Yesterday I attended the Fitbit Charge HR media event at Gold Reef City.
Each of us were equipped with a device at registration and linked it to the Fitbit app. I used to use a Zip (the small clip on one) and haven’t used it in a while, unfortunately. But there was a time where I was obsessed with my stats and loved seeing everything on graphs, and earning badges. My most steps ever taken on a single day was over 22 000 in Paris last year.
Anyway, the Charge HR is very different to what I used to use and I’m now excited to use it again. It sits strapped to my wrist, with a watch-like band so it sits securely without mistakenly opening. The whole set up and linking to the smartphone app takes about 15 minutes.
The Charge HR has a little screen on it so you can view your stats in real time, without having to sync on the app anymore. Definitely a bonus. The display shows you steps taken, time, heart rate, distance, calories burned and floors climbed. If it’s paired to your smartphone, you can also view incoming calls – it shows the callers name. For some reason this didn’t work with my iPhone 6.
But once you do sync to the app, this is what your stats will look like:
The device needs to be charged via USB and battery life is about 4-5 days, but I will know for certain after a couple of weeks.
After running around in an Amazing Race like challenge at Gold Reef City, it was very useful to instantly check what my heart rate was, which we tested before and after getting on some of the rides. It looked fairly accurate, however there were some moments when I checked and it was blank, probably because it shifted. But for the most part, it displayed. After the event I didn’t have an issue with the heart rate being displayed.
The device uses its own “PurePulse” technology to monitor your heart rate. It is characterised by 2 flashing LED lights on the inside strap. It doesn’t use a lot of power and won’t burn through the skin. It determines heart rate, monitors calories burned, and you can maximise your workout by seeing the different zones (fat burn, cardio and peak).
The Charge HR is aimed at those who are already in a fitness routine, who will make the most of the heart rate monitoring, especially within the different zones. Fitbit says the benefits of the HR is monitor calorie burn, maintain intensity, maximise training and optimise health.
After wearing the device for the whole day, I didn’t find it uncomfortable, I forgot I was wearing it. I like the convenience of checking my stats without syncing to the app – so you don’t necessarily have to keep Bluetooth on on your smartphone. The device also automatically tracks your sleep.
If you want the benefit of the screen and immediately check your stats, the Fitbit Charge is for you (R1899) – it doesn’t have a secure watch-like strap. If you want a heart rate monitor along with that, the Charge HR is the device for you. It’s available at iStores (or online) for R2299 in black initially, with blue coming soon.
And yes, one of the ‘challenges’ at the event was to post a group pic online! 😉
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ email@example.com