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Today Fitbit announced their new Fitbit charge 3 which is currently available for pre order and should start shipping sometime in October. Even though the new Fitbit charge 3 looks very similar to the current charge 2, Fitbit has managed to pack the charge 3 with some pretty good improvements. Heres everything you need to know about the new Fitbit Charge 3 and how it compares to the outgoing Charge 2 and Fitbit’s current crown Jewel the Fitbit Versa.
First lets talk money, in classic fitbit fashion theres going to be a base Charge 3 and a Special Edition Charge 3. The base Charge 3 will come included with a single silicon wrist strap and will retail for $149.95, which is what the current charge 2 retails for. The special edition Charge 3 will retail for $169.95 and will come included with 2 sets of wrist bands and will have all of the same functionality as the base Charge 3, except its also going to have an NFC chip for contactless payments. Personally I would get the Special edition Charge 3 just for the extra band cause I think fitbit should just included an NFC chip on both models. If you want to pick the fitbit charge 3 up I’ll have links in the description below and it you use the links its really helps out the channel.
Now lets talk design, the Charge 3 looks very similar to the out going charge 2… but there are some key differences. The charge 3 now has corning gorilla glass 3 protecting its screen just like the Versa. So the charge 3 should be able to stand up to scratches better than the Charge 2. Even though the screen on the charge 3 is still a black and white screen like the Charge 2, the screen on the charge 3 is now an OLED touch screen thats 40% bigger than the screen on the Charge 2. And noticed how I said touch screen, the screen on the Charge 2 is a haptic touch screen meaning it doesn’t respond when you swipe the screen like you would normally do on your phone, its responds to the force of your tap… you have to tap it hard enough for it to register an input. But since the Charge 3 is now going to have a touch screen you can now swipe left or right on it like you normally do on other touch screen devices. We’re going to have to see how this new touch screen behaves when you’re trying to navigate through the menus when you’re sweaty at the gym.
Another significant change on the Charge 3 is the new side button. Unlike the charge 2 or the versa which have big clicky buttons which I personally like… the charge 3 has a brand new inductive button, similar to the home button on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7. It doesn’t actually move when you press it but it does vibrate to simulate that click and to let you know that it received the input. And the reason Fitbit upgraded the button on the charge 3 was so that they can now make it swim proof. Something that the out going charge 2 isn’t. So you can now confidently swim with the Charge 3 in the pool or in the ocean without having to worry about damaging it. Another upgrade the charge 3 has going for it is that I now has a claimed battery life of 7 days, where as the charge 2 has a claimed battery life of 5 days and the versa has a claimed battery life of 4 days. But I'm will to guess that with real world use the charge 3 should be good for 5 days between charges. And finally the last major upgrade I want to mention about the charge 3 is the addition of an SpO2 sensor which is also found on the Versa which allows for the potential to estimate changes in blood oxygen levels and help track new health indicators, like sleep apnea.
So those are the major hardware changes coming to the charge 3, a bigger brighter screen, an inductive button which allows for water proofing, better battery life, and an SpO2 sensor… but the charge 3 is also getting some pretty significant software upgrades as well. The UI is going to be re amped so its easier to navigate and you’re going to have more robust smart phone notifications similar to what you would find on the versa or on a more expensive smartwatch like the Apple Watch. And for the ladies watching, the charge 3 is also going to be able help with female health tracking just like the versa does.
And finally lets talk about what the charge 3 doesn’t have… the charge 3 still lacks a built in GPS. Meaning that if you’re a runner your still going to have too bring your phone along cause the charge 3 still relies on connected GPS just like the previous Charge 2 and the Fitbit Versa. And the reason the fitbit didn’t include a built in GPS on the charge 3 was to save room for more sensors and a bigger battery and to keep costs down. And I feel thats perfectly fine. But what I am bummed about is that it still looks like the Change 3 doesn’t have wireless charging. Personally I just feel the charging clips that come included with most fitbit devices are just too clunky and clumsy.
So thats the Fitbit Charge 3, I personally feel its a pretty significant upgrade to the outgoing Charge 2. Its has a new bigger and brighter touch screen which should allow for easier navigation through the menus, it now has an inductive button which now allows the charge 3 to be swim proof, its has a new SpO2 sensor that estimate changes in blood oxygen levels, it now has a claimed battery life of 7 days, and its UI has been improved so it can be usual outside of the gym. Its still lacking built in GPS, but it think thats perfectly fine. I think just the Fitbit Versa, the fitbit charge 3 is going to be another hit.