Evaluation of a fitness tracker - Fitbit Charge HR - Should you use one?

in health •  10 months ago

I received a Fitbit HR for X-mas at the end of 2015 and have been wearing it for ~2 years +. (Not the original though)


The original Fitbit bezel on the back broke after a year, so I called Fitbit and they replaced it with no problems. The bezel is a thin plastic piece that covers the charging port and is needed to keep the charging wire attached.

I found the Fitbit Charge HR an addicting piece of hardware as it tracks quite a bit of useful data. Here is a shot of the first screen of the application on a iPhone.


The 2 pieces of information that I regularly looked at were how many steps I took in a day and how long I slept. The 3rd interesting thing was my heart rate average and how it fluctuated within a week or month.


Here is a graph of my sleep which was averaging 6hr and 41 minutes over a 3 month period.


The last screen that I visited each week was the weight graph. I have been lifting weights lately so my overall weight started rising over the past year.


You can log into Fitstar which has personal training routines for you.

You can add a bunch of friends or make new ones. You can see where you rank as far as weekly steps taken.

You can also join a club like cycling, running, cardio, hiking, etc... You can view the activity photos that everyone uploads.

There is quite a bit more, the Fitbit site lists all of the functions and features of the tracker.

If you have a fitness tracker (Any make or model), I'm sure you have found yourself checking out how active you were throughout the day. I know that I have. If your step goal was set to 8.5k steps and your at 7k, it makes you want to walk around a little more which is always a good thing. I think that alone is a good reason to purchase a fitness/activity tracker. Those steps all add up to burning calories and we definitely do not want to store an excess of those.

I found that if I did not get enough sleep one day, I would keep that in the back of my mind to get to bed a little earlier that night.

Back to the Fitbit HR... So I was a bit more careful with the 2nd one, especially when taking off the charging wire. After a year and a half, the battery lasts about 14 hours before it needs a recharge. When new, it lasted for around 5 days...

I was a bit rough with it at times and you can see the top section of rubber delaminating from the unit. There is a rise where it has delaminated.

So am I going to get another one? No... mainly because the construction is not robust enough for me. I know Fitbit has updated their Charge HR, but it is still made of the same materials and I know that with my active lifestyle, it will last about 1.5 years.

What I will be purchasing next is a Garmin Vivoactive as the build quality is quite a bit sturdier and robust. They are also about the same price, just over $100.


The Garmin also tracks steps, sleep, has GPS for runs, cycling, golf and more. You can take it underwater and has a swim activity icon. (I started once a week swimming 6 weeks ago!)

Garmin also has a android/iPhone app that is connected to the 'Garmin Connect' website. The Vivoactive has also been updated with a price of $200, not too bad if you have the disposable income...


IMO, most people can benefit from an activity tracker to set a daily step goal and work towards achieving that goal everyday. As we get older, it is harder to remain active and keeping fit is a major chore. Taking the initiative towards keeping the excess weight off at an earlier age is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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I had a FitBit Charge HR and the rubber also delaminated. They replaced it, but then when the second did the same thing, I ended up getting the cheaper Flex. It does what I want, an alarm and step tracker.


Maybe FitBit used crazy glue on the next gen models so they would not delaminate....lol


They actually did fix some bands with making them removable.

great post,, in the health..

Very nice post, beautifully presented and explained. detail oriented with nice pics. thank you for sharing this with us, Upvoted.


@kingjan, I'm glad you found the post useful!

This evaluation is very important to me. I also need such a bracelet, maybe I will buy one


@amedeo, I'm sure you will find an activity watch helpful with your overall health/fitness.


Now that activity is called work :))

I have the same exact one that I haven't used since January. I gotta start using again.


Use it until it breaks!


Yeah.. that's the plan! LOL I just started slowly working out again after a recent surgery so it'll be put to good use :)

Great info! I wish I could have it too since I am planning to loose weight. I am obese for quite sometime and I want to gain back my figure when I was in my late 20's atleast.


Get some type of activity tracker for sure, it does not matter which one although you can see my comments with the Fitbit. I'd lean towards the Garmin for sure. Amazon has great reviews for the Vivoactive.

Looks like you are doing great! Fit bits and other wearables have helped me understand my clients activity levels when I'm not with them. Wearables are only as good as those who wear them so nice job and good post.


Yep, it's a good tool to use if your a trainer.

Wow ..... what is this. I just seen first time as picture..... Hi @glennolua Need as a gift from your...lol...

Had one for about 2 years now and have forgotten to wear it for over a month. I don't really see much growth in the smartwatch industry as the purpose it serves is pretty limited. I kinda got bored with the tracker and just felt it was like I was wearing a random band on my wrist all the time.

Plus the app is pretty terrible and in my experience it took a while to reconnect the bluetooth between the device and my phone every time it ran out of battery and went fully dead, which was about every 5 days.

why not get a life instead

Hi, as a sign of my support for the tag #sports and #football, I vote for you and begin to follow you.

Just got my first fitness tracker not too long ago. I got the garminhr, I'm still learning how to use it but it's pretty cool so far

Really good review. I too had the fitbit HR, then needed it replaced in less than a year (but, same as you, no hassle). Customer service was fantastic. But disappointed with the heartrate accuracy. So I was thinking to turn to the Garmin Vivoactive as well because of the GPS and water resistance. Have you used it yet? I'd like to hear your review on it when you get a chance to use it.


I just purchased the Vivoactive HR, so I'll have to wait until it gets here before reviewing it.

This is awesome. Been considering getting myself a FitBit or other heart rate/steps monitor myself and this was so helpful in confirming my decision. Thanks! And keep it up :)


Glad it helped, I just pulled the trigger on the vivoactive HR. Will be testing it out soon.

I'm not a fitness person lol x

wow I didn't know it tracked sleep. now I'm becoming more interested


It is a useful piece of information, the entry prices for the Garmin is not so bad compared to the Apple watch.


Really good post thanks !!