Fitbit Charge HR has become one of the most successful wearables of all times. It has been only one year since its launch and it has already helped the company make fortunes. It was indeed the most sold wearable of last year. Although its popularity has declined a bit as many new entrants have stormed the market, it still sells a lot. Charge HR is pretty much a conventional wearable tech that monitors your heart rate continuously, gives you a good estimation of your daily activities, tells you about your heart rate when you are resting, and of course, it also monitors your sleep.
The critics have started asking the question, though – is Fitbit still the best among the rivals? In fact, there are many wearable techs these days in the market by Fitbit itself, which are giving tough competition to Charge HR. Here we will see how this tech is fairing in the race.
Fitbit Charge HR Review
Design and Hardware
Thankfully, Charge HR comes in different colours for you to choose from. You can take your pick from teal, blue, plum, black and tangerine. The good thing is that the colour of the screen will match with the colour of the band you have chosen and will not stand out of place. We observed that the black colour Charge HR is least in demand and so very few people even talk about it.
We were not quite happy with the size of the screen. However, when we turned it on, we found that the OLED monochrome display was extremely legible and there was no problem reading it. The display is vibrant too. With the push of the button, you can get info on many things including a total number of steps taken, distance covered, the number of calories burnt, heart rate and the steps climbed.
There is nothing too fancy about the wearing style of this device. The clasp seems like pretty normal and features a rubber strap and little buckle. We have found out that some of the users experienced irritation in the wrist skin after prolonged use. The issue was taken up to the company and they responded by saying that Charge HR must be worn with regular breaks. Also, it is important to keep it clean. We did follow the suggestion but it was not all good.
The skin irritation did not go completely. Now we cannot say that this is the problem only with Charge HR or Fitbit bands. It is indeed a common problem and might just as bad be with Charge HR. However, the point is that it is somewhat a bad experience.
One of our team members also tried this band for a long time and there was no skin issue at all. So it seems, someone who has the sensitive skin will suffer irritation. Having said that Charge HR caused some irritation, we will not shy away from saying that overall it is a pretty comfortable wear. You can easily get into bed as well with the strap on.
When you are buying an activity monitor such as Charge HR, you expect nothing less than advanced and thorough tracking. The amazing thing about this device is that you get the recording on all the common statistics along with the data on heart rate.
In this Fitbit Charge HR review, we would like to tell you that there are smart watch features you may like – you can connect it to your smartphone and the caller ID of the caller will appear on the screen with a buzz. But that is all when it comes to notifications. Caller ID feature could be pretty convenient for those who take selective calls. However, if you are looking for a message and other notifications as well, you might have to look for another device.
There is one problem with Fitbit Charge HR. It is not exactly highly water proof. With water resistance of 1ATM, you can certainly walk into the shower without worrying about the damage. However, if you spend a lot of time in the pool or swimming is your preferred exercise then you would want a device like Misfit Shine.
This is the part of the Fitbit HR review you would perhaps be the most interested in. There are many fitness monitors and trackers out there and their prime feature is to keep the record of calories and steps. While it is true that there is now way to record the number of steps exactly, but Fitbit Charge HR can give you a fairly good idea.
This is one of the Fitbit Charge reviews in which we will talk about its usefulness for the sprinters/runners and even cyclists. First things first! Charge HR does not feature GPS or any form of navigation technology. If you need this feature, then you would want to buy a running watch. In fact, Fitbit’s very own Surge comes with GPS and is great for cyclists and runners.
Accurate tracking your cycling and running is nearly impossible without GPS. You have to calculate the pace and distance and that is only possible with GPS. Fitbit released an update saying that this device is indeed capable of measuring distances. However, we did a test and found that it was far from accurate. We cycled for over 3 miles and the distance covered displayed on the tracker was nearly 3.75 miles. Now this means that the pace calculation was also wrong. Those who want to have perfect data may not buy this. However, if you are someone who just needs the rough estimate, Charge HR is not bad at all.
But there is something really good about this device. A lot of times we start the exercise and forget to start the stopwatch. Those who are looking to track their physical activity may find this difficult. But with this device, you don’t have to worry about starting the stopwatch. Every activity will be automatically updated depending upon your current state.
Essential Reading: 10 Best Fitbit Charge HR Tips And Tricks Help You To Become Fit!
Heart Rate Tracking
We have seen that the GPS devices are extremely focussed on cycling and running activities and they lose focus from the workout activities. But with Charge HR, you can get the accurate tracking of your workout session including your heart rate. It uses an optical HR monitor that accurately records your heart rate.
We have tested the performance of Charge HR both inside the gym while working out and while running on the road. Inside the gym, we worked with weights and gym bikes. During this time, we were mostly static. We were surprised to see how accurate the BPM tracking of this device was. However, while running, we were far less than satisfied as the tracking was quite way off.
There is another thing that Charge HR does and you will like it. It can measure your HR performance even when you are resting. Remember that the fitter you get the lower is your heart rate at the time of the rest. This statistic is important to track to know your progress. But the problem is that it is not always accurate. One of our members has the resting HR of nearly 55. However, when measured with Fitbit, it was close to 70.
By the day, everything you do will be recorded including your calories. By the night, your sleep pattern will be looked at. The other good thing about Charge HR or for that matter any Fitbit devices is that you don’t have to inform them that you are planning to sleep. The Fitbit sleep mode will kick in automatically. It will keep a track on your heart rate and identify whether you are sleeping.
The blue graph will appear on the app, which will represent your sleeping duration. The amount of time you slept along with other stats is mentioned. There is no tracking of sleep states – deep or light. However, you will see some lines, which indicate whenever you tossed or turned in the bed.
You don’t get to see an in-depth analysis of statistics. However, the good thing is that the app is pretty simple to use. It is also very clean and easy to read. Synchronizing is pretty fast so no frustrations here.
Price & Verdict
With the price of $125, Fitbit Charge HR is a bit pricey, but the features do balance it out. Comparing with Jawbone, and Garmin Forerunner series, Charge HR does its job best and makes it simple for users. We will not mind saying that Charge HR is a pretty okay activity monitor for those who workout regularly.Fitbit’s Charge HR combines heart rate, sleep tracking and active fitness into an affordable price with durable battery life. It’s a hard combination to beat.
Also, Read this: Jawbone UP3 vs Fitbit Charge HR