The Fitbit Charge 5 is a powerful fitness tracker that picks and combines the best features from all other Fitbit devices. It has the built-in GPS of Fitbit Versa 3, the slim design and bright AMOLED display of Fitbit Luxe, and the stress-tracking app of Fitbit Sense.
It's a huge improvement over the Charge 4, and if you're starting to get serious about your workouts (whether it's running, working out at the gym, or a combination), it's a great choice. Its heart rate monitoring is particularly impressive, making it a good choice for anyone interested in HIIT or spinning.
When you're not working out, you get smartphone notifications that can be read, opened on your phone, or dismissed with a simple tap, plus convenient call alerts so nothing important ends up going to voicemail. There's contactless payments via Fitbit Pay, and you'll get regular reminders to get up, stretch, and reflect on the previous day's accomplishments.
- Fitbit Charge 5 (Gold) at Amazon for €99.95 (opens in a new tab)
Autonomy of 7 days
1,04-inch always-on display
Integrated GPS + GLONASS
Red and infrared sensors to monitor oxygen saturation (SpO2)
skin temperature sensor
Ambient light sensor
Radio transceiver: Bluetooth
Versatile electrical sensors compatible with ECG app and EDA Scan app
(Image credit: future)
However, it is not entirely perfect. The Daily Fitness Score (which will allow Fitbit Premium users to see their energy levels each morning and plan their day accordingly) was not available at launch, nor was the ECG app, which will allow users to check for signs of cardiac arrhythmia that should be examined. by a doctor These issues have now been fixed, so you can get a Fitbit with your free six-month trial of Fitbit Premium and take full advantage of these features.
We really like the daily readiness score, which is similar to Garmin's new workout readiness feature. It's very simple: a low readiness reading would be below 30, indicating that you should postpone your planned workout. A high readiness score of 70+ tells you that you are ready for a tough workout.
The biggest drawback to the Charge 5 is that it doesn't offer any music playback features. We're not surprised that the watch doesn't have built-in storage for our tunes, but there's no way to control your music at all. It's a shame, as the Charge 4 allowed users to control their Spotify playlist during workouts. Hopefully a future update will add a music app to the Charge 5's impressive set of features. Still, it's one of the best Fitbits around.
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Fitbit Charge 5 price and release date
- Posted in September 2021
- It costs more than Charge 4
- Includes Fitbit Premium trial
The Fitbit Luxe was introduced in September 2021 and went on sale a few weeks later. It costs €179.95 / £169.99 / AU$269.95, which is slightly above 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 typically costs $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$14.99 per month.
- The same elegant design as its predecessors.
- No physical buttons
- Crisp and bright screen
The Fitbit Charge 5 follows the same organic industrial design language as the Sense, Versa 3, and Inspire 2, with smooth "human-inspired" lines and soft colors. That's a big difference 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 casing, which replaces the plastic casing of the Charge 4. It comes in three colors: 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 to improve breathability during sport.
The Fitbit Charge 5's display is a big upgrade from the Charge 4's monochrome display (Image credit: Future)
These are big changes, but the most notable update to the Charge 5 is its display. Instead of the monochrome pixel memory display of the Charge 4, the new watch has a color AMOLED screen, like the one on 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 it unnecessary in everyday use; unlike some fitness trackers we tested, the Charge 5's screen reliably woke up whenever we raised our wrist to check the time.
The Fitbit Charge 5 has no physical buttons, but there is an oval sensor on each side of the case for the ECG and EDA apps on the watch. On the back of the watch you will find the usual optical heart rate sensor, as well as the contacts for the charger. It's identical to the charger the Fitbit Luxe uses and attaches magnetically to the Charge 5. Unfortunately for Macbook users, it uses a USB-A cable.
The Fitbit Charge 5 has a magnetic charger with a USB-A cable (Image credit: Future)
- easy to read notifications
- Comfortable and attractive to wear.
- No musical tool is a handicap.
A fitness tracker works best when worn every day, allowing you to create a complete picture of your health, sleep, and activity patterns, and Fitbit pretty much nailed the formula. Not only is the Charge 5 comfortable to wear and much more attractive than the Charge 4, it's also more useful, giving you plenty of reasons to strap it down every morning.
The higher resolution color screen 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 reject incoming calls with a quick tap on the screen - the interface is simple and intuitive.
We also liked that the menstrual cycle tracker was easily accessible rather than hidden under a series of submenus.
Like the Charge 4, the Charge 5 offers contactless payments via Fitbit Pay. This is well supported in the US, where it works with dozens of banks, but fewer in the rest of the world. In the UK, for example, Google and Apple payment services are the two big players.
Unlike the Charge 4, however, the Charge 5 doesn't offer any musical tools. We wouldn't expect such a compact device to offer storage for offline music playback, but the Charge 4 lets you control your Spotify playlist from your wrist, which was a great feature for those who like to exercise. We would have liked to at least be able to control our phone's default music player - pausing and skipping between tracks like you can with devices like the Garmin Lily.
We found the Charge 5 lasted about six days between charges with daily use and sleep tracking, though battery life is significantly reduced if you opt to use the display's always-on mode or heavy use of GPS.
- Good choice of training modes.
- Excellent heart rate tracking
- Reliable onboard GPS
The Fitbit Charge 5 can track 20 types of workouts, which is an impressive range. Plenty of other devices claim to track 100 or more, but those numbers are inflated by modes that work exactly the same, tracking heart rate and time, but under different names.
The Charge 5 menu can display five training modes at once. To change them, you'll need to go to the Fitbit mobile app, open your device's settings, and adjust your settings there. You can also change the order in which the different types of training appear, so your favorite activity is easier to find.
The Charge 5 encourages you to complete five workouts per week (Image credit: Future)
To start tracking, swipe left twice, swipe up and down to choose an activity, then tap the screen once to start. Tapping the screen in the middle of your workout will let you switch between stats like calories burned and distance traveled, and double tapping will pause tracking. It's unlikely you'll accidentally cancel an activity midway through, which is sometimes a problem 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, it worked just fine; It proved much more accurate than the Charge 4, which sometimes recorded activities like an elliptical workout 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 other fitness trackers in recent years.
We were impressed with the accuracy of the Fitbit Charge 5's optical heart rate sensor, especially during intense spin sessions (Image credit: Future)
As with the Fitbit Luxe, we were very impressed with the accuracy of the Charge 5's heart rate monitoring during workouts. The watch notifies you with a slight buzz as you move between heart rate zones, and while it didn't pick up changes as quickly as a chest strap heart rate monitor, the difference was minimal.
GPS recordings weren't 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 don't intend to shave seconds off your run times It will be less of a problem.
It's a shame you can't see more workout stats on the screen after you've completed it. You can view your session duration, calorie count, and stats like laps completed (if available), but for more detailed data, you'll need to dive into the smartphone app.
You'll only see a very limited amount of data on the Charge 5's screen after completing a workout, but diving into the Fitbit mobile app reveals a lot of useful data (Image credit: Future)
When Fitbit announced the Fitbit Charge 5 in September 2021, the company also revealed a new feature for Fitbit Premium users that will help you manage your energy levels and plan your…