Let’s talk Activity Trackers! This new arm candy seems to be all the rage in the fitness world right now with brands bringing out bands left right and centre to help us count steps, calories and keep track of our sleep. But with so much choice how do you know which one’s right for you? Today we’re testing out two Fitbits from the lower and higher end of their range – The Fitbit Flex* and The Fitbit Charge HR*.
I used to use my Polar Loop to track steps and my sleep which was great but lacked a little accuracy for me in the calorie burn department. So I’m testing out the Fitbit Charge HR with it’s inbuilt heart rate monitor on your wrist that constantly measures your heart rate to give a super accurate reading on calorie burn. As my partner isn’t as active as I am, he’s giving their more purse friendly Fitbit Flex version a go to see which features we love the most and which band is best for our lifestyles.
Set up was so easy for both of us – both bands worked right out of the box and after a quick app download and a setup walk through we were good to go entering our personal details and setting up profiles tailored to us. The Fitbit Charge HR has a lot more features than The Fitbit Flex but it’s also double the price! On my Charge HR I can see all my vital stats at the push of button whereas the Flex simply has a series of lights that show his daily progress towards his fitness goal when you tap the band. For anything else he can see it all in the app just like I can – a little bit more of a faff but it makes for a much better looking band on your wrist!
Both bands come in different colours but we were boring and both went for black! The Charge HR has a traditional buckle watch strap whereas the Flex has a simple clip – some have said it’s a little flimsy but we’ve not had any issues with his. You can by clips that sit over the flex fastening to secure it even more if needs be.
Even on my super small wrists my Small Charge HR fits great and the HR monitor works constantly even with a little wriggle room which is something I was a little worried about. I would however love the Charge HR to be a little more fashionable as I missed out on a good few thousand steps on a night out dancing the other week because it didn’t quite go with my outfit!
The main difference between the two bands for us (apart from the Heart Rate Monitor feature) is just how easy the Charge HR is to use – just strap it on and it does everything for you automatically. At night the flex user needs to tap their band to start sleep mode and needs to track specific fitness activity through the app on their phone whereas I can simply press a button on my band it it all begins and sleep mode happens all by itself. Usability aside they’re both pretty darn accurate and give or take a few steps they give us the same reading whenever we go out together and the app makes everything super easy to compare. A hard-core runner friend of mine also has the Charge HR and measured it against her Heart Rate Chest Strap and GPS Pedometer to find the Charge HR to be almost identical too which is greatly reassuring and pretty darn impressive!
Screenshots from the Fitbit app dashboard
The Fitbit app is great and so easy to use! Open it up and it syncs with your band instantly showing you everything you need to know from miles walked, how many hours sleep you’ve had, how many steps you’ve done and more. And if you use a food app like My Fitness Pal they will talk to each other to show you how many calories you’ve got left for the day based on how many you’ve burned so far, which is more accurate on the Charge HR as it’s constantly reading your heart rate and adjusting to your body – a feature I really like.
You can keep track of your water intake to make sure you’re drinking enough, hit milestones with your overall progress and compete with your friends (and partners!) by joining your own personal leader board with anyone you know who has a fitbit and wants to compete! This gets a little competitive between my friends as you find yourself running up and down the stairs a few times to make the numbers up and watch your name shoot to the top!
Overall we both agree The Fitbit Charge HR is the winner – even with it’s higher price tag the extra features and ease make it a fantastic activity tracker that i’ve used every single day since it arrived. However if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey and don’t need the fancy features of the Charge HR then The Fitbit Flex could be the band for you.
Whichever band you chose we’ve been so motivated by our Fitbits as a couple both on a competitive and a collaborative basis! We’ve both moved more to bump up our steps together, got into bed earlier to help our sleep count and been watching what we eat to keep those red bars away – it’s been great and really helped us think a lot more. I’m looking forward to getting back into the gym and into my kickboxing classes to really give my Charge HR a run for it’s money!
Do you use an activity tracker? Would you choose the Charge HR or the Flex?
Tweet me @xameliax or leave a comment below!