4/18/16

Fitbit Charge HR (REVIEW)

 
I heard about Fitbit years ago from reading various blogs and was intrigued the first time I read about them. However, I didn't jump right out to get one. Since then, they have changed a bit and when I heard about the Fitbit Charge HR , I was more intrigued because this particular model claims to monitor your heart rate and sleeping patterns. As someone who has pretty odd sleeping patterns (I have bouts of insomnia that challenge any normal schedule I try to maintain), I was curious to see how this device worked, and to gain better insight into my sleep. I received my device as a gift for Christmas, and I thought that after playing around with it for awhile, I would provide my thoughts on the device!

My initial thoughts on the device were that it was larger than I thought it would be and I felt like it sat oddly on my wrist. I had it on my non-dominant hand initially, but quickly learned that you could choose which wrist and after switching to my dominant hand, I felt that it sat better (I can't tell you why, it just felt more normal to me!). I also found that as I wore it more I got used to it and it didn't feel overly large anymore. Honestly, I can't tell you the last time I wore a watch and I'm not one for bracelets much so I don't know if it was that the device itself felt weird, or just that I wasn't used to wearing anything on my wrists in general. I'm used to it now though, though I find that there are definitely nights that I just don't feel like wearing it.

I really enjoy the heart rate monitor and I find it to be a very useful feature. It was one of the features that made me want this specific model actually. To be honest, I was mainly interested in the heart rate monitor and the sleeping tracker over the actual fitness tracker. It is helpful to see how my heart rate fluctuates throughout the day and to have a better understanding of what is normal for me.

I also really enjoy the sleep tracker. It will tell you how long you slept for and within that time, how long/often you were awake and how often you were restless. I find this feature to be quite fascinating actually. As someone who often wakes up feeling exhausted, its interesting to see how much of my sleep is actual sleep versus restless sleep. You can also set a sleep goal, and its rather satisfying when you reach your goal! Who doesn't want to reach their sleep goals?! 

Now the fitness tracker is where I have some complaints. First off, I find it to be enjoyable to use overall. It's fascinating to see how many steps I get in a day (especially on the days that I run errands!), and it feels satisfying when I reach my goals. However, I have noticed many inaccuracies during my first few months testing out this device. One night I was knitting and after a few hours, I glanced at my device and I noticed that I had logged THOUSANDS of steps! Considering I had been laying on the couch, I was well aware that this was not the case. I have also noticed that it will track steps when I cook, write/draw, and even when I read sometimes. I don't think it should be this sensitive. I think it would defeat the purpose of the heart rate feature, if I were to take off the device any time that I wanted to knit/cook/write/draw/read/etc (not to mention, annoying). So for now, I deal with it. I can easily tell when it has tracked inaccurately because these are all activities that are quite sedentary, but when it bumps me over my goal for the day it irritates me because its not truly accomplished. For individuals who are using this type of device solely to track their fitness, I could see this being an even bigger gripe!

I can also say that it holds a charge rather well. I only have to charge it about once or twice a week and it charges up fairly quick! 

Lastly, I want to touch on the technical issues that I have had with my device. There have been numerous instances in which the device will not sync. When it does this, I have followed all the troubleshooting they suggest and nothing works. The time gets thrown off and it doesn't track anything. I have reached out to Fitbit concerning this, and have not received a helpful response. In all honesty, I found that their customer service leaves a lot of room for improvement. I have also noticed that this is a known issue with the Charge HR so it will be interesting to see if they remedy it in the future. Through playing around, I've gotten my device working again and it hasn't been giving me any problems for awhile, but it can be rather frustrating when your expensive new piece of technology stops working and its impossible to receive adequate assistance!

Overall I would still suggest the Fitbit Charge HR if you are interested in an activity tracker that also monitors heart rate and sleep. If you are only looking for a device to monitor your activity I would reccomend looking at one of the more basic Fitbit devices. Hopefully this review is helpful to someone, I would love to know your thoughts on Fitbit in the comments - especially if you also have the Charge HR!!

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