By now, if you’re into fitness, training, or sports, you probably know that the tech you want comes in the way of fitness tracking bands. Plus, it’s kind of hard to ignore these bands, since they do clutter store shelves and fill tech blog like this one. The problem with a saturated band market is that there are far, far, too many fitness bands to choose from, and one is left wondering which band is really the best - or if there’s such a thing as the best band.
Out of all the bands reviewed here and tested, the FitBit Charge HR holds the most promise. It might not be the best one for you, but it is one of the better bands out there. Here’s why it’s unique.
Most fitness bands count the number of steps that you take, and then gather up a bunch of information based on that movement. The FitBit Charge HR is unique in that it has an actual heart rate monitor in the form of green LEDs that sense your heart rate by resting on your wrist. You can also use the Charge to determine heart rate levels while you are working out, or when you are playing a sport - just look at the green LED screen, and you can track your fitness levels with a decent amount of accuracy.
The Charge also comes with an app that will track your heart rate steadily over a period of days and weeks, and will record your heart rate daily as you wear it. So, you can simply look at all the data gathered as part of the app, and see how your rate fluctuated each day, each hour, and across a span of time. The Charge works very well when it comes to keeping tabs on your resting heart rate, though some reviewers have reported that the band does become confused when trying to track how many calories you have burned, or whether or not you are in a heart rate zone when you are working out (kind of essential to any workout).
Better Than the Rest?
So far, the Charge is the most advanced FitBit on the market, and it does come with that ever-essential heart rate information. If you are serious about getting into shape, nothing can replace a heart rate monitor, but how does the band stack up to the type of monitor that you wear across your chest?
At the moment, the FitBit Charge is not better than a regular heart rate monitor (the chest type) when it comes to tracking how your heart performs during workout or during other things. But, FitBit will get there if you can wait, and wearing a slim band is a lot more comfortable and less cumbersome than wearing a huge chest-strapped monitor.
Pricing and Availability
If you’re willing to pay approximately $20 more than the price of the regular FitBit, the Charge isn’t such a huge splurge. But, would you be better off just buying a chest-strapped heart rate monitor? It depends on what you want to do with it. Tracking your heart rate at the gym or during a sports event is still better with a chest heart rate monitor - at least until fitness bands can really compare. But, the FitBit Charge is certainly one of the better options out there.