Fitbit Charge 5

Charge your engines

₹ 14,999

A fitness wearable has quickly become as important as the workout itself and your diet thereafter. Having one on your wrists gives you access to important data that helps on your fitness journey. 
Very few do fitness wearables as good as Fitbit, and it wants to continue that tradition with the new Charge 5. 

Design and display: Look, no buttons

Right out of the box, you will notice a big upgrade in design. The Charge 5 is sleeker, sportier, and feels more premium when compared to the Charge 4. The straps too have got a bump in quality, and even when worn all day, the soft material doesn’t feel too harsh on the skin.
Among the biggest updates is the display. It’s a curvier and gorgeous AMOLED colour screen. It’s a welcome upgrade, and everything from text to the numbers look sharp even under direct sunlight. The watch faces look so much better on the new screen, and there are quite a few to choose from on the app.

There’s also an always-on mode, which dims the display so you can view the watch face all the time. But the downside is that it has a notable impact on the battery life. Almost immediately we reverted to the raise to wake gesture, which is reliable. 
Fitbit also decided to drop the capacitive button in favour of a full touch experience, and honestly we aren’t a huge fan of that decision. The UI doesn’t seem to be properly optimised, and we noticed a lag when swiping through the screens. The touch interface is also quite frustrating when you want to quickly glance at your stats in the middle of a workout.

Performance: Ready or not

Being a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 5 will be judged by how well it can help you on your fitness journey, and to a large extent it succeeds. When it comes to counting steps, and monitoring sleep and calories burnt, Fitbits are right up there with the best. And so is the Charge 5.
But Fitbit is going a bit further this time by collating data and telling you if your body is ready to workout. The Daily Readiness Score, which sounds a lot like a wife’s approval nod before heading out on a date, looks at your exercise data, heart-rate variability and sleep to tell you what kind of activities your body is ready for. While it sounds useful, the data is not always accurate and will need a bit more work. 
You will however need to subscribe to Fitbit Premium to access the Daily Readiness Score as well as deeper insights into your other fitness data. Additionally, the Premium service also offers on-demand guided workouts, over 200 mindful sessions, healthy recipes, and more. You get six months free subscription with the Charge 5, and it will then cost you ₹83.25 per month or ₹999 per year. It is as much as an OTT service, and it remains to be seen how many actually opt to pay for this.

Then there’s the new EDA scanning, which measures your body’s response to stress through tiny changes in the sweat glands on your fingers. It takes about three minutes to scan, and is said to help reduce stress in the long run. 
Unlike smartwatches, you won’t have to charge the Fitbit every night, unless you use fitness tracking and the always-on display at the same time. With a more judicious usage, the battery can easily last up to five days before you need to connect it to a charger.

Verdict: Should you buy?

It’s difficult to outright recommend the Fitbit Charge 5, mainly because of the premium price tag. There are way too many fitness bands and smartwatches available in the market, and you’ll need to be really crazy about fitness to justify paying almost ₹15,000 for a fitness band. 
But if you’re one of those who lives and breathes healthy stuff, then the Fitbit Charge 5 is an apt companion. The band’s ability to track things beyond steps and calories is a huge plus when every calorie intake and your body’s condition matters.

Stuff Says

A premium no-nonsense fitness tracker for the fitness conscious.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. A worthy screen upgrade

  1. Comfortable to wear all day

  1. Solid tracking capabilities

  1. On the expensive side

  1. Physical buttons are a big miss

  1. Useful data hidden behind Fitbit Premium

Screen: 1.04in AMOLED
Battery life: Up to seven days
Water resistance: 50m
Sensors: ECG, SpO2, ambient light, optical heart rate
Compatibility: Android, iOS