An even better Fitbit: the Charge HR

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large

I've been a regular Fitbit user for years. The new Charge HR is the best and most complete tracker I've tried.

I started with the Ultra, weigh myself daily on an Aria and recently wore the Flex for almost two years. I now love the Fitbit Charge HR. I am a statistics and data addict, and the Fitbit system feeds that compulsion nicely. The gentle reminders to get up and move around, charts of sleep patterns, daily activity and estimates of calories burned fascinate me. I may forget to put my cellphone in my pocket, or to take a camera with me, but I rarely forget to put on my activity tracker. Though I am only moderately active, I am addicted to the data.

Last week my Fitbit Flex broke. The tracker powered up when plugged in, but shut off as soon as it was disconnected from the charger. I contacted FitBit online support and in two very simple emails I was impressed. Fitbit checked my sync logs and reported data from my Flex and confirmed the problem, confirmed my purchase date, and then told me to expect a replacement unit. Customer service should always be this easy and good! I was sad to lose a few days of data--but hell, a new Flex was on the way.

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A package from Fitbit showed up Monday morning. I thought it was my Flex replacement, but little did I know that concurrently the PR team at FitBit had shipped me their new Charge HR. I had reached out a while ago, as I knew they'd contacted us before. I was shocked when I opened the box.

The Charge HR has a much nicer band than the Flex. The rubber is higher quality, its more flexible and in general just looks a bit nicer to me. I did love the ability to rapidly change bands and colors with the Flex (most recently I rocked bright red), but the Charge HR lacks this feature. That is the ONLY thing, however the Charge HR lacks. Everything else is better.

Honestly, Xeni almost convinced me to just use the tracker that is hiding in my iPhone. I've checked it out and think its just as accurate, but I don't always have the phone with me. Compared to the Fitbit Flex, however, the iPhone offered MORE data. Climbing flights of stairs/elevation tracking was lost when I moved from the Ultra to the Flex. The iPhone has this feature and now, so does the Charge HR. I really missed it and like having that data point back. Why? Because it's more data. And more data is more better.


The Charge HR beats the iPhone hands down with its heart rate monitor--and heart rate is what the name, HR, references. Some bright green LEDs play constantly under the tracker. They, and their respective reader, are an energy-efficient way to measure heart rate. Evidently this is hard to do in a consumer device, and only now has a reliable design evolved small enough to wear on your wrist. When I was running and marathon training years ago, I used a Polar band-across-the-chest based tracker for this. The Charge HR is much, much nicer.

The Charge HR tracks normal activity and sleep automagically. No more tapping, shaking and bumping the unit to get it into sleep mode or awake. There is a user activate-able workout mode. That is unlikely to ever be used by me. I now swim for my cardio and the Fitbit Charge HR, while water, rain and splash resistant is not recommended for underwater work. The battery is also staying fresh longer than the Flex did.

Fitbit's website, data visualization and community functions are great. I like them a lot and they also add to the decision to wear a separate unit. Also the Aria scale.

I really dig the Charge HR. I have more data!

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large