Check out the Fitbit Charge 5: Our New Favorite Fitness Tracker


Over the years since Fitbit first released the Fitbit Tracker – a small, pedin -like pedometer that debuted in 2008—The company tries many tactics to stay ahead in the field it helps create. It adds music, a mix of trackers like Tile, and a collaboration Deepak Chopra. Later Google bought the company.

But even when Fitbit faces stiff competition from the Apple Watch, I’ve always been overwhelmed by its trackers. It’s attractive, inexpensive, easy to use, and simple. I’m not a competitive powerlifter, and I don’t want to drop below 15 percent body fat; I don’t want to either to be addicted to, or commanded to my fitness tracker. I just want a device that will tell the time, slowly push me into relatively healthy behavior, and let me leave it with no time left.

This sweet spot is where Fitbit excels. Charge 4 previously my favorite fitness tracker for most people, and even if you can’t try the much-discussed new feature of it-the brand new Daily Preparation, which I’m excited to write about-Charge 5 is still worth in fees. It’s attractive and simple and has all the features you need and you don’t.

Photo: Fitbit

Hey, Good Look

Last year’s Charge 4 had a more sleek look, with sharp edges and a black bezel. In contrast, the Charge 5 is slower and more organic, with curved gold bezel edges (and no “fitbit” written on it anywhere, thank God). As always, it is offered in many different colors and comes with many accessories. If you are an active person, I immediately suggest replacing the basic solid silicone strap for perforated sport strap o nylon band. The Charge 5 has enough width that sweat can collect under the standard silicone strap and irritate your skin.

It has a beautiful, full-color AMOLED screen that is wider, 10 percent larger, and twice as bright as the Charge 4 shown-the perfect size if you want a non annoying tracker and not a smartwatch wannabe. I tried small Fitbits, like Motivation 2 and the Luxe, but their induction-touch screens and buttons are too new and unresponsive. Thankfully, the Charge 5 throws a pesky touch button on the bezel. The screen also has enough width to immediately register my sweat glands rather than force me to peck at the screen to try to finish a run, like I did with the Luxe.

You also have the option to set the display always, though many will reduce battery life. With plenty of tracked activity per day, the Charge 5’s battery lasts about a week. The accelerometer seems to have improved as well; the light flashes even at the slightest flip of my wrist, so I don’t need the always -visible look.

Like the Charge 4, the 5 has onboard GPS to accurately track your speed and distance for outdoor activities. However, unlike many other fitness trackers made by GPS, it also has one connected GPS. Onboard GPS is useful if you don’t want to carry your phone, but I always take my phone on an outdoor run. I was amazed at how easy it was to point the Charge 5 to my location with a GPS connection compared to Coros or Garmin watches that temporarily left my foot in my front door.



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