Fitbit Charge 5. Fitness Tracker of the Year. Period.
New Aesthetics. Flagship Features. All at a solid price point with more functionality to be added with future software updates. Oh and Will Smith uses one too.
Rating - 8.5/10
What I liked
Free Six-Months membership of Fitbit Premium
Very competitively priced
Solid Battery Life
Extremely comfortable to wear
Display works great even in direct sunlight
Automatic workout recognition is great
What I didn’t like
A lot of promised functions like ECG and Daily Readiness are still yet to be added
OS still seems buggy in a lot of areas
Android notifications are a hit or miss
No mic for phone calls
Lack of Qi Wireless Charging
I’ve been a Fitbit user for a few years now and it’s fair to say I’ve seen the company evolve from the early days to what it is now. From sporting the Flex back in 2013 to their flagship ‘Versa 3’ smartwatch, I’ve pretty much used them all.
It’s not that I’ve not been inclined to use something like the Apple Watch or Samsung’s Galaxy series as my daily driver. They are great products for sure. But when you’ve been accustomed to the whole Fitbit ecosystem, it is hard to get out of it.
This became even harder when they launched their ‘Fitbit Premium’ service back in 2019 because it had everything I needed. To give you a little context, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2017 and it became even more important to monitor my health and lifestyle, which Fitbit made a lot easier for me. From easily being able to log my blood glucose levels into the app to discover great diabetic-friendly recipes through their ‘Fitbit Premium’ service, you can see why I’ve never been able to leave the Fitbit ecosystem.
Hello Charge 5.
Fitbit first launched the Charge series in 2014 as a replacement for their ‘Force’ product. Though it lacked many features like ‘Heart Rate Monitoring’, it set the bar for what a basic fitness tracker should function like. Fast forward to 2021, you now have a product that has all the functions of an expensive flagship smartwatch but in a much smaller form factor and affordable pricing.
From a vibrant color display to being able to assess your heart for atrial fibrillation, to identifying your stress management score, the list is pretty endless. There's also a lot of emphasis on mindfulness.
The Charge 5 marks a huge leap from the previous generations. When compared to the Charge 4, it has a sturdier steel case compared to the plastic one on the previous model. It is also quite possibly the most comfortable fitness tracker I’ve ever worn. There are times I’d forget I was even wearing one because that’s how light and comfortable it is. I wear it while taking a bath, while going to sleep, and of course, while working out in the gym. It has now reached a stage where I feel like it is a part of my body.
You’ve got a flush always-on color display that is brighter and even more durable thanks to Gorilla Glass 3. Fitbit has also launched a series of new bands to make your Charge 5 look more fashionable.
It is unfortunate that the Charge 5 still doesn’t hold all the features promised at launch like the Daily Readiness Score and ECG however it still holds other things that Fitbit devices have always been known for like Active Zone Minutes and Sleep Tracking.
The tracker supports up to 20 Exercise modes and thanks to the built-in GPS, you now have access to real-time pace and distance information along with route mapping.
Other health tracking features include Electrodermal Activity Scan, Stress Management Score, SpO2 Monitoring, Heart Rate Variability, Breathing Rate, Skin Temperature Tracking, and Menstrual Cycle Tracking.
Among all the features, Fitbit Pay has to be my favorite since it eliminates the need to take out my phone to make payments and is now supported by more banks in the region. Even pairing the tracker to my smartphone was done in a mere few minutes thanks to Google Fast Pair which isn’t surprising given Fitbit was acquired by Google quite recently.
Happy to say that the Fitbit Charge 5 has one of the best battery life in its segment. Though I haven’t been able to get the 7-day battery life they claim, even with heavy usage I’ve managed to get through about four days before I get an email from Fitbit reminding me to charge my tracker. I’m not kidding, you legit get an email from Fitbit when your tracker battery is low.
I only wish that Fitbit implemented Qi-based Wireless Charging so I could charge the tracker using the back of my phone. Or even a USB-C-based cable that supported fast charging.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is without a doubt one of the best fitness trackers out there. It packs everything you’ll find on flagship devices without a need to break the bank. It features a compact design that is comfortable to wear pretty much 24 hours a day. Battery life is great and supports both iOS and Android devices. With over 20 workout modes, there's no compromise in getting all the data you need to analyze your performance. With more features promised over future software updates, Your Fitbit Charge 5 is only going to get even better with time.
Though a lot of the health metrics require the premium membership, Fitbit was gracious enough to include a six-month trial with every purchase of a Charge 5 device making it a more value-packed deal.
I've tested a ton of fitness trackers this year and the Charge 5 is by far without a doubt my favorite.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is currently available at all leading retailers for AED 799 in Black/Graphite, Lunar White/Soft Gold, and Blue/Platinum Stainless Steel colors.