The Fitbit Charge 5 Is a Lightweight, User-Friendly Fitness Tracker With Some Intriguing New Features

Battery life is extremely important to me in a fitness tracker because I am personally not the best at remembering to charge my devices! I always appreciate that the Fitbit app displays the battery level as well as the device itself, which helps make it more obvious that it’s time to charge.ComfortThe Charge 5 is, without a doubt, the lightest and most comfortable tracker I’ve ever worn. I genuinely forgot I was wearing it most of the time until it buzzed with a notification. The band is made of a silky soft silicone that somehow managed not to get too grody, even after all my workouts. (It’s easy to clean too!)I also want to specifically call out the new standard wristband design, which is much more secure than the one I have on my Versa 2. There’s a double buckle that fits close to the skin and doesn’t come undone—even in my sleep.StyleI’m a health goth through and through, so I got a black silicone wristband and sport wristband…also in black silicone. But there are a few different Charge 5 styles and many wristbands to choose from. I found these wristbands much easier (and less painful) to swap out and click into place than those on the Versas, which always required lots of poking into my nails.Another thing I enjoy about the Charge 5 is the different clock faces you can choose from, most (maybe all) of which have dynamic aspects to them that subtly track how close you are to each of your goals for the day—you can pay attention or ignore them as much as you want. The watch face I ended up sticking with turned from bright purple to lime green over the course of the day as I got closer to my step and activity goals. That said, one thing I miss about the Versa models is the larger screen, which allowed for easier-to-read clock faces and text message notifications.SyncingWith my Versa and Versa 2 models, I rarely had any issues with syncing. I typically keep the Fitbit app open in the background and enable all-day syncing so that the whole process is continuous.But I did, unfortunately, have some persistent syncing issues with Charge 5. Every morning I’d wake up and the app would tell me it can’t sync the tracker. So I’d swipe down in the app to trigger another sync, and then it would connect. Is it the end of the world? No. But this is a new issue that I haven’t had with other Fitbits, and it’s one that does affect the tracker’s performance on a daily basis, which is frustrating. The only way to fix the problem was to completely unpair and repair the device with the Fitbit app, which improved but didn’t completely fix the issue—and required me to go through the entire setup process again.However, during and after workouts, I had very few issues with syncing, meaning my exercise data would sync very quickly and seamlessly to the app. There were a few times where I was exceedingly sweaty during cycling or on my back for a while in Pilates when the heart rate tracking would cut out for a few seconds before coming back, but that was it.Water ResistanceThe Charge 5 and the silicone wristbands are supposedly water-resistant up to 50 meters. And while I didn’t have the chance to put the tracker fully to that test, I did run it underwater in my bathroom sink and kept it on for a shower to give the water resistance a try. In both scenarios, the Charge 5 still performed just fine.

Battery life is extremely important to me in a fitness tracker because I am personally not the best at remembering to charge my devices! I always appreciate that the Fitbit app displays the battery level as well as the device itself, which helps make it more obvious that it’s time to charge.

Comfort

The Charge 5 is, without a doubt, the lightest and most comfortable tracker I’ve ever worn. I genuinely forgot I was wearing it most of the time until it buzzed with a notification. The band is made of a silky soft silicone that somehow managed not to get too grody, even after all my workouts. (It’s easy to clean too!)

I also want to specifically call out the new standard wristband design, which is much more secure than the one I have on my Versa 2. There’s a double buckle that fits close to the skin and doesn’t come undone—even in my sleep.

Style

I’m a health goth through and through, so I got a black silicone wristband and sport wristband…also in black silicone. But there are a few different Charge 5 styles and many wristbands to choose from. I found these wristbands much easier (and less painful) to swap out and click into place than those on the Versas, which always required lots of poking into my nails.

Another thing I enjoy about the Charge 5 is the different clock faces you can choose from, most (maybe all) of which have dynamic aspects to them that subtly track how close you are to each of your goals for the day—you can pay attention or ignore them as much as you want. The watch face I ended up sticking with turned from bright purple to lime green over the course of the day as I got closer to my step and activity goals. That said, one thing I miss about the Versa models is the larger screen, which allowed for easier-to-read clock faces and text message notifications.

Syncing

With my Versa and Versa 2 models, I rarely had any issues with syncing. I typically keep the Fitbit app open in the background and enable all-day syncing so that the whole process is continuous.

But I did, unfortunately, have some persistent syncing issues with Charge 5. Every morning I’d wake up and the app would tell me it can’t sync the tracker. So I’d swipe down in the app to trigger another sync, and then it would connect. Is it the end of the world? No. But this is a new issue that I haven’t had with other Fitbits, and it’s one that does affect the tracker’s performance on a daily basis, which is frustrating. The only way to fix the problem was to completely unpair and repair the device with the Fitbit app, which improved but didn’t completely fix the issue—and required me to go through the entire setup process again.

However, during and after workouts, I had very few issues with syncing, meaning my exercise data would sync very quickly and seamlessly to the app. There were a few times where I was exceedingly sweaty during cycling or on my back for a while in Pilates when the heart rate tracking would cut out for a few seconds before coming back, but that was it.

Water Resistance

The Charge 5 and the silicone wristbands are supposedly water-resistant up to 50 meters. And while I didn’t have the chance to put the tracker fully to that test, I did run it underwater in my bathroom sink and kept it on for a shower to give the water resistance a try. In both scenarios, the Charge 5 still performed just fine.

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