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Fitbit Charge HR Review – Best Fitness Tracker In The Market?

Fitbit Charge HR Review – Best Fitness Tracker In The Market?

Best Fitness Trackers Gear Patrol

In the world of fitness trackers, there is one brand that sets itself apart from the rest. It has made its name synonymous with the term “wearables”. They are, none other than Fitbit, one of the first companies that attempted to make fitness a fun social experience.

Fitbit has launched a new line of fitness trackers, coming back strong after the recall of the Fitbit Force. Fitbit now presents to you the Fitbit Charge, Fibit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge, 3 awesome feature packed fitness trackers.

New line of Fitbit Wearables

The Fitbit tracker we shall review today will be the Fitbit Charge HR, which has been unofficially crowned as the best fitness tracker of 2015, not without a good reason.

What is the Fitbit Charge HR?

Fitbit Charge HR

For those of you who don’t know what fitness trackers are, they are a powerful tool that helps you quantify your life, to help you understand more about your daily activities, put them into numbers you can visualise and encourage healthy lifestyle changes.

The Fitbit Charge HR is one of the best lifestyle companions in the market. It tracks a whole variety of metrics; step count, calories burnt, distance travelled, quality of sleep, workout durations, stairs climbed and it now even offers 24/7 continuous heart-rate monitoring.

Design and ComfortYay, 8558 steps so far 🙂

To be completely honest, the Fitbit Charge HR is not the most elegant looking device in the market. It is a simplistic but sleek looking device that is packed full of features.

The Fitbit Charge HR appears to be a slightly larger version of its predecessor, the Fitbit Flex but with slight improvements.

Firstly, instead of a flimsy clasp, it has a regular watch-like strap which helps it grasp firmly but snugly on my wrist. Considering the Charge HR has go be worn fairly tightly to measure your heart rate, it has got to be really comfortable. The rubbery design sure helps. Many a times I don’t even notice it until I need to check the time or my step count.

Watch-like Clasp – Sturdy!

Secondly, it now has a display and button that allows you to check the time, step counts, heart rate and other metrics. You can even choose the order in which these numbers are displayed. This is a huge step up and allows me to rely on the app much lesser.

In a nutshell, the design is not too fancy but it is practical. Its not flashy but it is inconspicuous and can fit almost any attire.

Purple Fitbit Meme Morpheus

Notable Functions

This is truly where the Fitbit Charge HR shines. It’s almost one of the most functional trackers out there, paling only in comparison to dedicated sportwatches and its big brother the Fitbit Surge

Step Counting

A must have for all fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge HR counts your steps throughout the day. The Charge HR does so with reasonable accuracy but I do notice that it tends to err on the high end with slightly inflated numbers, even driving or biking may cause steps to be counted, so don’t get too happy if you hit 10,000 steps on the Fitbit App, because you might still be short by 1000.

Stairs Climbed

A new addition to the Charge HR is flight of stairs climbed. I’m not sure how the accelerometer differentiates between steps and stairs but its amazing. The Charge HR now can record stairs climbed which is sure a motivation for me to climb the stairs instead of stuffing and sending my lazy body in a metal box up a building.

 


Calories Burned

No surprise here, using your activity recorded through the day, the Fitbit tracks your calories burnt. However, Fitbit usually overestimates the amount of calories you burn. So if you try eating the amount of calories you think you burnt using the app, chances are you will gain weight(well I sure did). Or it could have been too many Roti Pratas and Nasi Lemak. Im not too sure. Does this mean that this feature is useless? No it  doesn’t. Calories burnt from all devices are at best an estimation, this feature should serve as a metric for you to beat constantly to increase your activity levels. In fact, the heart rate tracking feature actually allows the Charge HR to estimate your calories burnt better since your heart rate is directly linked to your level of physical exertion, which is something I will go into details later.

Meme Fibit Charge HR calories

 

P.S. A tip for you guys: If you think the Fitbit devices overestimated your calories, try changing your profile to an age that’s much older than you actually are, that will take down the inflated calorie count.

 

Distance Travelled and Active Minutes

Based on the number of steps you took and your activity status, the app can show you your distance traveled and how active you were throughout the day as well.

 


Heart rate Tracking (The Keynote of the Charge HR)

Screenshot_2015-09-03-11-20-04This is where the Fitbit Charge HR truly shines. Fitbit utilises its PurePulse optical heart rate sensor found on the bottom of the band to measure your pulse throughout the day. Just a year back, the only tracker that could track your heart rate 24/7 was the Basis B1 which was why it was hailed as one of the best trackers in 2014. But now, Fitbit has come to claim its rightful place on the throne.

Continuous heart-rate tracking allows you to record your heart rate throughout the day, analysing not just your activity levels but as well as your resting heart rate while you sleep. This can give you an overall gauge on how healthy your heart is.

The accuracy of this feature during day to day activities is outstanding and surprisingly accurate. The numbers given are almost exactly the same as what my Polar FT1 read out.

 

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       The Fitbit Charge goes squatting in the Toa Payoh ClubFitt Gym

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Sleep Tracking

There is no need to tap on the Fitbit incessantly to start sleep mode anymore. The Charge HR now automatically records when you fall asleep, how restless you were and when you finally woke up.

The measurements are far from in-depth compared to its rivals like Jawbone and especially Basis, but it is simple to use and it caters for the masses.

Waterproof

This device is sweat proof, splash proof and rain proof. But it sure isn’t waterproof. Well not exactly. Sure, you can take it into a shower but don’t take it for a swim unless you have too much money to spend.

Battery Life:

The Charge HR can go on average about 2-3 days on a single charge(pun not intended). This is fairly common amongst wearables on the market. Nothing particularly good or bad here. Simply plug in the charging cable into a USB port and you should be good to go in an hour or two.

App

3 words. Simple, beautiful and feature packed.

Screenshot_2015-09-03-11-31-58

Screenshot_2015-09-03-11-32-04

The graphs here are easy to access and intepret. This device made for the masses doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist to realise that you eat alot more when you are bored on weekends and on the contrary, extremely sedentary.

Fitbit also gamefies fitness for you and turns it into a social experience. You can challenge your friend to a duel to see who can walk more over the weekend, climb more stairs and so on.

 

Fitbit Singapore

Fitness with a friend is always so much more fun. Plus the bonus accountability will help keep you on track.

Verdict

How is the Charge HR? It isn’t good. It’s great. Sure it has its flaws and some of its data may not be as accurate as it could have been. But it is still a stellar product, and there is without a doubt that it is one of the best if not THE best tracker in the market. Rivals such as Jawbone probably have quite some catching up to do here. If you are serious about making some serious lifestyle changes, investing in a Fitbit Charge HR may be a wiser choice than going for some gimmicky fat loss spa treatment or a ridiculous 12-week transformation plan. This device will prove to be a lifestyle companion that will motivate you to move more and be healthier.

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