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Under Armour Band vs. Fitbit Charge HR

Product Comparisons, Shopping
under-armour-band-vs-fitbit-charge-hr-wearable-comparison

Branching out from sporting apparel and accessories, athletic brand Under Armour is now making a splash in the fitness wearable space.

The company’s Under Armour Band — called the UA Band for short — is one of the latest innovations from the brand’s HealthBox, a self-described “connected fitness system.” But can the new device hold its own against a popular activity tracker?

Before you buy, let’s compare the Under Armour Band to the popular Fitbit Charge HR.

The trackers: At a glance

What we found: Despite the just over $30 price difference, the Under Armour Band and Fitbit Charge HR are nearly equal on most of the factors athletes consider in a sports band.

What you’ll learn: If you really want a comprehensive fitness system, the correct choice may be neither of these options. Instead, if you’re willing to shell out $400, you can get the Under Armour HealthBox, including the band, a heart rate chest strap and a scale.

 Under Armour BandFitbit Charge HR
Price$180 from Under Armour$149.95 from Fitbit
ColorsBlackBlack, plum, blue, tangerine, teal
BatteryUp to 5 daysUp to 5 days
Activity trackingYesYes
Sleep monitoringYesYes
Call notificationsYesYes
Heart rateYes; chest strap sold in bundle packageYes
Music controlYesNo
Compatible appYesYes
Buy on AmazonUnavailable on Amazon
Buy Fitbit Charge HR

 

The trackers: Up close and personal

Appearance

Based on looks, these bands are pretty similar.

The UA Band is a sleek, water-resistant black band with a display that stays on during workouts. Similarly, the Fitbit Charge HR has a water-resistant band and an OLED display that features workout stats. It’s sold in black, plum, blue, tangerine and teal.

The UA Band is sold in a one-size-fits-all option and includes two adjustable straps, while the Fitbit Charge HR comes in small, large and extra-large sizes.

Features

Looks are sometimes deceiving. So how do these bands compare when it comes to features?

The UA Band combines staple activity function with fancy bonus features. Its hallmark capabilities: step counting, sleep monitoring, alarm clock vibrations, activity (and inactivity) alerts, phone notifications (text, call, calendar) and music control when synced with a compatible phone.

The UA Band is capable of measuring resting heart rates, but if you want more in-depth heart rate data — including caloric burn — you’ll likely want the Under Armour Heart Rate chest strap too (sold as part of the UA HealthBox, along with the band and scale, for $400).

The Bluetooth-enabled band is compatible with iOS 8.4 or later and Android 4.4 or later. The band’s battery has a life of up to five days on a single charge.

As for the Fitbit Charge HR, the tracker features all-day activity tracking, sleep monitoring, silent vibrating alarms, continuous heart rate and caller ID. Keep in mind there are no text notifications on this device. Also, unlike the UA Band, there’s no music control capability on the Charge HR.

The fitness wearable can be synced to over 150 iOS, Android and Windows devices via Bluetooth 4.0. It features a battery life of up to five days. Charge time is between one and two hours.

Compare the Fitbit Charge HR to its similar (but less expensive) counterpart, the Fitbit Charge, and to the popular Microsoft Band 2.

Price

If you’re still torn, declaring a winner between these two products may come down to price.

The UA Band is available for $180 from Under Armour’s online store. Shoppers who buy now will also receive a free three-month subscription to customizable health-tracking apps MyFitnessPal Premium and MapMyFitness MVP.

If you opt for the UA HealthBox, you’ll pay $400 for the complete package. You’ll also receive a free one-year subscription to MyFitnessPal Premium and MapMyFitness MVP.

The Fitbit Charge HR has a regular retail price of $149.95 from Fitbit. If you’re looking for a deal, try purchasing the tracker from Amazon, where we’ve seen it discounted in the past.

Take your mark

Ready to strap on a fitness band and hit the pavement?

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, go for the Fitbit Charge HR. Text notifications and music control aside, you’ll still enjoy nearly all of the features of the UA Band.

But if you want a more advanced model for only $30 more, put your order in for the UA Band. It’s fashionable, functional and useful.

And for the ultimate in fitness, go for the UA HealthBox. With its scale, band and heart rate chest strap, it’ll take care of all your athletic needs from the road to your home.

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Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.