Fitness trackers have reached a certain maturity level: The new models are evolutionary and not revolutionary. So it is with FitBit's Charge 3, the company's most powerful model among its more elaborate (and pricier) smart watches.
Here's What We Like
Easy tape change function
Long battery life
] And what we do not
No music control
Time that's hard to say
Poor value compared to other Fitbit trackers
Priced at $ 150 (US $ 130), Charge 3 offers just about everything A general fitness enthusiast can wish, and he'll connect with you one of the most popular services. But FitBit has reserved some obvious options for its watches, and Charge 3 is not enough for the Alta HR or the new Inspire HR (street price of $ 100) to justify the middle ground.
(Almost) All Bells and Whistles
At this point, FitBit has developed its flagship tracker into a mirror finish that is a complete Apple Watch or Android Wear device in just about any function you might need. These include a large, long-lasting black and white OLED screen, 50 meters of water resistance, automatic training starts and pauses, and sleep detection. The screen is covered with gorilla glass (the same material used on your phone) and below is the now ubiquitous heart rate monitor. The Special Edition, $ 20 more, is identical except for one NFC chip used for FitBit Pay.
A more dedicated device, the Charge 3 eliminates most of the app and organizational features found in a larger clock design. The user interface allows you to manually start and stop the exercises and perform some basic tasks, such as setting timers or reminders. Notifications will be displayed on the screen from your iOS or Android phone (only for the latter answers). Besides, this thing is fitness all the time.
And that's okay! It's much smaller than any smartwatch, and the battery lasted a week for me, with hours of exercise and daily sleep tracking. I do not appreciate that I have to worry about the battery level on a particular day, and although the device is equipped with extras like elevation tracking and automatic brightness for the screen, it is still so small that I often forget that I carry it.
However, I would like to trade some of the more esoteric features, such as guided breathing exercises, for a few more practical options. On-board GPS at this price point is probably too much to ask (batch 3 depends on the FitBit app on your phone to determine the location), but I see no reason why the music control can not be used This is an essential part of the workouts of many users. My guess is that the basic Play / Pause features were deliberately left out to make FitBit's expensive watches more attractive.
The Fitness Tracker, Refined
The Charge 3 is not as small as some other fitness trackers in the FitBit range. However, it is extremely light with its aluminum body. And the case and closure mechanism has been refined since Charge 2: it does not sit naturally on the wrist, and swapping ribbons for something sportier takes literally seconds.