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Fitbit Charge 5 review: touchscreen fatigue

Fitbit’s newest fitness tracker, the Charge 5, might be the biggest change to the Charge line yet. It has a color screen, the first for a Charge, and you can opt to keep the screen on all the time. It has a new rounded design that’s thinner than the Charge 4. New sensors measure how your body responds to stress. But all that change also comes at a higher $179.95 price, a $30 increase from the Charge 4.

That more expensive cost edges the Charge line closer to the prices of many smartwatches. So in reviewing the Charge 5, I wanted to figure out if it offers enough at that price to make it a compelling fitness device than the more costly smartwatch competitors. To do that, after I got the Charge 5, I picked up an Apple Watch SE to compare it with, set them both up, put one on each wrist, and promptly went on a four-hour marathon training run.

To my disappointment, the Charge 5 didn’t fare well.

Before I go further, I should tell you what I need a fitness tracker or smartwatch for. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a somewhat specific set of requirements and needs.

My favorite form of exercise is running. I happily submit myself to multi-hour runs many weekends of the year. I don’t really care about running fast; instead, I like to run far. So when I’m on a run, I want a fitness tracker to tell me how far I’ve run, how long I’ve been running for, what time it is, and my heart rate. The Charge 5 did tell me all of these things. However, it did so much less elegantly than the Apple Watch did.

Many of my frustrations come down to the Charge 5’s small 14.7mm x 21.9mm screen, which is surrounded by much bigger bezels than the official product shots would suggest, and its UI, which isn’t as easily glanceable as I would have liked. During a run, the Charge 5 shows three metrics at a time, and two of them are always visible in small font at the top and bottom of your screen: your mileage and how long you’ve been running. Handy.

But in the middle of the screen, you can only see one of nine other metrics at a time, such as pace, heart rate, and step count. To get to the next metric, you have to tap the screen to advance them one by one. Infuriatingly, I couldn’t figure out a way to go back to a metric if I accidentally tapped past the one I was looking for, often meaning I would be tapping the screen repeatedly.

The Charge 5’s small screen is also poorly optimized for showing long run times. During my training run, I liked having the length of my run shown as the main metric in the middle of the screen. But after I crossed two hours, I noticed that the Charge 5’s screen cut off part of the time on both ends. It looks ridiculous — see for yourself below — though Fitbit tells me that this will be fixed for final retail units.

Photo by Jay Peters / The Verge

Also annoying is the fact that the Charge 5 has no physical buttons, meaning you have to wake up the screen by raising your wrist or by tapping on the screen. Many times during my four-hour run, I would tap on the Charge 5’s screen a couple times to wake it, only to accidentally tap past the last metric I had up, forcing me to keep tapping just to return to where I was before. This was very annoying, and I often had to completely stop running so I could tap the screen enough times to get my Charge 5 situated again.

The Apple Watch, on the other hand (pun intended), showed me all of the stats I care about on one screen, no extra tapping required. And because I can use the digital crown or the button on the side to wake it up, I never felt any risk of tapping something I shouldn’t that would mess up my run.

Interestingly, the Charge 5 and Apple Watch SE recorded some different metrics when I took them out on runs. The Charge 5’s metrics portrayed me as a better runner; across two runs, the Charge 5 recorded slightly longer distances and slightly faster paces than the Apple Watch SE did. But it’s hard to know which is truly accurate. According to MapMyRun, which lets you plot runs on Google Maps, one of my routes was 6.28 miles, but the Charge 5 recorded it as 6.1 miles and the SE tracked it as 6.02. Both devices, however, tracked the exact same average heart rate across both runs.

Fitbit Charge 5 and Apple Watch SE comparison

Run MetricsFitbit Charge 5Apple Watch SE
Distance6.1 mi6.02 mi
Average Heart Rate133 BPM133 BPM
These are Fitbit Charge 5 and Apple Watch SE metrics taken from a run. If you can’t see the labels on mobile, the top metric is the Fitbit Charge 5 and the bottom is the Apple Watch SE. The Apple Watch SE shows a shorter time because I stopped it first.

(Unfortunately, I don’t have comparative data for my four-hour run because at one point I accidentally paused run-tracking on the Charge 5 for 20 minutes. This was my fault, not the Fitbit’s.)

Runs are my happy place — especially really long ones. I like to run in a forest while listening to podcasts or music. I haven’t relied on a fitness tracker in years, instead using a cheap Casio watch to track my time. But after a week of running with both the Fitbit Charge 5 and the Apple Watch SE, if I had to pick just one for future long runs, I’d grab the Apple Watch every time.

When I’m not running, I want my fitness tracker to be as inert as possible. I typically turn off as many notifications and buzzers as I can. I try to keep a relatively simple face. The Charge 5 works fine for this, though I have some annoyances with it.

I love that the Charge 5 is smaller and lighter than the Apple Watch; it’s much more comfortable to wear and I regularly forget that it’s on my wrist. But I think the change to remove any sort of physical button-like mechanism is a step back.

The Charge 3 and 4 created the illusion of a button with a small capacitive ridge that had haptic feedback when you pressed it. When using the Charge 4, if I ever got buried in menus, I’d just mash the “button” a bunch of times until I got back to the main homescreen.

Photo by Jay Peters / The Verge and Photo by Jay Peters / The Verge

But without buttons on the Charge 5, diving into menus almost feels like you can get lost. There’s no clear way to return to the main watchface, which was frustrating at first. I eventually learned that you can double tap the screen to return to the homescreen (which, to Fitbit’s credit, is something the app tells you when you set up the Charge 5, but I missed it). Doing that double tap is nerve-wracking, though. Every time I was about to do the double tap, I’d hold my breath, tap twice quickly on the screen, and hope that I didn’t accidentally tap something I didn’t want to just to return home.

I also wished there was a button I could use as a reliable way to turn on the screen. Sometimes, I’d rotate my wrist up or double tap the Charge 5 to wake it up, but it just wouldn’t turn on. That would force me to rotate my wrist a few times or tap the screen in frustration to try to turn it on.

The always-on display isn’t the best fix because it has some annoyances, too. Like other always-on displays, when activated, you can’t actually interact with anything on the Charge 5 until you lift your wrist or tap on the screen. When you do that, the screen briefly flickers off and on again before you can use it.

Fitbit also estimates a dramatic reduction in battery life when you use the always-on display — from seven days to two — meaning you will have to charge the device a lot more if you use it.

That said, in my testing, the battery has been excellent. In the nearly two weeks I’ve been testing the Charge 5, I’ve only plugged it in three times, toggling on the always-on display for a few hours here and there throughout. (Though to be fair, when I went on the four-hour training run, I had accidentally turned off the heart rate monitor, which might have saved some battery.) If you don’t have the screen on all the time, you should get multiple days on a single charge.

Image: Fitbit
Image: Fitbit

If you do want to use your Charge 5 like a smartwatch, there are some limitations. While the Charge 5 can notify you about calls, texts, meeting alerts, and updates from certain apps, you can only send quick replies to text messages and messages from some apps if you’re on Android. As an iPhone user, this provided a half-baked experience whenever a text message came in; while it was easy to look at texts, actually responding to them forced me to pull out my phone.

There’s no native way to sync your Fitbit data to Apple Health or Google Fit, so your stats won’t show up on those platforms. There aren’t any third-party apps for the Charge 5. And there’s no built-in voice assistant, like you might find on an Apple Watch or a Wear OS smartwatch.

Photo by Jay Peters / The Verge

Fitbit is advertising a few new health features for the Charge 5, including the new electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor to measure how your body responds to stress. (Fitbit introduced this feature with last year’s Fitbit Sense smartwatch.) Once you’ve started the reading, you put two fingers on the sides of the Charge 5 and hold them there for two to seven minutes (you can customize the length). After, you’re asked to record your mood, and then the Fitbit will tell you more detail about your scan. Fitbit can also give you a Stress Management Score, but you’ll only be able to access a detailed report about it if you’re a Fitbit Premium subscriber.

Two other features aren’t ready yet, though, so I couldn’t test them. One is the “Daily Readiness Score,” a Fitbit Premium-exclusive feature that recommends how hard you should work out based on factors like your recent activity and quality of sleep. Fitbit says that feature is “coming soon,” and it’s not a Charge 5-exclusive feature; it will also be available on the Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Luxe, and Inspire 2. An ECG app is on the way, too, but that also has a vague “coming soon” release window. When I asked, the company wouldn’t give a more specific timeline.

The Charge 5 is available to preorder now, though Fitbit wouldn’t share a more specific timeline for shipping beyond “late September.” (Amazon’s listing for the Charge 5 says it will be released on September 27th, however.)

Overall, it’s hard for me to recommend the Charge 5. It’s a capable fitness tracker, and it offers a lot of features found on more expensive smartwatches at a lower price. But the small display, lack of a physical button, and sometimes poor UI mean it can be a hassle to use. For me, any annoyances are magnified when I have to deal with them in the middle of a run. Until Fitbit fixes those, you might want to consider something else.


I really wanted to love the Fitbit Charge 5 — It’s Fitbit’s most advanced tracker yet and has a number of features usually reserved for its more expensive trackers. It has the potential to be brilliant, but right now, it falls short. Be sure to read the full Fitbit Charge 5 review below to find out why. 

Fitbit Charge 5: Specifications

Price: $179.95
Battery life: 7 days
Display: AMOLED
Screen size: 0.86 X 0.58 inches
Resolution: 326 PPI
Built-in GPS: Yes
Heart rate monitor: Yes
SpO2 monitor: Yes
ECG monitor: Yes
Fitbit pay: Yes
On-board music storage: No
Weight: 0.98oz  
Size: 1.4 inches L x 0.89 inches W x 0.44 inches D 

At $179.95 the Fitbit Charge 5 is $29.95 more than the Fitbit Charge 4 was when it hit the market. Like the Charge 4, it’s got in-built GPS, but for the newer model, Fitbit has added a bright, always-on color touch screen, an electrodermal activity sensor (EDA), an electrocardiogram sensor (ECG), and a new metric called "Daily Readiness Score". At the time of testing, the Daily Readiness Score and the ECG heart monitoring weren’t actually switched on, with Fitbit saying they’ll be ‘coming soon’. 

To caveat, I’m definitely not saying the Fitbit Charge 5 isn’t a good activity tracker - it is. The bright display is easy to read, even in direct sunlight. It looks great and it’s comfortable to wear, plus like the Charge 4, it’s one of the best fitness trackers on the market, but right now, it’s not bringing anything new to the table — it just looks and feels snazzier.

Fitbit Charge 5 review: Price and release date 

The Fitbit Charge 5 costs $179.95, which includes a six-month Fitbit Premium membership. It is available in three colors: Steel Blue/Platinum, Black/Graphite, and Lunar White/Gold. Those who purchase the Charge 5 will also get a six-month Fitbit Premium membership for free, which will give them access to additional features, such as a Health Metrics dashboard, guided video, and audio workouts, and sleep and mindfulness tools.

The Fitbit Charge 5 went on sale on September 27 2021, and is available to buy now. 

Fitbit Charge 5 review: Design

The most significant design change to the Fitbit Charge 5 is the color OLED screen, which is two times brighter than the Fitbit Charge 4. It’s easy to see, even in direct sunlight and Fitbit has now made the AMOLED display a touchscreen. To navigate around the tracker, you have to scroll to the right from the home screen; to return back to the home screen at any time, you double-tap. All of the functions on the tracker are controlled via the touch screen display, aside from the two side panels, which are used for the EDA and (later down the line) ECG sensors. 

Scrolling right from the home screen, you can view your Smartphone notifications (although you can’t respond to messages from the tracker), start an activity, set timers and alarms, and do an EDA scan. The Charge 5 is Fitbit’s first tracker to include an EDA sensor, which measures the body’s response to stress through changes in the sweat glands on the skin. Fitbit says this is in response to the (perhaps unsurprising) data that suggests that 40% of adults said they experienced a lot of stress in 2020. Fitbit first launched EDA with the Fitbit Sense, released last fall, so it’s exciting to see it’s being rolled out to the more affordable items in their catalog.

Fit-wise, the Charge 5 was comfortable to wear. It’s 10% thinner than the Charge 4 and unlike the Charge 4, which gapped at the edges where the Fitbit connected to the strap on smaller wrists, the Charge 5 fits well. In the box, there’s a small and a large band, which is handy, especially if you’re not sure which size to buy.

Charge 4 users will be disappointed to hear that they can’t use their older wrist strap with the Charge 5, or the same charger, as once again, Fitbit has updated the charging port.

Fitbit Charge 5 review: GPS and running performance 

I’m the first to admit, my running watch of choice is normally a much bulkier piece of kit – for the past year, I’ve been running with the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro, and next to the Fitbit Charge 5, it’s huge. I liked how slim the Charge 5 sat on my wrist – it looked attractive and I wouldn’t mind wearing the Charge 5 casually on the weekend or dressed up for meetings at work. 

While I found the touchscreen design easy to navigate around during a HIIT session, the lack of buttons was a detriment during a run. Although the screen is bigger than it was on the Charge 4, it’s not big enough to see all your key metrics in one place. In the running mode, the Charge 5 shows you three metrics: your mileage at the top of the screen and how long you’ve been running at the bottom — pretty standard. The difficulty lies in the middle of the screen, where you can see one of nine different metrics, including your average pace, your current pace, and your heart rate. Scrolling through these while sticking to your pace can be fiddly, especially with sweaty fingers.

When I went out for a 10-mile training run, the Fitbit’s GPS connected slightly less quickly than my Garmin, but still within a few seconds, so I didn't need to endlessly pace up and down the street while I waited for the tracker to connect. When wearing the watches side-by-side, I found my average pace on the Fitbit fluctuated wildly and was slightly quicker on the Fitbit than the Garmin. While it’s hard to tell post-run which is more accurate, as someone who runs very regularly, the Garmin split times were closer to the pace I felt I was running - 8:43 minute miles was the marathon pace I was aiming for on the run, whereas the 8:18 minute mile Fitbit recorded during mile five would have been more like my tempo pace. 

Distance-wise, my Garmin recorded the 10-mile route as a 10.01-mile run, whereas the Fitbit recorded the run as 10.14 miles. Again, this could be down to the autopause function. I had mapped the route on Strava before heading out. 

Of course, this is not to say the Fitbit’s GPS is incorrect — I manually pause my Garmin at traffic lights but had the auto-pause function on when using the Fitbit, so it could be a user error. When running with the Fitbit and the Apple Watch Series 6, I found my split times to be much more similar. 

Fitbit Charge 5 review: Activity tracking

The Charge 5 has virtually all the same activity tracking metrics as those available on the Charge 4. You can still only view six sport profiles on the tracker itself and these can be customized in the Fitbit app. The main difference when it comes to activity tracking is that the screen is brighter and the always-on function makes it easier to read on the move, or between burpees.

Like the Charge 4, you also can’t customize what you see in each sports activity profile, but you can turn auto laps on, which gives you the option to receive pace alerts every mile while running, or out on your bike. It’s worth noting these are toggled off by default — something I missed on my first run with the tracker.

On the tracker itself, you also have the option to set a goal for your workout — be it time, distance, or calories burned. During the activity, it’ll show your progress towards your goal. This wouldn’t necessarily be something I’d use regularly, but it’s a handy feature if you’re someone who tends to bail out of workouts halfway through to check your emails.

Like the Charge 4, you’ll also see your Active Zone Minutes when completing a workout, and (if you don’t turn them off beforehand), the watch will buzz whenever you move into a new zone. Fitbit added Active Zone Minutes to the Charge line a year ago, with the tracker measuring the time you spend in each target heart rate zone, and track your progress towards a goal of 150 minutes per week.

While I’ve already mentioned some shortfalls with the GPS tracking, my biggest surprise was when the Fitbit auto-recognized a two-hour cleaning session before my in-laws arrived as a swim, but perhaps that says more about my aggressive style of hoovering.

Fitbit Charge 5 review: Sleep tracking 

The Fitbit Charge 5 has the same SpO2 pulse oximeter sensor (also found in the Charge 4, Charge 3, Versa, and Ionic) to better help you understand your sleeping patterns. Like previous models, the Charge 5 has all of Fitbit’s standard sleep tracking metrics, although, on the tracker itself, you’ll only be able to see your total sleep time and your sleep score from the previous night. On the Fitbit app, you’ll be able to see your sleep score, sleep stages and set a smart wake alarm, however you have to be a Premium user to get extra sleep data, such as a breakdown of your deep, light, and REM sleep cycles.

Despite Fitbit announcing snore and noise detection alongside the launch of the Fitbit Charge 5, this feature will not be available on the tracker as first thought, due to a lack of a microphone.  

I tested the Fitbit Charge 5 the week before a marathon, so it’s safe to say my stress levels were high, however according to my Fitbit, with a week out from the race, I slept like a babe, with only 11% tossing and turning and a score of 81. That said, as the race drew nearer, my sleep became more restless, with the Fitbit recording that I spent 34 minutes awake the night before my last long run. While I’m not sure I need reminding that being nervous affects my ability to sleep, it’s interesting to see how rested (or unrested) I am each morning. Like with the Charge 4, the Charge 5 features Fitbit’s Smart Wake feature, which uses machine learning to know the best time to wake you up. I only wish Fitbit could find a way to program my puppy to do the same. 

Fitbit Premium 

As you might have noticed by this point in the review, a lot of the features on the watch are reserved for Fitbit’s Premium users. The Fitbit Premium membership launched two years ago and costs $9.99 per month. The subscription service offers personalized workouts, health and sleep insights, and coaching from top trainers.

Recently, Fitbit announced partnerships with the likes of LES MILLS to increase the variety of workouts on offer in the app and Calm, the number one sleep app, to give subscribers access to more mindfulness and meditation sessions. 

Anyone who purchases a Fitbit Charge 5 gets six months of Premium membership for free, which is a generous amount of time to trial the platform before coughing up each month. 

Fitbit Charge 5 review: What’s missing 

 Similar to the recovery tools launched by Garmin and Polar last year, Fitbit has launched its own ‘Daily Readiness’ score which will feature on the Charge 5, (and be available soon on the Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Versa 3, Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Luxe and Inspire 2 designs). Based on three different metrics - your fitness fatigue (activity), your heart rate variability (HRV), and your recent sleep, users will be given a score each morning which indicates their body’s readiness for exercise. Based on your Daily Readiness score, your recommended target Active Zone Minutes will change and Premium members will get personalized recovery content. As mentioned above, Daily Readiness Score isn’t available on the Charge 5 yet, with Fitbit saying ‘coming soon’ when you log into the app as a Premium member. 

The other standout feature of the Charge 5 — the ECG sensor — is also still yet to be released. Following the launch of the ECG app on the Sense, Fitbit is making the app available on the Charge 5, allowing users to assess their heart health from their wrist. As well as this, the Charge 5 will give users notifications on when your heart rate is above or below its normal range and when it might be an indication of a heart condition worth checking. We’ve not been able to test this yet.

Compared to the Fitbit Charge 4, there are also some other notable features that Fitbit has removed from the Charge 5. Some of these are minor — you can no longer control your phone’s Spotify music from the tracker, but I’m not sure whether this was something many users would ever have done regularly. There’s also no longer a weather app, and the guided breathing and relaxation sessions have been moved from the tracker to the Mindfulness section in the Fitbit app. Premium members will be able to tune in to more than 300 mindfulness classes in the app, and free users will be able to try 15 before subscribing, although these can only be done from your phone, not your wrist. Fitbit has also removed the altimeter from the Charge 5, which means you’ll no longer get data on how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed in your day.

Fitbit Charge 5 review: Battery life 

I tested the Fitbit Charge 5 for five days, using the always-on display when exercising, and didn’t need to charge the tracker once. This is far more impressive than Fitbit’s estimate — Fitbit said using the display reduced the battery life from seven days to two. Compared to the Apple Watch Series 6, Fitbit’s battery life is a dream, however, if you decide to have GPS, heart rate monitoring and the always-on display turned on all the time, you can probably expect to charge your tracker every couple of days. 

Fitbit Charge 5 review: Verdict 

Overall, the Fitbit Charge 5 is a very good fitness tracker and has the potential to be even better once the new features roll out. However, if I had a Fitbit Charge 4 on my wrist, I probably wouldn’t upgrade just yet. Comparing the two trackers side-by-side, it just doesn’t feel like enough has changed to warrant the more expensive price tag. That said, if I was using a Fitbit Charge 3 or younger, I probably would invest, as the new display alone makes this a joy to use. 

If you’re looking for more of a smartwatch than a fitness tracker, I’d probably opt for the Fitbit Versa 3 over the Fitbit Charge 5, which supports Alexa and Google Assistant, and allows you to answer phone calls from your wrist (but only if you have an Android phone). 

Finally, if you’re a dedicated runner, this isn’t the tracker for you (and I’d argue no fitness tracker will be). Spend $20 more and buy the Garmin Forerunner 55, which is far more user-friendly on the run and still allows you to track multiple sports zones and your sleep, see suggested workouts and get accurate recovery data.

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past four years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy. 

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Fitbit Charge 5 review: New look, same tricks

Fitbit went back to basics with last year’s Charge 4, reinstating a fitness tracker with onboard GPS into its lineup after many years of leaving that hole unfilled. With the introduction of the $180 Charge 5 this year, the company is trying to modernize its most capable band. It’s thinner, lighter and less bulky than the Charge 4 and it now has some features previously reserved for Fitbit’s full-fledged smartwatches, the Versa and Sense.

That translates to a $30 increase in price, and on top of that, Fitbit’s hoping you’ll pay $10 each month to access your historical health data (and more) through Fitbit Premium. The Charge 5 certainly feels more polished than the Charge 4, but those who prefer bands to smartwatches will find that most core features remain the same — and you’ll have to decide if the perks of Premium are really worth paying for.

Critics - Not yet scored

Users - Not yet scored

Charge 5


  • Full-color touchscreen with optional always-on mode
  • More comfortable design
  • On-device EDA sensors for stress monitoring
  • Built-in GPS
  • Fitbit Pay
  • Multi-day battery life


  • $30 more than the Charge 4
  • Can’t control music playback from the screen
  • Limited on-device apps
  • Not compatible with Apple Health or Google Fit


I was surprised by how much of a difference was made by Fitbit updating the design of the Charge 5. It’s 10 percent thinner than the previous version and has new rounded edges, and the module itself is stainless steel in a color that should complement the band choice you picked. It feels less bulky on the wrist and its rounded edges make it so the device doesn’t stick out as much. If you’re wearing the band tightly, the Charge 5 sits more flush against the wrist than the Charge 4 did, so it’s less obtrusive and more comfortable. The strap is also better, too: the Charge 5 comes with a soft-touch band that looks (and hooks) almost like the Apple Watch’s sport bands.

Gallery: Fitbit Charge 5 review photos | 7 Photos

The display has been updated as well: it’s a 1.04-inch color AMOLED touchscreen that wakes up when you lift your wrist. It’s leaps and bounds better than the grayscale OLED screen on the Charge 4 and it puts the Charge 5 more in line with Fitbit’s smartwatches.

It also has a new always-on feature, which you can activate in the settings. It will automatically turn off at night if you have sleep mode turned on, but otherwise, it keeps the clock and watch face on, if slightly dimmed, all day long. This obviously affects battery life and Fitbit makes that clear.

But with the addition of a touchscreen, Fitbit took all physical buttons off of the Charge 5. You may think the shiny slivers on the long edges of the module are capacitive-touch buttons but they’re not — they’re actually the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensors that enable stress monitoring. While I didn’t have any problems using the touchscreen, it was a bit weird to not have a button to fall back on because I was used to the inductive side button on the Charge 4.

New (and old) features

Fitbit trickled down a few advanced features from its Sense smartwatch to the Charge 5, namely ECG measurements and EDA monitoring. The former is “coming soon,” so I wasn’t able to test it, but the latter is similar to the EDA tool on Fitbit’s smartwatch. Instead of covering the device’s screen with your palm like you would on the Sense, the Charge 5 has two long sensors on its sides that you pinch and hold when you want to take an EDA scan.

At first, I didn’t know you could change the duration of each scan, so I sat in semi-frustrated silence for three whole minutes (torture, I know). The EDA sensor looks for changes in your skin that may be linked to stress and it’ll report how many differences it captured at the end of the scan. The Charge 5 reported 18 incidents in my first session, which probably reflected my increasing frustration with the tool as I used it.

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

The device’s screen counts down the remaining time in your scan, but it doesn’t show anything else. Fitbit used to have guided breathing exercises on its devices which would take you through a few minutes of breathwork with the intention of calming you down. Fitbit still has meditation exercises available in its app (most available via Premium, with only a scant few free) but I wish Fitbit had brought over that aspect into its EDA tool on the Charge 5. I never felt significantly more calm after a scan — if anything, pausing during my busy day to have my fitness tracker tell me that I might be stressed, without providing any aid, made me more annoyed than less.

Otherwise, the Charge 5 is much the same as the Charge 4, although all of its features look a bit more glossy thanks to the full-color screen. The GPS was, arguably, the most important thing about the Charge 4 and it remains solid on the Charge 5. The built-in sensor grabbed my location within seconds of me starting a run and my route was accurately mapped in Fitbit app after I synced.

But Fitbit didn’t add more music-focused features. In fact, it actually removed some, which is a bummer. The Charge 4 had no onboard storage and only Spotify Premium subscribers could control playback from its screen. According to Fitbit, it’s data showed that customers weren’t using the music controls a lot, so they removed the Spotify option as well. While I understand the logic, I was disappointed each time I ran with the Charge 5 — I would turn to my wrist to skip a track only to immediately realize I had to take my phone out of my fanny pack.

On a positive note, Fitbit added solid alarm and timer apps on the Charge 5. The device is not designed to have as many onboard programs as a smartwatch, but these are pretty basic and many fitness bands include them. I love being able to set daily alarms so I never forget to take medication, and I inevitably end up setting a timer or two each day to keep track of laundry, cooking food and the like.

What you get with Premium

Fitbit has been slowly incorporating Premium, its $10-per-month health and fitness service, into all of its devices over the past few years. What that means for the Charge 5 is that some advanced metrics are behind that paywall, along with things like wellness reports, guided workouts, meditations, recipe inspiration and more.

My biggest problem lies with the walled-off health metrics. It essentially means that Fitbit users can only get the data necessary to up their sleep and exercise game if they pay for it. You may only realize how much of your data you don’t have access to after using the Charge 5 for months, too, which is a bummer (you get six months of Fitbit Premium when you buy a new Charge 5, so at least you’ll get a taste of it).

For example, Premium gives you access to 30-day and 90-day health trends based on your recorded data, plus “advanced” health insights related to your heart, activity, sleep and more. And Fitbit’s wellness reports, which gathers your recorded information about heart rate, steps, weight, water and food intake, exercise, sleep and more for you to easily give to your doctor, are only available to subscribers.

Fitbit Charge 5 Unboxing and Setup (Lunar White / Soft Gold)


The Fitbit Charge 5 is a powerful fitness tracker that picks and mixes the best features from all of Fitbit’s other devices. It has the on-board GPS of the Fitbit Versa 3, the slim design and bright AMOLED screen of the Fitbit Luxe, and the stress-measuring app of the Fitbit Sense.

It's a huge upgrade from the Charge 4, and if you're starting to get serious about your workouts (whether that's running, gym work, or a combination), it's an excellent option. Its heart rate monitoring is particularly impressive, making it a good choice for anyone with an interest in HIIT or spinning.

When you're not working out, you'll benefit from smartphone notifications that can be read, opened on your phone, or dismissed with a quick tap, plus convenient call alerts so nothing important ends up going to voicemail. There are contactless payments through Fitbit Pay, and you'll receive regular reminders to get up and stretch, and reflect on the previous day's achievements.

It’s not quite perfect, though. The Daily Readiness Score (which will allow Fitbit Premium users to see their energy levels each morning and plan their day accordingly) wasn’t available at launch. Neither was the ECG app, which will let users check for signs of heart arrhythmia that should be investigated by a doctor. These issues will hopefully soon be resolved (hopefully before the six-month free trial of Fitbit Premium expires).

More disappointingly, the Charge 5 doesn’t offer any music playback functions. We’re not surprised that the watch doesn’t have any on-board storage for our tunes, but there’s no way to control your music at all. This is a shame, as the Charge 4 allowed wearers to control their Spotify playlist during workouts. Hopefully a future update will add a music app to the Charge 5's otherwise impressive suite of features.

Fitbit Charge 5 price and release date

  • Released September 2021
  • Costs more than Charge 4
  • Includes Fitbit Premium trial

The Fitbit Luxe was unveiled in September 2021, and went on sale a few weeks later. It costs $179.95 / £169.99 / AU$269.95 , which is slightly more than the Fitbit Charge 4’s launch price of $149.95 / $129.99 / AU$229.95.

The price includes a six-month trial of Fitbit Premium, which usually costs $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$14.99 per month.


The Fitbit Charge 5 follows the same Biologic Industrial Design language as the Sense, Versa 3, and Inspire 2, with smooth lines ‘inspired by the human body’ and soft colors. It’s a big departure from the Charge 4, which had a much more angular design.

The Charge 5 also looks more luxurious than its predecessor thanks to its stainless steel case, which replaces the Charge 4’s plastic shell. It’s available in three colorways: black with graphite stainless steel, lunar white with soft gold stainless steel, and steel blue with platinum stainless steel (pictured here). Additional bands are sold separately, including a perforated strap designed for better breathability during sports.

These are big changes, but the Charge 5’s most noticeable upgrade is its display. Rather than the monochrome memory-in-pixel screen of the Charge 4, the new watch has a full color AMOLED display, just like that of the Fitbit Luxe. It’s crisp and bright, with smooth scrolling and animations.

There’s an always-on option that makes it easier to see the screen at a glance, but we found in unnecessary in everyday use; unlike some fitness trackers we’ve tested, the Charge 5’s display woke reliably whenever we raised our wrist to check the time.

The Fitbit Charge 5 has no physical buttons, but there’s an oval sensor on each side of the case for the watch’s ECG and EDA apps. On the rear of the watch you’ll find the usual optical heart rate sensor, plus the contacts for the charger. This is identical to the charger used by the Fitbit Luxe, and attaches to the Charge 5 magnetically. Unfortunately for Macbook users, it uses a USB-A cable.

Everyday performance

A fitness tracker works best when it’s worn every day, allowing it to build up a complete picture of your health, sleep and activity patterns, and Fitbit has pretty much nailed the formula. The Charge 5 isn’t just comfortable to wear and much more attractive than the Charge 4, it’s more useful as well, giving you plenty of reason to strap it on each morning.

The higher resolution color display means smartphone notifications are now much easier to read. You’ll see a small snippet of text when you receive an SMS, WhatsApp message or other alert, which you can tap to read, open on your phone, or dismiss. You can also accept or decline incoming calls with a quick tap of the screen – the interface is simple and intuitive.

We also appreciated that menstrual cycle tracking is readily accessible rather than tucked away under a series of sub-menus.

Like the Charge 4, the Charge 5 offers contactless payments through Fitbit Pay. This is well supported in the US, where it works with dozens of banks, but less so in the rest of the world. In the UK, for example, Google and Apple’s payment services are the two big players.

However, unlike the Charge 4, the Charge 5 offers no music tools. We wouldn’t expect a device as compact as this to offer storage for offline music playback, but the Charge 4 allowed you to control your Spotify playlist from your wrist, which was a great feature for workouts. We would at least have liked to be able to control our phone’s default music player – pausing and skipping between tracks as you can with devices like the Garmin Lily.

We found that the Charge 5 lasted around six days between charges with everyday use and sleep tracking, though battery life will be shortened significantly if you choose to use the screen’s always-on mode, or make extensive use of GPS.

Fitness tracking

  • Good choice of workout modes
  • Excellent heart rate tracking
  • Reliable on-board GPS

The Fitbit Charge 5 can track 20 workout types, which is an impressive range. Many other devices claim to track 100 or more, but these numbers are inflated by modes that all work exactly the same way, tracking heart rate and time, but with different names. 

The Charge 5's menu can display five workout modes at a time. To change them, you’ll need to jump into the Fitbit mobile app, open the device’s settings, and make your adjustments there. You can also change the order in which the various workout types appear, so your favorite activity is easier to find.

To start tracking, swipe left on the screen twice, swipe up and down to choose an activity, then tap the screen once to begin. Tapping the screen mid-workout will allow you to switch between stats such as calories burned and distance travelled, and tapping twice will pause tracking. You’re unlikely to accidentally cancel an activity partway through, which is sometimes a concern when using a fitness tracker without physical buttons

The Charge 5 can start tracking runs, walks, bike rides and some gym workouts automatically. In our tests this worked well; it proved significantly more accurate than the Charge 4, which occasionally registered activities as elliptical training by mistake.

We were also pleased to see that the Charge 5 didn’t track steps during cycling activities, which is an issue we’ve faced with some other fitness trackers in recent years.

As with the Fitbit Luxe, we were very impressed by the accuracy of the Charge 5’s heart rate monitoring during workouts. The watch notifies you with a gentle buzz when you move between heart rate zones, and although it didn't detect changes quite as quickly as a chest strap heart rate monitor, the difference was minimal.

GPS recordings weren’t quite as accurate as those from a dedicated running watch like the Garmin Forerunner 55, overestimating distance on our pre-measured route by a few meters, but if you’re a relatively new runner and aren’t aiming to shave seconds off your race times, that will be less of an issue.

It’s a shame that you can’t view more of your workout stats on-screen once you’ve finished exercising. You can see the duration of your session, calorie count, and stats such as laps completed (if appropriate), but for more in-depth data you’ll need to delve into the smartphone app.

When Fitbit announced the Fitbit Charge 5 in September 2021, the company also revealed a new feature for Fitbit Premium users, which will help you manage your energy levels and plan your day accordingly. The Readiness score is based on your activity levels, heart rate variability and sleep patterns, and gives not just a numerical value to indicate whether you’re well rested.

If the number is high, the Fitbit mobile app will suggest some workouts you can try to make the most of your day. If your readiness score is low, the app will offer some calming activities like yoga so you can keep moving, but avoid tiring yourself out.

When we tested the Fitbit Charge 5 in September 2021, the Readiness score wasn’t yet available, and the Fitbit app advised us to wait for an update in the coming months. We’ll update this review accordingly once we’ve had an opportunity to test it. Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later, so users will be able to benefit before their six-month free trial of Fitbit Premium expires.

At the time of testing the ECG app wasn’t yet available either, but you won’t need Fitbit Premium membership to use this.  We were, however, able to test the Charge 5’s stress-monitoring feature, which has been carried over from the Fitbit Sense. This measures changes in the electrical conductivity of your skin, which is affected by adrenal activity. The more electrodermal activity (EDA) responses are measured during a test, the higher your stress levels.

To take an EDA reading, swipe left to find the menu option, tap to select it, and place your forefinger and thumb on the sensors on the edges of the case. You’ll be instructed to sit still for three minutes, after which the Charge 5 will vibrate to let you know the scan is complete. You’ll be prompted to select an emoji to reflect how you’re currently feeling, and within the Fitbit app you’ll be able to add reflections.

EDA scores can be affected by physical as well as emotional stress, but encouraging you to sit calmly and quietly helps mitigate this, and prompting you to add subjective feelings and reflections helps built up a more complete picture of your emotional state over time and make connections between events and stress levels.

We found it interesting, however, that the Charge 5 doesn’t offer guided breathing exercises. This is something we’ve come to expect from most modern fitness trackers – though there are lots of meditation and mindfulness sessions available through the Fitbit mobile app.

Sleep tracking measurements were largely in line with those from the Oura smart ring (our current top-rated sleep tracker), though the Charge 5 sometimes began tracking sleep when we were settling down for the night, but hadn’t yet nodded off. This is something we’ve found with most wrist-based fitness trackers, which can’t track changes in heart rate quite as accurately as a device worn on the finger where blood vessels are closer to the surface.

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Special 5 edition charge fitbit

Fitbit Charge 5 guide: What you need to know about Fitbit's new fitness tracker

Table of contents

Fitbit may have more powerful wearables in its stable nowadays, but the Charge line has a dedicated following that can’t be ignored. (Not everybody wants a big smartwatch-like screen.) The latest entry to the Charge line, the Fitbit Charge 5, brings many of the advanced health-tracking features you want at a size that will fit everyone’s wrists. Here’s everything you need to know about the Fitbit Charge 5.

Also read:The full Fitbit buyer’s guide

Fitbit Charge 5 at a glance

Fitbit Charge 5

Same form factor, way better display

The Fitbit Charge 5 is a major update from its predecessor. Not only does it have a color AMOLED display, it's the first tracker to come with Fitbit's Daily Readiness Score — a feature that aims to predict how much activity or rest you should take on for the day.

$179.95 at Amazon$179.95 at Fitbit$179.95 at Best Buy

The Fitbit Charge 5 is a brand-new fitness tracker from the Google-owned company. Whereas the upgrade from the Charge 3 to the Charge 4 was nominal, the Charge 5 adds many hardware and software features that might make even existing Charge users contemplate an upgrade.

There’s a new AMOLED display, advanced sensors that can track your heart rhythms and stress, and a Daily Readiness Score that will attempt to clue you in to whether or not you should be exercising or resting on a particular day.

The Fitbit Charge 5 has a lot of nice features on paper, but you’d better like the idea of paying for a Fitbit Premium membership. Unfortunately, some of the new features are locked behind Fitbit’s infamous Premium paywall.

What’s new with the Fitbit Charge 5?

Let’s talk about aesthetics. The Fitbit Charge 5 fits squarely into the Charge family but adds design elements from the company’s higher-end Sense and Versa 3 devices. It still has a stainless steel case and removable straps, but all its corners are rounded to make for a much sleeker look.

Learn more:Fitbit Sense buyer’s guide

It’s 10% thinner than its predecessor, which was already a thin device, and boasts up to seven days of battery life on a single charge. That last metric is impressive, considering the Charge 5 is the first Charge device to come with a touchscreen AMOLED display. The display can get almost 2X brighter than the Charge 4’s grayscale OLED display, so outdoor visibility shouldn’t be an issue. Also, Fitbit included an always-on display option for the first time, making the Charge 5 seem much more like a smartwatch than a traditional fitness tracker.

Of course, there are new bands to coincide with the launch. Fitbit is offering silicone infinity and sport bands, nylon hook and loop bands, as well as Horween leather bands from its website.

The new headlining feature on the Fitbit Charge 5 is the company’s Daily Readiness Score. Using your daily activity, 24/7 heart rate data, heart rate variability, and sleep from the past several nights, the Charge 5 will attempt to tell you how “ready” you are for the day ahead. Should you really step outside for that long run? Or would it be more beneficial to rest? Your Charge 5 will inform you of its findings every morning, along with data on what impacted your score and suggestions on what to do for that particular day.

Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score is a lot like Garmin’s Body Battery feature, which uses similar data to give you a Body Battery score from 0-100 every morning. However, there’s one big difference between the two features: Fitbit is, unfortunately, locking its Daily Readiness Score behind the Fitbit Premium paywall, while Garmin’s Body Battery is free on all devices that support it. That means, after your free trial to Fitbit Premium is over, you’ll need to pay $10 a month to access the feature again. Boy, is it getting expensive to own a Fitbit device.

Don’t miss:Is Fitbit Premium right for you?

That said, the Daily Readiness Score feature won’t be available at launch on the Fitbit Charge 5, and it’s also “coming soon” to the Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Luxe, and Inspire 2 devices.

The Fitbit Charge 5 also boasts two sensors that arrived first on last year’s Fitbit Sense smartwatch: electrodermal activity (EDA) and electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors.

The EDA sensor measures your body’s stress levels by applying small electrical charges to your skin to see how they interact with your body’s sweat levels. Research shows that electrodermal activity is closely linked to our emotional state and can be a good indicator of stress. However, in our testing on the Fitbit Sense, the EDA sensor didn’t quite stack up to more traditional stress trackers that are based on heart rate variability data. It may be a different case with the Charge 5, so stay tuned for our full review for those results.

The Fitbit Charge 5 also ships with an ECG monitor to measure your heart rhythms on-demand throughout the day. If you have a heart condition, this sensor can be invaluable for detecting early signs of AFib. (Although, you should still absolutely see a doctor if you sense an issue with your heart.)

Related:What is an ECG and why does it matter?

One more thing — the EDA sensor should be enabled out of the box when the Charge 5 launches this Fall, but the ECG monitor will not. We’ll update you when we hear back from Fitbit as to when the ECG monitor will be available for use.

Alongside the launch of the Charge 5, Fitbit is adding 25 new high-energy workouts from Les Mills to Fitbit Premium. All 25 workouts are available for all Premium subscribers today. Arriving next month, Fitbit is also adding 30 pieces of content from Calm, which will be available in seven languages. Calm can be a pricey platform on its own ($70 a year or $400 for life), so if you’re a Calm fan, this might be a cheaper way to gain access to the service.

Fitbit Charge 5 vs Charge 4: What’s the difference?

The Fitbit Charge 5 is the direct successor to the Charge 4, so as you can imagine, the two trackers share many features.

They both feature 20 exercise-tracking modes and offer automatic activity recognition for a select few workouts. They both offer standalone GPS and connected GPS, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and offer alerts when they sense your heart rate is too high or too low at any point throughout the day.

Both devices offer Fitbit’s robust suite of sleep tracking features as well. They’ll track your sleep stages throughout the night and give you a sleep score in the morning based on how well you slept.

What are some good Fitbit Charge 5 alternatives?

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Left to right: Xiaomi Mi Band 6, Huawei Band 6

Not keen on the latest from Fitbit? Luckily, there are plenty of Fitbit Charge 5 alternatives worth considering.

  • Fitbit Charge 4: The Fitbit Charge 4 has many of the same features as the Charge 5, although the grayscale OLED is a pretty big downgrade. However, since it’s last year’s tracker, it can regularly be found on sale.
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 6: Looking for something a little cheaper? The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is our current pick for the best cheap fitness tracker you can buy. It has fantastic battery life, an accurate heart rate sensor,  and a big, colorful display — all at a fraction of the price of the Charge 5.
  • Huawei Band 6: The Huawei Band 6 has a big, bright display, plenty of sport-tracking modes, and all-day SpO2 monitoring, which is something not found too often at this price point.

Where to buy the Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5

Same form factor, way better display

The Fitbit Charge 5 is a major update from its predecessor. Not only does it have a color AMOLED display, it's the first tracker to come with Fitbit's Daily Readiness Score — a feature that aims to predict how much activity or rest you should take on for the day.

$179.95 at Amazon$179.95 at Fitbit$179.95 at Best Buy

The Fitbit Charge 5 is available for pre-order in the United States for $179.95 from and other retailers. Fitbit has not provided an exact release date, aside from the fact that the device will launch in North America in late September and worldwide “this Fall.”

The sub $200 price point sounds like a fair deal for the Fitbit Charge 5, but it’s a notable price hike from the Charge 4, which debuted in 2020 for $150.

The Charge 5 comes in Blue Steel/Platinum, Black/Graphite, and Lunar White/Gold color options. There’s no special edition model this year, so all Fitbit Charge 5s are created equally.

As with all new Fitbits, the company is throwing in a free six-month trial to Fitbit Premium (new users only). After your trial period is up, Fitbit Premium costs $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year.

Top Fitbit Charge 5 questions and answers

Q: When is the Fitbit Charge 5 release date?
A: Fitbit has not clarified an exact Fitbit Charge 5 release date. The company says it will be available in North America in late September and that international availability may vary.

Q: How long does the Fitbit Charge 5 battery last?
A: According to Fitbit, the Charge 5’s battery can last up to seven days on a single charge. Of course, this will depend on your usage.

Q: Is the Fitbit Charge 5 waterproof?
A: The Fitbit Charge 5 has a 5ATM water-resistance rating.

Q: Are the Fitbit Charge 5 bands interchangeable? 
A: Yes, you can swap out your Fitbit Charge 5 bands for first- or third-party bands of all kinds.

Q: Is the Fitbit Charge 5 compatible with iPhones?
A: Yes, the Fitbit Charge 5 is compatible with iPhones. However, you’ll get the best experience by pairing it to an Android phone.

Q: Does the Fitbit Charge 5 have GPS?
A: Yes, the Fitbit Charge 5 has standalone GPS as well as connected GPS.

Q: Can the Fitbit Charge 5 be used for swimming?
A: Yes, the Fitbit Charge 5 can track various swimming exercises.

Q: Can the Fitbit Charge 5 detect atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
A: Yes, the Fitbit Charge 5 can detect potential early warning signs of AFib using its ECG sensor. However, the ECG feature won’t be available at launch.

Q: Can the Fitbit Charge 5 play music?
A: The Fitbit Charge 5 can control music playing on your connected smartphone, though it does not support onboard music storage.

Help other readers out

FeaturesFitbit, fitness trackers, Wearables

Fitbit Charge 5 In-Depth Review: 9 New Things to Know

New Fitbit Charge 5 gets ECG and new design in supercharged update

Update: Our Fitbit Charge 5 review is now live. Check out our definitive verdict.

The Fitbit Charge 5 is official, and is the biggest update to Fitbit’s flagship fitness tracker range since heart rate was introduced back in 2015.

The Charge 5 brings across Fitbit’s most advanced features from its Sense smartwatch, and packs them into a radically overhauled device, that’s a huge visual step up from the Charge 4.

It cements the fitness tracker as Fitbit’s flagship form factor – albeit one that blurs the lines between smartwatches and activity bands.

And at $179/£169 it undercuts the Fitbit Sense by almost half. Read on for everything you need to know.

Fitbit Charge 5 specs, features, price:

  • AMOLED display
  • Stainless steel case (black, silver, gold)
  • GPS
  • Heart rate and SpO2
  • Stress management
  • EDA sensor
  • ECG
  • 20 workout modes
  • 7 day battery life
  • Sleep tracking
  • 28g
  • 36.7mm L x 22.7mm W x 11.2mm D
  • Price: £169.99

Fitbit Charge 5 – all new design

Fitbit Charge 5 – all new design

As expected, Fitbit as totally overhauled the design of the Charge 5 – taking cues from the new Fitbit Luxe launched earlier in 2021.

There’s a stainless steel case with a vibrant AMOLED display, that fixes our main gripe about the appearance of the Charge 4. We found the dim, monochrome display to be out of step with rival bands from Xiaomi and Samsung, and lacking a premium feel.

The Charge 5 screen size is 11% bigger than the Charge 4, and the device itself is 1mm longer but over 1mm thinner.

  • Charge 5 screen size: 0.86” X 0.58” (21.93mm x 14.75mm)
  • Screen resolution is 326 PPI (pixels per sq inch)
  • Band Sizes: Fits wrists 130-170mm or 170-210mm

The display is always-on for the first time, so there won’t be any dead, black areas on the wrist. And it retains the 7 day battery life of the Charge 4, according to Fitbit, although using the always-on display will shorten that.

It’s set to come in platinum (silver), gold and black as standard – so there’s a unisex feel to the Charge 5 that was less apparent on the Luxe. There's also a host of band option, too.

Fitbit Charge 5 – supercharged sensors

Fitbit Charge 5 – supercharged sensors

The Charge range has always showcased the most advanced features of the Fitbit range – but has lagged the Fitbit Sense health watch since its launch in 2020.

But Fitbit has taken us by surprise, by adding all the top features from its flagship range, and putting them into the fitness tracker form factor.

That means there’s an ECG sensor for detection of abnormal heart rate rhythms, which will produce a PDF graph of your heartbeat which can be shown to your doctor. The ECG feature won't be available at launch – although it will arrive shortly after, according to Fitbit.

The electrodermal activity sensor (EDA) also makes it across, which can detect stress responses from sweat on your palm – and works in addition to the stress management score rolled out across the Fitbit range.

That’s on top of the GPS, skin temperature and SpO2 sensors found on the Charge 4.

The Charge 5 also retains 20 workout tracking profiles, autodetection of exercise and all the advanced sleep detection, high/low heart rate notifications you’d expect from a Fitbit device.

Daily Readiness score

Daily Readiness score

And the changes aren’t just hardware-related.

With the Fitbit Charge 5 comes the Daily Readiness score, which will roll out across Fitbit devices in the Dashboard.

This new score looks at how ready you are to train, and is aimed at those who want to push themselves.

Like the Stress Management and Sleep scores, the Daily Readiness score is built from three data points: activity/exertion, sleep duration and quality, and heart rate variability (HRV) which is monitored during deep sleep. A personal baseline is created, which changes as you get fitter.

Based on this score, the Charge 5 will suggest when to workout, and at what intensity.

It will offer personalized recommended workouts from the library within Fitbit Premium, which could be a lung-busting HIIT class when your body is prepped and ready to go, or some active recovery or even mindfulness.

The approach is reminiscent of the Whoop Strap 3.0, which scores Recovery and Strain to tell you when to train. While that is aimed at serious athletes, Fitbit's interpretation seems more of an everyday version.

Fitbit Charge 5 – release date and price

Fitbit Charge 5 – release date and price

The Fitbit Charge 5 has increased in price with all these additions, to £169 up from £129. It will be available for pre-order from today, and will ship "this Fall" according to Fitbit.

That’s unsurprising given that the Fitbit Luxe entered at the same price as Charge 4, and its feature-set pales in comparison to the Charge 5.

It also somewhat undermines the $299 Fitbit Sense health watch – and again shows that Fitbit’s heart and soul is the fitness band. We touched on this with CTO Eric Friedman in an interview earlier this year, and he said that:

“We've got some trackers that actually run apps, and so are those trackers or smartwatches? I think you're gonna see an increasingly blurring between those two categories,” said Friedman.

With Fitbit the driving force behind Google's smartwatch efforts, it seems the company is putting its weight behind fitness bands. And this is a serious statement.

FitbitFitness trackersHealth and wellbeing


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