Fitbit Charge HR: Lots of features for an action-packed life

The Fitbit Charge HR looks like a typical fitness tracker with a small rectangular Oled screen and only one side button.

The tracking module is built into the wristband, so you cannot swap out the wristband. A stainless steel buckle makes the fitness tracker secure and its textured rubber wristband is comfortable to wear.

Its HR moniker refers to its a built-in heart-rate monitor (HRM) which constantly measures your heart rate. The Charge HR is only splash-resistant though, so do not swim with it.

The Oled screen displays the current time, steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, heart rate and the number of flights of stairs climbed. You wake the display by double-tapping on it, or by twisting your wrist.

Pressing the button toggles through the panels. Sleep-tracking is automatic, and it can detect when you are awake, asleep or restless. Sleep tracking is quite accurate, although it does not tell you if you are in deep or light sleep.

It also tracks runs and workouts, but you need to press and hold the button to start and end the workout.

It tracked my runs quite accurately. Compared with my personal TomTom Runner + MultiSport Cardio GPS running watch, the recorded distance was longer by only 5 per cent. The daily activity tracking readings were almost identical to those from my calibrated Nike+ Fuelband fitness tracker.

Battery life - at five days - is pretty good and as advertised.

TECH SPECS

PRICE: $199WATER RESISTANCE: 10mWEIGHT: 25g

RATING

FEATURES: 4/5DESIGN: 3/5PERFORMANCE: 5/5BATTERY LIFE: 4/5VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

OVERALL: 4/5

VERDICT: The Fitbit Charge HR is a feature-rich fitness tracker that is well worth its price tag. It looks rather mundane though.

See also: Why fitness trackers will stay on people's wrists See also: Garmin Vivofit 2: A capable tracker that gets you moving See also: Jawbone Up3: Good looks, packed with lots of features See also: Runtastic Orbit: It also shows you how efficient your sleep is See also: Sony SmartBand 2: Find out your stress levels with this tracker See also: Striiv Fusion Bio: Ticks all the boxes but screen could be better See also: Withings Activite Pop: Watch tracks swimming and has great battery life See also: Xiaomi Mi Band: Only $20, but it does the job and offers some frills too

This article was first published on November 11, 2015. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.