Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband

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Most consumers are aware of the Fitbit brand for their popular activity and health trackers, worn on the wrist. The Charge HR product also offers this feature, in tandem with sleep monitoring and analytics.

While the sleep monitoring is assuredly accurate and reliable, it’s frankly not sophisticated enough to warrant a purchase as a sleep tracker alone. The sophistication of the activity tracker, heart rate monitor and call notification capability make it an attractive purchase for buyers looking for an all-round tracker.

fitbit charge hr review

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8. x 0.4 inches
  • Item Weight: 0.8 ounces (ships at 5.6 ounces)
  • Batteries: 1 lithium ion battery
  • Sizes: Small, Large and Extra Large
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Pink, Plum and Tangerine

Stand-Out Features

The major benefits of the Fitbit Charge HR Wristband relate to its activity tracking capabilities.


  • Heart Rate Monitor: Continuously measures your heartbeat at rest as well as during exercise
  • Auto-Recognition: Automatically recognizes when you begin exercise and when you fall asleep
  • Caller ID: Provides timely call notifications on the display
  • Silent Alarm: Wakes you up gently with a silent, vibrating alarm

Pros

  • Tracks workouts, heart rate, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed, steps taken, minutes active
  • Provides sleep analytics that show periods of tossing and turning, and duration of sleep
  • Wireless syncing of your daily stats with your dashboard on smartphone and desktop
  • OLED display for call notifications, time and daily stats

Cons

  • Sleep tracking is minimalistic, even in comparison to mobile apps
  • No GPS so distance and pace measurements may not be accurate

Does it Help You Sleep?

The primary objective of the Fitbit Charge HR Wristband is to track your activity, and sleep monitoring is a distant second to that. However, it does hold some value as a sleep accessory.

Firstly, if you want to measure how much time you’re actually sleeping, the Charge HR is great. It will show your logged sleep duration and record any periods of restless sleep — judged by any tossing and turning. It will clock in if you wake during the night as well.

The sleep analytics are presented in an easy to read bar graph on your dashboard every day.

It’s not sophisticated enough to track your sleep cycles or your periods of deep and REM sleep, unfortunately. It is a handy indicator though for analyzing the basics.

Another sleep-related feature is the silent alarm clock, which wakes you by gently vibrating on the wrist. This provides much more of a restful and gradual waking than a traditional alarm which may be of benefit to anyone who wakes feeling groggy.

The wristband is light, comfortable and easy to forget you’re wearing it — it’s no problem to sleep in.

fitbit charge hr review

Other Features

Heart Rate Tracking

The Fitbit Charge HR Wristband comes equipped with an optical heart rate monitor — it uses an LED light to observe the flow of blood through the circulatory system of your wrist — and it monitors your heartbeat continuously.

It even takes a measure of your heart rate instantly upon waking, so you’ll get a good idea of your average resting heart rate.

This tracking will continue through the rest of your day, including your workouts, whatever they may be, with your Dashboard recording your statistics and showing how much time you spend in certain heart rate zones.

Auto-recognition ensures that you don’t need to continually remind yourself to tell the Fitbit Charge HR that you’re about to work out, or about to go to bed. It will just start recording automatically.

Activity Tracking

Although the Charge HR does try to measure distance travelled and steps taken, there is no GPS included so measurements may not be entirely accurate — it will depend on your exercise habits if this is a big deal.

The Fitbit app and accompanying Dashboard is one of the product’s highlights. It records all your data in an easy-to-read presentation and allows you to set yourself goals and challenges. It also allows to collect and observe data through your short and long-term history.

Caller ID and Watch

This is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin: the small OLED display shows the day and time, while hooking up your phone network to the Fitbit Charge HR Wristband will show you any incoming calls received.


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