Complete Fitbit Charge 3 Review

fitbit charge 3 review

If there’s one thing we know so far, it’s that fitness trackers have come a long way. Even with many brands in this gizmo’s bandwagon, there’re always those who take the lead and give the target market what it truly deserves. Fitbit has done that with its Charge 3. Which, from the many reviews we’ve analyzed, is now the company’s top fitness tracker in the world.

For starters, Fitbit Charge 3 is not a complete makeover of Charge 2. It only features a few changes over its predecessor, which goes quite a long way to make it a robust fitness tracker that you can use every single day. In this review, we’ll tell you what we know so far about the Charge 3, from its features to pros and cons, so you can decide on your own if it’s worth the asking price.

  • Waterproof up to 5 ATM and it’s therefore good for swimming
  • Decent battery life, you get about 7 days runtime on a single charge
  • Fitbit has improved the heart rate of Charge and even the SPO2 sensors are accurate
  • Includes NFC mobile payments on the Special Edition model
  • Good design, a lightweight model with a comfortable strap and very clear screen
  • Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition is way too expensive
  • You can only charge this fitness tracker with the brand’s proprietary charge
  • Sometimes the screen freezes and fails to respond, although this is only in rare occasion
  • Text reply option not available for iOS devices
  • Doesn’t have a built-in GPS system

Fitbit Charge 3 Design

From a design standpoint, we strongly believe that Fitbit has paid a lot of attention to details to make Charge 3 better than its predecessor. First, it’s made of aluminum, which makes it at least 20% lighter than its predecessor. The size of the button on the left is a more streamlined upgrade than we expected and when you touch it, it will vibrate to indicate that it’s working fine.

While Fitbit Charge 3 features the exact same black and white OLED display we’ve seen on Charge 2, it has an increased active area that easily boosts interaction. Even the resolution is sharper than what we’ve seen on many brand’s fitness trackers, so you can see clear content as you go.

To be clear, the screen is wider for a reason. At the very least, the improvement makes it easy for you to receive better notifications and even read text messages without turning to your phone. Fitbit hasn’t added the ability to receive or reject calls directly from Charge 3. And we don’t see them adding such a cool feature to the device anytime soon.

For overall appearance, the standard model has a graphite body with a black silicone strap and the Special Edition model features a rose gold body with a woven band. One of the things that we love about the design is that it features interchangeable straps. Because of this flexibility, you can personalize it by giving it a custom look for casual or professional outfit.

Fitbit Charge 3 Features

1. Waterproof

Charge 2 is a good fitness tracker. But it fails when it comes to water test. Rated as spill and splash proof, it’s not exactly a device that you can use in a swimming pool. To address this issue, Fitbit added a swim-proof design to Charge 3, making it appeal to those of us who love waterproof fitness trackers.

Because Charge 3 is a waterproof Fitbit that can survive a depth as big as 163 feet, it’s the right device to use in the pool. With a water resistance depth as decent as 5 ATM, or simply IP68 rated, you’d have to swim up to 50 meters deep to destroy this one with water. Able to survive even the deepest swimming pool in the world, Charge 3 is no doubt the best waterproof Fitbit you can buy.

2. Heart Rate Monitor & SPO2 Sensors

Both Fitbit Charge 3 and Alta HR feature built-in heart rate sensor. But that of Charge 3 is robust and quite accurate. Primarily, this pulse rate detector plays two special roles. First, it helps you determine how much calories you’ve burned during an exercise. Second, it’s handy in helping you to optimize your exercises, so you can improve your health and meet your fitness goals overtime.

One of the smart techs that we haven’t seen in many Fitbit’s trackers is the SPO2 sensor. And because of the role it plays, we’re all more likely inclined to appreciate its value. Simply put, the sensor helps to determine how much oxygen is in your bloodstream, making it easy for to determine if you have a sickness like sleeping apnea.

3. Sleep Tracking

Sleep tracking technology may not be something you rely on every day. But Fitbit Charge 3 has one readily available when you need it the most. Whether you’ll use it on a daily basis or only occasionally, the sleep tracker will help you to understand the quality of your sleep straight out of the box.

The sleep tracker of Charge 3 doesn’t show you how many hours you sleep every night. It also monitors your sleep in stages, allowing you to know the numbers of hours spend in deep sleep, awake, and light sleep.

Charge 3 even has a built-in vibrating alarm that you can use to help you get up in the morning. We aren’t sure if the alarm works for heavy sleepers, but it’s quite handy in helping a normal sleeper get out of bed to prepare for the day.

4. Exercise Modes

Let’s remember that the goal of a fitness and an activity tracker is to help you get moving and become fit. So it makes a lot of sense to see Fitbit include exercise modes in this device.  To be fair, they’ve included at least 15 exercise modes that even starters will find useful. And these are good for pushing you out of your comfort zone.

There’s no on-screen coaching on Charge 3. But even then, the exercise modes should be enough to hit the ground running. If you’re interested in a Fitbit that has on-screen coaching, you should go for Fitbit Blaze.

5. Notification & Apps

Both Charge 2 and Charge 3 support notifications, but they don’t actually work the same way. While Fitbit Charge 2 only allows you to get call, calendar, and text alerts, Charge 3 allows you actually read them straight from the display. As such, you don’t have to take your phone from your pocket to read messages.

Fitbit takes the notification system even further, improving it so much that you can reply to text messages right from your wrist. However, this feature is only available on Android and we don’t know when, if ever, Fitbit will roll out this feature for iOS users.

We wish Charge 3 had an option to make and answer phone calls. This would be more convenient than using your phone. But the tracker isn’t that smart yet, so our hope is probably a pipedream for now. And besides, haven’t you read in the past news that Fitbit promised to add the ability to answer calls to this device? They haven’t done that yet – or maybe they’re reluctant to. Either way, you’ll still do fine without it.

The Competition

We’ve become fond of Fitbit Charge 3 because of what it can do. But it isn’t the most pocket friendly fitness tracker in the market. So if you’re on a budget, and you’re looking for an activity tracker that’s as good as this one is, you should consider Letscom Fitness Tracker.

Going only for under $50, Letscom has tons of premium features found in Fitbit Charge 3. These include a heart rate monitor, step and calorie counter, connected GPS, 7-day battery life, multisport exercise modes, and waterproof design. In our eyes, Letscom is the top Fitbit knockoff that we’ve tested and reviewed – and probably the only there will ever be.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Fitbit Charge 3 have a build-in GPS?

No, Fitbit Charge 3 fitness tracker doesn’t have an on-board GPS system. So on its own, it won’t be effective in tracking actual distance and mapping routes. However, it does support connected GPS, which means you can integrate it with your smartphone’s GPS for distance and pace tracking in real time.

2. How does Fitbit Charge 3’s battery last?

Fitbit Charge 3 has a battery life of 7 days. The runtime on a single charge is the same as what you get from Fitbit Alta HR. But it’s better in terms of battery life compared to Fitbit Alta HR and Fitbit Charge 2.

Conclusion

Fitbit Charge 4 is already out for use. But it’s not the best activity tracker Fitbit has ever designed yet. For now we’ll stick with the Charge 3, because, after all, it’s the best fitness tracker in the world right now.

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