I finally got my new Fitbit! I was emailed a code to buy the Charge HR, and I jumped all over it, as I’ve been really excited about the all-day heart rate monitoring (I really like to know how many calories I burn throughout the day, because then I know how much food I can stuff into my facehole).
So far, my first impressions have been pretty positive. It feels like it’s built pretty well, it looks nice, and seems to work quite well. The heart rate seems pretty accurate when at rest (or when running up and down the stairs a few times just to see if it changes). I decided I should also go ahead and do a workout on the elliptical and compare the results to my chest-strap heart rate monitor to see whether or not this thing is full of shit.
So off I went into the hell that is working out (you’d think I would actually like it by now, but nope, still sucks.) It took a few minutes for the fitbit to catch up with what the chest-strap HRM was showing me, and then I had some issues getting a proper reading for awhile. I think this may very well have been because of me playing with it trying to get it in the right spot to get the most accurate reading, but after about 20 minutes or so, I seem to have finally found the sweet spot and stopped playing with it. So for the first 20 minutes, the Fitbit was wayy behind what my chest-strap was showing, but the last 25 minutes or so were spot-on (with one small dip for less than a minute). Now, for some charts!
To be honest, I was pretty damn frustrated for those first 20 minutes, fiddling with it trying to get it to get a good read, but once I just started leaving it alone, I was pretty impressed. I’m a big fan of a few things here:
- Not having to put on a pretty uncomfortable and tight chest strap (where you have to get it wet first, which is still weird and gross to me)
- Not having to sync through like 3 things (Digifit -> MyFitnessPal -> Fitbit) to get my workouts counted in the Fitbit app
- Getting way more data available within the Fitbit app due to number 2
The things I didn’t like:
- That whole first 20 minutes (which seems to have cost me about 150 calories worth of things I can stuff into my face without Fitbit calling me fat)
- It counted a lot fewer steps on the elliptical than my Fitbit One did in my pocket (I kind of expected that though, since I don’t move my arms around as much as on the treadmill)
So while I’d like to get another workout in without that initial 20 minutes of fiddling and crap, I’d say overall I’m pretty excited about this. I’d love to have to never wear a chest strap again, and also love that now I get credit for burning more calories for all the random stuff I do now (like doing pullups when waiting for something to compile, or running up the stairs as fast as I can for no good reason at all).
TL;DR: Pretty impressed with my first few hours with the Charge HR (and even more excited about getting more data now from their API)
Here’s what I got for my next workout. It still took about 5 minutes for the fitbit to catch up, but once it did, it was pretty close throughout, and the average BPM only differed by 3, the calories by around 30, and the calories per minute were very close. Overall, much more impressed. I think next time I may just do a warmup for 5 minutes or so to get it caught up, then start my workout.