- - Auto sleep tracking
- - OLED display
- - Looks great
- - Incredible battery life
- - Caller ID
- - No HR monitor
- - Fitbit charger
The Fitbit Charge is a wearable activity and sleep tracker from well-known wearables company, Fitbit. Fitbit describes the Fitbit Charge as a ‘Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband’ which is probably the best way of explaining what this nifty little thing is. The Fitbit Charge tracks your daily physical activity, this includes; steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned, distance traveled and active minutes. In addition to this, the Fitbit Charge also tracks your sleep as well as offering additional features which will be explained below.
There are a lot of products that can do what the Fitbit Charge can do, but this activity tracker from Fitbit focuses more on user-experience rather than functionality. Don’t get me wrong, the functionality of this thing is incredible, as we’ll discuss later on, but it seems to me, that Fitbit is trying to focus more on the overall experience of their products rather than just one segment.
Let’s delve into what makes the Fitbit Charge such a good activity tracker…
The design of the Charge is one of the most prominent features of the device. It’s quite irregular, but in a good way. The Charge has a textured, smooth look to it which makes it feel good, but also look great.
The size of the Charge is something which bothered me as I found it to be too bulky at times so it actually stuck out, rather than looking like an average accessory. However, the size is quite commendable when you take into consideration that the device actually has a display too. Many ‘discreet’ trackers with a display tend to be a lot larger and bulkier than this, so there’s that.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#108ad6″ class=”” size=””]”you still don’t realize you’re wearing it, which is quite rare with activity trackers these days”[/pullquote]
Even though it is quite larger than an average bracelet or watch, you still don’t realize you’re wearing it, which is quite rare with activity trackers these days. After about a week of wearing the Charge, I began to forget it was there, until I actually got a notification or needed to charge it.
The Charge we received was the Black one, which looks fashionable but discreet at the same time. The design is quite something as it’s rare to see accessories which can be worn by both men and women without looking ‘too masculine’ or ‘too feminine’. There are also additional colors available such as Black, Slate, Blue and Burgundy, all of which look incredible.
One of the main pros of the Fitbit Charge is the functionality. The Charge is incredibly useful, not just for activity tracking but also other things. The Charge tracks your activity, including;
- steps taken
- stairs climbed
- calories burned
- distance traveled
The Charge doesn’t stop there as it offers sleep tracking too. This is where it starts to shine in terms of functionality. Unlike other trackers, the Fitbit Charge offers automatic sleep tracking, thus eliminating the need to set when you’re going to bed and all those other boring details.
Whilst using the Charge, I found the sleep tracking was very good in terms of accuracy and reporting allowing me to easily keep track of my sleep.
In addition to all of those functions, the Fitbit Charge also offers similar features to a watch. As you would wear the Charge on your wrist all the time, it’s only logical to implement watch functions too. Therefore, the Fitbit Charge can tell you the time and you can also set alarms. How do the alarms go off, you ask. Simple… vibration.
When an alarm is going off, you feel a buzz on your wrist from the Fitbit. Don’t be alarmed as it is not a shocking buzz which will make you jump, but more of a smooth, non-intrusive buzz. This feature is incredibly useful for heavy sleepers who often find it hard to wake up as well as just for general use throughout the day.
Overall, the functionality of the Fitbit Charge is incredible. You get the same tracking functions as other wearables but with this, you also get additional ones such as auto-sleep tracking and watch functions.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#108ad6″ class=”” size=””]”Fitbit have managed to implement a small display whilst keeping the band as small as possible”[/pullquote]
The Fitbit Charge is a relatively small wristband. However, despite this, Fitbit have managed to implement a small display on the face of the band, whilst keeping the band as small as possible. The OLED display on the Charge allows you to see your current stats as well as the time when the button on the side is pushed. What the display shows is quite good, but the display itself is a more prominent feature.
The OLED display is phenomenal in terms of brightness, clarity and viewing angles. Bettered by the inclusion of scrolling content so long text is easy to see, such as names. The OLED display allows the display to be seen clearly in every environment. In fact, it was hard for me to find somewhere where the display wasn’t visible.
Another useful feature of the Fitbit Charge is Caller ID. In addition to the display being used to show your current stats and time, it can also show who is phoning you. This saves you time as it eliminates the need of having to pull out your phone to see who is calling every time someone calls you. The ID of the caller is shown on the display. But this isn’t what notifies you of a call.
I mentioned previously that the Charge vibrates for alarms. It also does this for calls. When you’re receiving a call, the band vibrates in the same way, to let you know you have a call. Personally, I found this feature incredibly useful.
Possibly the most surprising feature of the Charge is the battery life. In today’s day and age, battery life of gadgets is a mockery – with some gadgets not even lasting half a day and others lasting 2 days at the most. So when I read the Charge has a battery life of 7-10 days, I was shocked to say the least. But after using the Charge from a full charge, I discovered the claims were true.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#108ad6″ class=”” size=””]”the long battery life of the Charge is a refreshing feature”[/pullquote]
The battery life of the Charge lasts a very long time off a single charge. My Charge lasted 11 days without a charge when I first used it. The long battery life of the Charge is a refreshing feature. The feeling of having to charge the band everyday is eliminated and it felt quite good. Even with such a bright and crisp OLED display, the Charge seems to last a long time. Well done, Fitbit.
The Fitbit comes with a companion app which can be donwloaded on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Fitbit Companion App
The app allows you to easily monitor and keep track of your activity and stats. It also looks great and is laid out very well, making it easy to navigate through different menus and data.
It isn’t all good…
One of the main drawbacks I found whilst using the Charge is, strangely, the charger. The Charge comes with Fitbit’s own charger rather than a Micro USB charger, which I would have expected. This is a negative for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s really short. I fund it quite awkward to use because it was incredibly short. Secondly, if you lose it, which I did (many times), you can’t just go and use any Micro USB charger cable you have lying around. If you permanently lose it, you’ll have to get a brand new one from Fitbit. Personally, I think it would have been much easier to use a Micro USB charger.
The second and final drawback I found with the Charge was the fact that it lacks a heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor is something of a necessity with activity trackers therefore the fact that the Charge lacks it, is quite disappointing. However, Fitbit offers a version of the Charge with a heart rate monitor, the Charge HR. It’s almost identical to the Charge but sports a heart rate monitor.
Those really are the only drawbacks I found with the Charge. All in all, it’s a great activity tracker, one of the best I’ve tried in fact, and it’s definitely worth the money. But, if you need a heart rate monitor, then the Charge HR is the one for you.
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