- Fitbit has unveiled the Charge 3, a new fitness tracker and an upgrade to the two-year-old Charge 2.
- The Fitbit Charge 3 has a touchscreen displace, is waterproof, and has more in-depth fitness and wellness tracking.
- The Charge 3 starts at $US149.95 and is available to preorder starting on Monday.
Fitbit isn’t giving up on fitness trackers just yet.
The wearables company on Monday debuted the Fitbit Charge 3, a fitness tracker that’s intended to be an upgrade from Fitbit’s Charge 2, which is two years old.
Fitbit said that “true” fitness trackers continue to sell nearly as well as its line of smartwatches – in fact, Fitbit says that trackers still make up the majority of its wearable sales abroad in markets like Japan and Great Britain. That being said, smartwatches remain the clear winner: Fitbit says the category is growing 22% year-over-year, while the tracker category is only growing by about 1% each year.
The slowdown hasn’t deterred Fitbit from improving its Charge fitness tracker, though.
The Fitbit Charge 3 is Fitbit’s first fitness tracker with a touchscreen, swim tracking, and seven days of battery life. It also has inductive buttons rather than physical “pressable” buttons, and it’s 20% lighter than previous versions.
In fact, the Charge 3 almost has more in common with Fitbit’s Versa smartwatch, which was released last year. It has the same built-in sensors as the Fitbit Versa (including a relative Sp02 sensor), and the same OLED display (although the Fitbit Charge 3’s is grey scale instead of full-colour).
Like the Fitbit Versa, the Fitbit Charge 3 also has deeper fitness tacking capabilities, like automatic exercise recognition and auto stop, which will pause your run while you wait at a stop light. The tracker will also allow you to set goals before your workouts, like the amount of calories you want to burn, or the amount of time you want to spend working out.
On the wellness side, the Charge 3 has guided meditation built in, sleep tracking, and female health tracking.
Beyond fitness tracking, the Fitbit Charge 3 can receive smartphone notifications like calls, texts, or calendar notifications, and Android users will be able to send quick replies to texts. Apps like weather, timers, and alarms will be available for the Charge 3, and Fitbit says apps from brands – though it won’t say who – are coming later this year.
There are a few features that don’t come with the Fitbit Charge 3. There’s no on-board music, and there’s no way to control your music while it’s playing from your phone. There’s also no on-device GPS – you’ll only be able to use GPS when the Charge 3 is connected to your phone. Fitbit says it chose not to include GPS on the Charge 3 to improve the battery life from five days to seven days, and to keep the design as slim and lightweight as possible.
The Fitbit Charge 3 comes in black and rose gold (with a variety of available sport, woven, and leather bands) and will start at $US149.95. A special-edition version – which comes with an extra band and Fitbit Pay, Fitbit’s NFC payments system – will cost $US169.95.
The Charge 3 is available to preorder starting Monday and will be in stores by October.
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