Fitbit Charge 5 review
Oh yeah and, most importantly, it costs a lot. Less Music in a world filled with smartwatches fitness, trackers feel kind of liberating theyre. Smaller, they generally have better battery life and theyre easier to use for most people. Looking for a do it all fitness tracker, this is the fitbit to get and its kind of a bargain too, at 180 ive been wearing the charge 5 for almost 2 weeks and were going to dive into everything from design and comfort through to ease of use. Fitness and health tracking and, of course, battery life and ive linked chapters in the description below lets talk about the hardware itself. It has a color amoled display, which is an immediate advantage over the charge 4, which only had a monochrome display. You also have the option of leaving it always on on the charge 5. If you want to now, the navigation system is a little bit different to what you might be used to if youre coming from an older fitbit. This is the first charge that doesnt have any physical buttons. You do all the interaction through the touch screen, swiping to get to different menu options, tapping to select them, and you can either swipe to go back or double tap on any screen to go straight back to the clock face now. This might take a few tries to learn, but having come off the back of reviewing the fitbit lux, which has the same navigation system, its actually a lot easier to use on the charge 5 thanks to the larger screen real estate.
Fortunately, the interface is also pretty responsive. Now, one of the big criticisms of the fitbit displays from previous generations, at least on the charge, was visibility in outdoor situations. Im happy to report that the charge 5 is really bright and easy to see when you are doing an outdoor workout, for example, and i had no issue whatsoever looking down at my wrist during a workout like a run, to see my stats and overall, a note On comfort, i found the charge 5 was really inconspicuous its not as small or as lightweight as say something like the fitbit lux, but i think that is probably too small for a lot of people. This seems to be a really happy medium and i never really found it got in the way when i was say sleeping working out or just wearing it every day. It felt really really comfortable. Music. Now lets talk about some of those sensors on board. You get a heart rate tracker with the ability to set high and low heart rate alerts. If your heart rate falls above or below a certain threshold, there will also be an ecg or electrocardiogram app that will be activated after launch and thats to check for potential signs of an irregular, heartbeat theres, an sp02 sensor for blood oxygen and skin temperature tracking. While you sleep also on board, is an eda or electrodermal activity sensor. This is the same as we saw on the fitbit sense, the smartwatch from 2020.
. Now, what this does is essentially its tracking minute changes in sweat, and that essentially, can give you a picture of how your body is responding to stress if you have a lot of eda responses after one of those sessions. Potentially that means youre feeling kind of stressed. So the idea is that all of this data comes into a stress management score that you can find in the fitbit app after having worn the charge 5 for a couple of days now. Essentially, if you have a high score, it means that your body is probably dealing with stress a lot better. If you have a lower score, you know you might want to think about doing some more mindfulness sessions alongside those stress tracking eda sessions, just to see if you can bring up your score a little bit sleep tracking works in the same way as most recent fitbits. You get a lot of detail about things like your sleep stages, your restlessness and even your sleeping heart rate and, of course, everything comes together in a score out of 100, because if you dont put a number on it, i guess it doesnt count. Now, as you can probably tell, there is a lot of data coming from this little tracker now, unfortunately, like most things in life, nothing is really free. So, to get the most out of the detail that you get, you will need to subscribe to the 10 a month. Fitbit premium subscription service.
You do get six months free when you buy a charge. Five, however, fitbit premium is the only way youre going to be able to get those deeper sleep insights over time, as well as things like your health metrics on a deeper, more granular level, stress tracking insights, as well as fitness and workout programs. Even some mindfulness sessions and nutrition programs, as well so just an idea of a potential ongoing cost. If you really like all that data, the other thing that fitbit premium gives you – which i actually think is the flagship feature of the charge 5 and i kind of buried the lead a little bit on this but ill. Tell you why in just a moment its this thing called the daily readiness score. I like to think of this as an kind of are you up for it kind of score out of 100, and it takes into account things like your activity level, your sleep and also your heart rate variability. To give you an idea, if you should say do that workout today, like youre, ready to push yourself or you should maybe take a rest day, and it will also suggest things like say. Maybe you need to do a hit workout today, youre up for it, or maybe some yoga is more suitable or, alternatively, here is a mindfulness and meditation session to take because youve, you know, youve had a hard day lets. Take it easy tomorrow. Now, in theory, this is kind of similar to what garmin offers with its body battery, but the fitbit version does seem like its going to offer a little bit more in terms of actionable items based on your specific needs, but heres the rub.
It wasnt active at the time of recording this review and it wont be active for the launch of the charge. 5. now im actually super bummed about this, because i feel like finally fitbit has the key to the lock thats been closed for such a long time, because we get so much data from trackers like this and smartwatches on our wrist and knowing how to interpret it And how to take action on it can be really confusing. So i really hope that this daily readiness score is kind of going to be the holy grail of helping me interpret all of these numbers all of this data and make it really easy to understand. With actionable items that i can take to help improve my overall well being anyway, i will keep you updated on the daily readiness score in my full written review, which i have linked in the description below and fingers crossed. It comes out pretty soon. Okay lets talk. Some of the fitness features the charge 5 can of course track basics like your steps, but it also has 20 different workout types that it can track. There are six slots available on the charge 5 itself, so you can start a workout straight from your wrist. You can swap in and out workouts to your choosing from the fitbit app. Of course, the charge 5 is also water resistant, so it can track swims and you can take it down to 50 meters underwater, like the older model.
The charge 5 also has built in gps. This means you can leave your phone at home and still be able to track things like route information and distance on your charge. 5.. It does take around 10 to 15 seconds to lock onto a gps. If you are not using connected gps, i.e just using the gps on the charge 5 itself – and i did also compare the route information from the tracker to a control phone and it did match up pretty well in terms of the overall route and distance information. When you start an activity, you also have the option to set a goal say, for example, a distance, a time based or even an active zone minutes goal now. Activezone minutes is fitbits way of calculating moderate to intense physical activity and after youve done your workout youll. Be able to see all of your stats and metrics within the fitbit app ive always been a fan of the fitbit app its really easy to find things its well laid out, and you can also do things like overlaying heart rate information on your route and also Seeing things like your splits too, so theres a lot to dive into in that app. Now i did test the heart rate sensor against a chest, strap which is considered the gold standard, and i was pleasantly surprised with how well the charge 5 matched up to the strap. However, i did notice at the start of every single cardio based workout, that i did.
It did take around 2 minutes for the charge 5 to catch up. After then, everything was fine, hopefully thats, something that maybe a software update down the track could address the charge. 5 has a couple of smart features on board. Most importantly, it is compatible with android and ios. The experience is fairly similar across both platforms. The one thing you do miss out on, though, if you pair this with an iphone, is that you will not be able to respond to notifications from your wrist with quick replies that is only available on android, but you still can see. Notifications come through. You can still choose which notifications are pushed to your wrist and, most importantly, the text is really easy to see on the charge 5.. This was a big issue i had with the fitbit lux the charge 5. I felt was really easy to read. I never felt like i had to pull out reading glasses or a magnifying glass to see what was going on on the screen. The charge 5 is missing a few things, namely music, playback control from apps on your phone, music storage, theres, no speaker or microphone. Now this means that you wont be able to take quick calls from your wrist by talking into it. Youll have to go to your phone for things like that, and also there is no voice assistant. Maybe you care, maybe you dont, but i do have to tell you in case you are thinking of upgrading from an older fitbit and wanting some of those features.
Now the third party, app selection, is well pretty much non existent theres, a fixed number of apps that you can get and thats kind of it and youre also fairly limited in terms of the watch faces that you have to choose from theyre basic. They all look pretty good, but yeah theres, not that many of them. So if you want the widest selection, youll probably want to look at a proper fitbit smartwatch say like the versa 3 or the sense and the one thing that i wish the charge 5 had. I dont care about third party apps so much on this, but i do wish it had a find my phone feature so fitbit if youre listening. I would love for you to add that because i think that would be super helpful, Music. Finally, lets get into battery life now fitbit says: youll get seven days of battery life out of the charge, five, which is great but thats on paper and thats, really with a very light use. So things like your sleep tracking, maybe a couple of eda scans, fitness tracking, but no gps and youll get seven days before you need to charge im a little bit more of a heavy user. So i was able to get four full days out of the charge. Five and that counted things like a 30 minute gps workout every day i did several eda scans. I was wearing it pretty much 24 7 to track my sleep as well, and i did not have the always on display active because that will also eat into your battery life.
But four days i was pretty happy with Music theres. No doubt that the charge 5 is a significant upgrade from older fitbit trackers like the charge 4.. It really feels like fitbit, has taken the best parts of its smart watches like the sense and the versa 3 and packed it into this, which is cheaper, lighter and, most importantly, more reliable at launch than those other watches. Were you might be wondering about the google and fitbit integration now that google owns the company well 100? This still feels like a fitbit im, actually really glad about that. I feel like fitbit. All they have to do now is deliver on that daily radiative score, and this is going to be the most capable health and fitness companion that you could want if youre looking for a fitbit, its got the best of all worlds, its cheaper, its lighter, more reliable And thats it for more details on where you can find the charge: 5 extra, specs and, of course, information about things like the new features that are coming soon. Ive put a link in the description below so make sure to check that one out and, of course, if you have any more questions, you can find me on instagram twitter even down in the comments thanks for watching and ill catch.