You want to take your fitness to the next level. You think a fitness tracker would be a great way to do it. The question that you must answer now is, “Which fitness tracker do I go for?” That’s where I hope I can come in and steer you in a direction that’s not only wallet-friendly, but quality-focused as well!
Take a gander around the fitness world. If you look at any website that sells fitness equipment and type in “Fitness Trackers” you mind might literally explode with the amount of options there are. In one way, this is good because there is a lot of competition. Usually, competition means a need for higher quality to stay ahead.
On the other hand, this can make it confusing and difficult for customers to figure out which is the best tracker to buy. On numerous occasions, I have spent more time than I care to admit researching and still being left somewhat undecided.
Because Fitbit is one of the industry’s leading wearable tech company’s, I’m going to take a look at one of their recent additions, the Fitbit Charge 3.
Perhaps I can save you a lot of the time and effort of researching fitness trackers and tell you whether it is the right one for you or if there is a better alternative.
Therefore, without any further delay, here is the Fitbit Charge 3 review that I hope gives you the information you need to make the best decision for YOU.
The Overview – What, How Much, And Where To Buy
The Product: The Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker
Where to Buy: Amazon.com
Amazon Star-Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars (with 14,489 reviews)
Specs and Features
Fitbit is one of, if not the most popular brands of wearable fitness tech on the market today. The company started out in 2007, when James Park and Eric Friedman decided to bring sensors and wireless tech into the fitness realm. That’s when they came up with the wearable fitness tech that could track a plethora of movements.
The company’s goal is to create products that can fit seamlessly into your life and goals for better health and fitness. They are based out of San Francisco, California, but have offices the world over (A testament to how much the company has grown into an industry giant since its inception).
You can learn more about the company and browse their products by visiting their official website.
The Fitbit Charge 3 is the sequel to the Charge 2 and touts advanced features:
- Heart Rate Monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help better track your burned calories, get better workouts and see trends. Additionally, because of the heart rate monitor, it is able to tell you what heart rate zones you are in while going about your day. (Check out this awesome article to learn more about heart rate zones!)
- Improved battery life of up to 7 days in between charges, which take about 2 hours from 0-100%.
- Tracking of multiple types of activity including walking, running, aerobic exercise, elliptical machines, biking, various sports, as well as swimming (just dry the band off completely afterwards). It can automatically recognize certain exercise and record them in the Fitbit App.
- Able to track sleep as well as sleep stages.
- Good in water to depths of 50 meters, so you don’t have to worry about wearing it in the pool or while in the shower.
- Allows you to access different apps like the weather from the device.
- Is able to receive notifications such as calls, texts, calendar alerts, etc. when your phone is nearby.
- Can sync with your phone’s GPS so that you can track distance and pace during a run.
- When using the Charge 3 with the app, it allows women to track their menstrual cycle, ovulation, etc.
- Allows you to pay for products using the App.
- You are able to customize your Charge 3 with different bands and faces.
- Syncs not only to your phone, but can also do so wirelessly to computers and tablets.
- It comes with a large OLED gray scale touchscreen.
- Lastly, it has the ability to lead you through guided breathing sessions based on how your heart rate is doing.
To read more about the features and what you can do with the app, feel free to visit their information page about the Charge 3.
The above list of features is pretty long, if I do say so myself. With such features come some great pros to owning a Charge 3:
- Easy Tracking: Because of the automatic nature of the band and its ability to recognize different activities, it is clearly in the realm of “set it and forget it”. Less time spent fussing with the device and more time being active and living life is a big plus. Whether it is exercise or just daily life, the Fitbit Charge 3 is able to track it.
- Battery Life: While results may vary with level of activity, a 7-day week is an awesome amount of time spent between charges. Having it able to charge fully in about 2-hours is really clutch if you are someone who likes to track as much as physically possible.
- Waterproof: Whereas some fitness trackers will claim to be waterproof (and by waterproof, they mean it can take a sprinkle of rain or your sweat), the Fitbit Charge 3 actually delivers. For the average person, a depth of 50 meters is one they will most likely never see, so it’s nice to know you can swim confidently.
- Sync-tastic: Being able to sync the Charge 3 to a multitude of devices only makes it that much easier to track your progress in the way that YOU prefer.
- Moderately Priced: It is not the cheapest tracker out there, but neither is it the most expensive out there (here’s looking at you, Suunto!). That tells me that it is a good mid-range option.
One would think, that with all those features, I wouldn’t have much to say by the way of cons. To be fair, there is a lot to like about the Charge 3.
However, I dug a little deeper to look at the user’s experience and have a few concerns from both my sampling of other’s opinions and my own observations:
- Does It Actually Help Sleep?: This one is a general concern with any fitness tracker. There have been studies done (check out this fascinating article from the New York Times on the subject), where using fitness tracking devices to monitor sleep might actually be producing negative results.
- Inaccuracy: While it is to be expected that there is some give or take in the heart rate numbers, more than one reviewer has noted that the Charge 3 has a tendency to be way off. One even said it was 20bpm off, which is significant. Additionally, some exercise activities (swimming in particular) seem to suffer accuracy problems as well.
- Display Issues: More than one complaint has been brought up about how quickly the display goes dark if you aren’t touching it. It seems that after three seconds, it goes back to sleep again, which can be frustrating if you take more than that to read information.
- Price: While the price was also mentioned in the “Pros” section, I also think it needs to be here as well. For some, it is still a big chunk of money to spend on a tracking device. When you mix that with some apparent bugs and inaccuracy, it starts me wondering if it is worth it or if I should look elsewhere.
- What Sets It Apart?: Sure, there are a lot of features, but there are also alternative trackers (My vote for best budget fitness tracker included!) that do a lot of the same things as the Charge 3, but for a lot less money!) At that point, am I paying more for the name and marketing than for the actual device?
- Older Is Better: There seems to be a lot of opinion that the Fitbit Charge 2 is a better overall product, both from reviewers of the Charge 3 who “upgraded” from the 2 and the amount of stars the earlier version has on Amazon.
A Review Of The Reviews
We have finally come to the point in this review of the Fitbit Charge 3 where it is once again time to look at public opinion. It’s one thing for me to say what I think, but taking a look at the crowd is sometimes extremely helpful, especially because they are consumer just like you, who are looking for a quality product.
Therefore, we have come to our Amazon Star-Rating Breakdown! Let’s get to it!
Out of 5,450 Total Reviews:
- 4,359 5-Star Reviews (62%)
- 977 4-Star Reviews (13%)
- 593 3-Star Reviews (6%)
- 695 2-Star Reviews (5%)
- 2,096 1-Star Reviews (15%)
It is the trend of the numbers that concerns me the most. It starts off pretty well, though I can’t exactly put my stamp of approval on it.
Then it takes a sharp upturn at the middle until there are a huge amount of 1-Star Reviews. That’s a tough pill to swallow when such a large portion of the population, who have taken a chance on the Charge 3, has a very negative opinion of the product.
The Verdict – Seek Improvement
Well, the Fitbit Charge 3 review has come to an end. Sadly, I can’t recommend you invest your money into this particular device. It seems there are just a few too many problems with it that bring in to question how worthwhile a purchase it is. This, coupled with the fact that you are putting a pretty good amount of money down, leads to a thumbs down for me.
However, now it is your turn! Do you have any experience with Fitbit? Do you own a Charge 3 and think I am totally off base or have you noticed the same negatives I have? Let me hear it all, as well as any questions you may have, in the comments below!
Though the Fitbit Charge 3 isn’t really up to snuff, if you are still looking for a great fitness tracker that hits the sweet spot in your budget, check out my full review of the Letscom ID115 Fitness Tracker! It may be just what you are actually looking for!
That’s all for now! If you feel like this review was helpful, why not click on one or more of the share buttons on the page?
Until next time, God bless and happy workouts!