Written by Bob

Expert review of the Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge 3 is the successor to the popular Fitbit Charge 2. This activity tracker has been improved in a number of areas. The screen is a bit bigger and you can also use the Fitbit in the water. For this Fitbit Charge 3 review, I tested the Fitbit for you for a week.

Fitbit Charge 3

Measures heart rate and sleep | Integrated GPS for route registration | Displays smartphone notifications
no longer available
  • The screen is larger, but the activity tracker itself is lighter than the Charge 2.
  • The battery lasts up to 7 days.
  • The Charge 3 automatically recognizes workouts.
  • View all your statistics, such as your sleeping pattern, in the Fitbit App.
  • The Charge 3 has no GPS; you need your smartphone for this.

What's new?

Fitbit Charge 3 waterproof

There are a number of differences between the Charge 3 and Charge 2, with the 40% larger screen being the main eyecatcher. The brightness has also increased, so reading information is just a little easier. Thanks to the touchscreen, you can swipe through the menus. The battery of the Charge 3 lasts for 7 days; in the week that I tested it, I didn't need to charge the Charge 3 once. Finally, the Charge 3 is waterproof and you can also measure your swimming activities.

Around your wrist

Fitbit Charge 3 buttons

The screen is larger, but the Charge 3 itself is actually 20% lighter than the Charge 2, because it contains a lot of aluminum. The design is also quite slim, so you hardly feel the Fitbit on your wrist. I wanted to keep it on at night to measure my sleeping behavior, and that wasn't bothersome at all. The touchscreen is a nice addition, but you still need the button on the left to go back to a previous menu. These controls take some getting used to, especially in the beginning.

Measure distances, steps, and stairs

Fitbit Charge 3 stairs

Perhaps the biggest downside: the Fitbit Charge 3 has no built-in GPS. It's possible via your smartphone. So you always need to have your phone with you to accurately measure your distance. Otherwise, the Charge 3 could be a kilometer off after a run. Counting steps and measuring your heart rate is fine, just like keeping track of the number of calories you burn. Counting stairs was not so great, since the Charge 3 counted about 10 steps too many every day.

Automatic workouts and notifications

Fitbit Charge 3 workout

The Fitbit also does a lot on its own to encourage you to exercise more. Workouts are automatically recognized, so my daily ride to work by bike automatically ended up with my trainings. You will also receive notifications if, for example, you haven't taken enough steps to reach your goal by a certain time. When I reached 10,000 steps for the first time and a black and white disco ball appeared on my screen, I was as happy as a child.

Statistics and the app

I myself was most impressed by the Fitbit App. Here you can find all your data and how much you moved and when in detail. It's very motivating to see that you're getting closer to the goal of 10,000 steps every day. Reached the goal? Then you can set new goals just as easily. The Charge 3 also keeps track of how long/deep you sleep and how this relates to other people using the app. Very interesting, and I really started trying to get more sleep.

Cooperation with your smartphone

Fitbit Charge 3 smartphone

The Fitbit Charge 3 also has a number of functions that you also see in smartwatches. You can see incoming emails and text messages. You can also send a short, preprogrammed reply to those text messages (think of "Yes", "No", and, oddly enough, the conversation opener "How are you?"). The synchronization between my phone and the Fitbit was unreliable though, as I sometimes didn't receive notifications or not until later.


Would you like to exercise more? The Fitbit Charge 3 makes this easy and encourages you. The activity tracker recognizes workouts, congratulates you when you reach a goal, and offers you the option to check all your data via the app. Due to the lack of GPS you always have to keep your smartphone nearby, so the Charge 3 doesn't replace your smartphone.

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