Fitbit has over the years consolidated its space as the world’s leading smart band company. Last year, with the launch of its Versa smartwatch, it has placed itself just under Apple as the second largest smartwatch company too.
But that does not mean Fitbit is losing sight of the smart band space and believes there is a clearly an audience that needs just the band. So, Fitbit has just launched the Charge 3, the latest version of its most popular band series. Here is our review.
Fitbit Charge 3 price in India: Rs 13,990
The Fitbit Charge 3 looks a bit like the earlier versions. But it won’t take you long to notice the changes. The display is now larger and there is a small button on the side to help you navigate along with the touch screen.
The band has changed too and the straps are easier to change. The overall design of the band too feels a bit more snug, and after the first few hours I did forget I was wearing one. And this is one of the best qualities of the Fitbit Charge 3, the ability to just slip into the background.
The large display means you can see more data and, of course, text on it. So you should see messages in full and soon will be able to reply to them too with presets. There are some good animations on the band, like the runner who is almost huffing and puffing towards is goal and the disco ball that flashes to announce you have completed your goal for the day.
There is a bit of haptic feedback too, like when you click the side button or when a call or message comes in. In terms of features, there is not a lot of new stuff. Everything has however improved, given that Fitbit is sitting on one of the largest health data sets in the world. You can track everything from steps to calories and sleep.
The band has a constant finger on your heart rate and for a diabetic like me, this is a valuable insight to have. I would have loved an indicator for when the rates are going off the charts, like in the Apple Watch.
Once your goals are set, the band keeps pushing you to achieve those by sending alerts on how many steps are left and how much you have completed at that point. Even as the band goes about doing its jobs, it is the app that add more value to Fitbit devices.
The app gives you the kind of data and insights that can trigger some changes in your daily life, or at least your fitness routines. For me the biggest eye opener was the fact that I was getting just about five hours of sleep every night, and even that with very little deep sleep.
So for the second week on the band, I made a conscious effort to get up late and it showed that even my deep sleep improved as I pushed towards 7 hours of rest every night.
Also, there is a very strong social element to Fitbit, where you connect with other friends in the Fitbit network — and there are quite a few of them now — and accept challenges to achieve fitness goals. I was on at least two challenges and these did motivate me to take a 10-minute walk at times because a friend had gained a slight steps advantage.
Fitbit hopes it will be able to make more use of this social layer in the future to hold on to and engage more with its audience.
One issue I faced with the Fitbit is that the display does not help you much under the sun. Maybe there needs to be one more brightness option for Indian conditions. Then the Fitbit Charge 3 adds one more charger to your life, and one that does not work with other Fitbit devices you have. Maybe there is come consolidation to be done here.
The Fitbit Charge 3, though a bit pricey is the best fitness band you can buy at the moment. Here is one device that can really help you lead a better life and achieve fitness goals. But if you are just looking for a device that keeps track of steps and calories, then there are more affordable options out there.