Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker Review

Fitbit recently unveiled their newest and most advanced tracker to date, the Fitbit 3. The Fitbit 3 will be available in the market from October 7, 2018.

Unsurprisingly, the Fitbit 3 is not just an evolution of the Fitbit 2, but rather a direct replacement. Though it comes with similar cues to those of its predecessor, there is a significant improvement, in the design, accuracy, apps, and the number of activities tracked.

Coming at a time when the competition in the wearable domain is getting stiffer by the day, the Fitbit is going to square it with recently unveiled Vivosmart 4 Fitness Tracker and Samsung new flagship smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch.

There has been a lot of hype-without substance of the Fitbit 3. We shall cut through the clutter and present you with a detailed review of the Fitbit 3, and see whether it`s the best fitness tracker for you.

What Makes FitBit 3 So Awesome?

  • SpO2 Sensor. Like the FitBit Versa and FitBit Ionic, the Fitbit 3 will equally ship with a SpO2 sensor. The SpO2, which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood will assist you in tracking your breathing patterns. With the breathing stats, the Fitbit can help indicate early signs of health issues such as allergies, sleep apnea, or asthma.
  • Sleep Score. Fitbit will be launching a beta version of an app dubbed the "Sleep Score." As its name suggests, the app will assess your overall sleep quality, and determine a sleep score. Besides the sleep quality, the sleep score will also include data on sleep disruptions. The Sleep Score, however, is not limited to the FitBit 3, but will now roll out to any FitBit new releases with heart rate sensors. We hope that the app will be successful and provide a comprehensive summary of your sleep and what`s affecting it.
  • Waterproof:  The Fitbit 3 is water resistant up to 50 meters. Besides the waterproof nature, the Charge 3 can equally support swim tracking, alongside other forms of swim activities that FitBit has been offering in the past. The waterproof nature of the device is attributed to the replacement of the side button on the aluminum module by an inductive button. While swimming, the Charge 3 will allow you to see activity duration on the screen, including other swim metrics such as distance, pace, and laps, one you sync to the Fitbit mobile app.


Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker, Rose Gold/Blue Grey, One Size (S...
  • Better measure calorie burn, understand resting heart rate & more with 24/7 heart rate tracking and a battery life of up to 7 days (varies with use and other factors)
  • Choose from 15+ exercise modes like run, bike, swim, yoga, circuit training and more, set a goal, and get real-time stats during your workouts to see how you can keep getting better
  • Automatically record time spent in Light, Deep and REM sleep stages and see activity trends, health insights and personalized guidance in one place with Fitbit Today
  • Swim proof and water resistant to 50M so you can track swims and wear in the shower. Also connect to smartphone GPS for real-time pace and distance during outdoor runs and rides
  • Stay connected to your day with everyday apps for weather and more and get call, text and smartphone app notifications on your wrist

More Unique Features that Make the Fitbit Charge 3 Interesting

Design

The update on the design is one of the remarkable and instantly noticeable changes on the Charge 3.

While the Charge 2 we earlier reviewed was by no means ugly, it featured obscene bezels, stuck out quite often and was bulkier than it should.

The Charge 3 fixes all the shortcomings of its predecessor, with a new curvy space-grade aluminum that is 20% lighter.

You can never experience the comfort of the FitBit 3 without wearing it; it sits nearly flush with your wrist and feels luxuriously comfy.

Fitbit decision to make the Charge 3 feather-light, as well as slimmer, will make the device a superb option for tracking your sleep and swimming, as it should not be a pain to wear at night or during swimming sessions.

I see wearing the Charge 3 for days without noticing it`s on my wrist.

Display

Though the display is still grayscale, it`s completely redesigned regarding size (40% larger).

Unlike the other infuriatingly obtuse displays from other FitBit`s wearables, the Fitbit`s 3 screen is amazingly responsive.

And because it`s a touchscreen, you will now navigate the menu by swiping, rather than tapping to change menus.

Connectivity

Though the Charge 3 is not exactly of what you would call a smartwatch, it will allow you to respond to text and app messages right from your wrist.

Like the Versa and Ionic, the Charge 3 will also feature the quick reply feature, meaning that with the Charge 3, you will not have to miss any smart features, because you do not have a traditional smart watch.

The Charge 3, however, is only compatible with the Android phone. The Windows and iOS users will not get the quick reply feature.

Apps

The Charge 3 is the closest that FitBit has come to merging its smartwatches with a more basic fitness device.

However, you need to understand that it`s not the perfect smartwatch as it does not run on the same OS as FitBit`s smartwatches. This means that you will not get an app store or a collection of faces to download.

Fitbit is planning to introduce third-party app support similar to those found on the Ionic and Versa. But for the time being, you will only have apps for timers, alarms, calendar apps, and FitBit Leaderboard.

Activity Tracked

Like all top-range models, the Charge 3 is an all-encompassing device with the capability of tracking a variety of sports, and activities, including workouts, rate tracks, guided breathing, and many more.

As you would expect, there is a swim tracking feature on the Charge 3, and it`s perhaps the biggest upgrade on the device. Though it does not match the robustness of the dedicated swim watches such as the Finis Swimsense, it automatically tracks your swim activity, lets you see the duration of your dip when you look down at your wrist mid-way through your strokes. For the laps and pace details, however, you will need to head to the app once you`re done with the swimming session. This makes it one of ​the best waterproof fitbit for swimming worth buying today.

Regarding the number of workouts, the Fitbit Charge will track up to a whopping 15 different workouts modes. The workouts include cycling, running, swimming and yoga.

The new goal based feature allows you to set your daily target and will provide you with extra motivation for achieving your goal. For instance, it allows you to set a specific distance you might want to cover, rather than simply heading out for a run. Equally, if you want to burn 500 calories, you can set that up and get a buzz when you`re done.

Runners, however, will be a bit disappointed to learn that the device will not feature a dedicated GPS unless you get top GPS watch for running. The lack of a GPS is the largest drawback of the Fitbit 3. It`s a shame considering there are cheaper alternatives such as the Huawei Band 2 Pro, which has managed to find room for the GPS.

Fitbit, however, has its reasons for not including a GPS sensor. One of them is not to compromise the svelteness, on the device. Additionally, they believe that the type of person the Charge 3 is aimed for will not necessarily need this feature. More importantly is to extend the battery life. While they are reasonable claims, they still do not cut it, as we`ve seen plenty of multi-oriented and slim, GPS-enabled trackers with a greater lifespan. We should agree that this is a disappointment as well as a failure.

Like the Versa, the Charge 3 equally comes with a female tracking feature, which allows female users to track their next period. Ovulation tracking is also set to come later in the year, so you will not see it in the Charge 3.

Additional Features

Unlike the previous Fitbit models, the software on the Charge3 is more personalized with better guidance prompts, which should help you stay motivated at all times.

Additionally, the single button mechanism on the bands makes the Charge 3 easier to swap out. This is opposed to what we have witnessed in the FitBit Versa and FitBit Charge 2.

Battery Life

Fitbit estimates the battery life of Charge 3 to last for seven days. This is 2 more extra days than that of Charge 2.  We shall be sure to put this claim on the test.

Box Content      

Your Fitbit Charge 3 box will include;

  • Tracker
  • Charging cables
  • Detachable wristbands
  • Manual

What We Like About the Fitbit Charge 3

  • Lightweight. Though we do not have the exact weight metrics, the Charge 3 is a seemingly light device. The lightness of the Charge 3 will be instrumental for the athletes, especially swimmers for minimal drag and optimal output.
  • Blood Oxygen Level Tracking. The SpO2 feature is a ground-breaking feature that promises plenty of awesome health benefits to the users. This is considering that it will indicate and track sleep apnea, which is a widespread disorder worldwide.
  • Hybrid. Though not exactly a smartwatch, the Charge 3 provides you with the best of both worlds of smarts and fitness tracking.

What We Don`t Like About the Fitbit Charge 3

  • No GPS. The lack of a dedicated GPS tracking feature is the largest drawback of the watch. Though it allows you to piggyback to your electronic device, you will need to carry your phone with you if you are to receive real-time updates of your location.

Bottomline on Fitbit Charge 3

From the premium design, plenty of strap choices improved tracking and smart notifications; there are plenty of improvements in the Charge 3.


However, the lack of GPS means the Charge 3 is not tailored for those looking for top-end tracking like the one found in GPS-enabled trackers such as the Garmin Forerunner or the Polar V800.


Otherwise, go for the Fitbit Charge 3 if you`re looking for the perfect activity band for daily workouts and fitness partners when worn as part  of a smartwatch.