The Buyer's Guide

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Fitbit ChargeHR

from  $149.99+
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81 Global Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
81

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Summary

The Fitbit ChargeHR occupies a weird space in fitness wearables. Its watch-like design and heart rate monitor make it a little too hard core for many casual users, but an unreliable HR tracker, a lack of real waterproofing and no GPS mean it isn't good enough for more serious athletes either.

The design of the ChargeHR is almost identical to the Charge, with the addition of an optical heart rate monitor and a traditional watch clasp, the latter of which Tom's Guide found "much easier to put on my wrist." Wired found the rubber of the band "exceedingly soft" and "velvety to the touch." However, though the ChargeHR doesn't appear to cause rashes the way the recalled Fitbit Force did, TrustedReviews did find it "occasionally itchy to wear," and PC Mag noted that the inside of the band isn't textured to improve airflow. The latter would have been useful given that the ChargeHR is somewhat water resistant (to 1 ATM), with Tom's Guide finding "you can safely take this device in the shower" but it's "probably best not to go swimming with it."

Like most Fitbit products, the ChargeHR does a decent job tracking steps and sleep, with both PC Mag and DC Rainmaker finding it "reasonably" accurate. Unfortunately, it falters when taking heart rate thanks to its somewhat loose design, which allows light to leak under the band and mess up the readings from the optical sensor. Re/code says it "rarely matched the reading I got from a chest strap," but both CNET and TechRadar found to at least be consistent. This is especially helpful when looking at those readings in the Fitbit app, which TrustedReviews says is still "one of the best fitness tracker companion apps for simplicity and ease of use." But CNET was a little disappointed at how the plethora of charts felt "a bit arcane for a newcomer to fitness" and didn't offer any planning or analysis.

The ChargeHR occupies a middle ground between the relatively casual Flex and the more advanced Surge, and it fills that niche rather nicely for existing Fitbit users. But, while the ChargeHR is certainly a better buy than the regular Charge, it doesn't have any standout features for those who might want to make the switch from a rival product.
81 Global Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
81

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

Not yet scored
 

User Reviews

50
terry75
Everything i need and the app is great when at work or home however once at...read more
60
cobaltred
Connecting the Fitbit HR to the app has been a problem from the first day. Always...read more
100
aarturne
I have had my Charge HR for over 6 months. I love this thing. It does everything...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
77
Average Critic Score
 
70
Recode
The Charge HR is ideal for people who want the basic features of a Charge, and like the idea of knowing their resting heart rate. But serious athletes need not apply. They’ll want a more accurate method of tracking heart rate during workouts.
 
90
Gizmodo
This is a really, really good fitness tracker and it's reasonably priced for what it can do. Not only that, it's very accurate, it's super easy to use, and it's not bad looking. Fitbit really did a good job with this one, and I wouldn't hesitate to call it the best Fitbit yet.
 
80
CNET
Fitbit's Charge HR adds heart-rate tracking to an already solid fitness band at a great price, but all the kinks don't feel fully ironed out yet.
 
70
Wareable
The Fitbit Charge HR is a complex device, which will appeal to a surprisingly narrow group of people ... for regular gym goers or casual exercisers who want to accurately log a range of fitness activities, classes and workouts, the Charge HR is one of the best in the business.
 
70
Wired
While this Fitbit may not be the Cinderella slipper of my wearable dreams, I would absolutely recommend it to family and friends.
 
90
PC Mag
Reasonably priced for an all-day activity tracker with a continuous heart rate monitor, the Fitbit Charge HR looks sleek ... not ideal for serious runners or exercise enthusiasts, it's a great fitness monitor powered by the ever-excellent Fitbit website and apps, which remain the best you'll find.
 
80
Tom's Guide
The addition of an all-day heart-rate monitor makes the Fitbit Charge HR the best all-around fitness tracker for the price.
 
80
TechRadar
This is a weird one. It fails as tech on certain levels, yet does genuinely motivate and works as a lifestyle product. We love it, anyway…
 
70
TrustedReviews
The Fitbit Charge HR is a good fitness tracker, but it needs to do more to win its place upon your wrist ahead of rival bands.
 
70
DC Rainmaker
As a day to day activity tracker, it’s great. ... as a 24×7 continuous HR monitor, it’s pretty good ... a workout activity monitor for heart rate? Not so much. It has many of the same faults and flaws ... that the Surge did. Flaws that I’m not terribly convinced Fitbit can fix with software.
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