For a while now, I’ve been wanting to get myself an activity wristband tracker. Spoilt for choice, I was a little worried these tracking devices maybe just a little “fad” like how we see selfie sticks all over the place. More importantly, I wanted to track my progress and make sure that I was pushing myself when it comes to exercising. I was specifically looking for an activity wristband that provided the following: Heart Rate, Calories Burnt, Steps Taken, Miles Ran/Walked and Hours of Sleep. Believe it or not, every activity wristband provided that and not just the Fitbit Charge HR. So you’re probably thinking, what made me choose the Fitbit Charge HR from the rest of its competitors? Well, I’ll get to that in a little bit. Let’s talk about the design first.
Design of the Fitbit Charge HR
The thing about me is – I’m all about simplicity. If I’m going to do a lot of physical activity, then I don’t need something flashy like a 24K gold activity tracker. There’s no need for that. I’m probably going to have some wear and tear over time (I’ve had the Fitbit for about a month and a half now) anyway so why should I have something that’s “fashionable?” The great thing is that the Fitbit is adjustable and it comes in two different sizes. One, for people with small wrists, or the other, for people with gigantic wrists like myself. The LED screen is pretty neat. It’s this tiny black screen which basically provides all the data.
There’s a single button on the Fitbit Charge HR, which basically gives you all the data that you want to see. You’ll need to click it several times however, if you want to check out your steps, miles, calories burned, and your heart rate. You can also setup the order of what you want to see first when clicking the button on the wristband, by accessing your settings on the app.
The only thing that annoys me is the green light. Basically if the battery is charged, then you’ll see this green light on. It’s annoying especially when you’re at the movies and it’s pitch black, and all you see is this damn green light constantly blinking. Although the battery is behind the wristband, you’ll still be able to see it because it’s just so…Green! Nevertheless, it’s such a sleek design. I love the fact that it’s nice and simple.
There are a lot of features on the Fitbit app that I still haven’t messed around with. However, the ones that I have played with have been great so far. If you want to read more about the features then click here. Just to give you an idea of what the dashboard looks like, check out the picture below. It’s pretty straightforward, and breaks it down for you. You’ll notice that each section has a “bar” with the color orange or green. Basically, you set yourself daily goals and if you accomplish your day’s goal then the bar turns green. When I first started, I had set my daily step goal to only 8,000, which I bumped upto 15,000 steps within just a week and a half. And this is what makes these activity wristbands “motivating.” There will be times where the day is almost over and I’m not close to my daily step goal; so what I’ll do is I’ll go to the living room and do a couple of jumping jacks just to make sure that I hit my goal! Or you can be a cheater and attached the Fitbit to your dog. But then again, what’s the point of that? The goal is to progress with your health.
Another great feature is to let the app know how many pounds you want to lose; assuming you want to lose weight. Once you’ve added your desired weight goal, it will tell you how many calories you’ll need to lose a day, and also how many calories you’re allowed to eat per day. You can log in your food every day with its approximate calories. Also, it has a neat tool where you can scan the bar code of your food / drink (if it has a bar code) and it will tell you the exact calories. You can also add in your own calorie number as well.
The BIGGEST feature (which sold me on the product), is that you can compete with your friends. In other words, you can setup a friendly competition where you can add up to 10 people and see who can get the most steps for the week / weekend / or for just the day. You can taunt them, cheer them, or leave them a comment. You get friendly online badges as well for hitting certain milestones. It only made my decision a lot easier when I found out majority of my friends and family have the Fitbit as well! Which means that I’ll never be alone when reaching my goals!
I love having these competitions with my friends because it gives me an idea of where I stand as far as my physical activity is concerned. It lets me know whether I need to step it up a notch, or ease it down depending on my competition. The great thing is that these friendly competitions pushes everyone. Its human nature to want to step up on your workouts when you see that you’re at the bottom of the competition. Especially if everyone is neck to neck except for you; that’s embarrassing, but at the same time it pushes you. Unfortunately, in this example my friend Lawrence kicked my ass by 14,000 steps. Nevertheless, it’ll motivate me to do better the next time!
Certain Flaws of the Fitbit Charge HR
I’ve mentioned all the great features of this product, and how the design is simple and what not. But there are certain flaws with the Fitbit Charge HR. Even though I like the design, I’m just not too sure about its durability. I seriously feel like the LED screen could easily break. I’ve had my Fitbit for a month and a half and there are already scratches along the sides of the screen. Before you say, “Well, you should be more careful with it,” bear in mind that this is in fact an ACTIVITY wristband. Which means, I’m going to be wearing this for any physical activity. Whether it’s lifting weights, playing basketball, etc. . In other words, as there is bound to be a lot of physical contact, I personally feel the LED could have been made from a higher quality material.
I also feel like syncing your Fitbit to your app takes a little too long. You got to make sure that your Fitbit Wristband is synced to your app or else you won’t know how many steps you’ve actually taken. I remember the other day I was extremely happy that I was beating all my friends by 10,000 steps! Only to find out that they didn’t sync their Fitbit until last minute. When they finally synced it, they destroyed me by a large margin. If I had known earlier on that they were beating me, I would have stepped up a notch with my workout. FYI, the competition games always reset depending if you’re doing the weekly challenge, weekend, or daily. Another downside is that you can’t view your historical matches with friends, so you can’t determine whether or not you’ve taken more steps to the prior weeks.
The last thing that I’m a little worried about is the inaccuracy of the steps. For instance, when I’m typing on the keyboard, my Fitbit will sometimes count it as “steps.” I work in an office setting, so I’m always sitting from 9-5. When I look at my Fitbit after work, it tells me that I walked 2 miles and took 7,000 steps! I know for sure that I didn’t do ANY of that. Sure, I can always take out my Fitbit but I don’t want to lose it since it’s such a small accessory! The Fitbit can be a hassle to take off, since the band is extremely sticky that it can be frustrating to remove it from your wrist.
Although there are a couple of flaws with the Fitbit Charge HR, I can say this was definitely the best choice I have made specifically for my health. Tracking my progress is extremely helpful, but at the same time it makes it a lot more fun when achieving goals with my friends. I highly recommend this product if you’re serious about changing your lifestyle. Please don’t get it just because it’s the “cool” thing to do. Get it because you want to get better every day!