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Fitbit Charge 5 Review - AMOLED display, rich in health monitoring features

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Fitbit Charge 5 is the company's first wearable with an always-on display an ECG, and stress response sensors.
Meet Fitbit Charge 5
Meet Fitbit Charge 5

Now in its fifth generation, Fitbit's Charge lineup finally has showcased an AMOLED color touch screen and a metal case. These upgrades certainly made the Charge 5 stylish and classy-looking, something you will want to wear.

Its predecessor Charge 4 comes with Active Zone Minutes, SpO2 oxygen saturation, and on-watch sleep scores. But then, this one is packed with so much more health monitoring features.

If you're curious about how did this fitness tracker perform, check our full review below:

Unboxing/Accessories

Unboxed

The Fitbit Charge 5 comes in a grayish and lightweight box. You'll notice the feature highlights on the side and other information regarding the device.

Inside, the tracker, its magnetic charging cradle, and an extra-long strap are placed neatly along with the paper documents. It's a good thing that the company had considered the needs of its customers, especially those who have thick wrists.

Build Quality/Design

Charging pins and sensors located at the back
Charging pins and sensors located at the back

For me, one of the great things about this tracker is its physical design. Unlike its predecessor, Fitbit completely removed the capacitive button so it's fully touched operated. As a result, it looks slimmer. 

For others, this may be an issue since they have to swipe more than once just to get back on the home screen. But I swear, it's easy to get used to.

Just by look and feel, the Charge 5 feels more premium because of its aluminum case. Note that the stainless steel sides of the case also work as electrodermal activity (EDA) sensors but we'll get to that later.

Underneath the case, you can see its charging pins and an array of sensors. The loop-style silicone band attached to it is flexible and comfy and seems can endure wear and tear due to everyday use.

I also love that the whole build of the band is thin and lightweight that it's comfortable to wear even while I'm typing and even sleeping. It's also nice that the material is skin-friendly so issue even I wore it during sweaty workouts.
The watch's body is in Soft Gold Stainless Steel with a Lunar White Band
The watch's body is in Soft Gold Stainless Steel with a Lunar White Band

The Charge 5 is available in three color themes: Graphite Stainless Steel with a Black band, Soft Gold Stainless Steel with a Lunar White Band, and Platinum Stainless Steel with a Steel Blue band.

Versatile design and colors so it can be worn on either formal or casual occasions

The unit that the company provided us is Soft Gold Stainless Steel with a Lunar White Band. If you'll notice, the band's color is not really off-white but in cream. Combining it with the soft gold metal gives it a luxurious and elegant appeal.

Display Quality

1.04-inch color AMOLED touchscreen
1.04-inch color AMOLED touchscreen

Beyond its eye-catching new design, the Charge 5's new screen is pretty noticeable. According to the company, the 1.04-inch color AMOLED touchscreen on the Charge 5 is two times brighter than the monochrome display on the Charge 4.

Yes, it's able to convey a lot of information at a glance not only due to the bigger screen size but also its use of colors. Even at its normal (default) brightness setting, the OLED display is quite readable.
Bright colors on the display
Bright colors on the display

There's no issue even when I was using it under direct sunlight during my morning run. In fact, I had to activate the dim setting since it's too bright at night, whenever I peek at the screen to check the time.

You can also enable the always-on display if you want, but we won't suggest that if you want to maximize the battery life. Personally, I prefer turning on the raise to wake function so no there would be no need to tap the display.

There’s an always-on option on the Charge 5, but I advise against turning it on–activating this option would drastically decrease battery life. 

I'm not sure about its number of touchpoints, but it is very responsive. Swiping from left to right as well as up or down is hassle-free.

Battery Life

Able to last for 7 days before charge
Able to last for 7 days before charge

How long its battery lasts entirely depends on the Charge's 5 display settings and your intensity of usage. For normal brightness of the display with light usage including notifications, step tracking, sleep monitoring, I was able to stretch the battery for 7 days. 

I also tried setting more alarms and adding a daily 30-minute to an hour of workout with GPS, the watch's battery was able to last for 5 days. Charging the device is pretty easy, you'll just have to attach the back of the tracker to the magnetic charging cradle. It takes about an hour to be 100 percent full from flat so that's pretty much acceptable.

Performance

Fitbit App

Setting up this wearable is quite simple. Like the brand's other products, you need to sync the Charge 5 with your phone via the Fitbit app. First, charge your device by connecting it to the cable. The good thing is the Charge 5 pairs both with Android and iOS devices.

Next, create or log in to your Fitbit account and connect your tracker. After that, your tracker automatically syncs with the Fitbit app on your phone. The app will display your complete health and fitness data in the app.

The Fitbit Charge 5 is a fitness tracker, so needless to say, it has a ton of fitness features. It also tracks your steps, sleep, and stress, and has onboard GPS for any distance-based workouts.
Types of workout
Types of workout

Speaking of workouts, the Fitbit Charge 5 has a wide selection of fitness-related activities or exercises. It does not only include the basic ones like running, swimming, walking, biking, and etc but it also offers golf, kickboxing, stair climbing, pilates, and even martial arts! 

However, this tracker only allows you to set 6 kinds of workouts at a time. It may be a bit tedious that you have to edit the selection on the app when you want to try another type of workout that's not active on the tracker.

Of course, I was not able to test every type of workout but I pretty much have used it for walking, running, elliptical, and interval workouts. In each mode, the Charge 5 shows you fixed metrics: your mileage at the top of the screen and how long you’ve been running at the bottom, both pretty standard. 

By tapping on the display, the tracker will be able to change the metrics that are located in the middlemost of the watch's face. You can choose to view either your number of steps taken, date and time, distance covered, number of laps, zone minutes, pace, pace average, heart rate, and calories burned. 

After the workout session, it shows you a summary of these metrics so you can assess yourself if you performed well or poorly.

What I love about the Charge 5 is the ability to auto-detect when I'm performing a specific exercise for 15 minutes or longer. This is useful for me since there are those times that I'm too excited to start my workout session and completely forgot to enable monitoring. 

But the only downside is, this auto-recognition feature is limited to a few types of workouts like walking, running, outdoor biking, elliptical, sports, aerobic workout, and swimming. Hope that the company will add this feature for other workouts as well for convenience.

Moreover, the company also introduced Active Zone Minutes that are primarily based on the user's heart rate. Allegedly, seeing the Active Zone Minutes is good if you want to meet guidelines of the World Health Organization, the American Heart Association, and various global bodies that recommend 150 minutes or 75 vigorous minutes of exercise per week.

It dutifully reminds me to move around from time to time

In terms of sleep monitoring, this tracker provides an accurate and detailed analysis of my sleep for the previous nights. The user interface of the app makes it so easy to see my sleep score at a glance. Upon clicking, you'll see the factors affecting the sleep score such as length or how many hours,  deep and RENm, and sleeping heart rate.

Packed with advanced health-related features

I think that this is a pretty useful feature, for someone like me who is trying to establish to get a good night's sleep. In this way, I'll know if my methods or routines before sleeping works. You can also set a bedtime reminder so that you can relax and put your gadgets away.

In addition to this, the Fitbit Charge 5 has an optical heart rate monitor and a Spo2 sensor. Since I do a lot of cardio exercises, this wearable can indicate if my routine elevates my heart rate and warns if it's too high. 

Meanwhile, the Spo2 monitoring shows the percentage of oxygen in someone's blood. The normal level of oxygen is usually 95 percent or higher.
EDA Scan
EDA Scan

The EDA sensor, on the other hand, detects tiny electrical changes called electrodermal activity (EDA) or galvanic skin responses on your skin. Basically, it measures your body's response to stress. To do this, just pinch your fingers around Charge 5 to get feedback.
Menstrual health tracking
Menstrual health tracking

Lastly, ladies will definitely appreciate the menstrual health cycle on the app. Note that this feature is intended only to help users monitor and keep track of certain information. However, it may not accurately predict your menstrual cycles or your ovulation days.

Other features
Notficiations
Notficiations

The Fitbit Charge 5 contains multiple features which may help users in their day-to-day activities. However, I find it lacking necessary features like playlist control, camera controls, and find my device. I personally believe a tracker or a smartwatch must have these functionalities, especially if it's priced steeply.
It also has smart wake
It also has smart wake

However, it pretty much covered the basics such as stopwatch, timer, notifications, and alarms, and a smart wake. It got a few extra features that may be helpful, depending on the user or certain situations.

This Charge 5 is one of the Fitbit wearables which comes with a water lock mode. The best thing about water lock mode is that it shields your device from accidental button presses and touches on its display. You can activate this so that you can still track your activity even if you are in the water.

The Do Not Disturb feature mutes all calls, alerts, and notifications on your mobile device. You have the option of customizing which notifications, alerts, or calls you wish to have to go through when the Do Not Disturb option is selected.

Pros - bright and vivid display, classy and versatile design, premium build, with GPS, detailed health analytics, auto-detect in workouts, comfortable fit 
Cons - lacks music control, no phone finder, underwhelming battery life, pricey

Fitbit Charge 5 Specs

Display: 1.04 inches  AMOLED Touchscreen with AOD and Corning Gorilla Glass
Battery: 7 days
OS: Works for Android 8.0 or higher and iOS 12.2 or higher
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, Built-in GPS + GLONASS, Red, and infrared sensors for oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, EDA sensor, heart rate sensor, light sensor 
Others: IP68 water and dust resistance up to 50 meters, Colors: Black Graphite, Steel Blue, Lunar White
Dimensions: 256 x 36.5 x 11.8 mm
Weight: 28 g
Price: PHP 12,490

Verdict

Superb fitness tracker
Superb fitness tracker

Overall, the Fitbit Charge 5 is still a superb investment choice if you're trying to improve your health. Compared to its predecessor, the build and design of this tracker are way more classy and premium-looking. 

You can also consider that its AMOLED display is clear and got vivid colors since other trackers rarely have that. It's nice reading the notifications and health stats on a bright screen for a change. 

The battery life of this one might be a turn-off for some but if you are keen on fitness and health monitoring features, this one got an edge. It's like a coach who users to stay motivated to meet your workout goals, get to bed earlier, and incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. 

Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 4.5
Battery Life - 3.75
Performance - 4.25
Average - 4.188/5
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