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Aug 30

Fitbit Frustration

Fitbit asked me to contact them through their website after seeing a tweet I posted. I was frustrated with my Charge HR and my tweet reflected it.

I purchased the Charge HR so I could get an accurate account of calories burned throughout a 24 hour period. It’s easy to count my calories in but much less easy to determine calories out.

In a 24 hour period with light activity the Charge HR does a pretty good job. It will lose HR from time to time but if my HR was 100 before it lost the signal and it’s 110 when it gets the signal back, I’m sure Fitbit software does a little math and averages the time lost and takes into account my HR before and current then fills in the gaps. Not a big deal.

The problem comes during high level fitness and exercise. Like I said, I need an accurate count of calories burned. I can look at my Charge HR and see that my HR is 120. Begin 30 seconds of high intensity Crossfit training, check my HR manually and see that I’m in the 150’s, but look at my Charge HR and see “–HR”. It’s lost signal. I’m completely out of breath and my Charge HR doesn’t even know about it. By the time it picks up my HR signal again, I’m back to the 120’s. The Fitbit software fills in the missing gaps and I end up with 120 average HR. So frustrating. And before you say it, yes, I have tried positioning the Charge HR higher up on my wrist. I’ve also tried flipping it 180 degrees so that the sensor is on the bottom of my wrist.

Fitbit does lots of things well. I love how it integrates with the LoseIt app. I like the Web interface. I like being able to sync with my iPhone and also watch my HR in real time as I’m working out. That way I know when I need to get by butt moving again after a brief rest period.

The problem is losing HR signal during high intensity workouts and the fact that it is missing the HR during its highest level. I hope they can figure out a way to solve this. If they do, I will be a customer again. Right now the Charge HR is a good step tracker but doesn’t help me calculate accurately the calories I’m burning during my High Intensity workouts.

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