Fitbit started the smartwatch revolution not long ago. With simple design it wasn’t quite a smartwatch yet, but instead a companion that helped you track your health over anything else. Now, in an over-saturated market with countless knockoffs, Fitbit is fighting to make sure that it stays the premier write accessory on the market.
The Charge is the entry level offering on the newest three models. With a sleek design and textures band, it looks professional no matter how you wear it. Steps taken, stairs climbed, distance covered, calories burned and date and time all show on the OLED screen. You will also get phone notifications. Just the phone number though, no additional information. This is because Fitbit is focused on the fitness aspect over anything else.
It seamlessly pairs with the Fitbit app which is found on Android, iOS and Windows. The app focuses on displaying graphs over time with plenty of information about your own health goals. There are also challenges to keep you motivated. In addition you can see others on your list and compete with them.
Pros of the Fitbit Charge HR
As the entry level model, this is a perfect place to get started. Sure you don’t get a few extra features here and there, but you get what you need to start yourself down the road to a healthier lifestyle. In addition, the OLED screen offers fantastic clarity to make it simple to view no matter how sunny it may be.
The app and online portal are the premier fitness tools and probably the main selling point of the Fitbit line of accessories. An incredible amount of information is recorded, stored and displayed in easy to understand ways so that you can take full charge of your own health goals.
My wife has been using her Fitbit (one of the first models) for a good while now and she still cheers when she reaches her step goals on those days. She works a desk job, as many of us do, so getting up and making ourselves take those steps can be a real struggle. With this classy piece of technology on our arms and the quickly forming habit to check the app, display or web portal to see how we are doing, we all of a sudden start to hold ourselves accountable for our lack of fitness.
While some features aren’t included, such as heart rate sensing, they aren’t missed in this model as it keeps things simple and easier to get to the key information that you are looking for. This is the Fitbit designed specifically with the fitness focused in mind.
A sleep tracker gives a good amount of insight into the quality of sleep. With eight days of life out of one charge, you won’t have to worry about it going dead on you often at all. The band is sporty and stylish with a minimalist look. It is perfectly suited for someone looking for only fitness information and support.
Cons of the Fitbit Charge HR
The performance is generally great but it does pick up phantom steps more often than we would like to admit. On the other hand, it is very accurate when it comes to ascending steps. The Fitbit is water resistant, but not recommended for underwater use. It is much better at withstanding sweat and rain.
The limited information may not appeal to some as the screen does not give as much information as some may want. This isn’t a knock against the Fitbit Charge HR as other options give you all you need. The single focus does not leave much room for fancy technology to show off, though, which could be a deal breaker to the techies out there.
Some users complain that the band can cause skin irritation and with no easy way to replace it, you are stuck with what you get. All in all, the cons are not deal breakers, but they do point to the fact that this is a singularly focused product at an entry level point.
While the pros far outweigh the cons for the Fitbit Charge HR, we do have a few concerns when it comes to the band and the lack of water resistance. While we had no major issues with moisture, we were never very comfortable showering or swimming with the watch on. The battery life is extraordinary and takes the headache of earlier models away as we had less days we forgot to grab the Fitbit itself off the charger.
Compared to other fitness focused watches out there, this is still near the top of the pack. Others may compete more easily than they have in the past but there is no one watch or fitness band that can easily outshine the Fitbit Charge HR.
This has less to do with what the Charge has included right out of the box and more to do with the incredible array of accountability features that are included in the web portal and app. Having the wristband on reminds you that you are going to be checking up on how close you got to your fitness goals for the day and that change in thinking never feels forced.
While we do have issue with the accuracy loss that comes from phantom steps, over a larger sample size, a week or a month for example, those phantom steps have little impact on how we look at how close we came to reaching our fitness goals.
The Fitbit Charge HR does one thing better than anyone and that is what it is designed for. While it isn’t as sleek as the Surge or as feature rich as some Pebble watches, it wins where it counts – your health. If this is to stay true going forward, Fitbit needs to look at some of the flaws in their design and work out a few kinks to make this the premier fitness accessory. Something as simple as easy interchangeable wrist bands and more confident water resistance will make this our no questions asked pick for the best of the entry level fitness models. For now, it ranks among the best. Not bad company to be in.
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