I reviewed it a few months ago Fitbit Luxe, A small fitness band that prioritizes style over fitness. Personally, I enjoy using the small size, but I understand why many industry peers think the screen is too small. For them, Lux was a little more metaphorical than material.

And so the new Fitbit Charge 5 is here for the general public. It takes elements from Lux and has the same features, except that it has a much larger screen.

Charge 5 has a lot in common with Lux, which means it’s got a big hardware upgrade on the device. Fitbit Charge 4 Seriously, because the latter was a plastic device with a relatively blurred LCD screen. Charge 5 now offers an OLED display with a metal case.

The $ 180 Charge 5 also features many health features, such as the previous $ 300 Fitbit Sense smart watches, such as electrodermal activity and electrocardiogram sensors.

The bands are portable and therefore interchangeable, and Fitbit sells many other brands. The actual trajectory is small – 1.44 x 0.9 x 0.44 inches – and weighs 0.98oz / 27.7g.

A single charge can complete the Fitbit Charge 5 in a week, which is one of the improvements I’ve tried with previous Fitbit devices. Although charging is done through a proprietary charger. (Of course I want fitness bands and smart watches to all be converted to USB-C.)

Charge 5 has built-in GPS and NFC so use it to track the phone without bringing it or make digital payments via Fitbit Pay.

I have long loved Fitbit fitness monitoring, including the comprehensive and smart sleep monitoring I have seen, and Charge 5 has continued that trend. It is a clever way to avoid being deceived into counting false steps. Scooter).

Charge 5 can automatically identify some sports, and 20 built-in workouts for weight lifting, running and swimming – yes Charge 5 is waterproof.

Fitbit has removed any buttons from the tracker this year (previous payments had a click button or touch panel capable of touch) so all interaction with the device is through the touch screen – this is great because the screen is large, bright and active and responsive.

The Charger 5 case is closer than previous generations, with a smaller index angle. Overall the track feels more like jewelry than ever before – if you go for a better band than the total black rubber I found.

To turn on the screen, you can raise your arms to chest level, fold your wrists forward or tap the screen, all three options work well. There is an option to keep the display “always on”, although this will shorten the battery life to “five days” (still very good).

When connected to the phone, the Fitbit Charge 5 can display notifications from the phone, but only read as usual with fitness bands, but do not respond to notifications.

Complaints and complaints

For the most part, Pay 5 is a very good fitness tracker, but there are some complaints. The process of pairing Fitbit devices is still one of the slowest and most stressful I have ever experienced. When I first tried to pair the Fitbit Charge 5 with the Vivo X70 Pro +, it asked me to wait for the Fitbit app software upgrade, which “may take up to 20 minutes” and I was advised to continue working. And on screen. So I don’t want to touch my phone for 20 minutes? I have never encountered these needs from other fitness bands or smart watches. It tells me that even when you update the Xiaomi Band or Samsung Smart Watch, I can go out and do other things.

And sometimes the Fitbit device struggles to integrate successfully with another device. This problem is especially acute for me because I change my phone once a week, sometimes more often. There were half a dozen times – before Charging 5 to return to Fitbit products, but this time again – I waited 10-20 minutes for the Fitbit device to be paired with a new phone. The pairing eventually worked, but it usually required me to restart the phone or reinstall the Fitbit app. In general, the trial and error process can take up to an hour. In contrast, I can pair Huawei smartwatch with any Android phone in one minute.

And while Fitbit’s fitness and health monitoring is great, some features are locked behind the payload wall. Fitbit calls this service “Fitbit Premium” and charges $ 10 a month for subscriptions. With that plan, you will get a “daily readiness score,” which gives you an overview of how your body “feels” based on heart rate and sleep data. There are also personalized exercises and more in-depth fitness information.

I’m sure there are those who find this service rewarding and useful, but I don’t think I need it.

Overall, the Fitbit Charge 5 is a beautiful, well-built fitness tracker. But the price is $ 180 a little for anyone. Chinese brands such as Xiaomi or Honor (from $ 60- $ 99) are more expensive than regular fitness trackers and you can get a low-end / older Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 for another $ 60-70. These watches give you app support and the ability to respond to notifications and make phone calls.

However, Fitbit Sense has a better screen and build than the low-cost controllers mentioned above, and some may feel secure with their Google-owned Fitbit data. When it comes to smart watch comparisons — there are those who simply don’t want the extra features of a smartphone and prefer to save $ 60-70. Some find smart watches too bulky – the Fitbit Charge 5 is a more comfortable full-length dress.

I would argue that this group is a very good team, but in a crowded and crowded place, like the wearers, it is probably good to be good.