After some wait, we finally have it here! The Fitbit Charge 5!, the newest model from the Google-owned biggest fitness tracker company.
Including almost all the same health and fitness features as Fitbit’s more expensive smartwatches, like the Versa 3 and Sense for just $179. Unless you need a larger screen, a voice assistant, and music storage, the Charge 5 came to put Fitbit into a new standard that will ruin other trackers for you.
There’s a lot of new features and functions that come along with the charge 5 below we did a round up of the most important updates so you can understand if this is the right tracker for you, we also mention some of the features that didn’t make it on this new model.
Best Features that come along with the Fitbit Charge 5:
– New AMOLED color touchscreen display
– New display that is 2X brighter than the Charge 4 screen
– Daily Readiness
– Always-on display mode (both for daily use and workout only use)
– Adds workout & recovery recommendations based on daily readiness score
– High and low heart rate notifications (outside of workouts)
– EDA measurement for stress tracking
– Battery life up to 7 days
– 10% thinner than Charge 4
Features that remain from the Charge 4 model:
– Built-in GPS workout tracking is also available on the new Charge 5
– Comes with all the usual Fitbit activity tracking (steps/sleep/24×7 HR/etc)
– Sleep score, sleep stages, and smart wake alarm are also available for both charge 4 and 5
Features missing from the Charge 5 that the Charge 4 had:
– No Spotify music control anymore
– No more weather app
– No more guided breathing/relaxation sessions on the device itself (these are moved to the app)
– Removal of the altimeter, meaning no stairs tracking
Fitbit Charge 5 review: Price and release date
The Fitbit Charge 5 is one of the most pricey trackers from the new models at $179.95, however is not that expensive if you compare it with other trackers in the same category.
It is available in three colors: Steel Blue/Platinum, Black/Graphite, and Lunar White/Gold.
This model includes a six-month Fitbit Premium membership so you can understand if you can get more from your Fitbit experience. You will have full access to additional features, such as a Health Metrics dashboard, guided video, and audio workouts, and sleep and mindfulness tools.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is already available for purchasing, went on sale on September 27, 2021, and is available to buy both on Fitbit as well on Amazon.
Fitbit Charge 5 review: Design
When it comes to design the Charge 5 measures 1.44 by 0.89 by 0.44 inches (LWD), making it the widest of Fitbit’s current fitness trackers.
The Charge 5 screen size is 1.04-inch 11% bigger than the Charge 4, and the device itself is 1mm longer but over 1mm thinner. A major upgrade from its predecessor is the beautiful and bright, AMOLED colorful touch screen. The always-on display option is also a new function on the Charge Series that will give you the time at a glance.
Another major upgrade from the Charge 4 is the aluminum case that gives to the Charge 5 a more sophisticated look compared with the predecessor sports plastic resin case. Instead of buttons, the tracker comes with stainless steel panels on the sides that are flush with the case, serving as sensors for the ECG and EDA apps.
The basic models come in platinum (silver), gold, and black as standard, so you have a unisex feel to the Charge 5 that makes it more appealing to both women and men, and last but not least the tracker has swappable bands to choose from, so you can change the overall look of the watch.
Health and Fitness Tracking
Now let’s give a closer look at the tracking functionalities, the Charge 5 includes the well known 20 exercise modes, plus the SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition, and the Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes metric, which for those that are unfamiliar with it is basically a GPS to map your route during outdoor exercises (like running, biking, and hiking).
You will be also able to use the in-app workout intensity maps that will give you your pace and heart rate zones throughout your route. This will help you keep tabs on your heart rate 24/7 and can alert you in case that your rate it’s unusually high or low.
For those looking for the sleep tracking features, the Charge 5 does not disappoint, it will track both the duration and quality of your sleep, as well as your sleep stages (light, deep, and REM), breathing rate (the number of breaths taken per minute), heart rate variability (HRV, a measure of your nervous system activity), skin temperature variation (whether you were hotter or colder compared with your baseline), and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2). And like if that wasn’t enough the tracker will give you a stress management and sleep score every morning.
Using the workout mode is really a breeze, you just swipe to the Exercise app, which comes by default with the following tracking options: bike, interval workout, run, swim, treadmill, and weights. To edit the list in the Fitbit app you just tap your profile image > Charge 5 > Exercise Shortcuts and choose from the list of available exercise shortcuts: boot camp, circuit training, elliptical, golf, hike, kickboxing, martial arts, outdoor workout, pilates, spinning, stairclimber, tennis, walk, workout, and yoga. You can have up to six workout tracking shortcuts on the watch at a time.
And thanks to the Fitbit’s SmartTrack the watch can automatically recognize and record different types of workouts, such as walking, running, aerobic and elliptical sessions, outdoor cycling, continuous high-movement sports (like tennis, basketball, and soccer), and swimming.
When it comes to keeping you active there’s no manny news compared with the Charge 4, so you will have all the same activity tracking metrics on both trackers. As we mentioned before you can only view six sport profiles at once, and these can be customized in the Fitbit app. The main difference that we found is that the screen is brighter and the always-on function makes it easier to read on the move.
Auto Laps is also available on the Charge 5 that gives you the option to receive pace alerts every mile while running, or out on your bike. Have in mind that this feature is toggled off by default.
Another activity tracking feature that you can enjoy on the new Charger 5 is the Goal Setting, you can set different types of workout goals or milestones that you are looking forward to meeting. You can also set workouts goals like time, distance, or calories burned. During the activity, the tracker will show your progress towards your goal.
Last but not least you will also have your Active Zone Minutes after every workout, and (if you don’t turn them off beforehand), the watch will buzz whenever you move into a new zone. The tracker measures the time you spend in each target heart rate zone and tracks your progress towards a goal of 150 minutes per week.
For basic use, including notifications, step tracking, sleep tracking, and some EDA scans, you can expect to get up to seven days with the display set to raise-to-wake.
But as you know if you are looking to use your GPS your juice can run out quickly if you use it daily for one hour you can have only 2 days of a full battery, we use it for just 30 minutes and it lasts 4 days straight without a charge.
Another battery dragger is the always-on display that will also decrease the battery power even further, so expect to get two full days out of the Charge 5 in this scenario.
For us, the Charge 5 is today one of the best Fitbits to buy when it comes to price and fitness tracking
The tracker is one of the most powerful fitness trackers in the market and it will become even better in the next months once they roll out all the new features that will improve the overall experience of the tracker.
Although for those that have already the charge 4 on their wrist, it is best to wait until the new features come along and then make a decision as of now, the Charge 5 doesn’t bring major updates from its predecessor. However, if you have any other Fitbit tracker I will definitely upgrade to the newest Charge 5.
For those looking for a smartwatch instead of a fitness tracker, it’s probably a better call to go for the Fitbit Versa 3 over the Fitbit Charge 5, which supports Alexa and Google Assistant, and allows you to answer phone calls from your wrist (only works on Android phones).