Get more out of your fitness program with the Fitbit Charge activity wristband. Monitor your heart rate so that you know when you're in the zone, and record your workouts so that you know exactly what you've done each day. Back the data from this Fitbit Charge activity wristband to your smartphone using the integrated Bluetooth.
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A few weeks with the HR and my experiences.
Posted by: StephenA from: on
The Fitbit Charge HR is everything that I've been wanting in my Flex. I got my Flex the day they came out, back in June 2013. I used it everyday and loved the thing. I've have my Charge HR for about two weeks now and I love it more than the Flex because of all new features it come with.
A major difference from the Flex and the HR is the material it's made of. The HR is made of a "softer" rubber and seems to attract a lot more dust and fuzz compared to my Flex which never collected dust. But the HR is super easy to rinse off and clean and has a traditional watch strap.
One of the things I didn't like about the Flex is the lack of function it does physical. It has the progression lights and alarm vibrations, but it wouldn't tell you much more. The HR has a nice interface and it totally customizable. You can program a specific function for when you double tap(I have it set up to show my heart rate). You can also put all the tracking info in a specific order or turn it off so it doesn't show up when you scroll through the display.
The Heart behind the HR
It's pretty sweet having a heart rate monitor. I've never been too interested in tracking my heart rate, but with this, I can't stop looking it. There are two green flashing LED lights on the underside that are used to do the measuring. They are not noticeable unless you lift the band off your wrist. I have noticed them at night when I'm sleeping, but only if I rest my a hand funny.
The app interface
The interface has not changed if you are coming from the Flex or another Fitbit. If you are new to Fitbit, you will have no problem going through the app and figuring things out. One thing I've noticed is the heart rate graph is not too specific and difficult to understand. But maybe when there are more HR users, Fitbit will make improvements. Another thing I hear about is people saying how the device is inaccurate completely. Yes it's not %100 right all the time but there are a few things you can do it make it count better. On your Fitbit account on the computer, make sure to enter all the accurate info about yourself. Including your stride, height, and weight.
The auto sleep function is great but it sometimes can misinterpret sleeping, from watching TV or a movie. In the morning it will show you your sleep log and amount of time you were restless and awake. The silent alarm will vibrate a pattern three times then go into a 9 minute snooze mode. It continues this until you press the button or double tap it.
Having the floor count with the HR is a great upgrade from my Flex. It does a pretty accurate job at detecting how many flights I go up. But I have noticed the count does increase even when I'm just walking around outside. I looked it up on Fitbits site and they say it measures air pressure differences. So for every 10ft you walk up, it notices the pressure difference and counts it. But it can also get confused if a strong gust of wind blows or you open a door. So it's not %100 accurate.
Overall I am very pleased with the Charge HR and all that comes with it. I would recommend this to anyone who is thinking of getting a Fitbit. It is not a perfect tracking device but neither are any of the other ones offered today. Hopefully with time, Fitbit will improve their graphs with the HR and maybe include a few more features.
99 out of 99 found this review helpful.
Fitbit Charge HR
Posted by: SuperBad from: on
I was lucky enough to be some of the few people who received the Fitbit Charge HR prior to it's scheduled release. This year wearable technology has been the craze. I've been using the Fitbit Flex because our hospital was providing a subsidy to help the employees get fit. Now the Flex is not the best wearable. I currently have the Pebble, Moto 360 and I've used the Samsung Gear Live and Basis. The Flex by far is the most convenient one to use. But the Flex does have it's limitations and issues with the battery. So when the Charge HR was announced, I was extremely excited to see what it can provide. Compared to the Flex, it is twice the thickness and the strap is now a buckle.
So far I've been impressed with the results of the Charge HR. I'll list the pros and cons.
Auto Sleep Log: Much more convenient than having to start and stop on the Flex. I don't always fall asleep when I logged it with the Flex so having the Charge HR start it when I actually fall asleep is great.
Logging Exercise: I love the ability to log each workout session. With the Flex I felt that my strength training sessions were lost because they weren't constant hand swinging movements. I can also better track how long my workout sessions were. This leads into my next pro.
The HR Monitor is a constant and checks your resting heart rate vs when you are active. This is great for calculating your caloric burn and if you want to see where your fat burning zone is. I think this provides a great tool to track your workouts more accurately.
This is a great motivator to take the stairs. I was taking the stairs with the Flex but it didn't capture that accurately. I go up 6 flights of stairs to my office at least 3 times a day and would like credit for that.
This is a good function to have but for me it's not a deal breaker. But if you are like me and keep your phone on silent, it is always good to have something on your hand vibrate when you get a call. It takes a second or so to get the notification, but it's useful to have.
Now for the Cons or areas of improvement.
The buckle on the strap feels cheap. It's suppose to be surgical steel but feels more like hard plastic. Having to put the Charge HR an inch above the wrist can be annoying. I think it would be a little better to have the heart rate monitor on the underside of the wrist where you would feel your pulse.
The best thing that Fitbit can do is to have a better charging mechanism. If they can allow it's devices to wirelessly charge, that would be great. That would be a huge plus because you don't have to mess with plugs. Just place it on the plate and let it charge. This a great feature with the Moto 360 and makes it so much easier to have multiple charging plates at home, in the office and in my travel bag.
The last thing that I would expect from Fitibit is a better instruction manual. With the new added features of the Charge HR, I would like to maximize the use. Luckily I was able to figure things out quickly, but for the people who are not as tech savy might get frustrated trying to go through the functions. Of course the app is great and it's even better that it syncs with MyFitnessPal.
Overall I think the Charge HR is a great step up from the Flex and sits on the same level as other advanced wearables. I think it's worth the investment and would be a great gift for someone who plans to get into shape. I'm a strong believer that you need to track in order to get the results that you want. For the average person; If you don't know what you did today, you won't be able to progress tomorrow.
With a proper diet, Fitbit has helped me lose 30 lbs in 11 weeks. Seeing what my results was a great motivator. The weight was not water weight but actual fat. From a 1 keg ab to 6 pack abs, it's worth every penny.
235 out of 250 found this review helpful.
Charge HR vs Mio Fuse
Posted by: JKhan from: on
I have been looking for a comparative review of these two products. Since I couldn’t find one, I decided to do it myself. I put each through a meticulous week of training and will display my findings as simply as possible. I have a lot of information that I am condensing so if you have any further questions, please ask.
For my test, I did a range of different exercises including HIIT, SMIT, medium intensity steady state cardio, jogging, and weight training. Though neither device can truly give a comprehensive measurement for weight training, my lifting style fluctuates my heart rate enough to quantify a decent calorie burn, so I included it.
Also, please note that I tried various adjustments including alternate arms, wrist spacing and tightness. I literally ran the gambit, and in some cases, it made a major difference. I have pretty large wrists/forearms, so regardless of position, both devices had little trouble finding a baseline pulse. I used the Samsung Galaxy S5 as my control since it was rated as top notch against EKG machines.
So, let’s begin with the meat of these new devices: heart rate tracking.
Fitbit Charge HR does not do well with spikes, on either arm. In fact, the display would often display “- -“ and not find a suitable rate for at least 30 seconds. When doing HIIT/SMIIT, 30 seconds can be an eternity in documenting measurements. When it did come through, it was still 10-15 beats slower than the Mio and the S5. I had little issue with the Mio Fuse. It wasn’t perfect, but I usually had a solid reading within 3-5 seconds, and I would say 90% of the time, it was in line with the S5.
During anything steady state, the Charge HR and the Mio Fuse kept consistent readings with both the Precor 100i and the S5, but when the Charge HR was on the non-dominant hand, it was typically 5-10 beats behind. When I went jogging, both devices kept the pace, but just for kicks, I let my heart rate drop and pushed out a full on sprint. Mio caught up within 5 seconds, Charge HR was blank for at least 25 seconds. Reiterating that the Charge HR doesn’t like spikes.
One other point to note is that during weight lifting, the Charge HR had 2,000 more documented steps than the Mio Fuse. The manual stated that may happen with activities involving rapid arm movement, but just noting I didn’t have that issue with the Mio Fuse.
I can’t pinpoint why the Charge HR is inconsistent on my non-dominant hand. If it uses capillary enlargement, I can only guess it’s because they are more evident in my dominant hand. Either way, their inequality should be noted.
The interface is where Fitbit excels. As a longtime fan of my Flex, I love the improvements they have added. The heart rate chart and the time zone measurements are great. But it is far less enjoyable when the information (heart rate) is inaccurate. The Mio Go app is truly bare bones. It has very basic tracking and gives you basic stats on your daily workout and overall activity. I also had a few sync fails when connecting to the app and lost my workouts, which was really frustrating. It still shows up in my daily caloric burn, but when you want specifics, this is very disappointing. There is also no PC counterpart, so it’s all mobile. Mio has stated the app will be growing based on feedback. I hope so, because the device deserves a better interface.
I, personally, do not care for all the bells and whistles of each, so I didn’t spend much time here, but I can offer a few distinct differences. The Charge HR has 24 hour heart rate tracking, while the Mio Fuse has to be activated in workout mode. Since the Mio Fuse was much more accurate in my tests, I would rather have the accuracy during my workouts than be able to see my heart rate during my daily routines, so this is a wash. The Charge HR is sleeker, and the “action” button is harder to accidentally trigger. With the Mio Fuse, it is pressure based touch screen, so when using the TRX, I have to check after sets to make sure I don’t stop my timer on accident. The “lock” feature needs to be able to be turned on for workout mode. The Mio Fuse is waterproof for 30 feet, while the Charge HR is not recommended for showering or swimming. Both devices caused some irritation after long periods of usage, but it usually disappeared within a few minutes of removing the devices. I really wanted to focus on what these devices were boasting about…strapless HR tracking.
So, upon these tests, I must bid adieu to my Fitbit family for now. I can see the Mio Go app getting better before the Charge HR becomes more accurate. I have read that the Surge has better accuracy, but I am not looking for anything more than a solid hr activity tracker and the extras of the Surge are not worth the premium in my opinion.
For standard daily activity, both devices are great for comprehensive readouts and steady state tracking, but if you are a fitness enthusiast who constantly pushes your limits and capabilities, I recommend the Mio Fuse.
61 out of 64 found this review helpful.
Must have for 2015
Posted by: newyawker from: New York, NY on
This Charge HR is so helpful. It tracks my steps, how many floors I've climbed, and even how long I've been "Very Active."
When I see that my hr is in the fat burn zone, it encourages me to move more and push harder. I live in NYC, so logging 10,000+ steps is easy to do, but being and staying in an actual fat burn zone is a harder task.
On top of all that, it also lets me know when I have an incoming call with a gentle vibration. If the number is from a contact, their name is displayed.
I also love that it accurately shows when I fall asleep, wake up, and when I'm restless during the night. This information is only displayed on the device that the charge hr is synced with, and not the watch itself.
In summary, this won't make you fit, but it can encourage you to go the extra mile when you're ready to call it quits.
38 out of 38 found this review helpful.
All in all a great little device for the price.
Posted by: harrypottar from: harrypottar on
I was toying with 3.5 stars or 4 so I decided to go with 4 has it works for what is meant to do but could do with some improvements.
I’m new to Fitbit, I Purchased a small and large Charge HR for my wife and I and we picked them up from Best Buy New Years eve.
I’m in my fifties but have been exercising with P90x, Insanity, home gym, treadmill, rowing machine, etc for a number of years so I’m quite fit.
I find the large band tight for my wrist. The band is made of soft rubber like martial so it’s not going to cut off circulation but I have it on the first notch and it quite tight, it does not move.
However I can still stretch it and put a finger underneath, It’s tight enough that it leaves an impression of the band on my wrist when I take it off to shower. I mention the tightness has I have not had issues with the heart rate readings.
Also whilst not trying to get too personal, I’m quite an hairy guy, so I tend to shave my arms and upper torso, maybe the shaved forearms are helping with the readings too.
I have a top of the range Polar HRM with strap, it’s does everything you can possibly think of with heart rate monitoring, even tells you the resting period between sets on weight training days.
I wore the Charge HR and Polar Strap together today, I did forty minutes of Insanity cardio workout, then walked on the treadmill for thirty minutes at a ten degree incline at 3.2 mph.
When I compare the Polar chest reading to the Charge they where within 5-7 beats per minutes. My max on the Polar was 181 and the Charge recorded 176, average on the Polar was 153 and 150 on the Charge HR.
So far I’m pleased, I wanted an “all” day monitor, the Polar desktop has better Heart Rate data readouts and graphs than Fitbits' free dashboard but I get the benefit of all day data and sleep data.
Was thinking about returning my large and waiting for the extra large Charge HR to become available however I’m now wondering after reading about all the HRM issue if the tight band is helping.
This is not a smart watch it’s a fitness band there is a big difference, I have a Samsung Gear 2, not the Gear Fit but the brown/bronze dress watch with the camera.
The Gear 2 is more a dress watch so I don’t want to wear it while exercising. The Gear 2 is a true "Smart Watch”, you can customize the clock, read / send email, text messages answer and makes calls all from the watch.
It has Samsung S health which is ok but not has informative has Fitbit, if you want a smart watch with some health info and have a compatible Samsung Phone then you can not go wrong with a Gear Fit, 2 or the new Solo.
If you seriously want to track all day health then the Fitbit is the right option, I wear my Fitbit all day I only take it off for showing.
For me tracking Heart Rate and Sleep was my primary reasons to buy and it’s small enough to wear all the time, I still wear my Gear 2 smart watch when I’m out and about because of the integration with my Note 4.
It’s never going to be has accurate as a chest monitor but it’s close enough for what I want, it uses your phone GPS to track running so you don’t have to buy one with a built in GPS.
Sizing is off, my wives small is more like a child and we plan on returning and purchasing the large once their available again. I would like the XL but thats only online directly from Fitbit.
Bands should be changeable, this would fix the size issue and be able to swap out when grubby or for a style change.
It’s splash proof not water proof, you can not swim in it. I would like to see them make a water proof one for swimming.
None standard charge port which is common now, would like to see micro USB or even better wireless charging like the motor 360.
Charge cable to way to short, you will need a usb extension cable.
Battery does not last the advertised 5 days, I’m lucky to get 2.5 days, I top up the charge while swimming or showing.
All in all a great little device for the price with a few niggling things that stops it being a 5 star fitness band.
26 out of 26 found this review helpful.
Has Its Shortcommings. Buyer Beware
Posted by: Bweemes from: on
I have been using Fitbit products for over two years and the Charge HR does not hit the mark in my opinion. The display is much dimmer than the standard Charge model-- this is likely to help prolong battery life. The heart rate feature did not work well for me. I ran the Charge HR along with Endomondo/Garmin chest strap while walking around my house, up/down stairs and the Charge HR lags and if not worn snuggly would not display heart rate or the value would remain high/low. I personally believe optical HR sensing is still way inferior to chast strap monitoring. Note: heart rate works well once pulse is detected and the arm is kept relatively still. I didn't test the unit long enough (I quickly returned the unit due to major letdown) to determine battery life, however based on the battery strength symbol-- it wasn't going to last more than 3-4 days. Unit is comfortable to wear. I returned the Charge HR and plan to stick with the standard Charge which I've had for over 2 months with a very high level of satisfaction. Note, I had the same result with the PurePulse heart rate feature on the Fitbit Surge... I returned it too. I will be looking at Garmin's new VivoActive model.
29 out of 31 found this review helpful.
Great Activity Tracker
Posted by: Chris from: on
I previously owned a Jawbone UP and a Wahoo bluetooth chest strap heart rate monitor for a year. I wanted an all in one activity tracker with heart rate monitor and watch. I also wanted something very minimal in appearance. The Fit Bit HR is a grand slam. When compared to my previous tracker and hr monitor the fit bit outshines it in every way possible. The tracking is very accurate for steps and HR. I did a side by side comparison of both. The fit bit also syncs wirelesly to your phone or (home computer with micro usb wireless adapter). The app that fit bit uses is very easy to use and tracks your food, sleep, hr, steps walked, stairs climbed, active calories, water consumed. The display on the fit bit is great too as all information displays with a touch of a button.
23 out of 24 found this review helpful.
Not for serious athletes
Posted by: Caitlin from: on
I bought this mainly for its headrate feature for when I do my training runs. So far, the heartrate has been fairly accurate and it's nice to be able to look back on my whole workout. However, in the past week I have been using the monitor every single day multiple times a day and in the end it couldn't "take the heat". By the end of only one week owning this device, the screen turned black and the screen no longer will turn on. I'm assuming this is from sweating in it, but it is supposed to be sweat resistant. I am definitely taking it back and will go back to researching heart rate monitors . I'm very disappointed because while it was working, I was very pleased with it.
25 out of 27 found this review helpful.
I am so glad I waited for the HR version
Posted by: Amata from: on
So far I love my Fitbit Charge HR. They are very difficult to find but I stalked many websites before finally ordering one through Best Buy and having it shipped to the store (faster than to my home.) I've had it for about 48hrs and so far I like it! The only thing I don't like has to do with my phone and I am still working on it. It did think I was sleeping while watching a movie last night but I wasn't moving around much and was relaxed. I just deleted it off of my dashboard. Easy peasy. The band is very flexible and isn't uncomfortable to wear at all. They do recommend wearing it one finger above your wristbone and 2-3 while exercising. You might want to take that into consideration when deciding on a size. I went with Large (6.3-7.8") because the small is 5.5-6.5" and mine measured right at 6.5" I am glad I went with a large because the small would have probably been tight. It is a lot less bulky than the Polar FT4 I used to wear.
15 out of 15 found this review helpful.
Posted by: KHL55 from: on
I had bought this product with high expectations hoping to monitor the activities it CLAIMS to monitor ACCURATELY. I have used it for a little over a month and have noticed that the data measured is far from accurate. Especially the floor count. It is always way off. Steps are accurate to some degree, however the distance is not. HR is accurate on everyday activity. However, when you workout to a sweat, it stops recording/ displaying the HR. I have also noticed it does not display HR over 160. On a strenuous workout, i have compared to another HR monitor I use which would display HR OF 178.Have read other customers using the same product complain about this issue on Fitbit blogs..You have to wipe the under surface of the band quite often for it to work. Below average battery life. I get 3 days tops after a full charge.