Fitbit Charge HR // review

Monday, May 30, 2016

Tristan got me a present last year to celebrate my new job - a Fitbit Charge HR. I've been going to the gym more often lately; when the weather is bad I prefer to run indoors on a treadmill. My job is office based and I'm not very active throughout the day. Tristan thought this wristband would help me stay motivated.

  • There are 4 colours to choose from - black, purple, blue and orange. I picked purple as it's feminine but still quite subtle. 
  • The material is soft, flexible and feels like rubber. It's comfortable on the wrist although at first it felt a bit unfamiliar and stiff, as the screen is not very flexible. It took me a couple of days to get used to it.
  • The wristband is sweat and rain-proof but it can't be worn when swimming or having a shower. It's very easy to clean. After each workout, I take it off my wrist and wipe it with a damp paper towel.
  • Fitbit has a touchscreen and a side button to check heart rate, steps and distance. I prefer using the touchscreen when running or exercising. 
  • The battery lasts about 4 to 5 days. I charge my Fitbit via USB on my computer. It won't take more than 2 hours to fully charge. 
  • The wristband can be connected with an app to synchronise all the data with my phone for more thorough information about my day. 
I am right handed so I always wear my Fitbit watch on my left hand, as it's much more comfortable to write with. I've read that it's recommended to wear your Fitbit on the left wrist for more accurate results - our heart is sat slightly more to the left.

Charge HR has 9 functions:

Active steps - So far it seems that Fitbit counts steps accurately and is quite reliable. My daily goal is set to 10,000 steps. Of course, it's possible to change your goals and be more active. If you hit your daily goal the wristband will start vibrating and the screen will flash - it definitely makes me feel good!

Heart rate Fitbit measures 4 different heart rhythm zones - peak (over 152 beats per minute), cardio (over 135), fat burn (over 110) and out of the zone (over 60).

Active minutes - The wristband recognises your active minutes when the activity is more strenuous than regular walking, which includes everything from a brisk walk to a cardio workout or run. At the moment my active minutes are 30 per day which is hard to reach daily, especially when I haven't been able to work out every day. 

Distance travelled - Fitbit doesn't have a built-in GPS tracker, so distance is calculated through my steps and average step length, which in turn is calculated by my height and weight. It doesn't sound as accurate but I guess I can't expect anything better without a GPS!

Stairs - Taking the stairs is my daily mission now! It really motivates me to use them more instead of taking the lift. 

Exercises - I always track my workout by timing it. Every time I start exercising I hold down the little side button and when I am finished, I end it the same way. It uploads all of the information to my Fitbit app and it even gives me the option to categorise my exercises, check my burned calories and travelled distance.

Burned calories - Fitbit calculates burned calories automatically each day. The more I work out, the bigger the number. It also includes all of the calories burned while sleeping.

Sleep - Fitbit can also be worn at night while sleeping. I have only tried this once and I think it's useful for those wanting to track their sleep quality. It's interesting to see how many times you wake up during the night or how many times you were restless.

Phone calls - You have the option to connect Fitbit with your phone. Every time someone calls, the watch vibrates and shows the caller name or number on the displayIt has been useful to me, as most of the time I keep my phone silent and sometimes I miss some important calls. 

The Fitbit app synchronises with your Fitbit, making it super easy to track your progress through the day. The app also features different functions like tracking calories, water drinking, a weight log, challenges and how you're competing with friends.

Overall, I am very happy with my Fitbit HR. The only negative thing I could think of is that it is not waterproof. I'd like to be able to wear it in the pool and track my activity while swimming. There have been a couple of occasions where I have almost had a shower with it on! It's always on my wrist, so it's very easy to forget to take it off. 

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