Top fitness smartwatches just like the Amazfit GTS and Fitbit Versa Lite Edition are designed for around the same cost as the Charge 3 – and the Apple Watch Series 3 costs simply a fraction more.

The Charge 3 takes everything that made the Charge 2 great and adds more: a swimproof design, more battery life, an improved UI and smarter notifications. In addition, it packs Fitbit’s new SpO2 sensor, that was recently activated having been dormant because the Charge 3’s initial release.

So there’s now Estimated Blood Oxygen Variation readings available like on more costly Fitbit devices just like the Fitbit Versa 2. This new feature can indicate conditions like sleep apnea.

The Charge 3 launched competitively coming in at £129.99, but Fitbit also had the choice of a particular Edition version which includes Fitbit Purchase £40 more.

Because of its age, the Fitbit Charge 3 has frequently appeared on sale and we’ve seen it on sale for only £89.99, which it creates it a more tempting prospect.

There’s too much to unpack in the Charge 3, so let’s reach it. We’ve been spending lots of time with the Charge 3 through the years. Here’s our in-depth updated review.

Update (5 March): Since our initial review, Fitbit has added new features such as for example Sleep Score, Estimated Bloody Oxygen Variation and overall refinements to the companion app. We’ve addressed these inside our updated review.

Fitbit Charge 3: Design
If you’ve been attending to, you’ll have pointed out that Fitbit has formalised its design language in the last couple of years. Which means hexagons, octagons and far more angles.

The Charge 3 follows this trend, but to its favour. Fitbit’s new tracker looks great, with sufficient screen never to feel compromised and a band that rarely feels too big.

Which is merely aswell, because Fitbit only supplies the tracker in a single size. Different sized bands, yes, however the core the main tracker remains the same.

Read this: The best guide to the Fitbit app

The display is 30% bigger than that of the Charge 2 (Fitbit does an excellent job hiding the bezels, but they’re there) and I’ve found it has made it better to read notifications and skim over the UI. Before slapping the Charge 3 on my arm I was testing the Garmin Vivosmart 4, and the amount of accidental presses has decreased dramatically. You can argue that the Alta HR is a nicer looking tracker, however the Charge 3 strikes an improved balance between style and practicality.

Actually, the Charge 3 walks an excellent line between fitness tracker and smartwatch. With an increase of screen space, notifications are much better to read, while your entire fitness data can be looked at on the Fitbit display in a cinch. There’s no broad iphone app ecosystem, however the distinctions between fitness tracker and smartwatch seem to be to be diminishing.

In addition, it fits great. I’ve been tracking my sleep for nearly two years, rather than once have I had a problem wearing the Charge 3 during intercourse. That’s a matter of preference, and for folks who do find trackers annoying to wear to bed, the Charge 3 isn’t specifically tiny. Nonetheless it is light and comfortable, I’ll say that much.

One thing you may have noticed is fully gone may be the side button. Instead there’s a tiny dimple on the left side of the tracker that functions as a haptic button – and it works a charm.

I’ve found the touchscreen continues to be a challenge for sweaty fingers, but experienced no issue with the haptic button. The swap has allowed Fitbit to help make the Charge 3 waterproof, so you’ll now have the ability to take it swimming. Having spent a week or two with it now, I could assure you that you will not skip the physical button.

Fitbit Charge 3: Health features
The last two devices launched by Fitbit have already been smartwatches – the Ionic and Versa – so you’d be forgiven for wondering why it’s performing a fitness tracker at all. And honestly, the Charge 3 does most of the things you’ll can get on those watches.

But Fitbit still sees market for folks who don’t wear watches. Or persons who wear (proper) watches and don’t want to displace them, or wear two. However they will wear an exercise tracker on the other wrist.

Because at its heart, the Charge 3 continues to be fitness, fitness, fitness. Fitbit promises we’ll start to see the application ecosystem expand later on, but its Charge devices have always had a laser give attention to activity.

The Charge 3 stays on target, supporting a variety of fitness modes including running, swimming, cycling, treadmill and weight training. Sure, you can’t play tic-tac-toe onto it, but honestly, there’s not really a lot that can be done on the Versa that you can’t do here.

One thing that’s missing is GPS – which surprised us. The Charge 3 once more foregoes this feature, but may use your phone link with get that movement data.

This isn’t a deal breaker considering the Charge 3’s other limitations in comparison to a smartwatch; it doesn’t support offline music or LTE. It’s likely that, you’re not likely to take the Charge 3 out for a run without your smartphone, therefore the insufficient GPS – while, again, a tad surprising – isn’t world-ending, even for the serious athletes between you.

But regarding activity it’s a well rounded wearable. Not merely does it track a wide selection of activities (although not what you’d get with a decent Garmin watch) along with steps, calories and sleep, Fitbit’s improved at doing so with reduced input.

The Charge 3 once more offers computerized workout detection, and in testing it has been pretty accurate. For running and swimming, the Charge 3 had no issue detecting what I was doing.

Sleep tracking
For sleep tracking, the results have already been good. I’ve been wearing my Charge 3 to bed most nights, and it is still the gold standard for me personally. Fitbit supplies the best platform for sleep tracking out there, and the Charge 3 has all of the sensors and data to increase accuracy and insights.

Sure, some mornings I see it taking a short while more than it will to join up me being awake, but overall it seem to be to be pretty accurate.

Because the initial release, sleep tracking may be the area which has seen the most updates. As well as the Sleep Stages, Fitbit now includes Sleep Score. That is an easily digestible rating of your previous night’s sleep on a scale up to 100. Anything in the 70s is known as ‘fair’, 80s ‘good’ and 90s ‘excellent’.

Most users will see their sleep averaging between 72 to 83 according to Fitbit. I’ve never seen mine drop below 70. The Sleep Score rating helps it be better to quantify your night’s sleep together with identify sleep trends instantly.

The other major addition is Estimated Oxygen Variation. This finally makes usage of the SpO2 sensor that was incorporated with the Charge 3 – an initial for just about any Fitbit device. Fitbit explained at that time it wasn’t activated and that it could eventually get fired up – however in truth we didn’t expect it could take more than a year.

Essentially, the SpO2 sensor sits alongside the optical heartrate monitor and detects blood oxygen levels when you sleep. This information pays to as high variation can show underlying sleep conditions, such as for example sleep apnea. Although, Fitbit is careful never to directly make a diagnosis of any conditions – because of too little FDA clearance. Any major variation in your sleep oxygen level is actually a flag to contact your physician, however.

The sleep insights are also much better than the competition, if you are receiving poor sleep scores, the iphone app will offer you guidance. And features like setting bedtime reminders do feed into solutions like building sleep consistancy.

Fitbit Premium
Another thing which has changed because the original Charge 3 launch is a fresh Fitbit Premium service. This costs £7.99 per month, or £79.99 a year. This unlocks deeper insight into your Sleep Score, such as for example your sleeping heartrate along with how your Sleep Score is calculated.

Additionally, there are wellness reports, video workouts in the software and custom challenges. While none of the are necessary for many people, those attempting to dive deeper to their sleep data {