Honest Review: Fitbit Charge

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January 27, 2016 by Virginia James

What’s the Hype about?

Here’s an excerpt from the ad online:

Get motivated to move more with Charge, by tracking all-day activity like steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Charge lets you see every stat as it happens—right on your wrist, with a bright OLED display. And, with an industry-leading battery life of 7-10 days, you can find the inspiration to beat your goals—no matter what the week brings. Built with Caller ID, Charge shows your incoming calls when your phone is nearby to help you take control of your day and your schedule. View compatible devices. Sleep better and live well by using Charge to automatically track your sleep at night, then review your trends on the dashboard. To make mornings easier, set a silent, vibrating alarm and wake more peacefully.By automatically and wirelessly syncing your stats to your computer and 150+ leading smartphones, Charge lets you see your progress on-the go, and shows you detailed charts and graphs so you can track your trends over time.

Is this product as easy and exciting to use as everyone claims it is? Well I’ve used a fitbit for one week to find out! …and boy, did I find out!

 

The Good

Out of the box: Getting any new form of tech is always exciting for me. At first, opening it out of the box was like opening a present. My main concern was -would it fit? I had a size ‘Large’ which is weird considering I have pretty small wrists. But it turns out it fits just fine. Small and mediums are more like kid sizes, and Extra Large sizes are only available online. If you are weary about the sizing, there is a pdf you can print out which has measurements of the sizes -you can check it out HERE. I was told I could use it right out of the box, but instead I went ahead and plugged it in to charge just to be sure- I like starting things out with a full battery! It charges up really fast, which is great, because you want to wear this as often as possible to more accurately track your activity.

Tracking: In terms of steps, it is fairly accurate. I work a desk job, so I was very happy to discover having the tracker on my wrist wasn’t going to count small hand movements as ‘steps’ -which is great. I can move files on my desk and raise my hand to lift things without worrying about it affecting my # of steps for the day. Floors: I like to climb the stairs during my break times, and this feature is remarkably accurate. I’m still not sure how it determines how many floors I do, but everytime I go up one flight of stairs, it adds to that section, which I thought was pretty cool. Food tracking is  okay. You have to manually enter most things -there’s an option to scan a barcode of your foods, but their ‘food library’ is not very extensive, so chances are, you’ll end up entering your information even after scanning it. But It takes count of your caloric intake vs calories burned- which is nice. Body measurement tracking is an issue (see BAD section below). Water intake is mostly done via manually logging, which is understandable. In short, any logging that doesn’t have to do with steps/floors/calories burned/distance, would need to be done via your dashboard.  Sleep tracking is awesome. Although I personally don’t care how often I woke up in the middle of the night, so long as I got my # of hours of sleep in… it’s still pretty cool, and interesting to see.

Dashboard: The dashboard is a fairly handy tool, you can get on your phone via mobile app, or online through their website. Everything is displayed in one place and you can easily check your stats at a glance, and see what you need to do to reach your daily goals.

Motivation: I definitely felt more and more motivated to get up, take my steps, climb my floors and assure my caloric intake is within range. It is a very quick and easy set of tools all in one place-your wrist!

The Bad

Battery Charge: So, the battery is supposed to last 3 days -mine made it to 2 and then I needed to get it charged up again. It’s not horrible since it charges up pretty quickly -but inconvenient since you may have to charge and it won’t record your steps/activity during that time. You would have to manually enter said activity -and that usually isn’t accurate unless you’re using another pedometer or device. Furthermore, if you set it up so that you get an alert on your fitbit when someone calls you, or if you set alarms on your fitbit to wake you up in the morning, your battery will drain even faster.

Tracking Issue: Where in the bloody hell do I track my body measurements? nowhere. Fitbit doesn’t have a section for keeping track of this …because why? I have no clue! Measurements of the body are far more accurate than the numbers on the scale. My bet is that they know that -but need to push sales of their fitbit scale. Smart move on their business side, but it seems very selfish to have once had that as an option… only to suddenly have it taken away just to boost sales. You would have to download a separate app… or do it the old fashioned way and write it down. It would have been nice to see the progress in a chart on the dashboard, but fitbit no longer supports this… they prefer you buy their scale instead :-/ Not. Cool.

Other Issues: one of the MAJOR selling points for the fitbit Charge is that it’s waterproof -but when I opened up the package and read the instructions… it literally said not to get it wet -don’t wash dishes with it -don’t use it in the rain and take it off before a shower (which… duh!). But this means if I were to go out for a run during a drizzle or light rain, I can’t track my progress… Chances are, if I run in the rain, and this product is advertised as waterproof -that would be the whole reason i’d buy it. Well, if that were the case, I’d be pretty pissed off. It looks like what they mean by ‘waterproof’ is that the product will work well while being worn on the wrist, and you’re sweating on it. That’s the most waterproof you’ll get out of it… seriously.

Score out of 10:

Weighing down the good vs the bad, the good definitely outweighs here. Mainly because regardless of the waterproof issue or the charging, I still find that the fitbit Charge motivates me more than anything or anyone ever has! Next week will be February, and I’m STILL determined to keep my new year’s resolution… while others have stopped! That in itself is remarkable. For that reason, I give this product a score of 9 out of 10.

Dear Fitbit company, if you care at all about the health of your customers… add on the feature for tracking body measurements (which is more accurate than weight), and I’ll give you a 10 out of 10. -thanks 🙂

 

Much Love,

~Virginia

barbellgal

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