​Fitbit Charge HR review

​Fitbit Charge HR review

UPDATED: Fitbit's flagship tracker now lags behind the competition
​Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR has spent the entire year at the head of the fitness tracker table – propelling the company to a huge IPO and making it the biggest seller of wearables for the year.

No longer the jewel in the Fitbit crown – read our Fitbit Blaze review and Fitbit Alta guide for the latest updates – the Charge HR is a traditional band that offers continuous heart rate monitoring on the wrist for a better estimation of your daily activity, tracked workouts, tabs on your resting heart rate and its improvement as you get fitter and, of course, sleep quality.

Newly updated: Best fitness tracker 2016

But does the Fitbit Charge HR live up to rivals, such as Fitbit's own Surge, and what kind of bar does it set for the long awaited Jawbone UP3? We put it through its paces to find out.

Fitbit Charge HR: Design

The Charge HR is available in a range of colours – black, plum, blue, teal and tangerine. The screen matches the colour of the band too, so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. Unfortunately the black version is so anonymous it rarely attracts questions or comments – genderless would be a better description than unisex.

Fitbit Charge HR review

That screen is a monochrome OLED display and it's fairly vibrant and easy to read, despite being absurdly small. Press the button to cycle though the time, daily steps total, distance travelled, calories, flights climbed and of course your heart rate.

Essential reading: Fitbit Charge HR tips and tricks

The clasp is a normal watch affair, with a standard small buckle and a rubber strap.

Now, users initially complained of skin irritation issues, which we reported on last year. Fitbit's response was to urge users to take breaks from their band and to keep it clean.

Unfortunately, I followed that advice and still suffered some irritation after bouts of exercise. It's not an problem unique to Fitbit, but this is probably as bad as I've experienced. That said, editor-in-chief Paul suffered no irritation at all, so we'd just recommend that anyone with remotely sensitive skin think carefully before they buy.

Other than the mild scabbing, the Fitbit was actually comfortable to wear. It doesn't feel like a set of medieval leg irons, like the Microsoft Band, and it was comfortable enough to sleep with.

Fitbit Charge HR: Features

Fitbit Charge HR review

Advanced tracking is the name of the game, and the Fitbit Charge HR records all the usual statistics, each enriched by heart rate data. It will track your daily steps and calories by day, and monitor your sleep by night. Unlike older Fitbit devices, you don't have to tell it you're planning on snoozing and sleep mode will kick in based on your movements and heart rate data.

The Fitbit Charge HR also enables you to track exercise, and by holding the button on the left, you can put the band into 'stopwatch mode,' which means it starts tracking your training sessions – but more on that later.

Essential reading: How to train using heart rate zones

The final feature is caller ID, a sort of smartwatch-lite feature. The band buzzes when someone calls your smartphone, and the name of the caller appears on the screen. There are no other notification features, and while it's useful to check whether a call is important before reaching for your handset, it's not exactly a game changer.

The Fitbit Charge HR is 1ATM water-resistant, which is fine for the shower but don't wear it in the bath or a pool. That of course precludes swimming, so if that's your exercise of choice you should look to devices like the Misfit Shine.

Fitbit Charge HR: Activity tracking

Fitbit Charge HR review

Like every fitness tracker out there, the Fitbit Charge HR mainly keeps tabs on steps and calories. While tracked steps are never an exact science, over a 14,000 step day the Fitbit recorded in line with both the Garmin Vivosmart HR and the Misfit Shine, so we have no hesitation in giving this aspect a clean bill of health.

Now pay attention runners and cyclists: there's no GPS built into the Fitbit Charge HR, which puts it behind the likes of dedicated running watches and its big brother the Fitbit Surge.

Without GPS, the tracking of running and cycling is never going to be accurate in terms of distance or pace. An update released since launch means that the Charge HR does estimate distance, although the accuracy left a fair amount to be desired. A 2.1 mile run was guesstimated at 2.56 miles, which meant that the accompanying pace reading was also wrong. To some that's a big problem, to others it's nice to have an estimation of a Sunday run. You decide.

Must read: The real world wrist-based heart rate monitoring test

With the latest update you don't have to remember to start the stopwatch mode for the Fitbit to track exercise, which is a really nice touch. Any activity, from a brisk walk to the bus, a run or a gym session, will be recorded in the app, and you can tag the exercise type later. It works well and takes the pressure off you to remember to start a session.

Exercise tagging is extremely varied and includes spinning, weights, football, hockey, dancing – the lot.

When you do head to the gym or out on the roads, you'll get a report of the session showing your heart rate and time spent within zones, calories burned and time taken.

Fitbit Charge HR: Heart rate tracking

The main benefit of the Charge HR, however, is for other activities. While many GPS devices are so focused on running and cycling that they ignore gym work, the Charge HR embraces it, and enables you to get accurate details of your workouts via the optical heart rate monitor that uses a bright LED to 'see' the blood pulsing through your wrist.

Fitbit Charge HR review

We tested out the heart rate information both while out running on the roads and when strapped into some of the machines in the gym. Using gym bikes and weights where we were generally static we found the Fitbit Charge HR's bpm tracking to be spot-on against the machine's own tech, but when running results were fairly wide of the mark compared to a chest strap. That, presumably, is due to the extra 'noise' created when bouncing up and down on the road.

The Fitbit Charge HR will also measure your resting heart rate, which is designed to be taken as soon as you wake up. The idea is that as you get fitter the rate of your heart at rest will decrease. It's a great idea – and we love that Fitbit uses this metric – but, worryingly, the data wasn't correct. Our actual resting heart rate (measured via old fashioned pulse and the Garmin Vivosmart HR) was well below 54bpm. The Fitbit had it at over 68bpm in some cases. That's criminally wide of the mark.

Fitbit (top) vs Garmin chest strap, and a 35bpm difference at 10:00 mins

So what can we conclude? Well, the Fitbit is a decent activity tracker but its heart rate tech really struggles. In terms of features it's pretty much on a par with the Garmin Vivosmart HR, which also struggled to match a chest strap for accuracy, but managed to be a more useful tracker of resting heart rate. Its heart rate tech can inform your workouts but it's far from an effective training tool.

Fitbit Charge HR: Sleep tracking

As we mentioned, sleep tracking is now performed automatically by the Fitbit Charge HR, which means no more missed nights of sleep.

It may surprise some, but Fitbit's sleep reporting is actually way more simplistic and static than any of its direct competitors. The graph shows a blue block, which is your sleep duration. The total time is listed in the app, along with the day's stats. The block isn't coloured to designate hours of deep or light sleep as with other sleep trackers, but there are lines that mark when you toss or turn.

It's a remarkably simplistic feature which is surprising for a leader like Fitbit, yet as we've repeatedly said, sleep tracking is one of the least useful elements of fitness trackers. There's very little to learn about your sleep patterns, short of making sure you get your eight hours every day – which the Fitbit is more than capable of.

If you're keen to see detailed sleep patterns, the Withings Activité Steel or Misfit Shine will do a better job.

Fitbit Charge HR: The app

Fitbit Charge HR review

While not as in-depth as the Withings Health Mate app, or as open as the Jawbone one, the Fitbit Charge HR's app is clean, simple and easy to use. It's also quick to sync, with no frustrating pairing problems.

When you open the app, you're presented with all your data from the day, including steps, heart rate, distance travelled, calories burned, stairs climbed, amount of 'active minutes', bursts of stopwatch captured activity and sleep.

There are plenty of metrics to sink your teeth into, and that's without the additional food tracking, food plans and weight tracking options which require manual daily inputs – a step too far for us.

Any metric can be tapped to show historical data, as well as weekly totals. That's especially useful for 'active minutes' which is the amount of time spent in the day with your heart rate elevated. Upping this total means you're getting fitter.

Delving into the app further will reveal plenty of controls, where you can fine tune the device to your dominant or non-dominant wrist, or turn on the caller ID notifications.

You can also challenge yourself to beat certain step goals in the challenges tabs, and even invite friends to participate, too. It's a good idea, although we were disappointed by the choice of goals. Each of the four challenges simply involves walking more, not burning more calories or racking up more active minutes of exercise. Those seem far more meaningful, and thus far, don't exist within the Fitbit app.

Fitbit Charge HR fitness tracker
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Fitbit Charge HR: Battery life

Fitbit Charge HR review

Given the continuous heart rate monitor flashing away under the device, battery life is impressive. You should be able to get five days easily from the tracker, and we found it easy to keep topped up.

Of course, after recently testing the Withings Activité and Misfit Flash – both of which boast battery life in the months rather than days – charging is a bit of a hassle. But neither of those devices can touch the Charge HR for its workout tracking.

Charging is via a proprietary cable that magnetically hooks into the back of the device. Of course, if you lose that cable, you're stuffed, but we're sick of complaining about this seemingly ubiquitous wearables issue, and it's not something confined to the Charge HR.

Fitbit Charge HR
By Fitbit
A decent fitness tracker, the Fitbit gives a good indicator of overall health, but don't confuse it for a scientific training assistant. Lack of GPS makes it toothless for runners, but more worryingly issues with heart rate accuracy both during rest and during exercise erode confidence in its results. While the Fitbit blazed a trail for biometric wearables, it now lags behind the competition.

  • Comfortable design
  • Tracks nearly all exercises
  • Automatic exercise detection
  • Run tracking lacking
  • Heart rate accuracy issues
  • Simplistic sleep tracking


  • waszup says:

    If you do not move your arms (caring a laundry basket, pushing a shopping cart, etc) it does not seem to register the correct steps - have been told to put it on my shoe if I am on the treadmill and "holding on" but I think that does not register correctly either (too high).  Any advice?

    • j.stables says:

      As it uses an accelerometer to guesstimate steps, the first problem is hard to rectify. I didn't test in those situations, but in honesty, these things are making decent guesses at your steps. It's measure of your overall performance, so I wouldn't worry about the accuracy while carrying the laundry, personally. If you want top accuracy, something with a footpod would be best.

      Secondly, the treadmill is a good question. I found it fine. However, if you're exercising on the treadmill, that's where your heart rate is more important. Keeping your heart rate in an elevated zone for an ever increasing length of time will see benefits, so I'd focus on that. And that's what the device does well.

      That sounds as if I'm making excuses for the device – which I'm not. I do believe that with the Charge HR, aspects such as elevated heart rate is more beneficial to you, and that's the device's strong suit. As a step counter, it's no better than the $40 Jawbone UP Move clip. These things all guess.

      • jmgoodfellow says:

        I have noticed this when i walk and push our jogging stroller. Our 40 minute walk only registered 200 steps. So frustrating!

        • mitch12 says:

          its because ur arms r not moving.

        • le1081 says:

          Wear it on your ankle when you use the jogger. 

        • JosephM says:


          Did you try putting it on the ankle to know if that has changed the reading?

          Thanks James, for an in-depth review that really helps. I was a bit confuse to buy between Fitbit Charge HR & Surge. But finally chose Charge HR for its simplicity and been happy with it. The fitbit reviews here really helped me https://fanreviews.co/fitness-trackers/fitbit-char... really helped me to take the call.

    • KatieStarr says:

      I've had no problems with it tracking my steps while carrying armsful of various items or walking with a shopping cart. It has worked nearly perfect for me.

    • MIM49 says:

      There are many complaints on the Fit it Community Forum regarding inaccurate step counting. Fit it acknowledges there can be missed steps pushing a stroll or or shopping cart or other activity that inhibits arm movement. They also acknowledge there can be added steps while driving/riding in a car or excessively arm movements. However my issue, and many others, involves consistently missed steps (30-35%) with normal walking. Fit bit will not comment or acknowledge whether they are aware of this problem or working to solve it. If such a basic function of the tracker is inaccurate how can any of the data be trusted. A waste of $150+.

      • msposh says:

        I totally agree with you on this...purchased the CHR a couple of weeks ago and would like to know how I get my money back...the device is totally useless...doesn't track your actual steps so you know for sure whether you are doing the so-called 10,000 a day...brushed my hair this morning and it registered I'd done 28 steps...go figure...tells me I climbed stairs and I haven't...heart rate goes to 120 for no reason at all...just another yuppy thing that sadly I fallen prey to.

        • Johnnyhillclimb says:

          I totally totally agree. The heart rate monitoring inaccuracy of my Fitbit Charge HR is almost criminal it is so bad.

          If I measure my pulse rate with a watch I regularly see c60 to 70 bpm whilst the Fitbit shows 90+ bpm.

          Equally when on an exercise bike, which shows me at 150bpm (and confirmed at that rate with a stop watch ) the Fitbit Charge HR sows 90bpm!! Madness!!

          Total waste of money and they should make refunds as its performance would not meet, in my opinion, trading standard requirements for such a product.

        • AmyR says:

          I agree. It's a fad 

  • TonyPinches says:

    I don't understand the issue with the lack of GPS. Assuming most people are probably running with a phone for music, the fitbit app will use the phone to generate GPS and overlay the HR data from the ChargeHR. So you get a GPS track of your route with HR data without a chest strap which is what I have been after for ages. Am I missing something or do people like running without phones that much?

    • j.stables says:

      A lot of people buy these in order to run without a smartphone. Personally, I'm with you – but for the money I'd choose a dedicated running watch with better metrics, GPS tracking etc. For most runners pace/distance is more important than heart rate, and a free app on your smartphone can provide that on the smartphone you're already taking out. 

      • mjdinsmore says:

        I don't like taking my phone out when I'm running.  Too bulky.  I want a watch or other tiny device that is waterproof so I can sweat on it or run in the rain and not have it destroyed.  I typically do standard runs that I've mapped and know the distance beforehand so I don't need it to tell me the exact distance (per GPS).  I don't get accurate splits, but I do get my HR which can show if I've been slacking during my run. 

      • mjdinsmore says:

        I don't like taking my phone out when I'm running. Too bulky. I want a watch or other tiny device that is waterproof so I can sweat on it or run in the rain and not have it destroyed. I typically do standard runs that I've mapped and know the distance beforehand so I don't need it to tell me the exact distance (per GPS). I don't get accurate splits, but I do get my HR which can show if I've been slacking during my run.

    • Sappetta says:

      I recommend the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds for that. Coupled with their app on the phone, they do an excellent job of tracking your HR and mapping it on your route. The sound is also quite good. And they give you in-ear info and prompts.

  • fb_10205169 says:

    has anyone experienced an aching or soreness in the arm/wrist that you wear the band on?

    • mkmkmusings says:

      Actually, yes. I initially thought I was wearing it too tight, but even loosened it causes a bit of an ache in my wrist. I'm not sure why. 

      • pattyholland29 says:

        Yes me to .. I have the HR and it woke my up at 2:45 am with so much pain I put ice then heat . and took Advil nothing helped until 3 days later . still.have some pain . but not as bad haven't put it back on ... Not Going To !!!!

    • Vanessawutaj says:

      yes very intense ache and I've only had it a week... Similar to how I imagine arthritis would feel. I took it off and the pain is gone. I will switch wrists and if it repeats I will have to return it. I hope that doesn't happen; I love it but the pain is too much. 

      • pattyholland29 says:

        I agree with you a 100% put the guy said I can't return it .. But he would give me a new one ... O don't want any.. Just a full refund

        • pattyholland29 says:

          sorry for my type o

        • Jon2 says:

          If you purchase at Costco, they will fully refund for a year.

          • DontTreadOnMe says:

            I just experienced this. I was given one as a retirement gift at the end of 2015, messed around with it during the month of January trying to get it to work (following suggestions in the forums). Finally called into Support for help. Level one had me try several variations of things and finally said that we had exhausted her options and so someone from Level 2 would get back to me by email in a few days. That person sent me an email telling me to delete the device from my profile (the setup process always recognized the profile device entry that a previous set attempt created and wrote over the previous entry, but evidently, there was some "bug" that was messing that up. After I deleted the entry, the setup process went further, but it continued to act erratically by not connecting or connecting and then dropping the connection. When you'd press the button nothing would show up, tap the display, nothing would show up. For some reason they were still hesitant to replace an obviously defective piece of STUFF (as in "STUFF Happens"). So, I decided to take it back to Costco, and got my "Cash for Trash". What a disappointment! Charge HR is a bad product backed up by bad support.

      • spedobill says:

        • I love my HR.

        It has proven quite durable under extreme conditions.  exposure to:  temperature,chemicals,physical abuse. Mine has had a couple of lives.

        the band is surprising confortable.

        Sure once in a while,  i need to "reset" the HR when traveling thru time zones, when there are charging issues, or take it off to clean up.

        I dont expect the HR to produce Hospital grade results. Instead the data from my HR allows me to track my activity levels and that information provides a foundation for me to increase activity especially in the heart rate zone.

        When i first started wearing my HR, I thought I was above average active. And I am. However the HR data is motivating me to push myself harder in my activities (higher heart rates) 

        Bottom line. You want to improve your health  get a HR. So what if it dosent count exact steps. I base my data on averages which I find reliable. If I was training for the olympics I probably would recommend this product. 



    • bouncingballs says:

      Same here.  Moderate to intense and I have a very high threshold for pain. Hate to say it but it looks like I'm going to have to return it, the pain is just a bit too much.

      • Lynnmsn says:

        yes terribly bad. I could barley close

        My wrist. I thought I had carpel tunnel. The pain radiated and my whole arm would itch up to my shoulder. My hands began to swell and turn red as well. I got sick a lot. Took my fitbit off and everything went back to normal. It was really painful in my hand sharp pains in the wrist and hand. 

    • Lynnsyahoo says:

      yes. Not just a rash. So much more issues. Pain, redness, swelling, itch all over my body - but the pain was dibilitating. Took fitbit off and pain went away. Pretty scary stuff and I wish fitbit would acknolwedge it so I know what it's from so I can buy another brand or something. Not sure if it's the band or emr stuff.

      • Raine says:

        I am so relieved to read that other users have experienced the issue of pain.  I seriously thought I was going crazy.  My pain started in my hand and then several days later continued in my wrist.  Several days later, I'm now debilitated by pain in my knee.  It's all on my left hand side - the side I wear the Fitbit Charge HR. I had been eagerly awaiting the release of the new Fitbit and I am now very disappointed that once again I have to give it up and find an alternative :(

        • Lynnsyahoo says:


          I too had various othe pains one of them started hurting in groin lymph node area on side of fitbit. I thought I must have pulled a muscle but thought geez just from walking? I had a host of other issues because I kept my fitbit on much longer not considering it could be the cause. I had so many pains I started to google fibromyalgia. About two weeks after the first groin pain my other side flared up. In between I felt tired all the time. It was only until my hands itched and swole so bad and turned red I thought to look into the fitbit. After taking it off about a month ago I am symptom free!!! It was so bad I warn everyone to reconsider buying this. At least until fitbit acknowledges what caused it. 

          • vortterx says:

            I have experienced pain too  Gosh, I thought I was crazy as well. I am ambidextrous, so I switch the device between arms. Nevertheless, my shoulders and neck have felt increasingly strained and just weird, in general, since I started wearing the device 3 weeks ago. Of course, it could be a spurious correlation but I genuinely cannot identify any other lifestyle change from that time point. It has spooked me enough to stop using it. 

        • Caturley says:

          I experience pain in the wrist I wear my band in too. But once I take it off the pain ceases immediately. I just switch wrists or take a break from wearing. But your problem sounds a little more like sciatica,which I also suffer from. If you run often, sometimes your sciatic nerve can swell, and and pinched. It concentrates in my hip, butt, and knee, ( always on one side of the body, whichever side you swell on) but once it swells my shoulders will start popping uncomfortably and my neck will hurt, my arms and hands and legs, my fingers won't pop correctly, it really affects your whole body. If the pain doesn't cease when you remove the watch you may want to see a chiropractor about sciatica. They can teach you wants to stretch and massage the area you swell.

        • pattyholland29 says:

          me to ..

    • Chaynes3 says:

      both of my wrists are bruised pretty badly. It bothers my dominant hand from time to time as well. 

    • dubstings says:

      I have pain and soreness in my wrists as well. Only reason I could speculate is the protruding part of the heart rate lights "digging in" while sleeping. Any other ideas as to why this would be happening?

    • yuca says:

      I have had it for 2 days and my wrist and even arm is hurting. I just switched arms to see if it gets better. I'm freaking out if it could be like a radiation thing from the fitbit sending info all the time to the app, etc?

      • tviscon2 says:

        I also have noticed that my wrist is starting to hurt after wearing it pretty consistently after two weeks. I am going to do an experiment and try it on my other wrist and turn off  the heart rate monitoring. I will also try to just not wear it at night and see if that reduces the pain. I'll report back my findings.

    • cgomez22 says:

      I have experience intense wrist pain. I am so glad to find I am not crazy!!! I though it was only me. My husband, my sister in law, my mom have the device and none have experience the issues I have.

      It has weakened my wrist to the point I can't lift objects in a certain position or hurts when in a specific motion. I do crossfit and there are some exercises I can and others I can't do because of the pain. I don't have a problem with the tracker, it has been pretty accurate, but the side effects to my health I can't overlook.

      I will return the device.

      • Natural1 says:

        Same here...intense pain in my wrist regardless of how loose or tight I wear it.  I came on specifically looking to see if anyone had the same issue.  Been wearing it for a week, and I love it, but the fact that I have a pain radiating through my wrist is concerning.  And as an oncology nurse, it's really concerning! My first thought was radiation causing the pain..and I'd be surprised to hear that it's not related to that!  Its definitely not from it being on too tight!  For $150 I expected more...I will be returning mine as well :(

      • Barb says:

        Has anyone considered a rubber allergy. My doctor has that and gets very ill just from it being in the air she has these symptoms as well as her throat closing. Just a thought. Wear one of those kid braclets that are popular n see if it happens. I understand from her rubber allergy is very common n many people dont know that is the issue

    • maggie05 says:

      Yes I experienced pain like busing in my arm just after wearing it for two days, had to take it off. I even loosened it and went back and got swaped it for the large size, same thing happened, now it feels like I have a bruised arm.  Took it back and got my money back.  Whats that telling us, obviously its not good if its causing pain.

    • Lilly says:

      I am feeling your pain! Just got the Fitbit Charge and have pain in my wrist at first then up to my shoulder. Switched arms and got the same. So sad because I love the information it gives.

    • Worriedwearer says:

      Yes! My wrist and now up my arm in different spots. Slept without it, felt better, put it back on and it hurts again. Too late for me to return, sadly. It misses a lot of steps too when I am just walking. 40% at least. Nice idea but I regret the purchase.

    • uofacat01 says:

      Yep.  I've begun to wear it so the HR section is on the inside of my wrist.  

    • uofacat01 says:

      Yep, I've actually started wearing it so that the HR sensor is on the inside part of my wrist.  

    • Haley2050 says:

      • I thought I was crazy! I am having severe pain since I started wearing the Fitbit HR. It started in my wrist then over the last week all my joints are aching. I am taking it off after reading that other People are having symptoms. Maybe it just doesn't agree with some people. I was wondering how long after you stopped wearing it did the pain go away? They really should look into this. 
    • Tracyf says:

      Yes I had to stop wearing mine afte 1 month. My wrist is tender to touch and pain radiates up my arm. I have adjusted the fit and taken off for a couple hours a day but the pain still persisted. 

  • Data says:

    I've had my ChargeHR for just about 2 months now and I really do like it quite a bit.  I'm not a runner, but I do find myself in the gym from time to time and the HR monitoring is always spot on with the machines.  I link my fitbit to myfitnesspal though and keep track of all my calories in and out.  The HR monitoring has given me much more confidence in the accuracy of my daily calorie burn which is very important to me.  So for people like me who exercise occasionally and are trying to shed some weight, the ChargeHR is king.  I'm going to consider the Apple Watch carefully, but I have a feeling I'm not going to want to give up my sleep tracking to gain some marginally useful smart watch features, but we'll see.

    • earthwoman22 says:

      Hello I have had my fit bit charge less than a year, and it has done very well for a few months, and the charger works, however the watch its self will not work now. Do you have any idea what is going on with it? I need help.

  • j.stables says:

    Sounds like you're one of the people Charge HR is perfect for. I do have a big soft spot for it, as I'm injured at the moment and spending more time in the gym :)

  • Webtest says:

    I named mine "Bimbo Band".

    I have returned this device. My name for it is the "Bimbo Band". If you buy this, you may own the body, but Fitbit owns the guts, the heart, and the brains of the thing and they keep that on a SHORT leash. They retain all of your time based data and you can not get access to it except in the form of some "Activities" graphs that you can display from the Fitbit website on your smartphone/computer browser.

    The advertising mentions "Get continuous, automatic heart rate monitoring right on your wrist to accurately maximize training". The band may monitor your heart rate continuously, but you only get a snapshot of it if you have a free hand to activate the brief display of the data. I could not find any way to get a continuous readout of heart rate under any conditions ... probably because of battery life limitations. Unless you have a "host" smartphone/computer and access to the internet, which (as I understand it) only updates every 20 minutes or so, the thing isn't much more than a toy ... especially if you want your heart rate and you're climbing a hill on your cycle. Guess what? No free hand to activate the readout! Yes it has tons of (in my opinion) 'frilly gaming options' that may motivate some people in their exercise goals, but I don't use social media, and I don't like the Fitbit. Having to manually activate the readout for each few seconds of heart rate data is not my idea of "Monitoring your results and modifying your workout routine has never been easier!".  Many reviews are posted seriously questioning the accuracy of the heart rate data.

    I only got slightly less than 3 days of use before the 'charge me' symbol came on ... the ads say 'about 5 with the low battery warning about 1 day earlier'. Also, there is some question about the whether or not the battery is replaceable. If it is not, when the battery dies, it is trash.

    If you want to buy one for all the wonderful motivational games it can play, hey ... Go for it!

    Blessings in abundance, all the best, & ENJOY!

    • alexobrien90 says:

      My Charge isn't even on All-Day Sync and my app updates instantly with the heart rate updates while I'm working out on the treadmill. I can keep my phone on and look at it for an hour straight if I wanted to since the Bluetooth is always connected. 

      Also, the accuracy of the heart rate data is pretty much the same as any other "heart rate monitor". I was maybe 1BPM off from the treadmill reader and maybe 1 or 2BPM off when taking my own pulse.

      I use a free website to instantly backup all my data to a spreadsheet that I keep for myself and it gives me all the info that the paid FitBit backup service gives. Anyway, I love my Charge HR. Sorry that you don't. Take care.

      • koelani18 says:

        i love my charge HR, as well.  Can you tell me which spreadsheet site you use. I've been looking for one so that i can also track my data for myself.  Thanks!

  • DRFields says:

    I have owned the fitbit CHR since Jan. 24th and sad to say I am returning it today - the HR is accurate only 10% of the time, and only if you are on a machine, like an elliptical - if you do kick boxing or any dance class or weights, it is completely inaccurate - which then throws off the number of calories you are burning…. I am sadly disappointed in this product!  The battery life is not 7 days, lucky if it is 5… and on the community boards, they are just trying to gather information ( have the public do the research) to figure out the issues.  Should have been tested before they released it and advertised how great it was.

  • saa001 says:

    Long time user of Fitbit products. Upgraded to the Charge HR and everything was going fine for a couple of weeks. Then I had trouble syncing my unity with my cell phone. Tried everything but nothing is working. Looked online and there are a lot of complaints about this with no resolution from the company.

    I will be changing to the Up3 when it comes out and doing without my now useless Charge HR

  • Reba says:

    I too noticed the HR is not accurately recording heart rate. When I am at my anaerobic stage typically my HR will go to a double hash mark or still read in the low hundreds or high 90's. If I manually take it I am well into the 160's or 170's. This does frustrate me when I am trying to stay in that zone for my allotted time and record results. Argh!

  • LaxMom says:

    My uncomfortable Microsoft Band was far superior to my HR. I miss it. It was fun. Just uncomfortable. 

  • DigitalFury says:

    They almost nailed it, and I wear it 24/7.

    The app is quite good, including its integration with things such as MFP and Pact. The continuous HR means that it more accurately estimates calories burned and resting HR, but I do use it along a Garmin 920 XT during workouts. I have zero issues (e.g. rashes or whatnot) regarding wearing it on a permanent basis, and I have been doing so for roughly a month now.

    I wished it was waterproof though, and that high-end Swiss watchmakers directly include such tech (discretely) into their products.

  • KleineJan says:

    Is it possible to monitor the heart rate while sleeping or does these 2 feathers do not coop?

  • Jax says:

    How do we sub. to threads here...

    By making this post does that auto-sub. me to this thread, so that I'm emailed about new posts?


    • p.lamkin says:

      Afraid not. It's a feature we're working on.

  • pinkpam says:

    Bought the HR about a month ago after owning the Force.  The Force band was crap and broke but I was lucky and never had problems with rashes or problems when wearing it.  I had problems with keeping the HR synched properly but it seemed to fix itself a few days ago.  I woke up this morning and the HR is now not working at all.  It doesn't track steps, heart rate, floors, calories, time or anything.  It's not the battery as it was charged up.  It's like it just quit.  Unfortunately, I will probably be switching to a different brand and returning the HR. 

    • Mcurry says:

      Wow the same thing just happen to me but I've only had it a week! I really like it so I will exhange it for another and hope for the best!

  • johndickey says:

    my fitbit HR is not taking a charge


  • DanM says:

    Hey, I'm really struggling to figure out which device is best for me.  I do equal amounts of swimming, running, weights, and yoga each week, and I either walk or ride a bike to work, so I was hoping for the best overview of activity and fitness.  I was originally thinking the Fitbit Charge HR b/c I really like the HR component and would also like some sleep monitoring b/c that's so critical for overall health.  However, from this review I am wondering if the Misfit Shine may provide me with a better overview, especially as it can be worn in the pool (though I realise it does not include HR)?  Any suggestions/comments??  I appreciate your help in advance! :) 

    • tonicfodder says:

      Go for a Garmin Forerunner, I've a similar routine and its been great over the last few years. The Garmin graphs and other data functionality are exceptional. It's also syncs to myfitnesspal now. This Fitbit isn't what you need, I'm considering it in combo with my Garmin for the subtle/simple walking and sleep measurements.

  • beaconaust says:

    I just swapped my four month old Up24 for the Charge HR.  Sure, the Up has more detail in its sleep patterns, but otherwise it was a total disappointment.  The mode change button kept falling out and eventually I lost it.  Then the band wouldn't change mode at all.  When I tried to resync it to my iPhone, it just failed completely. What I am left with is a black plastic bracelet with no functionality whatsoever.  I have sent multiple emails to Jawbone support and have been completely ignored.  So far the Charge HR is going well, but it has been less than a week.  Everything synced seemlessly  but the app isn't as easy to use as the Up and I am disappointed that I have to take my iPhone running with me to get the GPS data.  Still, the Up didn't have that feature either.  It seems to me that these gadgets are designed by computer people who don't get out much and therefore don't actually have much of a concept of what real people actually want or need.

    • Ply says:

      Get Fitbit Surge for GPS

  • Prickleypear says:

    I have an extremely small wrist, and I wanted to know if the band has to fit snugly to record data?


    • BadDobby says:

      It needs to be fairly snug... not overly so though, just enough that the HR LEDs at the back shine directly into your skin. If any ambient light gets in, this apparently throws off the HR reading.

      If your wrists are that small, then you might find that the unit itself (regardless of the band size) too big to sit flush against your wrist. I suggest trying one at the store first to see if it fits.

  • mahima says:

    I am using fitbit charge since February 2015 and since then I'm experiencing skin rashes on my wrist because of which I have to remove it every now and then. So the purpose of owning a daily activity tracker goes waste here. highly disappointed. ..

    • FitbitBling says:

      I have not had any of the issues you guys are talking about. Very strange! I have a Fitbit Charge and I am wearing it all the time. The only thing i didn't like is how plain it was - even now all that has changed. I found some awesome bling on Amazon and now it looks fashionable and I am very happy with it. I am sorry that you all experience these issues!

      • Fi5thRogu3 says:

        Bling??? Where is this bling you speak of?

  • TaraDawn says:

    Any news as to when the Fitbit Charge HR Blue will be released?  I have not see any releases information at all.

  • Sivya says:

    I have never had anything like this before.  I bought the fitbit charge device and about an hour after I put it on I started having pain from my fingertips all the way past my shoulder.  I took it off and went to sleep and put it back on the next morning.  Shortly after I put it on I started feeling the same pain up and down my arm as well as a shock type feeling sporadically.  I took it off but my arm is still throbbing. I have returned it to Costco with in 24 hours.  I cannot imagine what causes I wear jewelry and watches all the time and have never felt anything like this.  I am curious if anyone has a scientific explanation for this.  

  • olgam says:

    Ha, I've even registered to write my feedback!

    From my experience, FitBit doesn’t track accurately anything. Just nada. The steps are tracked only when you walk and move your arms. I have been walking miles and miles with pushing the stroller, and it seemed doing nothing for me. Also, it really discourages you from doing weightlifting. Because it doesn’t count steps, doesn’t show any decent calories burn, and overall, it’s all based on your heart rate.

    Talking about heart rate – genetically, my heart rate hardly goes beyond 60 bpm. So in order for me to get into cardio zone, I have to push really hard. Calories are based on the heart rate. With my slow rate, it’s a joke to see that I burn 1,700 calories per day (it includes working out during lunch and walking with a baby after work). I am 5.9 and weigh 155 lbs. It’s totally inaccurate and misleading. I think my only brain burns about 1,200 calories per day. Not including body processes.

    The bottom line – it’s probably good for people who are just getting on a healthy track and trying to be accountable for what they are doing. I wore it for a month and I think I am done with it.

    • LukeRimini says:

      If you have genetics problems it's not fitbit's fault I think XD

  • vortterx says:

    Incidentally, I didn't feel too well after using the Fitbit Charge HR either (3 weeks). I am ambidextrous so I switch between both hands but around the time I started using it, my neck and shoulders for some reason have felt very strained and tense. This may just be a spurious correlation, of course, but it has spooked me enough to stop wearing it. 

  • likwadation says:

    What do people think about the durability of the fibit charge hr. I have the fitbit flex and im thinking about upgrading but the fitbit flex band would break down after months of use. So i want to know if the charge HR is much improved.

  • Tbv says:

    My Charge HR only lasts about 3-4 days. Is anyone having similar issues? Should I be exchanging it? I have only had it for 3 weeks. 

    • laszlo says:

      Same here. I started using it last week and I really like it, but somehow the battery won't last more than 3-4 days. Might there be something I'm doing wrong? :(

  • fitbituser says:

    I love my Fitbit HR Charge but now that it is warmer I find that I am getting 'the rash".   Hopefully this wont be an ongoing problem.

  • Samster says:

    Loved my Fitbit HR! but not anymore.

    Had it for 3 months and the battery life had slipped away. From 5 days it was cut short to 1 when i have heart on to track my 1 hour workout.

    Contacted Fitbit Team, they are sending out a replacement (still havent recived it yet, 2 - 3 weeks wait). But cant tell me how to prevent it from happening again. 

    Anyone experience same issue? 

  • Stephanie says:

    As far as tracking goes with the Fitbit Charge HR, if I am at the gym and my phone is in my locker will all of the tracking still take place or do I have to have my phone with me for it to still track? If it will still track my info without the phone being on me will it sync with my phone once I get back in range? I'm new to this and just trying to figure out what would be best for me. Thank you!

  • Stephanie says:

    As far as tracking goes with the Fitbit Charge HR, if I am at the gym and my phone is in my locker on the other side of the building will it still track what I am doing if the fitbit is not in range of the phone? If it will still track will it sync with my phone app once i get back in range or is that data lost? I am new to this and i am trying to figure out what is going to work best for me. Thank you!

    • Deedee says:

      The fitbit tracks without the phone. It only needs to be within range in order to sync the info from the tracker to the app or website.

  • nadiaegz says:

    You can add me to the list! I loved my Charge HR intensely for the week I wore it. I noticed a small rash on the outside of the opposite arm close. Naturally, I didn't associate it with the HR at all. By the third day it was all the way down to my wrist and there was a new spot starting on the same spot of the arm with the band. Then it spread down to my wrists. Interestingly everywhere except the skin directly in contact with the band. Finally, after deducing the only thing I was doing differently was wearing the Charge HR, I took off the band. Within several hours the itching stopped. By the next day the rash was drying up. I put the band back on and the rash got worse again. Done with the Charge HR. Too bad, because I really enjoyed using.

    What I am most concerned about is that this is not a simple skin contact allergy. There must be something leeching out from the band and circulating throughout our bodies. Scary.

    • LukeRimini says:

      U nuts? XD

  • avalese says:

    Is it worth it with all these problems?

  • sandrave says:

    I just got my Fitbit Charge HR today and after only wearing it for less than 3 hours, my wrist began to itch something terrible.  Now I found this site and it has confirmed that many people have the same problem with the device.  I started to get a rash, but it has subsided now that I removed it and gave my wrist a rest.  Made in China....I wonder what they put in the band....hum.  I am returning mine tomorrow, but I was really looking forward to using it.  Bummed.

  • marly says:

    I have had my Fitbit Charge HR for a couple months.  It hurts me sooo much to wear it on the outside of my wrist and I flipped it over after the first couple days and have had no trouble since.  I saw it written that the Fitbit should not be worn this way but they give no reason behind that statement and it's working just right with out pain now.

  • BlackRose says:

    I feel like I'm the only one that likes the Charge HR.

    For me, I wanted to get as many calories burned as possible with accurate readings. The Heart Rate Monitor seems to be pretty spot on for me, and the calories are near the same the elliptical is saying I burned. For example: if my elliptical says that I burned 110 calories in 11 minutes, my Charge HR will say that I burned about 94-95 calories at least. Or, if I reached my goal and burned 300 calories on the elliptical, my Charge HR will say I burned somewhere between 320-330 calories.

    I'm assuming the difference exists because of the constant Heart Rate tracking from the HR compared to the elliptical, which doesn't have that feature.

    The charge on it is fantastic, and can last a full five days after you charge it fully. 

    My only complaint is that I wish it were water proof, so I can wear it in the shower and when swimming.

    • andlor81 says:

      No you are not alone. I love my Charge HR and Surge too. I am a runner und using Surge for running and Charge HR for whole day tracking. Especially I eat according advised calories burned and I don't gain or lose weight. The accuracy over day is pretty well!

  • Juliatobo says:

    Hey guy,

    I am thinking of buying a Fitbit, but i am not sure which one to buy?

    any advice?

  • jlmorinfl says:

    I received one from my brother after he'd used it. I can't seem to reset the values to zero.  It shows on my account now as having all his values and also reads his distance walked on the display.  How can I reset this for my use?

  • Katie says:

    Received this as a a gift for Mother's Day. I loved it and the app was amazing. My elation slowly began waning when I first discovered the "sleep tracking" is worthless. It should just be called "Movement during even hours tracking". The charge never lasts more than a few days. It's uncomfortable to wear - super uncomfortable to sleep in. Does not track "active minutes" accurately, if at all, and it frustrates me that I can't bypass that. It's also just ugly (if you want a good laugh, search for "fitbit bling" on etsy.com )

    The kicker was when I put it on while in my car and drove to work. When I parked my car I checked the FitBit and it logged 91 steps - from driving.

    I go to the gym several times a week and it has never once registered my time as "active minutes", instead I have to manually start the stop watch and don't forget to stop it. 

    I have logged many miles walking to the courthouse, lugging files in my left arm, it makes me cringe to think of how many steps were not logged because, as stated above: this device should be called a wrist movement tracker. It's going back.

  • hockeymagnet says:

    Had a Fitbit force which was recalled and now a flex. I'm considering getting the charge HR. Generally, I'm amazed at people who complain about driving recording steps and steps not recording if their wrist is completely stationary, etc. - People, it's on your WRIST! It is accelerometer based so if your arm is moving as in driving, it will record steps. This is very well documented on any site discussing these devices. I ride a motorcycle and in 1/2 hour it logs 1000 steps. You need to go into the app and record your driving times and then the app will make adjustments accordingly - the flaw in this equation is that the app does not sync back to the Fitbit so while your Fitbit screen will still show the incorrect number of steps, the app will be correct. While I wish the app could sync the corrected total back to the tracker, it's not a deal breaker. Same goes for exercise like cycling, spinning, etc.. If you enter them as instructed in the app you do get credit for them. For stairs, these devices use a barometric pressure sensor so if you drive up a hill, you're altitude increases and it will register floors climbed. 

    The bottom line is if you're going to be worried about these devices accurately recording or not recording steps in certain circumstances, None of these devices will ever make you happy. They are meant to give you a general idea of your physical activity levels. That's why when Nike introduced the Fuel Band they came up with the idea of Fuel "Points" that you can't equate to specific activity data. If it records a few hundred extra steps or misses a few hundred steps a day, so what? If, on the other hand you are actually walking or running and find the deivation is more than 10% of your actual step count, You may have a faulty device. Just check it by counting out 100 steps and checking your fitbit display. If it's accurate, it's doing the job it was designed to do.

    If you want more step tracking accuracy, you have 3 choices - 

    1. Do not buy a wrist mounted tracker - buy a Fitbit One or a Zip or a shoe pod tracker 

    2. Buy a GPS based tracker like a Garmin but this won't help much in the gym or on a treadmill.

    3. Use your phone with the appropriate apps

  • sonya says:

    I had the Surge, twice, and after two months each quit working. The company replaced the first but not the second. I did not submerge the device in water but I sweat when I work out and I also work out in the rain or drizzle. Even minimum amounts of moisture will stop the device. It needs to be water resistant and it is not even close. I am disappointed the company ignored me after the second device quit working. Not very good PR....

  • PattiK323 says:

    I'm looking for a fitness tracker that will translate my activity into steps when I do Insanity, Piyo, Boot Camp, etc.  Does the FitBit Charge HR do this; or, just give you heart rate and calorie burn for these types of activities?

  • ShropsArchitect says:

    I've been doing a lot of reading and I think this is the one for me.  Does it remind you to move after inactivity like some others?


  • JoeCW says:

    just updated the software and now the watch/display comes on when you move your wrist! 

  • fb_432716 says:

    hello, anyone who wants a free surge or charge HR charging cable? We are a company specializes in providing high-quality fitbit accessories on Amazon, if anyone who wants a spare cable, please feel free to contact me and we will ship a free one in exchange for a feedback, thank you guys!

    Contact at: zhoukexumail@gmail.com

  • lxrocks says:

    Bought a fitbit surge today - was shocked to see that I cannot use this device without registering.       In addition, they only allow social login registration ie FB/Gmail.   

    They tell me that I can alter my privacy settings to protect my data.   You have to be incredibly naive to believe that.  The only way to protect data is not to give it in the first place.

    No thank you, I choose not to be forced to provide my data to someone.  I'm returning the device to the store tomorrow

  • Dea says:

    Hello, I am wondering if I have ruined my fitbit hr. I accidentally failed to charge it and the battery is completely dead. I am not even getting a response from it being connected. Any help with this situation would be greatly appreciated.

    • j.stables says:

      If it won't work you should contact Fitbit support. Doesn't sound like you have done anything wrong from your description...

  • Jtide2312 says:

    Is there anyway to keep the stopwatch light on continuous till the workout is finished? Would like to use the stopwatch to do Abs but I heard the stopwatch goes dark after a few seconds.

  • selenag1977 says:

    what happens once the battery goes bad? can it be changed out?

    • j.stables says:

      That's a no. Best speak to Fitbit...

  • balive says:

    1. I don't want a fitness tracker that requires bluetooth while I'm wearing it. Can I use a Fitbit Charge HR, without needing to have bluetooth on all the time? Is it a requirement of using a Fitbit that is always using bluetooth?

    2. I used to have a Polar with a strap around the torso, near the heart, for tracking my heart rates. I was told at wrist heart tracker was not as accurate as a torso heart tracker, I read that the Fitbit is VERY inaccurate for readings over 120, is this the case?

    • PoTSmonitoring says:

      Hi, You don't need to keep it connected via bluetooth-it can store the data for several days and download at the next sync. I had one that needed constant blue tooth and it killed my phones battery within a few hours. This is great in that respect.

      2. I have my HR for monitoring postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)  and I've found it to be okay-and useful. When ever I've checked it against either a hospital or another HR monitor the numbers have matched. The graphs show my 158 and that sort of thing that occurs when i walk too far. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps if most people are achieving these high heart rates from furiously running that might be why they have a problem when i dont? I get them from just walking gently! I think this or another review suggested something along this line of reasoning.

      • Health says:

        Don't buy a FitBit.  The Bluetooth on the device CANNOT be switched off - it is permanently switched on.  You and those near you are exposed to it 24/7 including when you sleep of course.  Whilst the Bluetooth can be switched off on your phone/laptop it cannot be switched off on your Fitbit.  Despite repeated long term requests from customers for software updates to allow it to be switched off, Fitbit have not done so.  Take my advice and either return a recently bought Fitbit for a refund and/or buy a Garmin Vivosmart HR or any other Garmin device as theirs allow their wearers to switch Bluetooth off and only use it when syncing - which makes sense.

  • ymoriti says:

    hi guys. I use a lumia. I play fotball professional, and i want a fitness tracker to control my calorie burn, my heart rate, my spleep. These are essential. Its better be water proof. What i read until now, i like the fitbit charge hr buts its not water proof. Also have to be compatible with windows Phone. So, heart rate, calories, sleep, water proof, windows Phone, and track run and steps.

  • magnettt says:

    My HR does not even come close on counting steps when I jog.  I have had to manually update mine twice in 4 month's.  I can do the same exact walk each day and there is 2,000 steps difference over a 4 mile walk.  Disappointed and will never be buying another fitbit.

    • Grandma2blonds says:

      My HR is horrible.  I just got mine, and I use a fat burner setting on the treadmill.  I walk 45 minutes in the morning on the treadmill, and 30 minutes at lunch, along with 30 minutes bike and strength training.  It is not recording about 1/2 of my steps or miles.  The $7,000 treadmill says 2.58 miles, fitbit says 1.24.  $10.00 pedometer says 6,400 steps, fitbit says 2,300.  My $10.00 pedometer records better than this $150.00 glorified watch.  I called the company and they suggested that I modify my workout and move my arms if I want to get an accurate reading.  Another $10.00 pedometer is in my future.   I have lost 70 pounds before this fitbit, maybe they should modify their recording method to match the way we exercise.  About 1/2 of Americans are on a treadmill, CATCH UP!!!  Geez.   

  • kaquino says:

    I have been wearing flex for two weeks. 3 days ago broke out with rash on chest now spread to both shoulders and arms. Not wrists yet. Did not associate with Flex but now wondering if that could be it. Anyone have rash NOT on skin in direct contact with device?

  • korzie says:

    Not pleased with the Fitbit Charge HR at all. My devise does not hold a charge as long as advertised. Maybe 4 days if I'm lucky. I contacted fitbit support, and all they tell me is they looked at my history report and all is working as it should.  Really?,  That's all you can tell me!  My fitbit is still under warranty, how about you send a replacement! I feel like I wasted my money on this product.  Would not recommend this product to anyone.

  • mosesgunn says:

    I think people get too worked up over the term 'steps' and should be focused more on overall activity such as calories burned. This article also neglects to mention that you can sync the app with GPS apps such as Runkeeper, Nike or MapMyRun if you really want the GPS benefit. You can also sync with MyFitnessPal to gain more accurate caloric intake which you can then pull into the Fitbit app to track caloric intake versus calories burned (500 calorie deficit = 1 lb lost/week; 1000 calories = 2 lbs lost/week).

  • Verity says:

    Ive had mine for 2 weeks, After 2 days I have a burn on my right write where the two lights sit. I swapped wrists and now I have irritation from the straps on my left wrist. 
    in the 2nd week of use I have swapped it back to my right wrist as the irritation on my left wrist is unbearable now. .. I now have irritation on the underside of my wrist on my right hand, 
    I have been keeping it clean etc and wiping it daily with cleaning wipes. The other issue I have is that it needs charged every 2nd day, Not every 5 days like it says on the instructions. Gutted!! 
    I really like it though, find it accurate and love looking at the stats. I find it very comfortable too. 
    Just really gutted I am having to charge every 2 days and the irritation it causes to my wrists. I used to wear a watch so its not my skin reacting to a lack of oxygen either haha

  • CC86 says:

    I had the Fitbit Charge HR. It recently fell off of me while out and I unfortunately didn't realize it until it was too late. After doing some rsearch, it seems as though this is a known issue. I called customer service and they told me that it can't be warrantied because it's lost  (even though it was defective and that's why it's lost) they would not budge. They offered me 25% off a new one however, I think it's ridiculous that I now have to go spend money (it was a birthday present) to replace something that is not at all my fault, it's not like I lost it or left it somewhere, it's the manufacturers fault. So frustrated. Customer Service was rude. The woman I spoke to said that she was doing me a favor by giving me a discount since warranty doesn't cover lost trackers. Shame on you Fitbit for not taking care of something that's your fault!

  • CC86 says:

    I had the Fitbit  Charge HR since April (birthday present),  it recently fell off of me while out and didnt realize it until it was too late. After doing some research, it seems as though this is a known issue. I called customer service and they told me that it can't be warrantied because it is lost (even though it was defective and that's why it fell off) They should be replacing it but they wouldn't budge. They offered me 25% off a new one however, I think it's ridiculous that I now have to go spend money to replace something that is not my fault that it's lost. It not like I just misplaced it or left it somewhere, it's the manufacturers fault. So frustrated. Customer Service was rude, the woman I spoke to said that she was doing me a favor by giving me a discount since warranty doesn't cover lost trackers. Shame on you Fitbit for not taking care of something that's your fault!

  • iamlaurence says:

    Hi, can you please clarify what this device does with distance? You say it doesn't guesstimate distance but then there is also a mention that it measures distance...


  • gundamzaku says:

    i guess i couldn't care less about how many steps i took walking from my car to the grocery store.  i mainly use it as a heart rate monitor that i don't have to strap onto my chest.  at the same time i would also like an estimate of the distance i ran during my soccer games and basketball games, but it's not so important that i need to know exactly.  i'm more concerned about my cardio.  i also have a garmin fenix 3 sapphire and let me tell you, that machine is very accurate since it has GPS, but it's a pain to wear because it's bulky and heavy.  i've gotten used to wearing that watch to sleep, so wearing this band is a lot more comfy!!!  if you really need to know your number of steps, the garmin fenix is a lot more accurate, go with that.  i think the fitbit only gives you a general sense of how you're doing :)

  • LJC says:

    Be careful if you are buying for someone under 13. Fitbit does not allow under 13s to set up an account so you cannot even set the time, let alone keep track of steps or other activity.

  • marc says:

    I'm an older person mostly interested in my heart rate and regularity.  I'd like to take the graphs to my cardiologist but I haven't found it possible with my tablet.  My computer activities are with my 11" Chromebook that unfortunately does not have the Fitbit App.  Marc

  • Frecks18 says:

    OMG I AM NOT ONLY....  I not only experienced pain in my wrist but.... I started to lose my hair.  I went for all kinds of test . Everything came back fine. Took off my Fitbit and after a week no more clumps of hair in the shower and no more odd pains in my wrist, elbow and shoulder 

  • polaralltheway says:

    i got the fitbit charge hr as a gift and what a product! I got an allergic reaction and the hr rate wasn't as accurate as my polar watch FT 7, when i was doing high intensity cardio my rate said NOTHING! Went on a run and it was completely off from my polar FT7 my fitbit said 90 and my FT7 said 145 when going downhill and my heart rate didn't change from beginning to end.  its frustrating when you get an allergic reaction from this product. I returned to store where it was purchased and the associate told me that they always get returns on Fitbits for the same reasons. 


    lets face it they have been business 2007, I trust polar (since 1977 creator of the Heart rate) for watching fitbit and there fails and creating a product that it reliable and took its time to engineer a products that well made. I've been a polar user for a long time. FITBIT IS A DISAPPOINTMENT. 

  • rpa says:

    The Charge HR display is barely visible in daylight, and not visible in bright daylight.  This is not true of the Charge w/o the heart rate monitor.  I Contacted tech support to inquire about turning up the contrast.  They said that the contrast was fixed, and nothing could be done.  The tech support agent said that he has to put his other hand over the watch to shade the display to make it legible. He said this is part of the design of this watch.  Puzzling that you would design a watch that is not visible in bright daylight.  I said that I needed to have a view able watch and would be returning it.  Fitbit tech support said "fine".  Very disappointed in Fitbit, but also in the Fitbit reviews for not mentioning this.  

  • sisie39 says:

    can you wear a fitness tracker if you have an implanted defibrillator?

  • andlor81 says:

    I hope the writer (James Stables) will teach us which tracker is more accurate for this price and size class. You compare the Charge HR for running activity like a running watch this is just complete wrong. If you want accurate running tracking you need to pay more and accept a bigger wristband (Surge or running watch). The most running watches can actually not tracking 24/7 of your body activity (beside some Garmin watches but higher price and bigger don't forget this!). Think first about expectations and ability of device before write complete wrong article.

    • j.stables says:

      It's great that you understand that this isn't a running device, but not everyone realises its limitations. Also, Fitbit touts its technology as a way for people to run (check their adverts) and train in HR zones (I know, I've spoken to their experts) – so it's important that it's evaluated as such. Thanks for commenting.

  • dontcallme says:

    Purchased the Fitbit Charger HR for my wife.  I was surprised that there were NO instructions in the box.  I had to go online just to find that the instructions were weak at best. Next step was YouTube.  Finally found out the the FitBit was not a fit!!!!

  • suzanne says:

    I'm really interested in purchasing a fitbit charge HR, however I'm a nurse so have to be bare below the elbows for work, so cant always wear somethin on my wrist all of the time. Does anyone know if I can wear the charge HR on my ankle during work? And whether it would maintain its accuracy?


    • j.stables says:

      No sorry. Misfit Shine would probably be more appropriate for you. No HR but you can clip it anywhere. 

  • GracieRN says:

    HATE it!  ended up with a 541 error because I probably entered 15 year old son's birthdate wrong.  After spending 2 hours with customer support (via Philippians but they lie and say they are in USA which pisses me off because I don't have any problem with this--it's the phone delay that was pissing me off).  Took way too much time to resolve the 541 error

  • snafunaafi says:

    My Wife and I both have a Fitbit and on the surface I loved it, but a divorce was comming, as this device could of killed me.  Diagnosed with Proximal Atrial Fibrilation and no way of knowing when an attack is happening, I resort to a Polar with a chest strap and should I go over 160BPM stop training. The day I realise my Fitbit was a toy was when my screaming Polar told me I had hit 210 BPM.  I checked with some gym equiptment which confirmed I was hitting 200 plus.  Five minutes bouncing from 200 to 160 and back to 180 before stabilising at 120 BPM was worrying.

    My Fitbit was not concerned it read 95 BPM through out this electrical high jack of my heart.

    If I had only worn my Fitbit that day and kept training with heavy weights, there was a strong possibility that I would of had a heart attack.  Goodbye Fitbit you heap of useless rubbish

  • DarrenJH73 says:

    Was really looking forward to trying charge hr in gym... HR started off 70-80 then went for it on cross trainer heart rate on my bowflex went up to 165 as did the gyms equipment however the Fitbit showed 90 most of the time raising to 105max moved it loosened it changed wrists hr wouldn't rise any ideas thanks

  • Erica07 says:

    I tried to change the clock face display through the app on my phone it worked when I first got the Fitbit charg HR but it will not change now..any suggestions??

  • bvanni says:

    I am having similar problems with my fitbit causing me bruise-like pain in my wrist & hands (have tried both hands)  How do you go about trying to get your money back?

  • Spinning_Dude says:


    I received a Fitbit Charge HR for Christmas from my family after looking at them for over 4 months. The good - it appears the sleep tracking is pretty accurate after setting my stride length.

    The BAD!!!

    I have not had a resting heart rate under 80 BPM in over 20 years. Since I started wearing my Charge HR, I have an average resting heart rate in the 70s. When I work out, being of a certain age I need to be aware of a high heart rate, my Charge HR has never gone over 105 BPM. This is compared to my Polar chest heart monitor showing me having 150 to 160 BPM at the same time of the Charge HR shows under 105 BPM.


    Not sure about anyone else, I made sure my Charge HR is at the current firmware version, it is clean, wear as show in the documentation, and I have completed a reset three times with NO LUCK.              

  • bobby101 says:

    I watched the football games today 1-10-2015 and

    logged in 2.1 miles on my fitbit charge hr, while

    sitting in my recliner, how about that?

    • mb01915 says:

      You must have been waving your arms like a mad man - football does that.

  • bobby101 says:

    Watched 2 football games today in my recliner and logged in

    2.1 miles on my fitbit charge hr, how about that.

  • jlg says:

    Mine stopped syncing and despite restarting the tracker, it still doesn't work. I wrote to Fitbit and they promised to do an exchange but since that email, they stopped all communication and I tried writing to them again and again they simply ignore my emails. The after-sales service is a turn-off. I wouldn't recommend Fitbit to anyone.

  • BKR154 says:

    Wareable needs to do a follow-up piece on the HR. Lots of reliability issues and silence from Fitbit. 

  • Joanna says:

    Love the Fitbit HR. Had it as a Christmas present. Only downside to it is that the face scratches very easily, which can be annoying when you looking at the screen when lit up. Wearing the Fitbit 24/7 I've  several on mine already. You'd hope that it would be more scratch resident. 

  • mb01915 says:

    Fitbit HR Charge heart rate monitoring is flat out wrong.  If you have heart issues and are relying on this you are endangering your life.

  • Renee says:

    I agree with all of the wrist pain comments.  I have never felt anything like this before, mine is on the underside of my wrist.  I started wearing the band on my left and within 24 hrs could not even grip my car door to shut it.  I couldn't imagine it was the Fitbit causing this and assumed I injured my wrist and forgot so I changed to my right wrist and it stared in that one as well.  It's too bad because I like the program and the feedback it provides.   

  • Jerry_Cornelius says:

    This device is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    It fails to register steps properly unless I move my arms.

    It fails to register anything properly about half the time.

    I wonder what the purpose of this thing is, even if it worked exactly as advertised. Worrying about lost steps and weekly averages is not just pointless, it's actually counterproductive. It's a distraction. Playing with this toy or the largely useless dashboard in the app is just using up discretionary effort that you might put into some thing useful. Like actual exercise.

    It is the most useless piece of rubbish I've ever received.

  • 12345 says:

    what ever it does, it's highly overpriced for a piece of plastic!

    I have better ways to monitor my health!

  • drllb says:

    I love My Fitbit, the fact that I can track my calorie and steps.  It has some definite drawbacks though. The step calculator is definitely inaccurate. I did an hour step class and had to climb a flight of stairs to get to the class, and the Fitbit registered "2" steps.  So that's inaccurate. The heart rate monitor doesn't work once you get sweaty because the Fitbit slips down on your arm, so it's useless to track your heart rate during a heavy workout. And then there's the issue of the screen.  I've been keeping my Fitbit under my sleeve, and yet it still had scratches on it within a week of purchase.  Why couldn't they have used a protector or a different kind of plastic? For the price, it should be better made.

    It's going to get to a point in the future when I won't be able to read the screen because of all the scratches.

  • MBrewington says:

    I bought my Fitbit Charge HR December 3rd after joining the YMCA the month before.  Between it and the Fitbit App the weight is slowly burning off. I find it to be very accurate compared to the Y's machines HR readouts most of the time. Occasionally it will throw out readouts 50-60 beats too high for short perods of time but today while walking briskly on the track it ranged from 150-179 where normally my readout would normally be 110-115. I've reset it several times but today I had no symptoms of an elevated heartrate yet had I believed the readout could easily have convinced myself I was in trouble. I love the concept and the data but feel this one is failing so it's going back to Costco to be swapped for a new one.  Interestinly they say up to five days on a charge, yet I've never gotten more than 72 hours on a charge until last week when it went 96 hours. Hopefully the next one won't be erratic and last longer on a charge. 

  • sparkr says:

    Why isn't more said here about the syncing issues of the Charge HR? Go to the Fitbit Charge HR Community and you'll see it's a significant issue that isn't being resolved.  I'd say the inability to consistently syn is a major issue with this product.

    • Leafprobably says:

      OMG YES. The syncing issue is a massive pain in the ass. Especially now I don't have a device with a USB (like a laptop) to reset it with. 

      And it keeps asking to update (when it is syncing) but the update gets stuck halfway and stops.  

  • LilMissy says:

    The Fit-bit hr is the worst waste of money. It doesn't not fit right, I have to turn my are in a backward position to look at. the step counter is a joke. My heart rate the other day was 39 right after I got off the treadmill. Think twice before you buy!!!!!

  • dancemom24x7 says:

    Very disappointed with product.  Worked fine for one week and now it doesn't sync anymore.  Don't waste your money.

  • chiz says:

    I drove my 18 wheeler from Pitts to Lancaster PA and it tracked 7503 steps and 39 flights of stairs from the sitting position. I'm returning mine. It,s just too frustrating .

  • rosenbad says:

    My Charge HR stopped synching after a month.  The company sent me a replacement.  Within a couple of weeks, it stopped synching and the time is incorrect.  Fitbit will only send a replacement for the same model, even though on its website it acknowledges that there are problems with the Charge HR that its engineers are trying to fix.  It's unbelievable that they acknowledge that their product doesn't work but refuse to replace it with a different, functional model.  

  • Supperman says:

    I've had my charge for 7 months, at about the 5th month it start to show wear and tear.

    I'm 58 years old and mildly work out 3x per week (45 Min.)

    The back snaps off when I try to charge it and I have to search for the parts strewn about and try to reassemble it.

    Now the Rubber is separating from the main band assembly.

    I love the things it does for me but from a quality standpoint and the cost it should last at least 2 yrs, (not 6-8 Months)

    I'll buy another likeness because I've really grown to appreciate what the Charge can do.

    My wife's last about 3 months. Not happy about that. She's same age and not a person that works out.

  • DineshBhuva says:

    I have lost charging cable for my fitbit charge HR. How can or from where do I get/buy the cable. Any input on this will highly be appreciated

  • ShadowWolf says:

    The charge HR has lots of complaints about battery life.  5 days is a myth for most. 2 days is realistic and to me unacceptable.  I have had 2 replacements all have the same 2 day battery life.  

  • psattig says:

    Threw my charge hr away. Could never get the sync function to turn on the silent alarm setting. Got tired of trying to get it to work.

  • cenon415 says:

    Not sure how the Fitbit is causing everyone pain in their wrists. Maybe you guys aren't wearing it loose enough for an index finger to fit in between the band and your skin. I myself have been wearing my Charge HR for a while now and keep in mind that I myself suffer from metal allergies but this Fitbit has given me Zero problems. It's been comfortable to wear and for long periods; almost 10+ hours a day. I'm not sure if every comment I've read on here are just paid reviews or legitimate ones who came here to bash on Fitbit.

  • fitbitdanrets1 says:

    Overall, for someone who wasn't looking for a cross-training assistant, it works for me. I wanted to track distance, heart rate and my sleeping patterns. Nothing more, nothing less. Add that to the fact that Costco sells this for $79 and it is not a bad machine. Yes, it has its quirks, as while riding my motorcycle, Fitbit Charge HR read that I had climbed 237 sets of stairs! All while burning less calories than sitting down for a day. If I was looking for something more accurate, I would have purchased one for much more. I am happy with what I have, for the price I paid for it.

  • Bsed says:

    I just returned my charge HR after several weeks of email correspondence with the Fitbit teams regarding the lack of syncing, inaccurate step counting and poor battery life. I walked two miles today and it tracked only 1.29 miles. The response from Fitbit said I needed to adjust the stride setting. I told them even if I adjusted it, it shouldn't loose that many steps. Their response: 

    "If you are doing an activity that does not require steps (like walking on a treadmill), or an activity that requires more than just steps (like tennis or yoga), you can use the activity log to improve the accuracy of this activity's contribution to your caloric burn."

    Excuse me, but I thought walking on a treadmill required steps. Why would I wear a tracker that doesn't track? The customer service was horrible and were only interested in having me read an article and try to fix it. None of their suggestions worked and they didn't want to replace it so I returned it. 

    I've had several other Fitbit products and was very satisfied but not with this one. This time, I will buy a tracker from another company. 

  • awilkinson says:

    Absolute rubbish to be quite honest! I was really happy with mine for the first few days...until the long life battery lasted no more than 2 days at the very most! Now it won't sync... Having visited Fitbit's website, this actually seems a common fault and have a pathetic page saying 'try this...it might work' well it doesn't!! Definitely getting sent back!

  • MikeCloud says:

    Watch out there is an issue with SYNCING your Fitbit Charge HR data to your online account. This is extremely frustrating as you want to get your stats recorded for your medical Vitality scheme. Every 4 days I have to restart device and go thru a range of actions to get it to sync to my online dashboard. Fitbit acknowledge the sync problem but there is no statement of how long this has been occuring. Mine has been occuring since 11 Feb. This is my 2nd Charge HR using MotoG 2nd gen Android 5.01 (first one got water damage) 

    Stats appear to be reasonably accurate and heart rate matches the rate on the Technogym equipment.

  • agmonaco says:

    Won't sync, Charge does not last more than 18 hours. Fitbit keeps saying they are working on the firmware.. Wish I had never bought it. 

  • racheldsilva91 says:

    Fitbit is now on sale only at SmartwatchOffers:com

  • jkfitbit says:

    Just wanted to echo the various concerns others have voiced. The HR monitor is typically way off. Sometimes by as many as 30+ BPM. Worked with technical support to reset but the problem is still there. The step tracker both under records the number of actual steps when I walk or run and over records steps due to arm movements. I was seated on the couch the other day working on my laptop and using a couple books. The band recorded more than 300 steps. The tracking exercise function still hasn't worked correctly. The default figures for any given exercise appear to be impossible to revise. And when I noticed i had accidentally entered the wrong weight on my first day of using the band, I couldn't find a way to go back and edit that figure. I open the day, change the number, but it never "takes." So my weight loss figure is always overstated. Anyway, I could go on, but I'm likely going to return it and seek a refund. The only thing that does seem to work well is the sleep monitor. Though even that records steps now and then. And I don't sleepwalk.

  • JosephM says:

    Thanks James, for an in-depth review that really helps. I was a bit confuse to buy between Fitbit Charge HR & Surge. But finally chose Charge HR for its simplicity and been happy with it. The fitbit reviews here really helped me https://fanreviews.co/fitness-trackers/fitbit-charge-hr really helped me to take the call.


    Did you try putting it on the ankle to know if that has changed the reading?

  • Strangeindeed says:

    If you reside outside the United States, fitbit will ask you to destroy the device and prove that you've destroyed it before refunding. I'm getting my money back because I had burn marks on both my wrists where the heart tracker is and I had shooting athritic type pains in my wrists. I don't understand why anyone in their right mind would continue to use this device if they have had any pain! 

    How do any of us know that this relatively new technology is safe for our health in the long run? 

    Wouldn't it be ironic that a fitness gadget could also be making you ill? 

  • FredFlint says:

    I call mine the fit brick as mine is hung showing 1/2 progress on an update. I spent an hour with tech support and they offered no help other than the steps I had already tried, unpair repair, use PC use Phone, plug into PC hold button unplug, etc  I wanted something that worked not a device that bricks with no way to fix it.  Fitbit has said once they exhaust tech support options I can get a warranty replacement but what happens if it bricks at 13 months?  I don't want a tracker that does not have a way to do a reset.  I had the HR for less than a day, got it charged overnight brick.

  • Kbells says:

    wow I never even put my fit bit on today and when I picked it up it showed I had burned 1250 cal. If only that easy. Getting ready to take this piece of garbage back

  • dokura says:

    While I was very excited to finally get a Fitbit (received as a Christmas this past year), I have been extremely disappointed with it.   I have had issues from day 1 -- won't synch, won't keep time, calories burned are not accurate (they are way off!), updates won't load to iPad or iPhone, HR rarely registers.  I have done all the troubleshooting recommended online without luck.   I traded it out at BestBuy for another one (as I had the protection plan.)  Same issues developed one week after use.   Customer Service does not know what to tell me -- that or they don't care.   I do not recommend this product....I am EXTREMELY disappointed.  And I am surprised I do not see even more negative reviews posted, as my son has a Fitbit as well with all the same issues I am having (so 3 Fitbits having the same issues.)

    • boat says:

      I received a Fitbit HR for my birthday. Was really excited to get it and in a matter of weeks the band started coming apart, it wouldn't sync most of the time, couldn't track distance or heart rate correctly then quit charging. I would never recommend the product or buy another one.

  • LuRo says:

    I rec'd my fitbit HR charge last week as a result of a deep discount offered through my University employment, and my spouse also purchased a fitbit due to the discount at a rate of $65.  

    The main issues we have had is that fitbit does not like 2 trackers in the same household! We spent 1 hour plus on the phone with an IT person and they could not figure out the issue and were supposed to call us back with a more advanced IT person but never did. We figured out the issue of the two devices interferring, and I had to literally leave the house with my spouse's phone and tracker so that my tracker could be synced to to my phone by my spouse. This is an issue that needs resolution.

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