Before getting down to business, I have to admit to some borderline obsessive geek-like tendencies when it comes to compiling information and tracking progress. So the opportunity to test drive the Fitbit Charge 3 was met with more than a small amount of anticipation.
Truth is, I’ve been itching to get my hands on it for a while, purely to check out the swim tracking capabilities, which has always been a slight niggle for me with previous models not being waterproof enough to take into the pool.
First up, the Fitbit Charge 3 is mighty comfy. I’m not a fan of sleeping with anything on my wrist, finding it annoying and uncomfortable. So I wasn’t expecting much success when it came to wearing the Fitbit to bed to test-drive the sleep tracker. To my delight I didn’t even notice the watch – it’s super lightweight and extremely comfy. So top marks for that.
Tracking my sleep has never really interested me. I often work late into the night and know I should get more sleep. But for some reason, seeing all the data right there in front of me has motivated me to change my habits. In fact, to my surprise, out of all the whiz bang wizardry the Fitbit Charge 3 offers, for some reason it is the sleep tracker that I’m most fascinated by. It tracks not only the amount you sleep (or don’t) but also shows how much time is spent in each stage of sleep (REM, light and deep sleep), as well as any periods of awake. The data display can be viewed by graph. It’s pretty fascinating and the first thing I now check out each morning.
As expected, the fitness tracking component is comprehensive, with steps taken, minutes exercised, heart rate, weight, etc as well as water and calorie intake. It’s all geared towards improving overall wellbeing, but truth is it offers a quick insight and some accountability to your daily habits.
Other useful extras are the hourly activity tracker – ideal for those who spend a large portion of the day at their desks. This can be set to vibrate on your wrist to remind you to get up and move each hour.
The female health tracker allows you to track your fertile window and symptoms like cramps and headaches.
Fitbit Coach offers personalised video workouts that evolve based on your progress and feedback, as well as audio coaching sessions to improve endurance, speed and form. There are stair workouts, home workouts, and plenty of options for those wanting some guidelines to follow. Your stats and data are used to personalise the workouts.
If you’ve worn a Fitbit or smartwatch before, you’ll appreciate the simple sleek design, with watch straps that are simple to swap out. The screen is bigger and brighter than previous models and simple to scroll through the various options. Just tap and swipe to see your stats and progress, read texts and alerts.
Being waterproof to 50 metres is a huge bonus – no more removing your Fitbit for a bath or shower, and now you can track your swimming progress also. Able to record the time you spent swimming, it’s not automatically set up to track strokes or laps which is a shame.
However the entire package is extremely user friendly and a definite motivator if you’re goal and results driven. Plus it only needs to be charged once a week – bonus.