Fitbit Charge HR review: The best fitness tracker for 2016

Fitness trackers have become popular way to stay motivated and monitor your activity. And if you want to buy, we recommend the $150 Fitbit Charge HR is the best fitness tracker for most people.

According to our tests—which included 60 hours of research and 10 days of real-world testing—the Charge HR is more accurate at counting steps than most other wrist-worn trackers, and it works seamlessly with Fitbit’s popular social ecosystem. It has continuous heart rate monitoring for both resting and active use; automatically activated sleep tracking with vibrating alarms; and a legible OLED screen with caller ID. And unique among trackers in this price range, the Charge HR uses a strap modeled after a traditional watch band, which means it won’t fall off accidentally.

The $150 Fitbit Charge HR

The $150 Fitbit Charge HR

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For a deeper dive into the full research and testing we did on our picks, (as well as a longer list of trackers we looked at), check out our full version of this guide.

How we decided

In a perfect world, the best tracker would sit on your wrist; be waterproof; and offer wireless syncing, a legible screen, comprehensive app support, and a long battery life. It would accurately track steps, pulse rate, sleep quality, and altitude.

Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivosmart, Garmin Vivofit, Basis Peak, Pebble with Misfit app, Fitbit Charge, Jawbone UP24. (Middle) Withings Pulse

(Clockwise from the front) Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivosmart, Garmin Vivofit, Basis Peak, Pebble with Misfit app, Fitbit Charge, Jawbone UP24. (Middle) Withings Pulse.

Unfortunately, no single tracker currently available does it all, so we surveyed 602 Wirecutter readers to determine which features are the most important. They told us they required a wristband design and the capability to accurately count—and display on a built-in screen—steps and distance. Less important but still desirable were features like heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking. Based on this info, we researched the most-reputable online resources, and got opinions from writers who cover fitness trackers. We ended up testing the Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivofit, Garmin Vivosmart, Basis Peak, Jawbone UP24, Pebble Steel (with Misfit app), and UP24.

Finally, This is the best fitness tracker you can buy.

 

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