Watches

Fitbit Charge 3 Review

Fitbit Charge 3 Review Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Written by zeeshan

On this super review let’s take a look at the Fitbit charge 3 alright before we get into this full disclosure I’m a pebble person in fact I’ve been wearing a pebble ever since the original pebble I was a backer for the original Kickstarter the second Kickstarter and even the third Kickstarter so I’ve been with pebble for a while that said the company shut down about two years ago and ever since then I’ve been clinging to my pebble too it’s getting a little long in the tooth things are falling off of it and I haven’t really had a good solid SmartWatch that I want to go to all the smartwatches or most of the smartwatches that I’ve seen either they’re like they don’t do the things that I want them to do or they do way too many things and the battery life on them just stinks the Fitbit charge 3 it’s got a chance to be what I need it’s got a chance it’s got seven days of battery life and it doesn’t have a color screen but I don’t care I don’t need a color screen I just need something that does a few things and we’ll get into it can I be happy with a Fitbit charge three we’re gonna find out so I’m gonna go ahead and unbox it we’re gonna see what you get inside the box but then I’m gonna spend a few days wearing it living with it and comparing it to my pebble – but also a couple of fit bits that we have in the house because my wife’s a Fitbit person and I’ll let you know it is the Fitbit charge 3 a good pebble replacement or maybe even just a good replacement or anyone who’s got an older Fitbit.

Fitbit Charge 3 Review: Best Fitness Tracker

Let’s check it out alright so we got the Fitbit charge three in a box to be honest I don’t know what ton about this so this little box store is actually gonna be informative for me let’s go ahead and go around the box figure out what we can about the Fitbit charge 3 before I unbox it just looking here down the side you can tell already that the Fitbit is definitely geared more toward Fitness than you know something like the pebble or even you know frankly something like the Apple watch you know the Apple watch has some Fitness stuff in it but really I mean fitbit’s in the name right so the charge 3 appears to be swim proof I don’t know it’s I mean yes I guess it’s waterproof it’s got 24/7 heartrate so it’s got a heart rate monitor built into it and it’s just constantly running is what I get from that multi exercise modes I don’t know if that means apps and notifications this is where I’m really interested to see how far down the SmartWatch rabbit hole fit mit has gone and still managed to keep this right here which is battery of up to seven days not much on this side but if we go to the back there’s a whole ton of information hmm it’s a lot of reading alright we’re not learning anything I think we’re gonna have to go ahead and crack this open see what you get inside the box but really to figure out is a Fitbit charge three all the pebble I need I’m have to live with it for a few days so it’s good and open up and see what we get inside [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] all right so we got the Fitbit charge three out of the box and there’s not a ton in the box but that’s okay because you don’t need a ton you just need the watch okay you do get some safety instructions and limited warranty information that’s always good let’s see over here you get a large believe this is probably the large wrist strap right it’s got one pre-installed and then it’s just got a different size so that if this happens to not be the right size for you you can swap it out and make it larger yeah so it does have the small one pre-installed and you can see that the large one is it good I don’t know good like inch inch and a quarter longer than the original you do get a proprietary charger for the Fitbit this is very similar to the charger that came with the Fitbit Alta which my wife has it just it’s like a little pincher style you drop this thing inside of it and it starts charging it and it connects via USB it does not come with a USB brick though so you’re gonna have to plug this into either an existing USB brick or into your computer or even a wall outlet these days a lot of wallets will have that and of course you’ve got the Fitbit charge 3 itself which again comes with the small band pre-installed I gotta admit this is a very handsome looking device it’s making my pebble look a little dated so like other fitbit’s like this it does have removable bands you can swap these out with different ones that you can buy but also like other fitbit’s it does not use a standard connector this is a completely unique connector in fact the Fitbit Alta has a completely different connector itself so it’s not compatible with any bands that are other Fitbit and you’re gonna have to get bands specifically for the Fitbit charge three that said the installation is super simple just snaps right in on the back of the device here is where you can see the heart rate monitor this is also where you’ve got the charging port and yeah I guess you know pretty standard for a watch I suppose interestingly there are no external buttons on this I thought I saw this little groove in the pictures and I thought that was a button poked out but in fact that is a groove that pokes inward so there are no buttons at all on this thing I don’t know how I feel about that actually I know how I feel about that I’m a little bit bummed but that’s okay no buttons no problem all right so the Fitbit is setting up I had to connect it to my computer it turned itself on automatically and now it’s doing a bunch of different things I’m gonna go ahead and just spend some time with the Fitbit and I’ll compare it to my wife’s fitbit’s get a little bit of feedback from her sand she knows how to use these things better than I do and then I’ll come back and I’ll let you know what do I think of the Fitbit charge 3 all right so I’ve been wearing the Fitbit charge 3 for just about a week now and I’ve been kind of evaluating it in what I see are the three main categories that a device like this is is trying to do all right and those three categories are one how good of a fitness tracker is it – how good of a watch is it and then 3 how good of a smart device is it there are a bunch of different devices that are similar to this you know whether it’s another Fitbit an Android wear watch an Apple watch or even my pebble and they’re all kind of different balances of those three things and so I wanted I wanted to break this down in those three categories and just kind of give you an idea of where the Fitbit charge 3 does well and where maybe it doesn’t do so well all right so let’s start with the first category which is fitness tracking if I were to rate the Fitbit charge 3 just as a fitness tracker I’d probably have to give it like 5 stars out of 5 I think that I mean as far as what Fitness trackers do this is doing everything about as well as you can expect and some of the things that some of the attributes of it I think make it a little bit better of a fitness tracker than some other devices like this namely I’m talking about battery life and the reason I think battery life is so important for fitness tracking is that all the things that this thing is recording right it whether it steps your heart rate or your sleep it’s important that you always have that data available right the the more data you have the better you can make decisions and and change your behavior based on that data and if this thing is always out of battery if you’re wearing it and halfway throughout the day it dies or you’re just you’re leaving it on the charger some days because you have to charge it every day if that’s the thing that if that’s a problem like the fitness tracker is just not gonna be that useful and I think that having seven days worth of battery life is actually a really big deal when it comes to fitness tracking really the big thing that you get with having a really good battery life is that you’re gonna get that sleep tracking because you don’t have to leave your watch on a charger overnight frankly that’s like a big reason why I don’t have an Apple watch is I don’t I really like sleep tracking I think it’s pretty interesting it tells me how well I slept and it’s generally pretty accurate and this is did a pretty good job of it as well and if the battery life is not great if I’m having to leave this thing on a charger over and I it’s not gonna be able to tell me how well I slept the heart rate functions on this seemed pretty good like they’re always available as soon as you light up the screen it’s gonna show you what your heart rate is if I can get it to light up the screen right here it’s showing you what your heart rate is at a glance all the time it’s always measuring and that’s pretty cool it seemed like also I mean I can’t tell how accurate it is as a heart rate monitor and how specifically accurate it is may not even really matter what really matters is like directionally is it telling you that you have your heart rate elevated or is it telling you that you’re at a resting heart rate and it seems pretty accurate it seems pretty sensible right it’s never given me in these ratings that don’t make any sense to me now one of the things I think Fitbit does really well especially better than like my pebble when it comes to fitness tracking is like the social network stuff right you can link up with your friends you can see how well they’re doing in terms of achieving their fitness goals you can send them encouragement and stuff like that it’s not stuff that I personally use like the fitness tracking for me of those three categories is probably the least important but if that’s important to you I think that Fitbit does that pretty uniquely well and it’s here with the charge three you get that when it comes to the fitness tracking my only real complaint with the charge three is that it seems to be over counting my steps and now like look I’m not looking for it to be a hundred percent accurate steps what really is like is it directionally is it telling me that I’m doing well when I’m doing well is it telling me that I need to get off my ass when I need to and generally I think that’s true of this but I did notice that the charge 3 was counting my steps about like 30 to maybe even 50% higher than my pebble and my pebble is generally pretty well calibrated with my wife’s Fitbit she’ll she’s had fitbit’s for a while and so I was curious is the charge three over counting my steps really or is it just a Fitbit thing so I actually had a her wear the watch alongside her Fitbit Versa and she found the same thing that it seemed like the charge 3 was over counting steps it just meant that it it seemed like I was doing much better at my goals then frankly I actually was I did do an experiment where I wore both the charge 3 and my pebble on the same wrist on us on a walk and the walk was let’s see it was about a 5,000 step walk and I was surprised they actually both counted steps almost exactly the same which isn’t my experience when I was wearing it throughout my daily life so I’m guessing that this thing is picking up some steps when I’m not doing exercise maybe when I’m you know commuting to and from work it might be picking up some steps I’m not sure exactly but I know I do know for certain that you know there were like three or four days three or four days that I was testing this thing that each day it indicated I had taken more steps than I really thought I had by again like 30 to 50 percent more I’m not gonna hold that too much against the Fitbit charge three for two reasons one you know again like the exact step count the accuracy of it isn’t super important what’s really important is that it’s directionally telling you if you’re doing well or if you’re not doing well you know compared to other days and then the other thing is that I kind of expected that they’re gonna fix that with software or even potentially it could just be my unit like it seems like a defect it seems like something that’s gonna get fixed I’m not too worried about that category number two as a watch if I were to rate this thing just as a watch well there’s some good things and some bad things and overall I’d probably give it like three out of five stars so the things that I think the charge three does really well when it comes to just being a watch is one I think it looks really good like I think this looks really super good I think this is the best looking Fitbit I’ve ever seen the screen is not super large but it’s large enough that the numbers like the the time reading on the watch is plenty large to see at a glance and I think that’s great the one downside to the display well there’s a couple of downsides but one of them is that it just I feel like it doesn’t get bright enough outdoors when you’re outdoors the brightness of the screen is gonna have to compete with the brightness of the Sun and the Sun is pretty bright I don’t you’ve seen it lately and in my opinion the brightness on the charge three screen it struggles a little against it and part of it is a little bit exacerbated by the design of the watch faces at least the one that I’ve got on it right now it’s got a brighter color for the hour and then a dimmer color for the minutes right so if it’s 3:30 the three is pretty bright and fairly easy to see but the thirty is not quite so easy to see in daylight it’s maybe a minor issue but it is there and then really the other thing the the bigger problem I have with this thing as a watch is just that it’s not always on and if you’ve used other fitbit’s you’re probably used to that if you’ve used the Apple watch you’re probably used to that but I’ve been using the pebble recent Froome I’ve been using the pebble for a few years now and I’m used to the screen being always on now the screen on the charge three will come on automatically if you like turn your wrist to check the time or if you double tap the screen unfortunately I found that it’s just not super reliable like sometimes I’ll have to flip my wrist up a couple of different times to get this thing to activate or I’ll have to reach down and tap it with my finger of my opposite hand that might seem like a small problem and if the watch function of this is not a big deal for you I can totally understand how might not matter so much but I just think has a that really plays into how well the charge 3 does is a watch and if being a good watch is important to I think those things let it down and then the last aspect of the charge 3 that I think let sit down as a watch is that there’s no date it does not show you the date at all and I found that really surprising the first time I went to check the date and I couldn’t find the date on the thing I was like wait a minute this thing doesn’t tell me the date now you can change watch faces on the charge three so I open up the app and I look through all the watch faces that are currently available and none of them have the date on it yeah it’s a little surprising that said again like I think that’s a thing that they will address and that they’ll add more watch faces to the app over time it’s just currently you can’t tell the date with the charge 3 now we get to the third category which is smart things and how well the charge 3 does it smart things typically Fitbit has not been at like the leading edge of smart things right if you want a really smart watch you got to get an Apple watch or an Android wear now those don’t have great battery life and so I think that makes some more fitness trackers and so fitbit’s always kind of been somewhere in between and the charge 3 I think is like it’s a pretty decently smart device but it’s got a few issues with it if I were to rate it just on its smart capabilities I’d give it like three stars out of five now there’s no buttons on the charge 3 but there is this sort of fake button over here on the left and what I mean by a fake button is that it’s just like a pressure-sensitive side that as you squeeze the device it activates a function and it vibrates the device and it’s pretty convincing like it works pretty well I think that’s not bad I think the general interface for the device is pretty straightforward and it makes sense it’s logical it did have a few weird glitches with it like it almost feels kind of like beta software but again like that’s a thing that I think will get better over time as they distribute updates for the charge 3 and I know that they can do updates because I had to install an update right out of the box one of the smart functions that I like the most about my pebble is you know getting just alerts on my watch rather than having to pull on my phone and it works with the charge 3 right as I’m getting text messages this thing vibrates and lets me know that I was getting it I’m getting alerts and then I can read the alerts on here and you know the screen is not massive but I think it’s you know it’s large enough and the text is large enough that I can read text messages on my device that’s it I did have some problems with the text messages or just the notifications in general because it’s kind of the same problem that I had with it as a watch right the single vibrate it lets me know that there’s something for me to read I turn my wrist to check it and it didn’t activate the screen the screen stays off and I’m like I’m looking at this it’s just kind of frustrating right it vibrated it told me there was something there I already use my I raised my wrist to check and it didn’t show it to me another complaint that I would have with the smart capabilities of the device is that there are yes there are a couple of interesting apps on here like though the ones that I want to use the most are a timer which I use for cooking a lot or exercise as well as a weather app and they’re both on here which is cool but they’re a little it takes a few swipes to get to them and in the interface and there’s no way to currently to change the order of apps alright so in conclusion the Fitbit charge 3 it’s a mixed device and how much you like it is gonna depend I think on how you rank those three categories if the fitness tracking of this is the number one category for you I think this is a four star out of five device I think that the fitness stuff is great the the watch it’s passable and then the smart stuff it’s a nice addition but it’s not the best if either of the other two categories are more important to you if having a great watch or having a really smart device are important to you.

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zeeshan

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