Packaging on this was really smart and simple, just the device, charge cable and a tiny instruction book. (No wireless dongle this time). Set up was simple and very very user friendly.
While the design is familiar, the first thing I notice about this device is the screen. It’s much larger than the previous charge. It gives the impression the device is larger than the old charge but the dimensions are pretty much the same.
The improvement isn’t just in its size, straight away I noticed the how much brighter and clearer the new screen is.
It’s superb, much easier to read, It really makes the charge HR screen look like a Casio calculator by comparison. It’s a massive improvement.
The casing has also improved, the sides and button are now metal (the same as the surge) and device feels more robust as a result. They’ve also included clips on the ends of the straps to allow the option of changing the the strap for a different colour or even material.
The improvements aren’t limited to the device alone, they’ve also updated the charging cable. It’s built into a plastic clamp that acutely clamps onto the device so it can’t come loose. It’s simple but pretty genius. Although I never had an issue recharging The old charge HR, when I come to think of it, it did feel like a very flimsy connection between the device and cable. Battery life seems to last a bit longer than the old device I got a full 5-6 days from a single charge.
It’s designed to be an all day tracker, providing you with information on your heart rate, steps taken, calories burned and even sleep pattern.
Workouts are no problem, I hardly notice I’m wearing it although the rubber strap still does tend to catch on long sleeves I guess you do have the option of changing the strap now.
It comes with a list of preset activities (weights , run, elliptical and so on) you simply let the device know what type of workout you’ll be performing and then it separates that information out from the rest of the day which you can examine later if you wish. (Which I find absolutely fascinating) It works great for cardio and while it doesn’t have GPS built in it can use your phones GPS to map your run.
It also has some other useful features such as a silent alarm which vibrates to alert you at a set time and their new relax feature which takes you through a guided breathing exercise. It works really well and is simple to follow, it’ll be one of those marmite features you’ll love it or hardly ever use. It also gives you prompts throughout the day to let you know if you’ve been stationary for too long. (Another love it or hate it feature)
Like with the previous charge this one has an alert for incoming calls, displaying the caller ID on the screen but this time around it also comes with text message alerts, it displays the first 2-3 lines of an incoming text message (similar to the surge). I found it really useful to be able to see my text messages at a glance without taking out my phone, especially while driving.
Now to the software:
This is where Fitbit really come into their own, the app is superb, it’s easy to read, informative and even motivational. It feels well refined and every part of it runs smoothly, providing you with the basic information and then allows you the option to drill down for a more in depth view.
With its clean, simple look it takes something that’s relatively complex and breaks it down to make it easy to understand and appealing. I think anyone regardless of their knowledge on the subject could learn a lot by just using this app. I get the impression you could strap this to your grandmother and she’d be able to figure it out.
It wipes the floor with similar apps such as Apple health (and that’s quite a statement)
One question I seem to always get regarding fitbit devices is “how accurate are they” My take on that is that once it provides data that is consistent, then I have a number I can work with in order to help me with my goals (be them gaining weight or loosing it) pinpoint accuracy really isn’t that important to me. And I would say that all Fitbit devices gave me very similar readings.
To sum up, this is fantastic little device. It feels like the guys at Fitbit looked at every single element of the charge HR and asked how was it possible to improve upon them. In my opinion this is how updates should be done. It still feels like my familiar charge HR but a bit better in every way.
Fitness trackers seem to be a bit of a trend these days and in my opinion, this is the one to beat. This is without a doubt the best activity tracker I’ve ever used and a worthy successor to the charge HR.
I’ll leave an Amazon link below for those interested: