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Fitbit Charge 3 announced, better screen, swim tracking

Fitbit has announced the launch of the Charge 3 following the leaks over the last few weeks, its new fitness tracker featuring a swim-proof design, touchscreen display, seven days of battery life, and more, but the Fitbit Charge 3 won’t hit shops until October 2018.

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Whilst the Fitbit Charge 3 has some standout features, the design and look appear to be the same on the face of it, but lots have changed when you look close.

Fitbit Charge 3 key details

  • What is it? The Fitbit Charge 3, the successor to the Charge 2
  • When is it out? You can preorder the Charge 3 today, shipping is October 2018
  • What will it cost? Fitbit charge 3 will cost $149 for its core version and $169 for its special edition with NFC paymentsFitbit charge 3 fitness

Fitbit Charge 3 whats new

  • Waterproof up to 50 meters with swim-tracking
  • New goal-based exercise mode
  • An inductive button with Haptic feedback
  • New smart features that allow you to accept and reject calls on your smartphone
  • Canned responses to texts on Andriod only.
  • Upgraded Optical HR sensor with SpO2
  • Battery life 7 days
  • Touchscreen with support for grayscale colours
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • Still no GPS, you need to pair your smartphone for GPS tracking on the Charge 3
  • NFC payments on the special edition models
  • Pre-installed apps including a calendar, timer, alarms, and weather.

Fitbit Charge 3, detailed info

The Charge 3 is similar to the Charge 2:  But looking closer, Fitbit has completely redesigned the Charge 3 with a new aluminium body and Gorilla Glass 3 screen borrowed from the Versa. The display is now a touchscreen with support for grayscale colours with 40 per cent more active screen area than the Charge 2.

Design

In terms of colour options, the Charge 3 will come in two colour options available. A graphite tracker with a black band and a rose gold device with a lighter grey band, but I am sure closer to the time, more colours may be available along with different band options.Fitbit charge 3 released

Fitbit has included an inductive button on the Charge 3 that’s similar to the home button on Apple’s more recent iPhones with a Haptic feedback haptic. According to Fitbit this has been done to save space, but also support the waterproof feature.

Swimming and HR

Speaking of water, The Fitbit Charge 3 is water resistant to 50 meters and now offers swim tracking in addition to the other forms of exercise that Fitbit has offered in the past. So those of you that complained about lack of swim tracking in the Charge 2, will be pleased the tracker comes with swim tracking.Fitbit charge 3 features

Fitbit has also upgraded the heart rate sensor for better accuracy and added the same SpO2 (or oxygen saturation) sensor found on its smartwatches. I am keen to test the HR sensor in the Charge 3, as my previous testing of Fitbit devices as shown them to below standard.

Battery and smart features

In terms of battery life, the Charge 3 now offers up to seven days of battery life on a single charge, but Fitbit has not included any onboard GPS to help with tracking outdoor workouts. This means you will still need to take your smartphone with for Connected GPS. Fitbit pointed out that the population of people who run without their phones is still relatively small, but given that lots of its competitors have built GPS into there trackers, I think this could be a miss by Fitbit.Fitbit charge 3 smart

The Charge 3 has gained a goal-based exercise mode, which lets you set specific calorie, time, or distance goals ahead of your workout and then track them over the duration of your exercise.

In terms of smart features, you will be able to see app notifications, calls, calendar, and texts on your Charge 3. You will also be able to accept and reject calls that come through to your smartphone, but you won’t be able to answer them on your wrist. The Charge 3 will also feature the ability to reply to messages with canned responses, but this is an Andriod only feature.

There are also several new apps on the Charge 3, including alarms, timer, weather, calendar with Fitbit promising future apps from trusted partners. In the Special Edition model, you also get NFC payments in the form of Fitbit Pay.

Fitbit Charge 3 price

Fitbit charge 3 will cost $149 for its core version and $169 for its special edition with NFC payments and is available for pre-order today via Fitbit website with a shipping date of October 2018.

Fitbit alternative: Checkout the Amazfit Stratos review

 

Get involved in the debate, leave a comment or as a question

19 COMMENTS

    • I assume if you put it into cardio tracking. But I suspect the HR sensor won’t work in water (like with other devices) so other than recording the time I can’t see what else you will get from it

  1. In addition to the foreseen improvements to be done; it has definitely to be waterproof. The bug that causes incompatible distance measurement has to be removed. Built-in GPS would be really fine and finally it should have a proper touch-screen.

  2. It needs to be waterproofed. It is BS that it has taken this long to get to that point. There is nothing stopping them from offering this in the current 2 charge design.

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Jon Ratcliffe
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years and I like combining this with fitness. My reviews will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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