The Fitbit Charge 5 has been announced, and boy, it looks really, really good.
The Fitbit Charge 4, now showing its age and boasting some of the best Fitbit deals, was still one of Fitbit's most popular devices, combining the top features of the best fitness trackers and smartwatches. The Charge 5 looks to improve on it in every way.
It's 10% thinner (and therefore lighter) than its previous model, but it still packs a hefty seven days of battery life. It contains a vibrant color display protected by Goring Gorilla Glass 3, ambient light sensors to dim and brighten according to your surroundings, and an always-on display.
The Charge range has always packed the best of both worlds – more fitness tools than the slimmer Fitbit Inspire range, but less distractions than the fully-kitted out Fitbit Sense or Versa 3. That's why it's consistently been top of our best Fitbit deals page, one of the most popular buys. All the usual stuff is here: sleep tracking, calorie counting, and access to Fitbit's enormous stable of wrist-mounted workouts – but none of this really explains why we think this is going to make the watch a game-changer?
When the Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense were first announced, much fuss was made over their wrist-mounted electrocardiogram, or ECG, and electrodermal activity sensor, or EDA. The ECG can check your heart's rhythm activity, and EDA is amazing for understanding your stress levels, testing tiny electrical responses on your skin that could indicate rising and falling stress levels.
The Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 both retail around $250. However, the Fitbit Charge 5 is retailing at $179.99, and contains these features in a slimmer-than-ever fitness tracker package. If you don't want a full-on smartwatch and prefer a dedicated fitness experience, the Charge 5 is where the get them.
The EDA contributes towards Fitbit's "stress management score", assigning you a number based on your reading and recommending you some mindfulness or meditation exercises. Likewise, the ECG app can check your heart rate or atrial fibrillation, while the watch packs an in-built GPS.
Previously, you wouldn't get these features on any but the best fitness watch, but now Fitbit Charge 5 has broken that barrier, expect to see this advanced tech filter down to cheaper and cheaper smart bands, raising the level of quality tracking we can expect to see on cheaper devices.
The Fitbit Charge 5 can also take advantage of the new feature's "daily readiness" score, which takes into account your heart rate variability, sleep score and activity, advising whether you go hard on a workout or perform some sort of active recovery. it's compatible with Fitbit Pay, allowing you to scan and pay on your phone, and six months of Fitbit Premium free.
You can pre-order the Fitbit Charge 5 here.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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