Review: Using the Fitbit Charge 3, Is It Worth the Money?

Updated

After waiting several months, I finally got a hold of a Fitbit Charge 3. And after using it for the past several days, I can say that I am glad I waited to buy this one and not replace my broken Charge 2.

So, let’s take a closer look at this product and see what all the fuss is about.




What Is the Fitbit Charge 3?

The Charge 3 is the newest addition to the “Charge” line of Fitbit products. It’s essentially a watch that monitors your heart rate and physical movement.

What sets this product aside from things like the Apple Watch Series 3 is mostly the price tag. The Fitbit is about more than $100 less than the Apple tracker.

That’s probably because of the menagerie of things the Apple Watch does that Fitbit does not.

Personally, I’d rather save the money and use the Fitbit Charge 3 simply because I would never use all the features of the more expensive brands. It would be a waste of money for me.

What’s the Primary Role of the Fitbit Charge 3?

The premise behind most Fitbit products is the ability to track personal movement. In the past, this would include activities such as walking, jogging or running.

However, I used the Charge and Charge 2 for tracking my heart rate and calorie burn – which the Fitbit Charge 3 continues.

Because of my lifestyle, I don’t focus on steps and distance. It’s more about the burn and elevated heart rate for me.

Who Would Want the Fitbit Charge 3?

If you’re into getting as many steps as possible or tracking your runs, this watch may have some use. I’ve always found Fitbit products to be manufactured well and accurate for what I do.

Dive Into the Pool

Runs, walks and jogs are not the only thing this tool covers now. In fact, the Fitbit Charge 3 is now water-resistant up to 600 feet! Now you can track your swims as well. Which I’ve been waiting to do for several years.

Losing Weight

But what if you don’t want to spend time running or walking? What if you’re a desk jockey who works and plays sitting at a desk? The Fitbit Charge 3 is good for you as well.

Like I said, I use this watch to track heart rate…which is influenced by exercises like playing the Xbox Kinect for 25 minutes a day. The end result is a system that records calorie burn even though I get under 6,000 steps per day on average.

Integrations Galore

One of the features I love most about any Fitbit product is how easy it is to integrate with other apps. This helps build a network of data-sharing systems that gives you solid information for losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle.

How Well Does It Work?

Fitbit Charge 3 Watch

I’ve lost 70 pounds using the Fitbit Charge series of products so far. And although I’ve only had the Charge 3 for a few days, I am impressed with how well it functions.

The first thing I did was take a nice hot bath with the watch on. It was cool to see my heart peak at 104 BPM while soaking in the Jacuzzi tub.

Burning calories while relaxing – the same aspect as a sauna or traditional hot tub.

Easy to Connect

I would like to point out how much easier it was to connect the Fitbit Charge 3 to my Samsung Galaxy S8 than it was for the Charge 2. Although I had to sit and wait for nearly 30 minutes to update, the whole process wasn’t all that bad considering.

Sensitive to Heart Rate

Almost immediately, I noticed how this device picks up my heart rate quicker than its predecessor. In the past, it would take a second or two before my pulse rate would register. With the Fitbit Charge 3, it’s almost instant.

No Side “Button” to Break

The side button is an interesting feature. It’s not really a button, per se. It’s an area that registers touch to activate. And coming from someone who broke the last button on his Fitbit, this is a welcome addition.

Same Data as the Phone App

This product registers most of your vital statistics from the phone app. For instance, I can scroll on the touchscreen to see how long I slept or how many minutes I’ve been active today from the watch. It saves from having to open my phone to take a look.

Tracking All Kinds of Bio Data

The Fitbit app and the Charge 3 keep track of a variety of statistics. Sleep, steps, heart rate, calorie burn, distance and more are all available from either device. At any point, I can look at my watch and see how “far” I’ve walked today just moving around the house.

Extended Battery Life

The Fitbit Charge 3 has a battery life of about seven days. This is a couple days longer than its predecessor. The unit will also display how much power it has left as an easy-to-read percentage on the display.

Not as Sensitive of a Touchscreen

The only thing I am a bit disappointed in is the touchscreen aspect of the Fitbit Charge 3. It’s not as sensitive as something like my Samsung Galaxy. It takes a bit of effort sometimes to get the screen to shift.

Because the touchscreen isn’t the most sensitive element, it’s kind of difficult to start certain workouts from the watch. Once you manage to reach the tracking part, all you need to do is tap the screen to start and stop.

It’s getting to that point that causes an issue. I have to swipe several times just to move the screen.




Why Would You Want One?

Whether you’re a runner or a couch potato, the Fitbit Charge 3 is beneficial for just about any activity level. And even though it records many different personal statistics, it’s up to you to take advantage of the data.

No piece of wearable technology will magically shrink the waistline. However, the numbers it provides is helpful to see where you need to take action.

And because you can integrate Fitbit with a myriad of free apps, it’s even more helpful to fine-tune your specific strategy.

Powering My Weight Loss Journey

For example, I connect Fitbit to MyFitnessPal to monitor calorie intake and output. This lets me keep an eye on maintaining specific calorie goals for each day.

Fitbit has helped me lose 70 pounds so far with another 30 to go in the near future. It’s a powerful tool I use on a daily basis to help ensure I am on the right path for better health.

Where Can You Get It?

I picked up the Fitbit Charge 3 from my local Walmart. I was going to order it online directly from Fitbit, but I get impatient sometimes and want to have things “right now.”

But given the popularity of Fitbit, I know it’s also available at most tech stores and mobile phone sales locations.

The price of the Charge 3 is comparable to what the previous versions were when hitting the market…at about $149.99 depending on where you go.

You can also pay a few bucks extra for the special edition which includes GPS tracking. I didn’t buy the special edition because if I am away from the house, my phone is with me anyway.

I don’t need the GPS functionality.

For myself, the two biggest selling points are the company and the price. I’ve always had excellent experiences with Fitbit, including their customer support staff. And I can’t really afford something as extravagant as an Apple Watch.

Nor would I want anything Apple makes anyway – but that’s a tale for another time.

The Bottom Line…

In reality, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a decent product with good construction. And even though I am not thrilled over the touch screen capability, I do love the idea of swimming with the unit on.

Now all I need is to find a watch band that is more…me.




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Fitbit Charge 3

149.99
8.8

Price Value

8.5/10

Overall Comfort

9.0/10

Functionality

8.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Integration

9.0/10

Pros

  • Water resistant...finally
  • Tracks all kinds of movement data
  • Easily connects to phones and apps
  • No side button to break off
  • Sensor works better than Charge 2

Cons

  • Touchscreen is a bit iffy at times
  • Worried about breaking the screen
  • Hard to set timers and workouts as the touchscreen isn't sensitive enough

Michael Brockbank

Since 2015, Michael has put in the effort to lose more than 80 pounds by gamifying fitness and eating proper portion sizes. He conducts extensive research into various health and fitness products to provide the best answers possible according to his own experience and knowledge.

Let me know what you think...

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