Review of the Fit Bit Charge
vi. It goes beyond tracking your steps by asking you to set a specific goal and buzzing at you (which makes me rather excited) when you hit that goal. It also tracks your calories, like others of its kind, but it also takes those calories and manipulates what you’ve burned versus what you’ve eaten, and then lets you know how many more calories you can take in that day.
In many ways, I think it is the answer to most of the mobile apps out there that I have already tried, and failed with horribly. Foods that I eat were hard to find, or needed to be added. In some I couldn’t find where to add exercise, and in others no calories were deducted for it. Again and again I hit road bumps. The time taken to figure the apps out bothered me, and quickly I would give up on each one. When I got my fit bit, I hoped for more, and I was totally satisfied.
Steps, Exercise and Stairs
The main idea behind the fit bit, and others out there like it, is to track your “activity” in general. Shockingly, knowing you are wearing something that is constantly tracking you movements makes you move more! It’s not an annoying thought in my head, but it’s there, and it helps me get up out of my chair more often and move around. Not only does the fit bit track your steps, but it also automatically tracks the stairs you climb as well. It keeps the minutes on record of when you are active, and you can also add exercise into the mobile app or online dashboard.
Calories In and Out
Many apps and trackers count your calories. You can also record what you eat in most. But, what’s different about the fit bit is that it does more with calories in and calories out than other apps. On your main dashboard, both in the mobile app and online, it tells you how many calories you have left to eat, given what you’ve burned and eaten so far that day.
As we mentioned, the fit bit easily tracks the food you eat every day. You can search for food at your local grocery store, restaurant, or food chain. Once you add an item, it is placed in your search list and pulled up again without searching. If you can’t find the food you ate, it can easily be added, with serving size and calories recorded. For me, this part is a must. Not only do I need to track the food I eat in order to reach my weight loss goal, but comparing what I eat to my exercise each day keeps me motivated to eat healthier.
Most of us do not drink enough water in the day. It is recommended that a person drinks eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. That is the goal in the fit bit, and each glass can be recorded individually.
The Charge tracks your sleep automatically, and does not need to be put into sleep mode. So far I have not used the sleep tracking, as I take my fit bit off before bed. As a small female, the Charge is not particularly small on my wrist, so sleeping with it might be a bit uncomfortable.
When you first start with your fit bit, or any time really, you can set a weight loss goal. Once you have that set (you can decide on easy, moderate, hard or difficult) the dashboard will let you know how many calories per day you need to take in and burn in order to reach your goal.
The Mobile App
The mobile app is a bit more limited than the online dashboard, but not by much. Your main dashboard is what opens from your main interface, and from there you can add food, exercise, look at charts, send requests to friends, interact in groups, and look at past days. It is a simple interface that needs little in the way of direction. I enjoy how straight forward it is, which keeps the time I take to input data low.
The Online Dashboard
Online you get your mobile dashboard, but in a different format. With the button format online, you can get into more in depth goals, settings, and personal settings. Again you can search for friends and access groups, but here you can also ask and view questions about the fit bit and other related information. Again I like that the interface is simple and easy to use. I have so much to do in my day, like most, and spending more than a few minutes on tracking what I do is just not feasible. So far, the Charge works well in my fast-paced life.
Being that the Charge is my first fit bit, I wasn’t able to compare its size and shape to anything else. After wearing it for a month, in some ways I wish I had purchased a Flex rather than a Charge. The Flex is a bit thinner, and would fit better on my small wrist. The downside, and the reason I decided to stick with the Charge, is the watch display. I rarely wear actual watches, or even bracelets, so I knew if I had anything on my wrist, it needed to tell me what time it is. In addition, the Charge also vibrates to let me know if I have a call on my phone.
Overall the Charge has been extremely impressive and simple to use. So many things are automatically tracked, and the things that aren’t are easily added. In the future, it would be great if in addition to the call notifications, the Charge also notified me of my texts and maybe even emails. For now it has been very useful, comfortable and durable. Did I mention the battery lasts forever? In a month’s time I have charged the Charge four times. And I never turn it off. In six months’ time look for my follow up to this review. I’m excited to know how the sleep tracking works, and if I am still using it on a daily basis.