Fitbit Charge HR, broken

As I've mentioned in last post (Why I'm not updating my Endomondo account anymore), I *was* happily using a Fitbit Charge HR as my main activity - and heart rate monitor - tracker for my daily workout use. If *was* perfect for me, the only thing I had to worry about was to push the button on the start/end of the workout (and to keep the device with battery). Was not so intrusive in my day by day - just a bit annoying while writting on the laptop keyboard but ok - and the synchronization of the data was as lazy as I wanted.

The other day I've noticed that the screen was broken, don't know how it could happen because I didn't realize if I hit it lately. Crazy. The bluetooth does not work either, the wristband can not be detected from the smartphone... and - obviously - the guarantee doesn't cover the blows. I've sent an email explaining all the stuff to the oficial support but I've no hope.

After first shock I thought ok, let's export the data from Fitbit's Network and use Endomondo (what could I do?) these days while the issue is not being repaired. So I logged in my Fitbit account and after a while realized that it was no posible to export the data in a bunch. I was looking for the Internet and it was worse than that, I couldn't export the data one by one either!. It seems that the only option Firbit gives to you (a .tcx file per workout) does not work if your device has no GPS capabilities (Fitbit Charge HR doesn't have). In summary:

  • If you want to export a bunch of workouts the only choice you have is to pick dates (start/end) and export them to a .csv file not able to be imported in endomondo, garmin connect, strava etc...
  • If you want to export workout per workout the choice you have is to export to a .tcx file that can not be imported either because it has no GPS data and it is malformed.

And we are talking only about the workouts, I've found no way to get the heart rate or food/calories data. And it seems I'm not the only one with this problem. Fitbit doesn't believe in the free access of the data. All your data are belong to them.

That's the main reason I won't buy another Fitbit product, and I was really happy with the device itself, but I think there are other options like Garmin, Polar or TomTom that can perfectly cover my needs and gives me the data in a - more friendly - way. Or am I wrong?


About the author

has doubledaddy super powers, father of Hugo and Nico, husband of Marta, *nix user, Djangonaut and open source passionate.
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