Updated from 11:16 a.m. to note that there are now more than 120 devices that work with the Charge.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fibit is attacking the wearable technology field, and one of the company's latest offerings, the Fitbit Charge, is a good purchase for anyone who wants a simple, easy to understand tool for keeping track of daily activities.
The Fitbit Charge, a rubber wristband available now in black and slate (with other colors coming later), starts at $129.95.
It tracks users' activity throughout the day, such as steps taken, distance walked and calories burned. It can also display users' Caller ID when paired with their Apple (AAPL) , Google (GOOGL) Android or Microsoft (MSFT) Windows smartphones. Proprietary Fitbit apps allow users to sync their fitness statistics to their phones or other devices wirelessly or with a USB cable.
Fitbit says the Charge will run seven to 10 days on a single battery charge, which means you shouldn't have to worry about the wristband running out of power after only a couple of days.
The Fitbit Charge is an updated version of Fitbit's previous fitness band, the Fitbit Force. Improvements include a better wristband and the ability to get notifications from your smartphone and keep track of your sleeping patterns.
On the wristband's OLED screen, you can see time, how many steps you've taken, estimated calories burned and how long you've traveled. To read the information, you need to press a button on the side or tap it twice to read the display (which usually is dark to conserve battery life). I found this slightly annoying. Perhaps in future devices, a single tap of the screen or a turn of the wrist upward would turn the display on, but that's a minor concern.
I've had the device for six days, and the claims of at least a week of battery life are pretty accurate. I've used it moderately, taking it off only to shower (it's not water resistant), and the battery holds up. It's easy enough to recharge, as it uses a USB cable, so running out of battery shouldn't normally be an issue.
In terms of measuring your fitness, the Charge does a solid, but not spectacular, job. I went for a walk that I know is approximately 1.3 miles, and it measured it at 1.21 miles, so accuracy isn't the best, but it's not awful either. Perhaps with a software update or better GPS measuring tools, it could more accurately measure distance.
The Fitbit app is a nice feature that works across a number of devices (120 in total) and allows you to challenge friends in a competition. A future update will also include heart-rate tracking. You can also keep track of your food, scanning bar codes and inputting your own height and weight as well as the meals you've eaten. Unfortunately, this is a manual process and labor intensive, which is a bit of a drawback, but it's a drawback with other fitness devices as well.
For $130, the Charge does a solid job, but the company may have hurt itself by pricing the Fitbit Charge HR, which is slated to come out next year, at just $20 more. In addition to doing everything the Charge does, The Fitibit Charge HR will monitor your heart rate and have a better clasp.
If you really want a fitness tracker now to give or receive as a gift, however, then the Charge is plenty capable of fulfilling your needs.
Must Read: The Push Into Wearables Is Huge For Everyone
Final grade: 8.5/10
-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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