Review of the Fitbit Charge 5: A supercharged band with some drawbacks

Review of the Fitbit Charge 5: A supercharged band with some drawbacks

, by raj, 7 min reading time

Fitbit's supercharged fitness tracker, the Charge 5, is the newest in the line, and this generation is all about change.


We were critical of the Charge 4's design, which remained unchanged from the Charge 3 and fell behind its competitors in terms of screen quality and usefulness.


However, because of the high quality of health data and powerful sensors in the activity band form, it was our top pick fitness tracker.


Inside an aluminium casing with an AMOLED display, the Charge 5 packs a serious range of functions, from ECG and EDA sensors to built-in GPS.


Furthermore, the touchscreen and usability might be enhanced.

Design of the Fitbit Charge 5 In terms of wearability, it's difficult to argue that the Charge 5 isn't a significant improvement over the Charge 4.

However, the Fitbit Charge 5's design has caused considerable controversy, particularly among women.

It's a little too big for tiny wrists, and it's not as slim as the Fitbit Luxe.

So, if you have thin wrists and aren't interested in the GPS or ECG sensor, you should read our Fitbit Luxe review right now.

Fitbit's supercharged fitness tracker, the Charge 5, is the newest in the line, and this generation is all about change.

It is only possible to navigate the gadget via the touchscreen.

Having a tactile button on the side was missed, like we had with the Charge 4.

Visually, it's a step up over the Charge 4, yet the raise-to-wake feature and lack of a tactile button feel like a step backward.

Battery life on the Fitbit Charge 5 The Fitbit Charge 5 boasts seven days of battery life, even with all the bells and whistles.

Instead, anticipate 3 - 4 days between charges if you turn this on in the settings. Fitbit Charge 5 features include activity and health tracking.


The Charge 5 is a health and fitness powerhouse, at least on paper.


It has all of the features of the Fitbit Sense health watch in a smaller form and at a lesser cost. Swiping down from the home screen brings up step and heart rate tracking, which can be seen by swiping down.


The Charge 5 contains a sedentary sensor that requires you to walk 250 steps each hour or it will remind you to get up and exercise.

Fitbit tracks VO2 Max in the app's Cardio Fitness Score.

There are also a variety of different health sensors.

As with the Charge 4, a skin temperature sensor is included.


The SpO2 sensor, which measures blood oxygen and is recorded in Fitbit Premium level sleep analysis and the Health Metrics dashboard, is also included.


From a wellness standpoint, the Health Metrics Dashboard is perhaps the most significant aspect of the Fitbit app.


It keeps track of your breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, skin temperature, and heart rate variability all within your specific baselines so you can keep a watch on anything out of the ordinary.


The Fitbit platform is the greatest out there, even if you don't have Fitbit Premium.

Sleep monitoring is more Fitbit's bread and butter, and we'd argue it does it better than anybody else.

Its sleep tracking is more than just a log of time spent in bed, as some of its cheaper competitors are. Fitbit gives you a hard time about your sleeping habits.

Fitbit is what you need if you want to utilise a wearable to improve your sleep.


The Fitbit Charge 5 is no exception, but the experience is distinct from the rest of the Fitbit lineup. The Luxe, Versa, and Sense all have the same sleep tracking.


Because the Inspire 2 lacks a SpO2 sensor, blood oxygen monitoring is not possible, but sleep tracking remains the same.


It's a fantastic sleep tracker, but it's not one that's exclusive to the Charge 5. Stress detection and the EDA sensor in the Fitbit Charge 5 The Fitbit Sense's electrodermal activity senor (EDA), which reads perspiration on the palm of your hand to monitor stress reactions, is brought over to the Charge 5.


The EDA test continues to perplex us.


The Stress Management score is not the same as the EDA features, but it is available on most Fitbit devices.


Sports monitoring modes are built-in, and the 20 most common forms of activity (running, cycling, and so on) will be recognised automatically.


Then there's GPS, which made its debut on the Charge series last year and will be carried over to the Charge 5.


Unfortunately, the Charge 5's GPS tracking is troublesome, and it can't be recommended to anyone looking for precise running statistics.


However, when jogging without a phone and depending just on the built-in GPS, we discovered that a loss of signal mutilated run data, with substantial chunks extrapolated from cadence and distances that did not match reality.


On test runs, even a small amount of tree cover was enough to produce a signal loss.

The Cardio Fitness Score will be affected by erroneous run data.

As well as, presumably, the Daily Readiness scores.

It's also worth noting that the Fitbit Luxe (and even the Inspire 2) uses Connected GPS to log runs.


So if GPS tracking is important to you, the Charge 5 might not be the correct Fitbit for you.


Fitbit Charge 5: Accurate heart rate monitoring


The Charge 5 puts on a terrific show if you're searching for peak heart rate performance.

An optical sensor will always be slower and sluggish than a chest strap, so if you need real-time data, a strap is the way to go. For optical HR sensors, this is standard.

We did discover a few odd heart rate abnormalities at lesser levels.

We were able to confirm that the Charge 5 was reading too high using a chest strap.


Fitbit Charge 5: Smartwatch and notifications The Fitbit Charge 5 is certainly an alternative to a smartwatch and it does offer notifications.


Messages from WhatsApp are easy to read on the Charge 5 screen, and you get enough text displayed to get the gist of whether it's something you need to reply to.

Calls and calendar notifications will also be sent to the wrist too, and Android users can use smart replies to text messages.

Fitbit Pay is also present on the Charge 5, for wrist-based payments.

And the smart wake silent alarm is enjoyable.


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