This review originally ran on Sept 28, 2015.
Fitbit (FIT) - Get Report has taken Wall Street by storm, as the health and wellness market surpasses $200 billion in annual spending. Fitbit appears poised to capture a significant portion of that, thanks to products like the Charge HR.
First unveiled in October 2014, the $150 Fitbit Charge HR is a fairly non-descript fitness tracker, not unlike some of the others out there including the Fitbit Charge. (Click here to see our review of the Fitbit Charge.) It's easy to use and easy to wear with a watch buckle that lets you adjust sizes.
The main difference between the Charge HR and the Charge, aside from the buckle, is the heart rate monitor which shows more of a commitment to keeping track of your health and fitness. The noticeable bump on the underside of the band is the heart rate monitor coming in contact with your skin so that you know your heart rate all times throughout the day.
Aside from being a pedometer (just like the Charge), the main benefit to Fitbit and its users is not just the hardware but the software. The company's app is really easy to use and after pairing it with your iPhone or Android smartphone, it's as simple as putting it on and keeping track of your progress. That's it. The app, which can be found in the App Store or Google Play for free, lets you take a look at things like steps taken, calories burned, floors, how you slept and of course, your heart rate. If you want to delve deeper into some of the categories, you can tap on it and it'll show you more data and metrics.
The battery life is pretty good as well, as it lasted me just short of 6 days before I had to charge it again.
The Charge HR even allows you to log what you eat, which unfortunately is a bit cumbersome and most I forgot to do it. You can scan a bar code, but you have to manually input data about your food consumption if you've cooked it. Eventually, there will be a better way to keep track of food consumption, but we're not there yet.
Like with most hardware, there are some drawbacks to it, such as not being really waterproof (you can't shower or swim with it). Rhe external charger isn't MicroUSB, which is pretty much the standard for all non-Apple (AAPL) - Get Report chargers, which can be frustrating.
If you're debating whether to buy a fitness tracker over a smartwatch, it's hard to give the edge to the fitness tracker. That's because of added features such as being able to text information and having access to an app store.
But if you're looking for a fitness tracker and don't want to spend more than $200, then the Charge HR will work just fine.
Final Grade: 8.6/10