Fitbit Charge 5 review: “How this fitness tracker took my workouts to the next level”
Fitness trackers can be a super handy tool for reaching your health goals and wellness aspirations (and no, you don’t have to be a gym fanatic to justify investing in one!) but With so many great options on the market, pretending to be all singing, dancing, and tracking every step, it can be hard to know which one to choose. But the fitness tracker we’ve been hearing a lot about lately? The Fitbit Charge 5.
Yes, the Fitbit brand is so synonymous with exercise and health data logging that it’s essentially become shorthand for “fitness tracker” itself, so of course there’s been a lot of talk about the Charge 5. But how does it actually perform when put to the test? What features are people excited about? And how does it compare to the Charge 4?
As an avowed exercise procrastinator, I tested the Fitbit Charge 5 for six weeks and here are my honest thoughts…
My Fitbit Charge 5 review
As someone whose usual fitness routine consists mostly of yoga, Pilates, walks, and swimming, the Fitbit Charge 5 provided me with more than enough insight and support to elevate my (already relatively) healthy lifestyle. My biggest problem when it comes to exercise is that I’m a procrastinator despite the fact that I enjoy my workouts once I start it’s the, uh, the real boot that I struggle with. So having numbers, stats, and percentages right there on my wrist seriously helped me get off the couch when I wasn’t in the mood.
As for the aesthetics of the Fitbit Charge 5, despite being a sporty-looking accessory, the design is thin, subtle and sleeker compared to other Fitbit models. In fact, it differs from the Charge 4 in that it’s 10% thinner in design mode. Another new addition to the Charge 5 is its color screen, which is much more fun and user-friendly than the Charge 4’s monochromatic offering.
That said, the Charge 5 also has all the traditional features you’d expect from a standard fitness tracker: not only does it make it easier to track steps, heart rate and calories burned, via the watch screen itself- even that pairs with the Fitbit app. , but it also kept pace when tracking my time in the pool and it could even tell when I had increased my walking pace, automatically noting it as exercise. I found this Active Zone Minutes feature particularly handy, as it automatically uses your heart rate to guide you to your desired intensity level. It then alerts you to how much time you’ve spent in the fat burning, cardio, and peak zones.
There are also 20 different workout types that you can track as well, including running, cycling, and HIIT.
Buy the Fitbit Charge 5 here:
Is the Fitbit Charge 5 waterproof?
The Fitbit Charge 5 is waterproof up to 50 meters and I found it to be a great option for an hour-long swimming session; it automatically detects how many lengths and meters you have swum. The only downside to its water-based capabilities is that because the Charge 5 has no buttons and relies on a touchscreen, unlocking the screen after being in water (or trying to do pause while you’re at it) to stop tracking the session can be tricky with wet hands.
Can Fitbit Charge 5 answer calls?
Yes, but you can’t actually talk to the person on the other line through the watch, you’ll have to dig up your phone for that. But you can accept or reject a call through the Fitbit Charge 5.
Is the Fitbit Charge 5 good for wellness and sleep tracking?
I was initially a little apprehensive about using the Fitbit Charge 5 for fear of becoming obsessed with every move and stat. Amazingly, the watch can even tell you if it thinks you’re ready to exercise or if you need to spend the day recovering, based on previously collected data, which I appreciated as someone who feels half guilty for resting. Luckily, I haven’t had any issues becoming overly dependent on my Fitbit, nor have I found that I’m using it in an unhealthy way (note: if you notice your eating or exercise habits changing from way because of your fitness tracker, you can always get in touch with Beat, the eating disorder charity, or Mind, which offers mental health support).
But back to the wellness features the Fitbit Charge 5 has to offer: the daily readiness score, which I checked every morning, lets you see the quality of your sleep, the intensity of your workout the night before and your heart rate although you will need to be a Premium member to access this additional information. Luckily, when you buy a Charge 5, you get six months free access.
Beyond the fitness aspects, the EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor, another advantage of the Charge 5 over the Charge 4, will monitor your stress level and your daily “stress score” based on changes in your perspiration. It also checks sleep, I found it fascinating to be able to track my night’s rest, and it even motivated me to go to bed earlier, set an alarm (not ten!) and think about my bedroom environment . You can also see exactly what your sleep cycle, score, and sleep stages have been like since the previous night, including REM percentages, time awake, and light and deep sleep.
The watch also sends reminders every hour to encourage you to walk 250 steps. To begin with, I found these notifications annoying (warning: you can disable these alerts) but for someone who has a 9 to 5 desk job, this feature actually really pushed me and encouraged me to be less sedentary during the working day.
You can also log how much water you drink and set a daily drinking goal. While I didn’t find this to be an essential thing to manually log, it’s a nice feature if you want to stay aware of your hydration status. The same goes for logging food and calories.
Is the Fitbit Charge 5 good for tracking your period?
As someone who tracks and plans their life around their menstrual cycle, the fact that I can do just that And keeping everything else health related safely stored in a watch/app was more than helpful. The Fitbit Charge 5 accurately predicted when my period was due, how many days I had left in my cycle, and when my fertile window was.
I found the Charge 5 incredibly easy to use and it helped me keep tabs on my activity and sleep without things getting messy or over the top. It’s an affordable option (at 100) if you’re not only looking to stay on track with your exercise, but want daily boosts to encourage you to reach your goals and gain more control over your well-being. I also found that the battery lasted an average of 5-7 days, which meant I didn’t have to think about charging it often.
Advantages of the Fitbit Charge 5
- See your pace and distance in real time using GPS tracking while running
- Six-month subscription to Fitbit Premium
- Available in three colors: black/graphite, moon white/soft gold and blue gray/platinum
- An EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor to measure stress responses
- Contactless payments
- SpO2 (blood oxygen level) and skin temperature tracking
Disadvantages to Fitbit Charge 5
- No altimeter while personally that wasn’t a deal breaker, might be something to think about if you’re an avid hiker who wants to track elevation and ground levels
- You need a premium subscription to access the really awesome features
- Full touch screen, no buttons
- The battery can last about 3 days if used continuously
Features of Fitbit Charge 5
Touch screen? Yes
Color display? Yes OLED
Compatibility: Android and iOS
Size: 3.678CM x 1.12CM x 2.279CM
Battery life: Up to 7 days
Material: Aluminum and silicon
Raincoat: Up to 50m deep
Accessories: Magnetic charging cable, two length straps (no wall adapter)