Tag Archives: FitBit Charge HR

Apple Watch versus FitBit Charge HR – Editorial

Last year I wrote a review on the FitBit Charge HR using it with MyFitnessPal. My review is here – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/02/17/fitbit-charge-hr-review-including-using-it-with-myfitness-pal/

I used my FitBit Charge HR to monitor my sleep, activity and compete with a few friends to keep me motivated. I also linked my FitBit with MyFitnessPal to coordinate the food intake with my fitness and weight loss. The two pieces of technology together were very successful and a joy to use.

Both FitBit and MyFitnessPal have updated their software to provide a better experience. However, since last year the Apple Watch has arrived and I have linked this up to MyFitnessPal as well.

After several months I will update you with my thoughts on whether the Apple Watch really is a decent fitness device that takes on FitBit and the FitBit Charge HR. My goal is weight loss.

Now don’t scream at the screen and say they are different devices and prices. Of course they are but I want to try and document my thoughts in this process.

Keep tuned and have a good weekend.

FitBit Charge HR – Just got a new firmware update with cool new features – details


FitBit has just released a new firmware update to v18.84 for its Charge HR. So I updated my Charge HR yesterday and it has a new cool feature called Quick View.

With Quick View, you don’t need a free hand to check the time on your Charge HR. Instead of pressing the button, just turn your wrist towards you and the time will appear for a few seconds. You can enable Quick View under Settings.

Devices on your Fitbit.com dash.Immediately get summary data about your workouts instead of waiting to sync your tracker. Now when you turn exercise mode off, your workout’s elapsed time scrolls across the tracker’s screen for about four seconds. After the elapsed time, the following summary stats appear in turn:

– Average heart rate
– Calories burned
– Steps taken
– Distance covered
– Floors climbed

If you miss the summary, you can always check your web (Fitbit.com) or mobile dashboard after syncing to see all your historical data.

You can now tap your screen once to advance to the next screen.

When charging your tracker, you’ll now see the current battery level.

You no longer need to press the button to see your goal celebration. When you reach your fitness goal, your tracker will celebrate immediately.

This release resolves the following issues:-

– High floor counts have been fixed. Some customers reported artificially inflated floor counts.
– All exercise records now appear on the Activities page. Some customers reported being unable to find historical activities.
– Trackers no longer restart unexpectedly. Some customers reported trackers restarting during setup or while enabling call notifications.

I really like the raise to show time and or date. Makes it more like a watch now.

It is just a shame FitBit still have no plans to sync to Apple Health Kit or Google Sync.

Source – http://www.fitbit.com

Technology working in Harmony – FitBit Charge HR, Viewranger, MyFitnessPal, Note 4


Sometimes we buy phones and gadgets just because we like the look of it, or are tempted by the product or even because we know somebody who bought one, and we also want one. But wouldn’t it be good if we could buy technology with a purpose that all integrated properly.

Above is a screen shot from my dashboard view on the FitBit app. This is a cross platform app that can be installed on android, iOS, Windows Phone and viewable via the web too. It is reading data from my FitBit Charge HR. (my review of the FitBit Charge HR https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/02/17/fitbit-charge-hr-review-including-using-it-with-myfitness-pal/ ) . I am using the FitBit Charge HR to help me lose weight and get fitter. This piece of tech does exactly what I need without any unnecessary frills.


It also has intelligent software. Above is a route I walked but as it was across Dartmoor it is not very detailed. A word of warning. If you instruct the app to start an exercise, it uses your location (GPS) from your phone. As I was on Dartmoor, there was no cell reception, so it warned me it hadn’t got a fix yet, but I overrode the warning and hit the start exercise button.If I had waited a few more seconds it would have got a fix. After 20 mins, it showed that I had walked 9.1 miles. Miracle or mistake 🙂 Now, this is where the FitBit software was clever enough to allow me to delete that one route, and after a sync with the internet a bit later, it corrected all the data and adjusted the step, calories and everything else on my dashboard. I restarted my exercise, this time being more patient and getting a GPS fix first before hitting the start button.

So all was going well until I reached a place called Laughter Tor. The weather had suddenly turned for the worse. It was already minus 2 degrees centigrade, but now dense fog had appeared and it was impossible to see ahead. And this is where I used another piece of technology, an app called Viewranger. Again this app is cross platform. I have a proper OS map of Dartmoor and began to use it to track my route and plan my route ahead. Below is a screen shot showing the path I walked.


One of the clever features of the app, is the ability to trace back the route walked, and at one point due to the deterioration in weather this was an option. Also as the map is an OS map, elevations are clearly marked.


And finally, the last part of the tech puzzle, is food and drink managed by MyFitnessPal. Note the entry at the end, showing the FitBit steps adjustment. This can add to your total allowed calories or deduct if you are having a lazy day.

All the above software and hardware is managed by my Samsung Note 4. It’s high quality screen and size help with the map tracking too and its battery longevity was excellent as well.

It feels great when everything works so well together!

FitBit Charge HR review – Including using it with MyFitnessPal


Today, I am going to review the FitBit Charge HR with comparisons to all the other wearables I have used, including the FitBit Flex, see link https://gavinsgadgets.com/reviews-accessories/ to read up on all the other smartbands, watches and fitness devices already reviewed on Gavin’s Gadgets.

Charge HR builds on last year’s Flex fitness band with a bright blue OLED display, advanced sensors which include an altimeter for counting stairs climbed and optical heart rate monitor dubbed “PurePulse.” The FitBit Charge HR tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and floors climbed, It also takes into account motion and heartrate in its sleep analytics, meaning you don’t have to press or tap anything to tell it you’re about to go to sleep. It is water resistant—that is, sweat, rain, and splash-proof but not waterproof. Below are the home screen layouts for the Fitbit app on android. This looks the same whether on iOS or windows phone.



What makes the Charge HR special is its real-time heart monitoring capability. This means it knows if your in fat burn, cardio or peak zones when exercising. When you have told it you’re in exercise mode the heart rate measurements are taking every second. The FitBit has three special heart icons displayed next to the pulse rate readout which displays which mode your in – fat burn, cardio or peak zones.

When you have not activated exercise mode the Charge HR takes readings at five-second intervals throughout the day and this can be analysed later on a graph. There is also the ability using the app to adjust the heart rate banding in the different zones. This could be if you are a super athlete with significantly different bandings for your heart rate in the respective zones.

The Charge HR has an OLED screen. One press shows me the time and date (this is customisable), next press is steps, then current heart rate, distance travelled and calories burned. And that is all it does. It can vibrate for call notifications and sms, and for silent alarms. I do not use these features at all.

My wife has the previous generation of FitBit, the Flex. The Flex does not have a heart rate monitor or OLED display. The Flex has an different strap which is not as easy to remove or attach and could come off by accident. It also does not know when you are sleeping, or in a particular zone. You have to tap it to activate sleep mode. The sleep mode is not as accurate as the Charge HR. However, the Flex does have loads of replacement bands available from third party companies. My wife bought a pack of 10 different coloured straps for £12. With my wife using the Flex and myself on the Charge HR, there is no way in a million years that I would consider buying the Flex. The Charge HR is so much better.

The expression it does what it says on the tin is very true with the Charge HR. It makes walking, exercising and sleeping a breeze. It just happens in the background. It enables me to see how I can improve my fitness and more. But as this is a FitBit it also integrates into other third party apps. I am using MyFitnessPal to help me lose some pounds.


The Fitbit talks to MyFitnessPal and then MyFitnessPal converts the steps into additional calories that is added on to my total for the day. See above. However, if I was having a lazy day, MyFitnessPal deducts calories.

Using the Charge HR and MyFitnessPal in my current situation is a dream machine. It is also the best combination of any smart or fitness device I have used to date. Highly recommended.