Fitbit Charge HR and Windows Phone 8.1

One of the reasons why I chose a Fitbit product over products from competitors such as Jawbone is the inclusion of Windows Phone support. Although I own an iOS9 and an Android 5.1.x device, I'm a fan of manufacturers that support multiple platforms, particularly Linux. Regardless of how you feel about the Windows Phone OS, the cancellation of the Denim update and the delays surrounding the deployment of Windows Mobile 10, select Lumia devices such as the Lumia 925 work with the Fitbit Charge HR.

Fitbit Charge HR paired to a Lumia 925

When Fitbit announced the app for Windows Phone 8.1 sometime ago, they specified the features included with the app and users pointed out a few that were missing on WP but available for the Android and iOS versions. The current version of the Fitbit app for WP8.1 and the recent OTA firmware upgrade of the Charge HR pretty much provides most mainstream users what they need however. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that Cortana commands were supported even though I never use Cortana on my Lumia 925. 

There are, however, a few considerations when using the Windows Phone version of the Charge HR with a Lumia device.

1. Initially setting up the Fitbit Charge HR with my Lumia 925 required a visit to the Settings > Bluetooth screen. Enabling Bluetooth isn't enough. Pair the devices together from the Bluetooth screen and then set up the Charge HR from the app. Otherwise, the Fitbit app actually won't detect the Charge HR until the 20 minute sync interval preset on the product. 

2. Forums are in consensus that your supported Lumia device should be at least running Cyan to use Bluetooth syncing with Fitbit products. If you're running Demin then syncing is probably problem-free. Although I haven't tested syncing using Windows Mobile 10, my HP Stream 8 running Windows 10 had no issues syncing regularly to the wearable.

3. Firmware upgrades for the Charge HR from the Fitbit app worked from my Android 5.1.x-powered Sony Xperia Dual C3, but not from the Lumia 925. If you don't have an Android or iOS device, you can run the software update from a Windows PC instead.

4. If you're familiar with how the Windows Phone platform works, then you shouldn't be surprised that your stats will be briefly "empty" when you run or switch to the Fitbit app even if you synced just moments ago. Give your Lumia a few seconds and your data will be presented as usual.

5. In a purely unscientific comparison, syncing from the Fitbit app is generally slower with my Lumia 925 than with the Xperia C3 Dual and HP Stream 8.
6. You can sync your Fitbit devices in three ways from the Windows Phone Fitbit app:

a. With Bluetooth enabled, tap the Options button > Sync now.
b. Tap Charge HR directly on the Dashboard.
c. Tap the Options button > Charge HR and then tap the Sync icon.  


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