Health x Wellness

Fitbit Charge Review

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Take charge of your fitness goals with this everyday fitness tracker by Fitbit.

Though the Fitbit Charge has been around for awhile now, find out how it could come in handy with your fitness aspirations.

An upgrade to its predecessor, Flex, the Fitbit Charge goes one step further, and offers more than just activity tracking. Besides allowing you to track the number of floors climbed, Charge also doubles up as a watch and provides call notifications to keep you connected to your smartphone. This is on top of tracking and syncing data such as steps, calories, distance and even sleep.

Design and Function

At first glance, the Charge’s wristband is slightly wider (21 milimetres) than the Flex, and comes in three sizes – Small (14cm-16.5cm), Large (16.5cm-20cm) and X-Large (20cm – 23cm). Made with a flexible elastomer material similar to that used in many sports watches, the Charge is unfortunately not waterproof but is sweat, rain and splash proof.

The wristband can be latched together with a stainless steel clasp, which may seem difficult to attach at the start. The trick is to get the right wristband size so you can avoid taking too much effort putting the wristband on. If the clasp isn’t your thing, you might want to consider getting the Charge HR instead, which comes with a conventional watch buckle. Nevertheless, the clasp manages to stay on securely so there is no risk of your wristband falling off while working out.

The Charge also comes with an OLED display screen which is great for showing time, as well as basic data such as steps, distance, floors, and calories burnt. To show time and data, simply press the button on the Charge or double tap the display screen (with some force). You can customise what screens you would like on display, as well as the order in which they appear via the Fitbit app.

The Charge will also notify you when a call is coming through with a gentle vibration alert, and you can also find the caller’s ID displayed on the OLED display screen. On top of that, you can also set Silent Alarms via the Fitbit app, where your Charge will wake you up with a gentle vibration. No need for noisy alarms that wake the whole family up anymore, the silent alarm feature makes waking up more peaceful.

With a battery life lasting from seven to 10 days, the Fitbit Charge can last you quite a long time. Furthermore, it only takes about one to two hours of charging before your Charge is fully powered up and ready to go.

The Fitbit App

To access all data, you’ll need the Fitbit app, which can be synced wirelessly to supported iOS, Android and Windows smartphones via Bluetooth. The app is free for download and is compatible with a number of other useful apps including RunKeeper to track your runs, and MyFitnessPal to track calories consumed.

Once you have downloaded the Fitbit app, you will have to set up your device and sync it. After it is completely synced, the dashboard will display full statistical graphics of all activity tracked for the day. One thing to note is that the data tracked on your Charge will reset at 12 midnight daily. This means that any additional activity tracked after 12 midnight will be carried over to the next day, which might not be an accurate reflection of the actual day’s activity – especially if you’re a night owl.

With the Fitbit app, you can also view graphical statistics showing how well you have slept. This includes interesting data showing how many times you were restless during your sleep and how much time was spent awake or restless. With this new data, you can work towards getting the recommended number of hours of sleep every night (seven to nine hours for adults) by setting a Sleep Goal. The only part is that you have to wear the wristband while you are sleeping, and it might not be as comfortable for everyone to do so.

As an all-encompassing fitness companion, the Fitbit app also allows you to set weight goals and offers Food Plans with varying intensities to help you achieve those goals. Based on data taken from your calories in and calories out, Fitbit’s Food Plans will show you the daily calorie deficit required to reach those goals by a certain date. For this to truly work, you have to maintain a level of discipline to log in the food you have consumed on a daily basis.

Overall, the Fitbit Charge is a handy tracker that keeps you on track with your progress and motivates you to better achieve your fitness goals. It is also ideal for those looking to lead a well-balanced life involving nutrition, exercise and a good night’s rest. Though it falls short from the Charge HR in features such as heart rate monitoring, it still makes for a more-than-sufficient wearable to take you through the daily grind.

Available in four colours – Black, Light Blue, Dark Blue and Red, the Fitbit Charge retails at SGD 188.




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