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[Review] Fitbit Charge HR



Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR is a wearable fitness tracker that monitors your activities throughout the day, while also measuring your heart rate. It basically replaces your watch and is worn like a wristband meaning it will be lightweight and sleek. It is my first time wearing a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Charge HR, and it is much more smaller than the Baby-G watch I was wearing before. See what I have to say about the device after the break!

Fitbit Charge HR 4

Firstly, I just want to mention that the Fitbit Charge HR is not a smartwatch. It does not have to ability to take calls (although it does show caller ID), cannot switch or play music, cannot show notifications from your phone, nor can it pay for items like Apple Pay on the Apple Watch. It is merely a fitness tracker which shows the time and is wirelessly synced to your Fitbit Dashboard or to your Fitbit mobile app on your smartphone.

Fitbit Charge HR

Upon first unboxing the Fitbit Charge HR, I was worried if I’d be able to read from such a tiny screen! However, thanks to its OLED display and font of the text/numbers, it was very easy to read out the time and stats, even in broad daylight under the sun!

Fitbit Connect Software for PC

 

Updating your Fitbit Charge HR

 

 

Setting up the Fitbit Charge HR was relatively simple. Just download the setup assistant from the Fitbit website, plug in the included wireless sync dongle into your PC, follow the instructions and wait for it to update the Charge HR, and you’re done! Easy!

Fitbit Charge HR 8

The Charge HR turns the display off after around 5 seconds, unless you keep pressing the one and only button on the left. Every click of the button cycles through each stat, from: Time, Steps, Heart Rate, Distance Travelled, Calories Burned, Floors Climbed, and if you have an alarm set it will show next. You are able to wake your Charge HR by double-tapping on the device itself, and it will go straight to the time. Anytime you want to read the time when you are scrolling through the stats, you just have to double-tap on the device (not necessary on the non-touchscreen display itself as it is motion-activated). You can change what the ‘double-tap’ function does on the Fitbit mobile app.

At first, the Fitbit Charge HR was only showing the time, and I was worried that it didn’t know how to show the date. After digging through the mobile app I figured you could change the clock display to show the date and time which was a relief! There were only four Clock Displays I could choose from:

Fitbit Charge HR Clock Display

One thing I think Fitbit should have done to the Fitbit Charge HR was to waterproof the entire thing, not just making it water-resistant. If Fitbit wants you to wear this all day and all night, they should make it completely waterproof. We simply have to take it off while in the shower or going for a swim. How will it track the amount of calories burned by going for a swim in the pool? It can’t!

Here are the list of features that the Fitbit Charge HR can do:

Fitbit Charge HR Features

All of the activity you do during the day is wirelessly synced to the cloud, which displays your stats either on the Fitbit Dashboard website, or on your mobile phone. It is able to do this thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. Once synced to your smartphone, it uploads the same data onto the Fitbit Dashboard website, so you can get a glance of your stats in graphs or in numbers!

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Dongle
Fitbit Charge HR Wireless USB Dongle and Charging Cable

What I really liked about the Fitbit Charge HR was the automatic sleep monitoring. It knew based from a number of factors e.g your heart rate, non-movement that you were going to sleep. It is even smart enough to know when you’ve been restless (a small movement) or awake during the night. In the morning you can find out exactly how long your previous night’s sleep was! Remember, it is always best to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Fitbit Dashboard Sleep Monitoring

One thing that got my attention was that if the fitness tracker was not tight enough on your wrist (which Fitbit advises you not to get it too tight), is that the green flashing light from the heart rate sensor underneath the tracker may peeve you a bit while getting ready to sleep. My solution is to stick my hand inside the blankets and go to sleep!

Fitbit Charge HR Heart Rate Sensor

The Fitbit Charge HR is also able to wake you gently from your sleep by setting an alarm on it. There is no speaker on the Charge HR, but it does have a vibrating motor, which is not rough enough to jerk your awake from your sleep, but is enough to wake you up slowly and gently. This has since replaced my normal smartphone alarm.

Having the Fitbit Charge HR on your wrist certainly motivates you to exercise more. This is because of its Goals system. Whenever you’ve reached a goal e.g 10,000 steps in a day it will reward you with a badge, and of course you can set your own goals e.g how many steps you should do a day, as well! Not only that, you can also add friends who are using Fitbit devices, and you can compare and motivate each other, to see who has the higher score at the end of each day/week!

Fitbit Goal (Sneakers)

If you are connected to your phone, the Fitbit Charge HR will also show you who’s calling if someone is calling you on your phone. This will only work for normal GSM calls, not calls from Viber or Skype etc.

Fitbit Charge HR Low Battery

Battery life on the Charge HR is supposedly to last 5+ days, however on my first time using it after a full charge, I got 3-4 days out of it. This is possibly because everybody was wanting to try it out, especially tracking their heart rate after a short lap around the field. Plus I like to be active a lot so I am constantly pushing the button to see how many steps I’ve done, or to check how many KMs I’ve done for the day.

Fitbit Charge HR Low Battery

3-4 days battery life is not bad in my opinion, especially since the Charge HR can charge (no pun intended) in around an hour from empty to full.

Overall, I think the Fitbit Charge HR is a great fitness tracker to monitor your activities throughout the day while also motivating you to go out and exercise more, whether it be through the Goals system, or motivation from your friends through the mobile app! The Charge HR accurately tracks your sleeping hours (even those afternoon naps!) and daily steps, as it is always on you. Not some pedometer where you have to remember to put it on you every day! The only real weakness is that it is not fully waterproof. This means it cannot track any water activities that you do. So good for people who do a lot of land-based sports, but not so much for people who do a lot of water sports!

The Fitbit Charge HR has a RRP of $199.95 and I think that is an average price for this device. Not too expensive, but not cheap either!

For more information please visit: https://www.fitbit.com/nz/chargehr

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