Last Updated on June 9, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
One of my favorite devices to use while trying to get myself back in a realistic and healthy shape is the Fitbit Charge HR. Developed by the same people who gave us that amazing little pedometer that can be attached to your shoe, this bracelet goes above and beyond what many of their lesser products provide. It’s a permanent addition to my tools. Let me tell you why…
What is a Fitbit Charge HR?
The Fitbit Charge HR is a piece of wearable technology that monitors your health by keeping track of your movement as well as heart rate. Based on your personal physique, it gives you an accurate portrayal of how many calories your burn as well as how many steps you have made in any given day.
The device functions as a watch that you wear on your wrist. I set my to turn on when I tap it. It will also turn on when I lift my arm up to see what time it is. These are all settings that can be changed from the accompanying app you can download for Android and iOS devices.
Why Should You Want It?
The Fitbit Charge HR will monitor your pulse and movement 24/7. Instead of spending time trying to record calories and steps, it will collect the data throughout the day without personal interaction.
Like most health apps and devices today, this unit connects to various platforms. For me, I have it connected to MyFitnessPal.com. When I am active, it will automatically adjust my calories in MyFitnessPal in order to make sure I have the most accurate information throughout the day. Even if I forget to log an exercise or walk, the Fitbit will adjust those calories for me.
One of the things I find the most appealing about this unit is the capacity to collect data. I love numbers and seeing actual results through reports. The Fitbit Charge HR gives me all of that any time I want to see the information. Sleep patterns, steps, how many stairs I’ve climbed and will also import food information from MyFitnessPal.
When you first get the Fitbit Charger HR, you receive a Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle for your computer. It’s an easy to install plug-and-play device that periodically retrieves information from the wristband when ever you’re in range. As an added bonus, the Fitbit can also be set up to connect to the Bluetooth on your smartphone automatically. While this may drain your phone’s battery a bit, I’ve found that my LG G3 handles it with flying colors. I don’t really see a big difference in battery life on my phone.
Although you probably don’t want to smash the Fitbit into a concrete wall, I’ve found the unit to be fairly sturdy for active use. I’ve smacked it into the wall in the middle of the night, ran into tables with it and dropped it a number of times. It’s not as fragile as you might believe.
Where Do You Get It?
My wife got the Fitbit Charge HR for me through Verizon Wireless. It was $160 I believe – this is when they first came out. Now, you can pick them up for about $150 from Fitbit’s website and other store locations. The app can be installed from Google Play and Android with the following links:
Pros and Cons of the Fitbit Charge HR
Not everything is built to perfection. There’s always going to be some kind of flaw. However, what I’ve found of the Fitbit still makes it one of my most favorite pieces of technology for fitness.
- Accurate data
- Easy integration with other apps
- Automatic adjustments of other apps
- Monitors a wide range of physical information
- Comfortable to wear
- Customizable digital display
- One-piece band construction is durable
- Able to set a workout stopwatch
- Website and App data viewing
- Fun accomplishment badges in the app for motivation
- Social connections – I currently compete with my wife and cousin-in-law for steps during the week
- Connects to my LG G3 and informs me of a call with caller ID while vibrating my wrist
- Short battery life – when compared to traditional watches
- Not waterproof
- Sometimes difficult to connect with PC dongle if more than one are within 10 feet of the computer
The Bottom Line
The Fitbit Charge HR is a durable and accurate device that can help virtually anyone see how many calories they burn throughout the day. Although you have to charge it every five days or so, the charging process itself takes just over an hour. Since it helps me keep a running tally with MyFitnessPal and my workouts, it’s been an invaluable tool and so worth the $160 we paid from Verizon.
If you have more of a passing fancy with trying to keep fit or lose a few pounds, this unit may not be the best investment. Since I use all of the features of this device on a daily basis, I found it to be extremely useful. However, those who are just going to walk once a week or are otherwise not committed to fitness may find cheaper alternatives at Walmart or Radio Shack. For myself, it’s one of my most valuable tools and has helped me in a myriad of ways. The only real thing I would change on the Fitbit Charge HR is to make it waterproof.