Fitbit Charge HR Review
In the world of wearable technology, Fitbit has made a massive impression in Australia, and along with Garmin, Jawbone, Nike and the new Apple Watch coming soon, we have a wealth of choices. Yes, we were fit and healthy before the invention of these contraptions, but the ability to track steps, sleep, calories burned, distance travelled and a whole lot more means that we have even more insight into just how active and healthy we are. Are these wearable tech products necessary? No. But are the helpful and fun? Definitely.
The Fitbit Charge HR is amongst the newest breed of wearable technology to hit Australia, being released early in February 2015. We got our hands on one right away, and put it to the test. Spoiler alert: we’re big fans.
Fitbit Charge HR Features
- Step tracker
- Distance tracker
- Heart rate monitor (no chest strap required)
- Vibrating alarm
- Calories burned tracker
- Sleep monitor
- Time and date
- PC/iPhone/Android app with reporting
From this long list of features, the ones we were most excited about were the heart rate monitor and sleep tracker. Previously, only much higher-end monitors were able to track heart rate without a chest strap (you know those bulky, elasticised devices that go around your midsection), and we weren’t too keen on the idea of wearing those at the gym or during the day. With Charge HR, you can continuously monitor your heart rate throughout the day, or at any time just by pressing the button on your wrist. The LED heart rate monitor on the wrist probably isn’t as reliable as a chest strap, but we feel like it’s pretty close, and far more convenient.
Sleep tracking was also a big plus for us – we know the impact a poor/great night of sleep has on our mood, mental function and physiques, so this was another feature we couldn’t wait to try. The Charge HR autodetects your sleep – after a certain period of time without movement, it assumes you’re asleep. While this sounds like it could accidentally enter sleep mode while you’re chilling with a movie on the couch, it hasn’t happened to us yet. The sleep tracker is basic – showing hours asleep, amount of times woken, and restlessness. When you build up a bank of tracked sleep nights, all sorts of cool graphs are shown in the app, and true biohackers will love testing their sleep results against certain supplements, foods and training periods to optimise their deep sleep time.
Fitbit Charge HR Positives
- Most affordable heart rate monitoring device (without chest strap) at under $200
- Huge feature list
- Easy to sync with app
- Good battery life (~ 5 days)
Fitbit Charge HR Negatives
- Strap sometimes irritates our skin
- Would like more in-depth sleep tracking
- Not waterproof
We love the new Fitbit Charge HR, and makes our previous activity tracker Nike Fuelband+ look like an antique. The Charge HR is great-looking, light, feature-packed and well-priced, and if you’ve got $200 to spare on a wearable tech device, this is the one we’d recommend. For gym junkies, biohackers or just recreational health enthusiasts, the Charge HR is a great choice.
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