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.