Released in 2018, Fitbit Charge 3 was widely praised as the best fitness tracker on the market. It may not be as innovative as other Fitbits, such as the Ionic or Versa, but it brought important improvements over the second generation Fitbit Charge.
Now there’s a third generation Charge, which impresses with a more refined design, a larger, fully waterproof display, and lighter weight.
So, it has an array of new features to make it more appealing to fitness fans – here we take a look under its hood to find out what makes it tick.
Design and Display
From an aesthetic standpoint, Charge 3 isn’t too different from its predecessor. The display, band and colour palette follow similar lines: nevertheless, the new Charge has some major improvements.
To begin with, the screen is 40% larger, which not only means better visibility; it also means it’s easier to access the various functions.
It’s also lighter and thinner and its sleek lines perfectly suit an active lifestyle. The watch looks less chunky on your wrist, and we like that it’s made from aluminium rather than stainless steel.
Another big improvement is the full touchscreen display, not least because the absence of buttons has made for a completely waterproof smartwatch – making it more appealing to swimmers with immersion resistance down to 50 metres.
The display measures 34.5mm high by 22.7mm wide. The strap is as wide as the display, and there’s a range of classic silicone, leather, woven, and sports bands available.
More of an everyday fitness tracker than a smartwatch, Fitbit Charge 3 has limited smart features – basically contactless payments via Fitbit Pay and smartphone notifications.
Fitbit has announced an upgrade with more smart features including access to a calendar, weather, and perhaps a timer, but it’s not yet clear when it will be released.
Even these few functions don’t work with all smartphones. For instance, you can only send quick replies from Android, but not with iOS or other operating systems.
So, none of the smart features that come as standard on many other watches – onboard GPS, app store, or music storage. You don’t even get remote music controls.
Fitness and Medical Features
Fitbit Charge 3 might not have abundant smart features, but it excels in terms of fitness and medical functionality.
From a medical standpoint, you get:
- Health and heart rate monitoring: The smartwatch delivers 24/7 heart rate monitoring, burned calories counter, and real-time heart rate zones. The latter is particularly useful if you want to make the most out of your workout.
- Sleep tracking: If you feel fatigued without apparent reason, the sleep tracker will monitor the quality of your sleep and deliver personalised insights. While it won’t help cure any sleep disturbances, it will surely help you understand whether or not you should visit your doctor.
- Feminine health tracking: This feature helps keep track of periods, ovulation and fertility windows, and their associated symptoms.
Besides these medical functions, the fitness tracker also incorporates a wealth of features developed to help you improve your physical performance.
Perhaps the best function is the SmartTrack, which recognises your activity automatically and tracks your performance accordingly.
You can also set goals and get real-time stats for over 15 exercises or track your pace and distance in real-time using your smartphone’s GPS.
The smartwatch also keeps track of how much you move throughout the day and sends reminders to move, while the personalised guided breathing claims to help you get rid of negative emotions and channel your positive energies towards productivity.
Battery and Performance
Comfortable and durable, the Charge 3 has a tough aerospace-grade aluminium case and Corning Gorilla glass display.
Though it doesn’t have the best-performing battery out there – the Fitbit Zip’s battery, for example, lasts for up to six months on a single charge – it can still last for 7-10 days of continuous wearing and under normal usage.
You could potentially increase the battery life even more by disabling the alarms and reducing interaction.
Fitbit Charge 3 Summary
Fitbit Charge 3 is an exceptional fitness tracker – though not such a great smartwatch – and it integrates all the functions and features you’d expect. A variety of band styles and colors bring versatility, making it suitable for both men and women.
Coming at a cost that won’t break the bank, it blends high-end functionality with a mid-range price tag in a product that really knows how to satisfy its users.
If you’re looking for a great fitness tracker rather than the smartest watch of them all, the Fitbit Charge 3 can undoubtedly fit the bill.