Fitbit Charge 3 Review – Tried and Tested

Fitbit Charge 3 is one of Fitbit's most accomplished products, but it also gives the best fitness tracking experience in a classic band form that the business has to offer.

Fitness tracking, sleep tracking (sleep apnea detection included), and heart rate sensors are all included in the Fitbit Charge 3, which is smaller and lighter than the Fitbit Charge 2. Additionally, it has a larger display and is water resistant.

Fitbit released the Charge 3 in August of last year, and despite the Fitbit Charge 4's arrival, it is still one of the finest Fitbits available. However, if you're searching for a Fitbit-branded fitness tracker, Fitbit Charge 4 may be just what you're looking for, especially now that the price has fallen dramatically.

Fitbit announced a new Charge series watch in 2021. Many new features have been added to the Fitbit Charge 5, including an AMOLED display, a SpO2 sensor, an EDA sensor, and an ECG monitor.

Fitbit Charge 3 Design and Display

Refinements and tweaks have been made to the Fitbit Charge 3's larger screen and band design, which is similar to its predecessor, the Charge 2.

In the first place, the Fitbit Charge 3 is slimmer and less bulky on the wrist than the Fitbit Charge 2. Stainless steel was used for the Fitbit Charge 2, while aluminum was used for the Charge 3, since it's lighter and more durable. This makes the new gadget 20% lighter, and you can feel the difference right away. In addition, it is a lot comfier.

However, the Charge 3 does not have any classic buttons that you can press. The Charge 2 had a tap-to-cycle screen; this one has a complete touchscreen display, which means you'll be browsing its functions with your finger on the screen. If you have the Fitbit Charge 2, you can only change the display by tapping it.

Our Independent Rating

However, a haptic button on the tracker's left edge allows you to wake the device or go back a screen. An audible vibration will tell you that it's doing its job.

It took me  a while to figure out how to utilize this haptic button since the functionality isn't immediately apparent.

If you don't know how to strike it correctly, you'll have to keep tapping away at it until it responds to your touch (like I did at first). However, if you get the hang of it, it still works well. For me, it’s pretty good considering this product is among affordable fitness trackers.

An oximetry sensor has been added to the PurePulse heart rate tracking on the bottom of the device, making it even more accurate. As a result, the wrist is more comfortable, and the overall finish is more rounded.

The Fitbit Charge 3's redesigned strap style is another new feature. You no longer have to deal with bulky metal clips like on the Charge 2. Instead, a little black button ejects the strap, making it simple to swap straps.

In addition, the plastic strap included with the regular version feels a bit shoddy to the touch. When you buy a product, it should come with a silicone strap that you don't have to buy separately. It's still easier to wear during the day than other everyday fitness trackers because of the comfort strap.

Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker, Graphite/Black, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker, Graphite/Black, One Size (S and L Bands Included)

In terms of visual impact, the Charge 3 differs from its predecessor by having a 40% larger screen. Despite the fact that the screen is still black and white, it has received an increase in quality and is now a touchscreen display as well.

In spite of its modest size, the screen is able to show information well, such as blood oxygen level, battery level, real-time stats, and capillary oxygen saturation despite its lack of sophistication. Compared to the Versa, its monochromatic design is a little depressing, but the reduced power consumption is appreciated.

Waterproofing is another significant improvement in the Charge's third generation. Only a few sprays of water when doing the dishes or perspiration while working out might damage the Charge 2.

Fitbit, on the other hand, has made certain that the Charge 3 can monitor your swimming this time around. While swimming in the pool is OK, it's important to keep in mind that this is not an actual open-water swim. Later, we'll talk about it.

Fitness Tracking, Performance, and Other Features

In terms of Fitbit's smartwatches and fitness trackers, the Charge 3 is the closest Fitbit has gotten to integrating them. Since the Fitbit Charge 2's smart functionality was so rudimentary, the Charge 3 has seen a significant improvement over the Charge 2.

The Charge 2 could only alert you to incoming phone calls and text messages, but now it can provide better notification support for all of your phone's third-party apps. Additional features include weather, calorie burn, and timers, among others.

It's understandable that Fitbit Charge 3 users won't be able to download applications like the Fitbit Ionic or Versa can, but the company says that later this year, users will be able to accept or reject phone calls from the Charge 3.

The Fitbit leaderboard and a calendar are also expected to be added in the near future, according to reports. However, they have yet to surface.

A new promise from Fitbit is that the Charge 3 will support rapid answers to messages via the Android app, which should be available soon.

Only the most basic predetermined responses will be available, such as "sorry I can't talk right now," but I suppose that's better than nothing.

Aside from the familiar 24/7 heart rate monitoring, workouts, and guided breathing for relaxation found on the Charge 2, the Charge 3 has a slew of new functions, including swim tracking. Fitbit fitness trackers are known for their circuit training and multi-sport tracking capabilities.

It is possible to monitor other activities such as outdoor jogging, treadmill running, walking, weight training, and biking on the Charge 3.

In my experience, all of Fitbit's fitness monitoring capabilities functioned well as expected. My average heart rate seems to be accurate. The Charge 3 logs your workouts for you automatically, much like its predecessor. This saves you the hassle of manually starting sessions.

Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker, Graphite/Black, One Size (S and L Bands Included)

It will begin to monitor you as soon as you begin moving, for example. It also allows you to start and pause the exercise app without having to stop the whole session.

The tracker does not have a dedicated GPS, which is a drawback. Not only is this unfortunate for runners, but there are also less expensive options available that can monitor your whereabouts without using your phone.

Although it lacks built-in GPS, the Charge 3 may use the GPS on your phone to measure the distance traveled. As a result, you won't lose track of your progress; you'll only need to bring your phone along when you go for a run.

Using the Fitbit app, you can quickly connect to your phone's GPS, which we'll cover in detail later.

Auto running tracking was included in a late-2018 update, so this fitness band will detect when you're jogging and halt when you stop. Even though the functionality hasn't yet been thoroughly tested, I want to do so shortly.

Even though I weren't able to test the Fitbit Charge 3's female health tracking, you can use it to keep track of your next period with it.

If you purchase the Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition in the United States or the United Kingdom, you'll also be able to use Fitbit Pay, just as with the Fitbit Ionic and Versa (Fitbit Versa 3). For the Fitbit watches, we've tested the Special Edition tracker, and it works just fine.

Fitbit Pay is pre-installed on all Fitbit Charge 3 models sold in Australia. It's not apparent why Fitbit doesn't provide this function in the UK and the US, but if you're eager for the function, it's not too expensive.

Sleep Tracking

The Fitbit Charge 3 brings back sleep tracking with Sleep Score Beta program, offering you a look into your night with information on REM, light sleep, sleep analysis potential and deeper sleep insights.

Fitbit recommends that you use the wearable while sleeping, but I didn't always want to.

As with any deeper sleep insights, you never know exactly how accurate it is, but based on my tests, the Charge 3 looked to be about right.

With the quiet alarm option, you can gently wake yourself up without disturbing anyone else in the room.We like the concept, but we're not convinced it will be of much service to those who sleep through the night.

Battery Life

Fitbit forecasts that the Charge 3 has 7-day battery life, as opposed to the previous Charge 2 wearable's stated period of five days. In my testing, I discovered I didn't use the gadget as aggressively as I should have, but I were close. Though, you might have shorter battery life for intense use. 

You should be able to make it through seven days on a single charge cycles without utilizing the fitness monitoring or smart functions more than once each day.

Our fully-charged Charge 3 lasted an average of six days, which isn't too awful considering yyou'd only need to recharge the gadget once a week with relatively short charge time.

The Fitbit Charge 3 comes with a proprietary charger in the package. When I didn't have a proprietary charger nearby, it would often run out of power.

It's also a hassle to schedule a time for the gadget to be charged. If you want to monitor your sleep quality while wearing the Charge 3, you won't be able to do so since that's the only time you can charge a device overnight. Consequently, you'll need to schedule a period when you're not monitoring anything to properly re-juice your device.

Fortunately, the Charge 3 indicates the remaining battery life on the smartphone, so that you won't be caught off guard by a low battery. Although it's commonplace today, the Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR didn't come equipped with this function when they were initially released.

Things I liked

  • New Design & Larger Display
  • Strap is easier to change
  • Water-Resistance
  • Female health feature
  • Battery life and sensors improvements

Things I Don’t Like

  • Display is monochrome
  • No music controls
  • Lack of gps
  • No apps download

Fitbit Charge 3 Stock Apps

In my evaluation of the Versa, I found that the Fitbit platform has remained mostly unaltered, and it's still as great as it was back then. Everything is easy to find, comprehend, and use. Fitbit In comparison to other applications like Withings Health Mate, the Charge 3's Bluetooth sync is quicker and more streamlined.

The Android and iOS versions of the Charge 3 are both supported. The Dashboard, Account, Challenges, Guidance/Notifications, and Friends are all available on the Fitbit app's home screen.

There is a dashboard that displays all of the data gathered for each day-from food and drink consumption (if input), to the number of steps done in tiles, making it possible to modify the order in which you view it.

You can tell how close you are to a target by looking at a circular bar above each statistic that advances in a clockwise manner as you approach it. Detailed information may be accessed by tapping on any of these measures.

Changing your objectives, adding another Fitbit tracker, chceking on active minutes, or accessing additional options, such as creating a custom heart-rate zone, can all be done via the Account tab, which can be located in the app's upper right corner.

MyFitnessPal, for example, may be linked to the Fitbit app so that you can keep track of your food intake. Various other options, like the Charge 3's display design and quiet alarms, may also be found here.

Final Thoughts

Even though Fitbit Charge 3 doesn't have as many capabilities as its elder brother, the Fitbit Versa, it still delivers many of the same exercise tracking functions and daily stats in a more compact and lightweight form.

Daily exercise and depth sleep analysis are exactly what this product claims to accomplish, and it doesn't ask for much in terms of money either.

Smartphone notifications, contactless payment (for an additional fee), and all of the features Fitbit consumers have come to expect are included in this device.


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