Fitbit Charge HR Review
Fitbit have made a name for themselves with their quality fitness focussed wearables. Stylish but not striking, they provide a great way to track your daily activity with the minimum of fuss.
The Fitbit Charge HR comes in a variety of colours, we've got a vibrant red on here, but other options include blue, teal, slate, black and plum. There are also three size options - small, large and extra large - the large is a good fit for my wrist but its good to see plenty of variety and the wrist strap allows for a good degree of adjustment so it should cater for almost everyone.
In the packaging you get the wearable itself and a short custom charging cable. We'd prefer a standard USB connection as with a mobile phones as custom cables are always extra hassle. The Charge HR cable however does have the benefit of securely holding the device while charging and takes quite a bit of pressure to separate the two. We've charged ours once and it's lasted a week so far so thumbs up there.
It's splash but NOT waterproof so you'll be wanting to take it off before getting in the shower and it's certainly not a tracker suitable for swimmers.
The Fitbit Charge HR is one of their more expensive products - tracking steps, floors, heart rate, calories burnt, distance walked and even sleep patterns - it covers all of the main bases. The only thing it misses that would have been really nice is a GPS tracker to log where you've walked in as much detail as possible.
For the most part we were really impressed during the few days we tested it before writing this review - although the fact that it's tracking around 40% more steps than my Galaxy Note 4 was might be stoking me ego just enough to heap it with praise. One thing that did stand out was the fact that the Charge HR did track me walking around 0.1 miles every night, while I slept - the result I guess of restlessness in bed? Either way, I'm pretty sure I'm not sleepwalking.
The biggest issue I've had is that despite the fact that it's designed to fit a variety of wrists I found it hard to find a comfortable position with it placing pressure on my wrist bone when tightened to the optimum point. It generally fitted well but extended use did occasionally cause a little discomfort.
Of course a wearable wouldn't be complete without its companion app and the Fitbit app is particularly good. Syncing between your mobile and the device can be time consuming but the detail on offer is excellent with good graphical representations of your activity, sleep and heart rate throughout the day/night.
Easy to use and set up, you can even use the app without a tracker although it's obviously nowhere near as accurate and doesn't offer the same level of tracking options.
The app notifies of you as you hit milestones - such as number of steps walked or time active and this acts as a great encouragement to press ahead to reach that next target.
While it may not offer the flexibility of a full smartwatch, the Fitbit Charge HR performs many of the functions you want from a wrist-based device without the excess bulk that current fully featured wearables bring to the table. The Charge HR is both attractive and functional and does almost everything we want - the only thing missing being GPS tracking. We really like it.
The variety in sizes and colours
Accuracy in tracking steps and floors
Heart rate monitor constantly tracking your heart rate
We didn't like
Not waterproof - had to be removed when swimming