Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fitbit ChargeHR (first impression)

I have finally succumbed to popularity of the FitBit. Up to this point, I have been using Google Fit on my phone which can be kind of hassle to carry while running.

Why FitBit?

Why FitBit over the other brands? Mostly because my circle of influence use FitBit. That was basically the only factor with the assumption that the top smart-pedometers have similar features. I do like the ability to track how much activity I have during the day.

The price has been keeping me from buying FitBit. Is it worth $120+? This will have to wait to see.

I decided to go with the HR because I am curious about my heart rate history but more for the sleep tracker.

Setup

Setup is easy. Install the app on the phone. Follow instructions. This took 15 minutes.

Comfort/Style

It's simple but stylish enough for my needs. The band is comfortable and wears like a watch. I kind of wish the button was on the other side (or I suppose I could also wish I was left-handed). It would be cooler still if I could just tap the screen.

Accuracy

I did not do not super scientific test for this. My test is just an approximate accuracy with Google Fit. I check how many steps before an activity, then check the steps after an activity. I know Google Fit is not completely accurate due to the way it sits in my pocket (which I keep in the front pocket of baggy shorts). Overall, the steps were pretty aligned. Over 500 steps, FitBit registered 8 more steps than Google Fit. With over 7000 steps, Fitbit was around 50 more steps.

I typically run on the treadmill, so I have done some tests with the heart rate monitor. Most of the time, they seem to match within 1-2 bpm. When the FitBit does not sit very securely on my write, the readings could be off by quite a bit, the difference around 20 bpm (treadmill reading 140 bpm). I do not know the accuracy of the treadmill, so I cannot say what those numbers really mean.

More importantly, the numbers go up with I feel my heart rate going up and down when I'm resting. For me this is good enough to track. Especially since the target bpm is an estimate anyways. As long as it is consistent, I mostly just want to watch my efficiency increase as I get more fit.

I've worn it for two nights of sleep. I find it interesting how often I move around while I sleep and how consistent I am. I seem to move around almost every hour. Unfortunately, I haven't been getting a lot of sleep due to work.

Reporting

Looks nice. There is a charge for the fancier reports. The basic reports are standard and has more than Google Fit.

Overall

I'm pretty satisfied with the FitBit.