Fit­bit Charge

The suc­ces­sor to the Force wrist­band, now with caller ID no­ti­fi­ca­tions

Mac Format - - RATED - Man­u­fac­turer Fit­bit, fit­ Blue­tooth 4.0 Dis­play OLED Real-time stats on de­mand Tracks floors climbed

The Charge is the first in Fit­bit’s new range of track­ers and is a di­rect re­place­ment for its ill­fated Force wrist­band, which was with­drawn fol­low­ing a rash of com­plaints from skin-ir­ri­tated users.

The cul­pa­ble nickel is ab­sent in the new tex­tured strap and buckle, but the Charge re­tains its pre­de­ces­sor’s ac­celerom­e­ter and al­time­ter, the lat­ter be­ing a sen­sor that cal­cu­lates al­ti­tude based on at­mo­spheric pres­sure. The wrist­band tracks steps taken, dis­tance trav­elled, stairs climbed and calo­ries burned, and dis­plays th­ese stats as real-time data on a bright mono OLED dis­play (it also shows the time), ac­ti­vated by press­ing a small but­ton on its side.

If you wear the Charge to bed, it recog­nises when you fall asleep, and can wake you up in the morn­ing with a silent alarm (two things Fit­bit’s £20-cheaper Flex can’t do). Pair­ing the Charge with the iPhone app over Blue­tooth al­lows you to view sleep qual­ity, as well as browse other stats in time­lines, check bat­tery life (ours lasted eight days) and also log meals as part of a food plan.

The dis­play can flash up in­com­ing caller IDs if Blue­tooth is ac­tive. It’s neat, but not nearly as use­ful as other no­ti­fi­ca­tions would have been and feels tacked on; we would have pre­ferred wa­ter­proof­ing (like the Mis­Fit Flash, at half the price) and a UK food data­base. As it is, the Charge per­forms well, but the Charge HR brings heart-rate mon­i­tor­ing for £20 and will be re­leased soon. Hold out if you can. Tim Hard­wick

The Charge is per­fectly ca­pa­ble and rocks a dis­play, but more ad­vanced track­ers are almost here.

The Fit­bit Charge’s OLED dis­play lets you check ac­tiv­ity at a press of a but­ton.

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