Fitbit Charge HR power on issues


The Fitbit Charge HR is priced to move and is a good entry-level fitness wearable. For the most part, it's a good product as long as users keep in mind that it's a consumer device, not a high-end one.

Forums are filled with discussions regarding issues with the Fitbit Charge HR's odd behavior of losing responsiveness without cause. In this condition, the Charge HR, even when charged, will not respond to presses on the lone button or scheduled sync with the Fitbit app. Moreover, the heart sensor light is off and the display blank. This disconcerting issue doesn't have a pattern and could occur at any time with the result of the device losing track of any activity during this dead state.

 

Software upgrades to the Fitbit Charge HR haven't completely ironed out power issues.


In most devices that involve a battery, this is a pretty serious issue that manufacturers address immediately, but Fitbit largely doesn't provide clear details regarding the cause of this problem but does provide troubleshooting steps via a support article "How do I restart my tracker?"

In the two months I've been using a brand new Fitbit Charge HR, the wearable experienced this issue four times. Users have reported various troubleshooting steps ranging from charging the Charge HR for a number of hours to pressing and holding the button several times throughout the day.

For my part, the unresponsive Charge HR was brought back to life by following the Fitbit article. However, take note that you shouldn't plug the charging cable to a USB power adapter for mobile devices that is plugged to a power socket. You can do this to charge the wearable if it was working properly, but if you were going to perform the restart procedure recommended by Fitbit, connect the USB cable to a powered USB port on a PC. Press and hold the button for 10 seconds or more and release. Disconnect the Charge HR from the cable.

Note: The support article indicates that the Fitbit logo and software version number will appear, however, this is no longer the case for the newer firmware. Instead, the logo is followed by a greeting or the Charge HR will immediately come to life and show the clock.

Sadly, because of this particular power issue, I don't recommend the Charge HR for older users who don't have the patience for performing troubleshooting steps. Considering that it's an entry level wearable, basic consumers shouldn't have to go through somewhat annoying steps to get a product working.

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