tracking was hit and miss as it’d often misinterpret getting into bed for being asleep. The FiBit Charge HR never missed a beat with this. To my knowledge, it always accurately picked up when I fell asleep almost perfectly. This is exactly what I want from a sleep tracker. The silent alarm works as before and does its job.

One of the areas that I was disappointed was with battery life. Fitbit advertise that the Charge HR can get about 5-7 days of battery life. I felt that 5 was a stretch and it usually came in at 3-4 days. Thankfully the charge time is incredibly short and apparently the continuous heart rate tracking is an incredible battery drainer. It doesn’t ruin the experience but it needs to be noted for those who don’t want to be charging multiple times a week.

The App
For me, the Fitbit App has always an extremely well designed app. I was worried that with all the new features of the Fibit Charge HR, that the app would become cluttered and harder to find the necessary information. Thankfully this isn’t the case at all. The app is still sectioned off into your Dashboard, Challenges, Friends and Account. Your Dashboard now shows your how many steps you’ve done, your current heart rate, distance travelled, calories burned, sleep stats for the previous night as well as many other things. I was extremely surprised to see that the app will update things such as your current heart rate and steps in front of your eyes.

Going into each section will give you a more detailed overview of each stat. For instance your heart rate will break down into how long you’ve spent burning fat or in cardio where your sleep will tell you how long you spent awake or restless. It’s really structured in a way that works for everybody. If you just want basic stats then they’re incredibly easy to find but for the fitness fanatics you’ve got as much information as you could possibly want. I believe this is why Fitbit have been so successful. They really cater to every type of person.

Adding friends is easy and right at the forefront of the Friends section is a 7 Day Step counter where you can easily see where you rank among friends steps-wise. You’re able to taught them, cheer them or send personalised messages which adds a great social aspect to your health and fitness.

You can also challenge your friends to a number of different things in the Challenges section. These range from beating them to a certain step count in one day, or throughout the weekend or even during a working week. I really loved these challenges however I hope that Fitbit expand on them in the future. It’s great to see steps still being featured so prominently however now that the device can do so much more, it’s only to be expected that the software will develop accordingly.

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