Tech Wearable

Fitbit Charge 3 Full Review: Not Perfect, But Close

Fitbit Charge 3 Full Review: Not Perfect, But Close

Because the first model, the Fitbit Charge has been one of many bestselling health trackers available on the market. The second model, the Charge 2, took our prime spot on a lot of lists — together with greatest Fitbit and greatest health tracker general. But some issues have been lacking even on this fan favourite, notably water resistance and swim monitoring.

With Fitbit’s third go-round, the brand-new Charge 3, they’ve hit almost each mark. Know-how and sensors discovered on the wearable model’s smartwatches at the moment are beefing up the Charge, and a sleeker design plus some good extras make this Fitbit’s greatest health tracker but.

We took the Charge 3 for a spin and in contrast it to the Charge 2, in addition to the Ionic and the Versa. The Charge 3 is a health tracker, not a smartwatch, however there are some similarities between it and the newest smartwatch choices from Fitbit.

What To Know Concerning the Charge 3

Probably the most thrilling factor concerning the new Charge 3 is that it’s now water resistant — one thing followers have been asking for because the first model of the favored tracker. You’ll be able to put on your Charge 3 within the bathe or the pool with no drawback.

The worth stays the identical as earlier variations ($150) and there are sufficient upgrades to make it well worth the cash — and well worth the improve in case you’re contemplating it.

Listed here are a number of the key options and specs:

  • Waterproof to 50 meters
  • Touchscreen
  • 7 day battery life (relying on utilization)
  • 24/7 coronary heart fee monitoring
  • All-day exercise monitoring — steps, flooring climbed, lively minutes, & extra
  • Sleep monitoring — time asleep, levels
  • 15+ goal-based train modes
  • Automated train recognition
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Particular Version model with Fitbit Pay

As you’ll be able to see, the Charge 3 stays true to type with loads of monitoring capabilities, nevertheless it provides a few of Fitbit’s most superior know-how, a sleeker design, and waterproof physique to raise the tracker.

Unboxing & Preliminary Setup

The Charge 3 has been out a few week at this level, and I’ve spent numerous time studying via the preliminary critiques of early purchasers. There are fairly a number of adverse evaluations from people who both couldn’t get the tracker to work or had it die inside a couple of days. That is fairly widespread with model new merchandise — there’ll all the time be lemons, and there’ll all the time be some bugs that have to get labored out.

Having stated that, I used to be just a little fearful once I couldn’t get the Charge 3 to activate proper out of the field. Prior to now, each Fitbit I’ve examined has had at the very least a half battery — sufficient juice to get me via the setup. I plugged the tracker in and luckily it began working instantly.

Setup for me was quick (took lower than 25 minutes), together with the replace and pairing.

Even when you’re new to Fitbit, the setup course of could be very intuitive. It walks you thru a lot of the course of. The one tough half could be determining the place to go to regulate clock faces and some different customized options — for that you simply’ll simply have to faucet the system within the upper-lefthand nook of the app’s foremost web page.

What’s within the field: The Charge 3 comes with bands in two sizes (small and enormous) and a charger. You’ll have to go surfing for any further directions or information because it doesn’t include any literature. (A win for the surroundings, however somewhat annoying should you’re new to the model).

Let’s transfer into some specifics.


It’s troublesome to speak concerning the Charge 3 with out making comparisons to the Charge 2, however even with out that comparability the Charge 3 is a reasonably primary wristband at first look. It has a slim design and a black and white touchscreen.

It’s a very light-weight gadget — at simply 29 grams, it’s lighter than its predecessor. And it feels virtually weightless on the wrist. The Charge 3 contains a slimmed-down design as nicely, although the Charge 2 wasn’t overly cumbersome. Even so, the slimness of this new model mixed with the sunshine weight makes it a great guess for anybody who doesn’t like sporting jewellery. It’s straightforward to overlook you’ve got it on — at the very least till your reminder to maneuver buzzes earlier than the top of the hour.

Fitbit made enhancements on the decision, so the display appears crisp and it’s straightforward to learn in daylight. There’s much less wasted area on the display itself as nicely; the display is bigger than the Charge 2 but in addition has extra lively display space.

The aspect button is now inductive (versus the bodily button that caught out on the Charge 2), including to the sleekness of the design. For interface functions, the inductive button features as a again or house button, which is good to have whenever you’re swiping across the display.

The Charge 3 is out there in Graphite/Black and Rose Gold/Blue Gray, with two Particular Version choices (extra on that later) out there in Rose Gold/Lavender (woven band) and White (sport band).

Sensors & Elements

Let’s speak just a bit concerning the guts of the Charge 3.

The Charge 3 options all of the fixings for strong health monitoring. That features:

  • Optical coronary heart fee monitor
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Altimeter
  • Relative SpO2 sensor

That remaining level is one thing included on all three of Fitbit’s newest units (Ionic, Versa, and Charge 3), nevertheless it’s not getting used simply but. The SpO2 sensor could have numerous worth sooner or later as it might assist monitor points comparable to sleep apnea. No phrase but on when any new apps will make the most of this sensor, nevertheless it’s value noting its availability.

Health & Exercise Monitoring

There’s not a lot new to report relating to health and exercise monitoring on the Charge 3, except for extra train choices and the addition of swim monitoring.

Inside the app, you’ll be able to set all types of objectives for exercise, steps, train, and so forth. The gadget reminds you to maneuver every hour by default and most actions are logged routinely. It’s extremely intuitive and general this sort of monitoring is why Fitbit is a pacesetter in wearable tech.

Based mostly on my few days sporting it to date, the monitoring appears to be correct and I’ve discovered myself being higher about shifting round and being extra lively after a couple of months not sporting a tracker.

We haven’t but put the Charge 3 up towards different units when it comes to exercise and health monitoring, however by itself the Charge 3 appears to be a fantastic match for anybody trying to enhance general exercise ranges or be empowered to goal for higher well being.

Mixed with different features and monitoring options inside the app, the Charge 3 presents a strong technique of understanding your general well being.

Sleep Monitoring

One in every of my favourite issues about Fitbit is insightful sleep monitoring. Fitbit has put quite a bit into creating and enhancing their sleep monitoring capabilities. Sleep is tremendously necessary once we’re speaking about general well being, so having an concept about your habits is a brilliant approach to make sure you’re working towards a greater you.

The Charge 3 presents up the newest and biggest sleep monitoring know-how. I additionally respect that this gadget is lighter and slimmer than earlier units so sporting it to mattress wasn’t an enormous deal from the get-go (some others — specifically the Ionic — took time to get used to sporting to sleep).

There’s not a lot new when it comes to knowledge presentation by way of the Fitbit app, however for these of you who’re new to Fitbit, right here’s a take a look at the app.

  1. This overview provides you an concept of your complete night time.
  2. One other tab exhibits the way you examine to others.
  3. A better take a look at the levels — swipe by means of for information on every stage.

Within the sleep monitoring a part of the app, you’ll be able to set objectives and bedtime/wake-up occasions, in addition to proceed to see developments and enhancements over time.

I’ve all the time discovered the Fitbit sleep monitoring to be pretty correct, and the Charge 3 is not any exception. Whereas it may be barely off through the go to sleep/get up levels, that is largely because of the modifications in our our bodies as we begin to drift off and as we start the torturous strategy of waking up within the morning.

Feminine Well being Monitoring & Guided Respiration

Feminine Well being Monitoring is the most recent function in the newest Fitbit units, however Guided Respiration has been round for some time. Each are nice additions to a holistic well being emphasis.

Guided respiration is known as “Relax” on the Charge 3. You possibly can choose from 2- or 5-minute periods that assist you decrease your coronary heart price and breathe deeply. This function is particularly helpful once you’re stressed or overwhelmed and it guides you thru respiration that will help you chill out. The Fitbit screens your coronary heart fee variability know if you’re respiration appropriately.

For ladies, the brand new well being monitoring function enables you to monitor menstrual cycles and all the things that occurs inside these cycles. Logging particulars helps you see developments over time, cycle particulars, fertility home windows, and extra.

Charge 3 Vs. Charge 2 and Versa

We already took a take a look at the Charge 2 and the Charge 3 (see our full article right here), and it’s protected to say that the Charge 3 is a strong improve from its predecessor. The important thing takeaway right here is that the Charge 3 is obtainable on the similar worth because the Charge 2 initially (although the two is marked right down to filter out inventory) — which was already a reasonably good worth — however has water resistance, an improved design, and the newest and biggest in tech.

In comparison with the Versa, which is about $50 extra, it doesn’t have the identical shine. The Versa is an reasonably priced and complicated smartwatch hybrid with a fantastic design. You’ll get extra bang on your buck should you’re out there for a smartwatch-esque tracker and if the $200 worth level is value it to you. See our full assessment of the Versa right here.

Charge 3 & Versa

Having stated that, the Charge 3 is a protected guess for a beginner or for anybody who needs a straight health tracker wristband versus a smartwatch. You get the identical know-how (simply no apps) and the identical water resistance.

Clean Display Points

I do want to say a couple of points — each a recognized concern with the Charge 3 and a problem I initially skilled.

On my first day sporting the Charge 3, the gadget stored freezing and going clean once I tried to clear notifications. I spent a while on the Fitbit boards and located a pinned publish explaining that Fitbit was engaged on a repair for a recognized concern the place the display stayed black when off the charger. No point out of this being associated to clearing notifications, although, so I chatted with help.

The rep I spoke with had me “replace” the Charge 3 in my app and ~voila!~ Drawback solved. She defined that the black display challenge was now fastened, too, so head on over to help when you’ve got one and are having points.


I’m happy with the Charge 3 to date, particularly after getting the display challenge fastened. Having examined each new Fitbit because the Charge 2, I can see a marked distinction within the know-how and design of the 3. Although there are nonetheless some bugs to be labored out, I really feel assured in recommending it each to newcomers to Fitbit and to these trying to improve.

Although the Charge 3 is a superb system, it’s not fairly good. Listed here are a few of the negatives:

  • Related GPS solely: Not having built-in GPS is a bummer on any health tracker. Nevertheless, on the worth level and given the dimensions, it’s not the top of the world.
  • Few watch faces: Presently, there are just a few watch face choices, and I don’t love any of them. Not a deal breaker, and hopefully there might be extra quickly, however value noting.
  • Recognized points: These points I discussed above could be sufficient to scare away — or at the least delay — some potential clients
  • No music controls: Not with the ability to management music from the system is a nuisance, and it might be value investigating different choices if you need that potential.
  • Notification & communication restricted: Fast replies will solely be obtainable on Android and notifications general are considerably restricted.

Even with these drawbacks, there’s loads of goodness on the Charge 3. A couple of of our favorites are:

  • Light-weight design
  • Good battery life
  • Newest know-how = higher accuracy and extra monitoring choices (& extra prospects, like rumored sleep apnea monitoring)
  • Water resistance and swim monitoring
  • Emphasis on holistic well being

We actually just like the Fitbit app, too, in order that’s one other plus with the Charge 3 or another Fitbit chances are you’ll determine on.

Maintain an eye fixed out for extra articles as we put the Charge 3 to the check towards different shopper faves!

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