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Fitbit Charge 3 Test: great fitness, just enough clock



I went to my dentist the other day and fixed a broken crown. I wore an Apple Watch ($ 469 at Amazon Marketplace) on a wrist and the Fitbit Charge 3 ($ 150 at Amazon) at the other. The dental assistant smiled and showed me her arm. She also wore a Fitbit and an Apple Watch.

I carried mine for work, I told her. She said she wears both because the Fitbit is better at social fitness while the Apple Watch is better for news. That's the truth and the reality of fitness wearables: nothing makes everything perfect.

The Fitbit Charge 3 is probably Fitbit's best pure fitness tracker band, assuming you live well in the Fitbit universe. This is really a pretty good place for social fitness, checking daily habits and adding activity challenges.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is a great watch, but feels more like a piece on the iPhone ($ 1

,177 on Amazon Marketplace) that let go and sat on my own Wrist began to live. Fitness is good, but sometimes not as finely tuned as the Fitbit. And it is much more expensive.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

The price of Batch 3 is reasonable ($ 150), and its functionality is almost complete. It gives you heart rate, sleep status, 50 meters swim water resistance, a larger display with phone alerts, and weather, timer, and stopwatch apps, and optional NFC payments in a special edition. It also takes about seven days for a fee. I still think that Fitbit's more watch-like fitness tracker, a better choice for its entertaining watch faces and music capabilities, as well as its extra-customizable physical buttons is nearly the same price .

Although Charge 3 is super functional, the missing features include:

  • No built-in GPS (it can be tracked with your phone's GPS)
  • No music store or remote music controls
  • No app store
  • No Watch Store Store

Here's what it takes: If you're looking for an everyday fitness tracker that includes app notifications and just a little bit of smartwatch-ness, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a pretty good choice , It is similar to what other manufacturers make in fitness bands, and a close match would be the Garmin Vivosmart 4 which adds a new heart rate sensor that detects pulse rate, which now claims similar benefits, which Fitbit claims improved Heart rate sensor Charge 3 is unlocked on the road. Still, the Fitbit Versa is still worth the upgrade as it offers a wide selection of dials and apps, a larger color display, a laterally loadable music memory and additional physical buttons. (For a comparison between Versa and Charge 3 read my impressions here .)

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on the left , The Fitbit Charge 3 on the right.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Design: A Perfect Tracker

The grayscale touch screen OLED of Charge 3 is larger than the previous Charge 2 . It fits time, steps and heart rate of into most of the dials dials. It's easy to look at the screen and display other daily fitness goals and statistics (Hours, Sleep, Distance, Stairs, and Active Minutes), while wiping with notifications displays notifications. Fitbit's app also allows discrete control of individual app notifications.

It is also a simple tracker that can be worn even if not all bands felt very comfortable. I pulled out the black silicon band that was contained in the box, while the woven nylon and perforated sports straps on my wrist felt slightly less. All ribbons are easy to put on and take off with a simple release mechanism on the back. Batch 3 belts use specific proprietary connections, but are not as difficult to attach as Versa's belts.

Setting up Charge 3 on an iPhone X and XS was sometimes a challenge when Bluetooth pairing did not seem to work. But I made it work after a few tries and everything is fine since then.


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