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Change Is Good!
With the release of the Fitbit Charge 5, we now have a better picture of the future of Fitbit (and Google). Check out how their de facto flagship wearable series has carved out a new niche in the health and fitness tracking industry.
Fitbit Charge 5: Premium Fitness Tracker
- Colors: Graphite, Lunar White/Soft Gold, and Steel Blue/Platinum
- Battery Life: 7 Days
- Battery Life (GPS Mode): 7 Days
- Display: 1.04″ AMOLED touchscreen
- GNSS: GPS + GLONASS
- Waterproof Rating: 5 ATM
- Blood-Ox (SpO2): Yes
- Sport Modes: 20
- Notifications: Text, call, and app
- Connectivity: Bluetooth and NFC
- Fitbit Pay: Yes
- Designed to fit almost any style
- Very responsive color touch screen
- Great selection of replacement watch faces
- New Daily Readiness Score advanced recovery metric
- Fitbit app is best-in-class (iOS & Android)
- Swim-ready with a 50-meter waterproof rating
- Built-in GPS and GLONASS
- On-wrist music controls
- Quick Reply texting (with Android only)
- Endless 3rd-party replacement band options
- EDA stress tracking replaces Relax Guided Breathing from previous models
- Some of the best Fitbit app options only come with the paid subscription
- No Altimeter for tracking floors climbed
- No music storage
- Always-On display drains the battery quicker than the advertised 7 days
The Sense Lite
Long story short, the Fitbit Charge 5 is a slimmer version of the Fitbit Sense. It’s also slimmer on the specs, keeping with the traditional fitness tracking style of the Charge Series.
Going from the Charge 4 to the Charge 5, there are some nice upgrades. They left out the altimeter for tracking floors climbed, but that’s about it. Here are the features Fitbit added:
- ECG sensor and app (electrocardiogram)
- Always-on display mode
- Color display
- Daily Readiness Score (only with Fitbit Premium membership)
- EDA Sensor & app (stress management)
- High and low heart rate alerts
A New Look
Even though it isn’t backward compatible with wristbands from previous models, the new design is worth it. Ditching the square edges, the Charge 5 has a nice rounded design similar to the Fitbit Luxe.
It’s wider and flatter than the Luxe, giving it a sportier look that works for both women and men. In addition, the super-durable stainless steel chassis comes in three finishes: Graphite, Soft Gold, and Platinum. Plus, there are plenty of replacement band options to match any style.
The new color display is a nice luxury, but the increased brightness was the essential upgrade. This also makes way for more colorful and creative watch faces like on the Sense, Versa series, and of course, the Luxe. The icing on the cake is the addition of the Alway-On Mode to view the time and your essential metrics at a glance.
Smarter Health Tracking
Fitbit has consistently provided one of the easiest to use and holistic health and wellness tracking platforms. The one negative is that some of the advanced health tracking metrics like Daily Readiness Score are only available with Fitbit Premium memberships.
On the other hand, you still get some nice FREE upgrades, like the ECG app, EDA sensor, and high/low heart rate alerts. If that’s not enough to fit your needs, you’d probably want to go with the Fitbit Sense or another similar choice anyways.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is the perfect middle ground between a basic fitness tracker and an all-out smartwatch. It’s also the ideal alternative to the Apple Watch if you’re looking for something more fitness-focused and less bulky in size and software.
To put it simply, the Charge 5 has taken the series from fitness tracker to smart band. Maybe they should’ve called it the Fitbit Luxe Sport.
For hardcore fitness tracker fans, it’s hard to see the uber-efficient monochrome display go. That’s because, with the more efficient heart rate sensor, they might’ve been able to squeeze 10+ days of battery life out of it.
Instead, they used the battery life savings to power the big, beautiful color screen. Either way you slice it, the Fitbit Charge 5 is luxury fitness tracking at its finest.