Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband it easy to see why it’s a fast seller.
Having a heart rate monitor makes a lot of difference to the quality of data collected. In other reviews we’ve mentioned the importance of this but have also pointed out it’s not absolutely necessary, especially if you want to spend a little less.
The Fitbit Flex, for example, is a very reasonably priced activity tracker which is one of the top sellers.
As for the Charge HR, it’s come to the market to compete with the smaller Flex and the bulkier Fitbit Surge which President Obama has been pictured wearing as you can see in this article from the UK Daily Mail. So what is it that makes the Charge HR such a popular choice? Is it as good as its siblings and what do customers who have bought it think to it?
How Does the Charge HR Work?
- Constant heart rate monitoring from your wrist
- Tracks calories burned, distance, stairs climbed, active minutes and steps
- Exercise mode
- Automatic sleep tracking
- Syncs automatically
- Monitors incoming calls and notifications
The good thing about the heart rate monitor is that it’s on all of the time. Some competitor models are designed for use during workouts only. The problem with that is it’s difficult to get an overall picture.
The Charge uses what Fitbit has trademarked as PurePulse to give a constant real time readout of the heart rate.
This includes rest times which is important to monitor because as you get fitter, the efficiency of the heart improves and a reduction in the rest time rate points to you becoming healthier.
Including rest times also helps you to see trends so you can adjust to make improvements.
A major benefit to real time monitoring is that you’re able to judge if you’re exercising at the correct intensity for your body.
To make it easier to see how you’re doing it breaks the heart rate into different zones so you can adjust your workout to move up or down zones depending on what’s best for you.
The usual calories burned, distance, stairs climbed, active minutes and steps all form the usual data collected by most fitness trackers, but having an exercise mode is an advantage.
It’s the real time stats and instant summaries this device gives that makes it a powerful addition to your workout routines.
Monitoring sleep is so important because it can make such a big difference to your health.
You know when you wake up after a bad night’s sleep that you’re not going to function as well as you would if you’d had a few more hours.
Sleep monitoring is automatic with the Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband so you don’t have to remember to tell it when you’re going to sleep!
You can use it in manual mode if you’d prefer but you’ll need to set the sleep time. The quality and duration are both recorded and synced online where you can see your data and most importantly, the trends over time.
This will help you to make adjustments needed to improve sleep quality. It might mean having to go to bed earlier or even getting up earlier, be prepared!
There’s no need to worry about syncing as this is done automatically to the app or the website.
It stores all your data and presents it with interesting graphics to make it easier to understand. You can look at it over short or long periods.
It’s also possible to record your food intake from a list of different foods.
This will help you to balance calorie intake and those burned so you can get the balance right. There’s also the usual options to share data and compete with others, to set goals, milestones and to receive badges when you reach one.
If you’re the type of person who needs some motivation, these features can really help.
Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Benefits
- Continuous heart rate monitoring
- Workout mode
- Real time data
- Good interface with accurate tracking
- Auto sleep function
- Good battery life
Why To Buy Fitbit Charge HR
Fitbit is one of the big players when it comes to fitness trackers and by extending their range, it’s a positive but potentially confusing move. Having different choices is a good thing, but which do you go for? The Charge is available without a heart rate monitor, but unless the slight difference in price is a deciding factor, with is the best option.
Much has been written about the difference in accuracy from a wrist based heart rate monitor to a chest strap type but things are improving all the time. The trademarked PurePulse system does seem to offer reasonable accuracy and the fact that it provides continual monitoring is a bonus. You’ll be able to tell from your resting time data how your fitness is improving, not many other fitness trackers do this.
Combining the data from the heart rate monitor with the two different modes, normal activity and workout mode, gives some very useful insights.
It’s a shame the device isn’t waterproof but to be honest it probably isn’t the sort you’d buy if you want to monitor your swimming, something smaller might be better.
It is water resistant so it’s not as if the odd drop of water will do any harm. There has been mention by one or two customers that the accuracy of some of the data may be affected by sudden arm movements, but overall the accuracy has been praised.
Having an option of auto or manual sleep monitoring is a good idea.
It’s good to have the choice but using the auto setting is great if you’re the forgetful type who might not remember to set the sleep mode when you go to bed!
Online and app storage is good, providing detailed and in-depth data to help you improve fitness and to share or compete with others.
It makes using the device more interesting and fun, as does the ability to set goals and earn badges.
Given that the heart rate monitoring is continual, the battery life is pretty good. It gives around five days to a week before needing a recharge. This is comparable but better than some competitor models.