FitBit Charge Review

An advanced wristband to elevate every day.

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Product Description:

Energize your day with the FitBit Charge—an advanced activity wristband that tracks your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Stay connected throughout the day with real-time fitness stats and Caller ID on the OLED display. And when the day is done, automatically monitor your sleep and set a silent, vibrating alarm. Whether you’re at the office or on the go, Charge wirelessly syncs your stats to your smartphone and computer to help you find the motivation you need to achieve your goals.

Feature Table:

Category Everyday
Steps, Calories, Distance
Clock
Sleep Quality and Silent Alarm
Floors Climbed
Active Minutes
Caller ID
Wireless Syncing
Battery Lasts up to 10 days, uses lithium polymer batteries, charging takes up to 2 hours, bluetooth radio transceiver
Water Proofing Splash, rain, and sweat proof, but not for swimming
Display OLED
Memory 7 days minute by minute, up to 30 days of totals
Syncing Sync range of 20 feet, can connect with USB dongle with Internet or Bluetooth with Internet
Compatibility Syncs with Windows Vista and later, Mac OS X 10.6 and up, iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3 gen. and later, and leading Android and Windows devices
Operating Temperature -4° to 113°F
Operating Altitude 30,000 feet

Common Questions:

Who is the FitBit Charge a good option for?

The FitBit Charge would be a good fitness tracker for someone that wants the best fitness tracker for everyday activity but doesn’t care about workouts or heart rate. It also includes a clock and can be worn as a watch.

What comes in the box with the FitBit Charge?

The FitBit Charge, a charging cable, a free FitBit account, and the USB dongle.

What colors does the FitBit Charge come in?

Black, Gray, Blue, Pink.

Does the FitBit Charge have an inactivity reminder like the Apple Watch?

No, it does not.

How does the Caller ID work?

The FitBit charge is compatible with mobile devices, and can be set to show notifications of calls. What you’ll get is an icon with the contact’s name below it.

Do you need a separate sleeping band like the FitBit One for the FitBit Charge?

No, the Charge can be worn to bed and automatically works as a sleeping band. There is no need to wear a separate band, like with the FitBit One, and you also don’t need to activate a sleep mode, like with the FitBit Flex. The FitBit Charge is essentially more convenient than the former two, and thus the slightly extra cost.

What’s the difference between the FitBit Charge and the FitBit Flex?

The Flex has a sleep mode that needs to be activated. The Charge enters sleep mode automatically. The Flex has the tracker inside of it and it needs to be removed for charging or to sync with the computer. The Charge is one solid piece and can just be plugged in by itself. Find out more in our FitBit Comparison.

What’s the difference between the FitBit Charge and the FitBit Charge HR?

The HR stands for Heart Rate. The Charge HR has continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate & simplified heart rate zones. This is an extra feature that is extremely valuable to some people, like those with heart conditions or people that want advanced stats for their exercise.  The Charge HR can track workouts and is classified as in the “active” category. The Charge HR also only lasts up to 5 days as opposed to up to 10 days for the regular Charge, which is something you’ll want to consider.

What Others Are Saying:

Samantha Murphy Kelly, Mashable:  “The Fitbit Charge is a solid follow-up to the recalled Force wristband tracker, but hold off for the Charge HR and its heart-rate tracking features when it launches in early 2015.”

Jill Duffy, PC Mag:  “The wrist-worn Fitbit Charge is a superb if somewhat basic activity tracker. A slim and sleek design make it truly wearable, and the companion Fitbit website and mobile apps are the best you’ll find. But the Charge isn’t highly sophisticated, and other trackers offer more interesting features for veteran self-quantifiers.”

Scott Stein, CNET:  “The Fitbit Charge is a fine replacement for the discontinued Fitbit Force, but you’re better off waiting for Fitbit’s heart-rate-tracking upgrade.”

Review:

The FitBit Charge is really a step up from the FitBit Flex as it has the addition of an automatic sleep mode, it doesn’t use a separate band, it’s easier to charge the battery, it has an OLED display versus just LED notification lights, and the 10 day battery life is twice as good as the Flex’s 5 day battery life. These upgrades come at a higher price, and the Charge isn’t as comfortable to wear as the Flex.

The problem with the FitBit Charge is that the next device up, the FitBit Charge HR, has the addition of a built in heart rate monitor for only around $20 more. Having that heart rate monitor gives you advanced tracking stats, especially for exercise and workouts. The HR actually tracks workouts and is classified in the “active” category.

If you are looking at getting the FitBit Charge, it is a solid device that works well and is definitely a step up from the Flex, however, there really is no reason not to get the Charge HR instead as it has the heart rate monitor and advanced tracking for only a slightly higher price. The FitBit Charge is an amazing device, yet I recommend you get the FitBit Charge HR instead.

FitBit Charge

FitBit Charge
90

Amazing

9/10

    Pros

    • OLED display, sleep monitor, phone alerts
    • 10 day battery life, accurate, great app

    Cons

    • No heart rate monitor
    • No phone controls (some competitors have this)