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FitBit Charge HR Review

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Published on Aug 7, 2015

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Read Mike's Full Review: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/fitbit-ch...

Which fitness tracker is the best? Tom's Guide Senior Editor Mike Prospero tested every wristband activity monitor out there. Here's why Mike picked the FitBit Charge HR over others available in 2015:

It tracks your fitness all day and all night. It gives you caller ID, and it continuously monitors your heart rate.

We compared FitBit's Charge HR to similarly featured trackers by Jawbone, TomTom, Microsoft, Garmin and others.

This wristband does most tasks very well, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.

Fitbit's Charge HR is made of a soft black rubber. A diagonal pattern texture runs around the exterior. On the inside, a small optical sensor takes your pulse. Back on the outside, a little OLED screen displays your health data.

I especially like the traditional watch clasp: Very easy to put on and take off – but very secure.

The Charge HR's heart-rate monitor continuously tracks your pulse throughout the day. 

Press and hold this button and the tracker will record your activity at the time.

I wore the Charge HR nearly continuously for several days. I found it accurately recorded my pulse, whether I was resting, moving or working out, though the display is a little hard to read in direct sunlight.

The Charge HR claims to be water resistant to about 33 feet, but I'm not sure I'd go swimming with it. I did take it in the shower without a problem.

When a phone call comes in, your Charge HR will vibrate and ID the caller, but it won't display your texts or other smartphone notifications.

I found the Charge HR's three-axis accelerometer to be quite accurate.It recorded a 200-step stroll as 220 steps. And it measured stairs climbed quite well — though it considers only 10 continuous steps to be one flight.

The Charge HR's sleep tracking also worked nicely. The band automatically enters sleep mode and vibrates to wake you if you set an alarm using the Fitbit app.

Fitbit's app displays steps, calories burned, floors climbed, distance, sleep, and heart rate metrics. The app could be better, though. It's clean, but it's not as easy to navigate as Jawbone's app.

I ran my Charge HR for almost 4 full days before it told me it would need a recharge soon. To do that, you need a USB cable with Fitbit's proprietary port on one end.

For a general-purpose fitness monitor, you can't do better than the Fitbit Charge HR.

It'll track your activity, heart rate and sleep. It's attractive, not overly large, and it's comfortable to wear.

But it's not perfect: The screen shuts off quickly and there's no option to keep it on. But a quick tap will wake it up.

The Charge HR works about as well the similarly priced Basis Peak and Mio Alpha 2 And better than the Garmin Viviofit, Jawbone Up3 and the Microsoft Band

So, overall – while there's certainly room for improvement – we think Fitbit's Charge HR is the best all-around activity tracker in its price range.

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