Activity trackers are all the rage right now. There are ones that track your steps, your sleep, your heart rate, the number of stairs you take, and even vibrate whenever you put chocolate to your lips. I kid, I kid about the chocolate warning. But seriously these trackers can do some amazing stuff!
I’ve worn both the Fitbit Flex and the Fitbit Charge HR (HR stands for heart rate). I started small with the Flex for a few months, but then upgraded to the Charge HR a few weeks ago. I gave the Flex to J to wear so he and his family could do challenges against one another. I’ve never seen a more competitive family than his. They call and text about each other’s steps or when someone is slacking. It really keeps him motivated trying to beat his sister all the time. I guess I won’t complain since he’s moving!
I upgraded for a few reasons – first, I really wanted J involved and it was easier to tell him that I wanted a different one and he could just take my old tracker. That way I wasn’t spending money specifically for him and he knew that eventually I would upgrade. Second, I Crossfit. If you’re familiar with Crossfit at all then you know it’s not a lot of walking around. I mean it’s hard work, but I’m not running across the gym the whole time. There are a lot of movements where I’m standing in one place deadlifting or cleaning. The Flex is not going to track those movements very well. I kept finding myself done with the workout feeling like I just had my butt handed to me. I would check the tracker and it would say 40 steps. It was frustrating. I needed something that would tell me more about my workout.
I really liked the ease of the Fitbit Flex, their app and even their customer support. I had a problem when I first got the Flex (mainly because I think I have the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active and it wouldn’t sync all the time) and I e-mailed support. They were great! Explained everything well and were willing to ship me a new tracker, no questions asked.
I researched different products and thought the Charge HR would be a good fit. Of course it was on back order for 3 weeks. That was kind of a bummer, but it was worth it!
Here’s my honest reviews on the Fitbit Flex vs Fitbit Charge HR:
– less costly at only $99
– tracks steps and sleep
– holds a 4-5 day battery charge
– syncs with J’s Samsung S4
– fully charges in 2 hours
– more slender design so it doesn’t bother me as much
– easily gauge your progress with progression dots on the tracker
-easy to read desktop dashboard on the computer
– not as in-depth as the other trackers
– if your activity doesn’t involve a lot of walking than it won’t be accurate
– difficult to switch into sleep mode sometimes
– didn’t want to consistently sync with my Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
– hard to track certain activities (such as weightlifting)
– doesn’t tell time
– more in-depth tracking capability, such as: heart rate, number of stairs climbed, can pinpoint a specific activity
– automatically goes into sleep mode when it senses you resting
– fully charges in an hour and a half
– vibrates and scrolls name of someone calling me
– tells the time, exact number of steps, current heart rate and amount of stairs I’ve climbed directly on the tracker
– seems to be more accurate with the amount of steps I walk in a day
– easy to read desktop dashboard on the computer
– bulkier wristband, it takes some getting used to after wearing the flex for a few months/
– only a 3-4 day batter charge, but still not bad
– to go along with the call notification, it seems to alert me on the last ring so I usually miss the call anyway (but I have a habit of leaving my phone on silent, so that’s nothing new)
– more costly at $149
Here’s a comparison of what the Fitbit Flex dashboard looks like to the Fitbit Charge HR dashboard. You can see there is more options and in-depth tracking with the Charge HR. Now you can pick and choose which tiles you want displayed. The Flex is J’s from a few days ago. See, he walks a ton compared to me. The Charge HR is mine from a few days ago. I blocked out my friends’ pictures and names just to be nice. I don’t walk nearly as much as J!
Overall, I am glad with my Charge HR purchase. I was willing to pay more for a tracker that offered more features. It was also a win-win because J now wears my old Flex. He walks so much more than I do in a day, but now I find him moving a little more in the evening to stay even with his sister.