Fitbit Charge Hr Review
Pros: Great value, easy to use
Cons: Not the best ergonomics, slated to be discontinued
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Charge Hr performed well in all our tests, being particularly easy to use and scoring well in fitness impact tests. This model is available in a variety of colors, tracks your heart rate, and has a variety of fun challenges and a large online community to engage with on your path to better fitness.
The Charge Hr did well in this set of tests, meriting a 7 out of 10. As with the other trackers made by Fitbit, the online community is fantastic. This community allows you to compare and challenge your friends, as well as providing you with non-competitive challenges known as "Adventures" to help you get a little extra motivation to get out and be active.
This model did a good job of differentiating between genuine steps, and other random arm movements. Consequently, this tracker also seems to tend to underestimate steps when actually walking. We compared the tracker count with our manual count over multiple one mile trials, and found that the Charge Hr had an average of a 2.2% discrepancy. For other exercises, this model tracks the duration of the activity, your heart rate, and estimates calories burned. This model should also auto-recognize an activity if you have been doing it for more than 15 minutes.
This product scored alright when it came to evaluating its potential health impact, earning a 6 out of 10. This model tracked our heart rate relatively accurately in our tests, only averaging about 15 bpm off of the chest strap monitor we used as a control. This fitness tracker does not have alarms to notify you to move if you have been inactive for too long. However, this model does aid you tracking your calorie intake in its app. You can scan barcodes and the app — if the item is in their database — auto-populate the relevant information and allow you to track your food. Finally, this model also has automatic sleep tracking.
Ease of Use
The Charge Hr had a great performance in this round of tests, earning a well-deserved 8 out of 10. This model has a claimed battery life of up to 5 days, and uses a designated Fitbit charger. Unfortunately, we found that this model was prone to disconnecting if it experienced the slightest bump or any amount of jostling.
This tracker takes about 1-2 hours to fully recharge when the battery is dead. The Fitbit app is great, with an intuitive layout that is very user-friendly. The Charge Hr syncs within 2-10 seconds, allowing you to see logs of your activity levels on your mobile device. The watch band felt nice on this mode, very easy to put on. This device isn't waterproof, only water resistant and is marketed as sweat, rain, and splash proof.
The Charge Hr scored about average in our ergonomics test, deserving a 5 out of 10. This model was essentially a bulky watch. Our panel of testers like the aesthetic appeal of this model, with its clean and simple display.
The profile on this model is a little on the high side, raised up from your wrist by about a finger's width. This made it a little prone to getting snagged when putting on a backpack, but problem-free for a light jacket.
The Charge Hr did very well in our set of tests for display capabilities, earning a 7 out of 10. This model shows the time, month and date on its home screen, with the option to customize your preferences. It is a little hard to read in bright light, but looks fine in dimmer conditions.
This band can receive notifications for calls, but not texts. You can also see your current step count, distance traveled, and calories burned on the device, after navigating off the home screen.
The Charge Hr is a great value, giving you close to the best bang for the buck. It was the previous Best Buy award winner prior to be discontinued, and can now be found on some great deals.
This great, bare-bones fitness tracker has an awesome suite of features at an affordable price. It has since been discontinued, and replaced by the Charge 2, but can still be found on some great deals.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer