Fitbit Charge HR “long term” review

Because one year by today’s gadget lifetime standards means long. Been wearing this since 2015 may(ish) almost 24/7. Considering a number of degradation other people experienced in the same time frame my version is holding up pretty well I guess. Still, the Fitbit Charge HR (large) is just another alpha, maybe beta phase product. The wear of the band is not appealing. The unit itself is pretty thick, runs on a small-ass non-replaceable battery and it ain’t waterproof either. It is water resistant to some degree I guess because it does tolerate water while washing your hands and such, but I wouldn’t swim with it.

 

If I was in charge :) hehe, of designing the charge hr, I’d do the following:

1. Get some kinetic energy tech in there (already introduced in the 1980’s) so it doesn’t need batteries or a charging port and this would also allow for a waterproof design.

2. Put an e-paper display in there that can also cut on energy consumption and size.

3. Build it like a tank from quality materials that look better as they age.

4. Maybe drop the profit per unit so it sells better.

Software-wise, the app is really nice alltho’ it really surprises me whenever I see (not only in Fitbit’s app but all health-related apps) the option of recording water and cal. intake. Nobody I know bothers with those.

I just want a watch that shows the time, date, heart rate and maybe has a stopwatch feature. That is it. I don’t need GPS in there or navigation or Siri or Cortana or reminders, e-mail, music or none of that crap.

The gesture display activation thing is nice, the GPS tracking accuracy in the fruit-phone app is nice, smoother and more precise than in Runkeeper or Strava. I’ve tested it several times. Oh speaking of GPS tracking. Drop the proprietary GPS file extension and add something universal. We have Steve Jobs to thank for these. Proprietary cables, apps, closed operating systems, syncing and selling many iterations of products that are not ready, that is only in a testing phase. Planned obsolescence society.

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