Fitbit Charge 3: Everything you need to know

Fitbit's latest update brings 'Quick Replies' feature to the Charge 3

fitbit charge 3 news

Fitbit confirmed its newest wearable, the Fitbit Charge 3, in August — and it’s now available for purchase worldwide. As the successor to the Fitbit Charge 2, the new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features, and more.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Fitbit Charge 3.  You can check out our Fitbit Charge 3 hands-on for a more in-depth look at the smartwatch.

Smartwatch capabilities

fitbit charge 3 news

With the Charge 3, you’re able to receive smartphone app notifications to your device from apps like Facebook, Uber, and more. In the latest Fitbit update, Android users can now send quick replies, by tapping the “reply” option underneath the text message. Quick replies allow users to send up to five custom or pre-populated replies that are 60 characters or fewers. As for iPhone users, Apple has a closed ecosystem so users will only be able to view text messages but won’t be able to send replies. Overall, the Charge 3 is compatible with Android and iOS devices. Windows compatibility is coming soon. You can also now accept or reject calls straight from the device.

The Charge 3 also includes built-in apps like Alarms, Timer, and Weather. In a future update, you’ll have the Fitbit Leaderboard and Calendar available on the device as well. You can access all of your notifications by simply swiping down on the display.

Fitbit says a select number of popular brand apps will also be added to the device in the future. The company is remaining tight-lipped on exactly which ones that’ll be. But in the past, on the Versa and Ionic, we’ve seen apps like Starbucks, Hue Lights, and Strava.

The Charge 3 also includes built-in apps like Alarms, Timer, and Weather. In a future update, you’ll have the Fitbit Leaderboard and Calendar available on the device as well.

If you have the Special Edition Charge 3 (which is now available for purchase), the built-in NFC chip allows you to make contactless payments using Fitbit Pay.

Health and fitness features

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Fitbit says its Charge 3 delivers “the most advanced health and fitness features found on a Fitbit tracker to date.”

For starters, there are goal-based exercise modes — this allows users to choose from over 15 exercise modes like biking, swimming, running, and yoga. You can then set a goal for the number of calories you want to burn or the distance you want to complete. Once you reach your goal, your Charge 3 will vibrate to let you know.

As mentioned before, the Charge 3 is swim-proof. With its new Swim Mode, you can track your duration in real time and then refer to your Fitbit app to check out your laps and pace. It will also recognize the workout via the SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition technology.

The Fitbit Charge 3 includes connected GPS, so you will have to stay tethered to your smartphone in order to track your runs. A new feature on the Charge 3 — that will be available in an update later this fall — is Run Detect, which automatically pauses and stops. So, if you have to stop and wait at a streetlight during your run, the Charge 3 will be able to recognize that and pause the workout. Once you begin running, it starts back up again without having to manually do it. Swiping up on the display of Charge 3 brings you to your personal on-device dashboard. That’s where you can find daily activity stats like the number of calories burned or steps taken. In the latest update, Charge 3 users can also now add weight and exercise tiles to the on-device dashboard as well.

With the Versa, Fitbit introduced its female health tracking feature. With the Fitbit app, women can log their periods, record symptoms, and receive push notifications prior to the predicted period start date. As with the Versa, the Charge 3 will soon allow its users to also add female health tracking to the on-device dashboard in order to easily reference straight from the device.

Fitbit is also launching the beta version of its Sleep Score program. Using the SpO2 sensor and 24/7 PurePlus heart rate tracking, the Charge 3 will help users understand their sleep patterns better. The program will provide users with a score to help give you a better idea of your sleep quality and what factors can affect it. The beta will be available for the Ionic and Versa as well since both devices have the SpO2 sensor. Fitbit says it will test the tracking of breathing disruptions, which includes allergies, asthma, or sleep apnea.

Fitbit will open up enrollment for the Sleep Score beta program starting next month. It will only be available for a limited time to qualifying users in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. For more information on the program, you can visit Fitbit’s site.

To help keep you motivated, Fitbit says is also launching personalized insights in a future update, which will be available via the Fitbit app. The feature will provide positive reinforcement and tips to keep you on track whenever needed.

Price and availability

The Fitbit Charge 3 costs $150 and is available in two color combinations — a black silicone watch band with a graphite aluminum case or a blue-gray silicone watch band with a rose gold aluminum case. If you’re willing to spend more, the Special Edition Fitbit Charge 3, which has built-in NFC features, is $170. Your options are a white silicone sports band with a graphite aluminum case or a lavender woven fabric band with a rose gold aluminum case. Each Special Edition Charge 3 also comes with an additional classic black silicone band.

Since wristbands on the Charge 3 are interchangeable, there is also a variety of additional band options. Classic bands in black and blue and gray will cost you $30 and, for the same price, you can also get the silicone sports band that comes in black, berry, navy, and scarlet. Woven bands are available in charcoal and periwinkle for $40. The $50 Horween leather bands are the priciest and come in midnight blue and plum.

You can purchase the Charge 3 via Fitbit’s website, as well as other retailers — including Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Macy’s, Walmart, Verizon, and Kohl’s.

Design and display

The Fitbit Charge 3 features an aerospace aluminum case and should provide for a comfortable fit for both men and women. Fitbit has done away with the tap responsive display included on the Charge 2, replacing it with a touchscreen OLED with a 40 percent larger display area than its predecessor. While you can now swipe through menu options rather than tap, an inductive button on the side can easily bring you back to the home screen each time.

As for durability, the Charge 3’s display is made of Gorilla Glass, so it’ll most likely be able to withstand intense workouts. It’s also water-resistant up to 50m, like some Fitbits before it, allowing you the freedom to wear it during those laps in the pool.

Beyond Fitbit’s PurePulse heart-rate-tracking technology, the Charge 3 also includes its SPO2 sensor. The sensor was featured in the Versa and Ionic, but this is the first time Fitbit has built it into a tracker. The SPO2 sensor can estimate changes in blood oxygen levels and help detect health issues like sleep apnea. This time around, it houses a 71 mAh battery that can last you seven days, compared to five days with the Charge 2. But of course, that’s all dependent on your usage.

Special Edition Fitbit Charge 3

As with the Fitbit Versa, there is also a Special Edition version of the Charge 3. The main difference is that the Special Edition version includes an NFC chip, allowing users to make wireless payments using Fitbit Pay. The Special Edition version also comes with different case designs and watch band combinations (see above).

Updated on November 5, 2018: New Fitbit update brings Quick Replies for Android users along with the ability to accept and reject calls. Users can also now add weight, hydration, and exercise tiles to the personal on-device dashboard

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