Fitbit Charge HR: Review!

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With the announcement of the new Fitbit Charge 2 and Flex 2, I thought it would be “fitting” to write my review of the first generation Charge HR. As the price will most likely decrease, some people may consider choosing the older model over the new one, and because of that I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Durability

Most people who pick up a Fitbit are athletes or work out on a weekly if not daily basis. As such, a device that can withstand water and the everyday wear and tear are crucial when choosing a product. I got my Charge HR in December of 2015. For the first 6 months all was good and everything went well, but after that things started to go downhill. I noticed there were small air pockets that formed on top of the band. Over time these air pockets enlarged and completely broke the band from the screen, thus making the device unusable. Fortunately, it was still under warranty and I was provided a replacement device free of charge and hassle-free. As great as the customer service was thought, I was still displeased for the lack of durability that the engineers put together.

Accuracy

This was fairly on point for the most part. The heart rate monitor worked as advertised and the sleep tracker is also equally as good. The only weird part was the pedometer. At times I wouldn’t use my tracker all day and when I synced it to my phone it would say I walked 50 steps when I clearly didn’t because the tracker was idle. That part led me to feel a little confused because although I definitely did walk more than 50 steps throughout the day, there’s no way the tracker should be recording that data if I never even wore it.

Frequency of Use

I used to run track in elementary, middle school and high school, but after coming into college all of that gradually stopped. I only run every other week if that and I’m not nearly as fit as I used to be. Still, since I received the tracker as a gift I put it to use everyday for about 6 months regardless if I went on a workout. I was interested in how many steps I walked in a day and the amount of calories I burned. I also liked how it could track my sleep and know exactly when I fell asleep, woke up and the heart rate at which I was sleeping. Six months later, I ended up using a regular watch throughout the day and the Charge HR for when I slept. I found to be annoying to constantly have to charge the battery every few days, and since the battery lasted logner when I only used it while sleeping, I decided to no longer use it throughout the day.

Wrap-Up

The Fitbit Charge HR is an okay tracker. It’s far from amazing, but it’s not necessarily horrible. The issues found in the durability and accuracy department are huge negative factors and ones that I thought should’ve been the primary focus when creating a fitness tracker. Unfortunately, Fitbit has not done a great job in that regard. I also realized that the usability rate steadily declined for me and that had it not included the sleep tracker, I’m not sure if I would be using it anymore. So is it worth the $150? I would say no. The team needs to address those issues and it’s a huge reason why I don’t see it being worth it. If the Charge 2 has fixed all my gripes with the original then by all means go for it, but if not I think it’s better off to wait for the next iteration or a different brand.

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