Fitbit Announces Charge 3 Fitness Tracker

Posted on August 20, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile with 12 Comments

Fitbit announced its latest fitness tracker, the Charge 3, today, adding a more premium design, even better battery life, and more.

“With Charge 3, we are building on the success of our best-selling Charge franchise and delivering our most innovative tracker, offering an extremely slim, comfortable and premium design, along with the advanced health and fitness features our users want,” James Park CEO said in a prepared statement. “Charge 3 gives existing users a compelling reason to upgrade, while also allowing us to reach new users who want a sleeker, more affordable wearable in a tracker form factor.”

Fitbit offers a range of wearables at a wide variety of price points. Indeed, its product line is getting a bit dense. But between this new device and its wildly-popular new smartwatch, the Versa, Fitbit pretty much offers something for everyone.

The Fitbit Charge 3 comes two years after the release of its predecessor, the Charge 2. That device was “swim-proof” and offered “PurePulse” heart rate tracking. It also sat neatly between the Fitbit Alta that I’m still using and real smartwatches like Versa. Charge is also Fitbit’s most popular line of products, with over 35 million sold overall.

Charge 3 improves on its predecessor in a number of ways.

It features a premium design that is made of aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and is smaller and lighter than its predecessor. The grayscale display is 40 percent bigger, made from OLED, and is crisper, clearer, and brighter than before as a result. Fitbit says that Charge 3 is also the “first wearable with an inductive button,” and the device includes a larger battery with up to 7 days of use, up from 5 in the previous Charge 2.

Additionally, Fitbit enhanced the device’s PurePulse heart rate technology for even greater accuracy. And it now provides a better measure of calorie burn and resting heart. As important, it is the first Fitbit with a SpO2 sensor, which lets the device estimate changes in blood oxygen levels and help track new health indicators, including sleep apnea.

The Fitbit Charge costs $150, and the firm will also sell a Charge 3 Special Edition with Fitbit Pay will be available for $170 that adds NFC and e-payment capabilities. The devices are now available for pre-order and will be on sale starting in October in the United States.

And on that note, I may be getting one.

I switched to a Fitbit Alta two years ago and really like the device and its epic battery life. My wife has since purchased a Charge 2, which she really likes. And with my Alta aging and experiencing some recent reliability issues—it was stuck on a battery display for days this past week, during which time I joked about it being “battery o’clock”—I’ve been actively thinking about replacing it.

My original choice was the Versa. But with this device coming in at a lower price point but still offering the features I want the most, I think my decision has been made.


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