Fitbit has made fairly a big quantity of progress in terms of health trackers and smartwatches, providing customers a mixture of choices and even equipment to customize their look. I’ve had the pleasure of proudly owning and reviewing the complete vary of units launched up to now two years and I’ve loved how every of them carry out every day features together with a couple of further options on the higher-level models. Units such because the Ionic and Versa are higher and center tier smartwatches, with rather a lot to supply. However, it’s units such because the Charge 2 and Alta HR that achieve market success, because of their aggressive pricing and well-round function set for monitoring health actions. Having owned a Charge 2 for fairly a while now, I’m very happy with the way it tracks my day by day progress, sports activities, heartrate and sleep patterns. When Fitbit introduced they have been updating the Charge vary with the brand new Charge 3, I knew it might be proper up my alley, particularly with new enhancements resembling a touchscreen interface. How a lot enchancment does it convey to the social gathering over the earlier Charge 2 and is it a must have for present house owners?
Construct and Design
At first look, there isn’t such a serious design overhaul that you simply wouldn’t instantly recognise the unit as a Fitbit and extra particularly from the Charge household – okay, perhaps not a lot the unique Charge. Fitbit has made fairly various modifications which have affected the construct high quality of the Charge 3, which makes it lighter, slimmer, extra sturdy and, with the up to date strap, extra snug. Within the two years I’ve owned my Charge 2 gadget I’ve been by means of three or 4 new straps because of enjoying contact sports activities and operating lengthy distance, which creates various put on and tear. One of many first impressions on the brand new Charge 3 was how the strap hooked up to the capsule. In contrast to the earlier mannequin, it doesn’t clip in as you slide it in from the highest. As an alternative, it plugs straight in and is clipped in place by two pins, and held in place by one other two round pins. This makes it much more sturdy in the long term as there’s a lot much less flex in movement. Conducting a strain check on the straps of each models reveals how a lot play the Charge 2 has, with zero play on the Charge 3. And for any individuals that go onerous on the health club, whereas operating, or enjoying any type of sport, this alone makes fairly a big distinction.
The Charge 3 has the included profit of getting a better IP score than its predecessor, providing water resistance as much as 50m. Which means customers will have the ability to take their tracker alongside for a swim while not having to fret whether or not it should survive. One of many key modifications to help the function is the addition of the inductive button on the aspect, which replaces the bodily button. Which means the capsule is totally sealed off to the weather. The underside is extra curved than angular, which additionally makes it a bit extra snug when in place.
A lot of labor has gone into the redesign of the display. Evaluating the 2 models aspect by aspect whereas in standby mode, you gained’t discover any of this. Flip the display on and there’s a marked distinction. For starters, the Charge 3 sports activities a grayscale, OLED touchscreen, which can also be made with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 to guard the display. This additionally means it gained’t simply scratch as on earlier models. The display itself is 40% bigger, which suggests the bezel is smaller and there’s much more actual property to work with. The place the unit lacks compared to newer models is the shortage of display interfaces to select from out the field. There are rumours that Fitbit could also be engaged on a patch for the software program, however even after a current replace, you’re nonetheless left with eight to select from. Personally, I might have favored to have the choice to decide on a display that gives me the time, date, steps and probably even coronary heart price all on one interface. With solely two interfaces together with the date, and solely a type of having a step counter included, the alternatives are severely restricted. I’ll contact (no pun meant) extra on the efficiency of the touchscreen additional down within the evaluate.
General, whereas the gadget doesn’t appear to be an entire overhaul of the Charge 2 design, the Charge 3 gives various spectacular design and construct modifications to make a noticeable distinction the place it counts. With out even bearing on the improved and added options, customers will respect these superb particulars and that goes a great distance.
Health and Options
For those who’re in search of a easy, straightforward to make use of health tracker, then the Charge 3 is an effective system. Should you’re on the lookout for one thing a bit extra superior, with various options to again it up, the Charge 3 can also be a very good gadget. The vary of the Charge 3 (in addition to the Charge 2) is pretty large. The variety of options on the Charge 2 is already fairly spectacular and greater than able to dealing with all of your health, monitoring and social wants in the present day. The Charge 3 not solely improves on these options, it additionally extends the record by some margin.
As talked about beforehand, the Charge 3 is a reasonably straightforward to make use of tracker. It has various automated duties constructed into the unit so customers by no means actually need to carry out any features with a purpose to monitor your every day routines, and even health actions – round 15 of them. It measures your steps, the space, energy, lively minutes, flooring climbed, sleep and coronary heart price, all with out you ever having to carry a finger. These aren’t simply easy advertising phrases thrown at people in an try and lure them in. These are precise, confirmed capabilities. Through the first three days after receiving and establishing the Charge 3, I didn’t have to inform it to do something. This was strategic on my half, as a part of the preliminary checks, which all labored nicely. In truth, the one actual purpose I actively mark the beginning and finish of my exercises is to make sure that the Discovery app, which hyperlinks to the Fitbit app, collects a minimal of 30 or 60 minutes of my actions to make sure I get my full complement of factors for stated exercise.
In terms of the hardware, we’ve already mentioned a number of of the bodily hardware capabilities of the Charge 3. What I didn’t point out is that the unit additionally consists of NFC, which might permit customers to make funds by tapping their units at tills. Sadly, this function continues to be locked in South Africa. The unit does have a couple of drawbacks from a hardware perspective, in that it doesn’t embrace a built-in GPS and in addition doesn’t have any storage capability to retailer music. Whereas it does have Bluetooth help, it doesn’t transcend the purpose of pairing the unit to your smartphone.
The touchscreen additionally has a number of new capabilities on prime of the 40% improve in its measurement. One easy new addition is that there’s now a stat to show your sleep for the night time, immediately from the Charge 3. This implies you not need to log into the app to view it. The display additionally has auto brightness, and whereas it’s not overly refined, it is ready to brighten and dim the show based mostly on whether or not it’s day or night time.
Fitbit has made a couple of modifications to the way it tracks your sleep. The vary of Fitbit units are already the main trackers for sleep throughout all manufacturers, much more costly smartwatches from the likes of Apple, Samsung and Huawei. The Charge 3, as with all the opposite Fitbit units with coronary heart fee screens, monitor sleep routinely. It measures your coronary heart price, time slept, occasions woken in the course of the night time, in addition to a vibration alarm. The inclusion of the Sp02 sensor will permit the unit to trace and diagnose sleep apnoea, though that function has not but been activated. Nonetheless, this can be a good to have future functionality.
The Charge 3 isn’t a smartwatch, neither does it declare to be. However that hasn’t stopped Fitbit from including a function sensible options to the system typically reserved for smartwatches. These consists of viewing of calls, texts, emails and calendar occasions. The Charge 3 goes slightly additional by permitting customers to simply accept or reject calls, clear notifications acquired in your smartphone instantly from the watch, whereas additionally with the ability to learn a number of mails and ship pre-set fast replies. The unit can also be capable of show the climate, whereas that is up to date by way of your smartphone.
When it comes to your well being advantages, the unit, as with the Charge 2, supplies customers with guided respiration workouts to assist chill out, whereas additionally together with transfer reminders and the likes. There are further options comparable to logging meals, water and monitoring weight, all by way of the app. The Charge 3 now additionally consists of the monitoring of girls’s well being, which incorporates monitoring durations, recording signs in relation to this, predicting your ovulation schedule and lots of others. A few of these are additionally viewable by way of the system interface.
There’s an excellent group for the Fitbit units. That is among the many greatest on the earth, particularly given the market measurement it enjoys. These permit customers to interact instantly with associates or by way of the social teams, which customers can work together with. These social options permit customers to compete in every day, weekly or month-to-month objectives with pals, whereas additionally with the ability to create challenges and setup digital objectives akin to hikes and different goal-based challenges.
Efficiency and Battery Life
There was quite a few enhancements on the Charge 3, as already talked about above. In terms of the efficiency of those options, the unit performs rather well. On the Charge 2, there’s a one to two-minute distinction when utilizing the auto-tracking exercise tracker and once you truly began. On the Charge 3, the unit nonetheless takes a minute or two to recognise an exercise, however what it does nicely is verify the guts price and actions beforehand on the place the exercise would have probably began and elements that in on the finish.
If you do manually begin monitoring an exercise, beginning it isn’t overly difficult. Ending an exercise, nevertheless, is a bit of trickier. This isn’t because of the addition of the inductive button, however as a result of Fitbit added a secondary pause display between an exercise and ending it. In the event you lengthy press the button, as you do on the Charge 2, it merely brings down the drop down whereas the exercise continues to be being tracked within the background. That is each good and dangerous. Good since you’re capable of learn messages you’ve missed even whereas nonetheless busy monitoring. And dangerous as a result of there’s no shortcut to ending an exercise. The pause display is somewhat difficult to make use of as nicely. Clicking on the display merely restarts the exercise, whereas urgent the button as soon as does the identical. Customers should swipe after which choose finish from the pause display. Whenever you’ve simply accomplished a 10km run, or 90 minutes of soccer, the very last thing I needed to do was battle my method via ending the exercise.
One of many different hardware enhancements embrace a bigger battery capability, which permits for 40% longer battery life, up from 5 days to seven. Over the 2 weeks through the evaluation interval, I solely charged the unit twice, as soon as when receiving it, and one other every week later. It might be good to see the way it evens out over time, however up to now so good. Even with all of the options turned on the battery nonetheless lasted the identical seven days.
Charging the unit, nevertheless, nonetheless depends on a proprietary charging cable that docks the unit. It will have been good to have a Sort-C charging port, however my assumption right here is that it takes up an excessive amount of of the minimal actual property on the gadget.
The Fitbit Charge 3 presents a large number of new options over the Charge 2, whereas additionally enhancing on a couple of others. The group has executed a fantastic job of redesigning the unit to make it sleeker, lighter whereas additionally growing the display measurement. Customers have the posh of selecting how they want to use the gadget, as a easy tracker or a extra superior tracker for semi-advanced customers.
As already talked about, the unit isn’t labelled as a smartwatch and with good cause, however nonetheless fairly various smartwatch options as a considerably cross between a primary health tracker and a smartwatch. Even higher nonetheless is that the unit doesn’t value anyplace close to near many different models. Actually, it prices solely a fraction greater than the Charge 2 presently, making it a very worthwhile buy by any normal.
The Charge 3 prices R2,999 at all of your main retailers and will certainly exchange the Charge 2 as one of the crucial well-liked trackers obtainable available on the market in the present day.
Fitbit Charge 3
- Sleeker and lighter
- Touchscreen interface
- Improved battery life
- Worth for cash
- No built-in GPS
- Restricted watch faces
- No onboard storage
- Ease of Studying zero%
- Ease of Use zero%
- Enjoyment zero%
- Design zero%
- Efficiency zero%
- Worth for Cash zero%