Why the Fitbit Charge HR?

I started seeing lots of talk about wearable technology. Pretty much everything on the market was either the size of a watch or only tracked steps. I have many watches and as it stands, I don’t wear them so adding another one to my collection would have been useless.

The idea of a bracelet that can actively track your exercise data was appealing to me but since I do more than just walk or run, the existing batch of wearable tech wasn’t for me.

I then heard of the Fitbit Charge HR. The HR stands for Heart Rate. Supposedly, it tracks other activities by measuring your accelerated heart rate. I was interested and then my OCD kicked and I needed to have it.

I also considered the Jawbone UP3 but its release date was after the Fitbit’s.

Buying the Fitbit

I went to BestBuy, approximately 3 weeks ago and found, to my chagrin that they had plenty of Fitbit Charges but no HRs. They did have a sign for the HR. That was it. Undeterred, that day, I went to another two BestBuys and same result.

I repeatedly went to the BestBuy near my house and near the office over the next two weeks with no success. I even tried FutureShop but that name is a misnomer.

Last Sunday, I returned to the BestBuy near me and I noticed that the signage had changed. Now a price was hanging from the little hook. I was excited. Eventually, I managed to find a sales associate (it took me about 15 minutes) and I proceeded to buy it.

fitbit boxUnboxing the Fitbit

The Fitbit Charge comes in two sizes, small and large. The Fitbit Flex allows you to swap out the wrist band but not so with the Charge. I noticed that I had purchased the small, when I brought up that point to the sales associate, he was quite dismissive. I was excited about getting it and since I have girly wrists, I thought that the small would fit me just fine.

After I bought the Fitbit, I opened the box in the store. Whomever designed the box must have been a sadist. This thing is brutal to open and they went glue happy. I only realized after that the best way to open the box… wait for it… is from the bottom. I pretty much destroyed the box.

 

 

First Impressions

I was excited. Second impression, the small is bloody small. I was on the last loop and it was tight.

Setup

I set the Fitbit up with my Blackberry Classic. It took over 10 minutes for it to update the Charge and I wasn’t happy with the time it took but I did understand that the update must have been significant.

I also setup the software on my PC and my iPad. The software works well although the information it gives you varies from platform to platform.

The Fitbit platform integrates with other third party platforms like MapMyRun etc. and it’s all free.

Third Impressions

The unit is quite nifty. I find that I’m constantly shifting it around.

Returning the Fitbit

I had to return mine since the small was too tight and I found that I was getting a rash. I replaced it with a large.

Sleep

I’m still evaluating the sleep portion of my review. I find that it feels weird on my wrist because I’m not used to the weight. It was definitely unpleasant when the wrist band was too small.

Bottom Line

I’ve only had it for a few days but here are my pro and con observations:

Pro:

  • Nifty little gadget
  • Controls are very easy
  • Heart rate monitor proves that I’m not a zombie or dead
  • It recognized that I was more active while shoveling the driveway
  • I’m hoping that interval training will be added to it
  • Recognized my home workout
  • You can trigger a workout recording

Con:

  • Blackberry Classic refuses to recognize it post setup (for both units)
  • Didn’t recognize yoga or climbing
  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t have interval training
  • Silent alarm has to be setup via web or software

I don’t regret buying it and I do enjoy randomly checking out the stats.

I say, buy it!!!

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