Fitbit Charge 5 review & top features

Fitbit has updated its advanced sports quantification bracelet with a new model that reflects some of the historical demands of its users: a better screen and a more automated detection system.

It has been more than a year since Google took control of Fitbit, so the Fitbit has been developed entirely under this influence. Still, Fitbit maintains its independence with a bracelet true to its DNA.

Fitbit Charge 5 arrives with a redesigned chassis to accommodate the new features and a color OLED screen. It also adds new algorithms to the management of your workouts to determine the appropriate rest times.

However, with a launch price of 179 dollars, part of a starting price 30 dollars above that of its predecessor. Do the new features justify this price increase? We analyze the Fitbit Charge 5 and give you our opinion.

Dimensions37 x 23 x 11.2 mm | 15 gr
Screen1.04-inch color AMOLED | Gorilla Glass 3 | 326 dpi
BatteryContact charging and magnetic pins
ConnectivityBluetooth | NFC | Fitbit Pay
Sensors3-axis acceleration sensor | optical heart rate sensor | optical SpO2 sensor | Temperature sensor | ECG | EDA scanner | GPS and GLONASS
Belt MaterialsSilicone strap
EnduranceWater resistance up to 50 m | aluminum case
Price179 dollars

Compact, lightweight and with a color OLED screen

Fitbit charge 5
Fitbit charge 5

One of the main novelties of the renewed Charge 5 is its change in design, which gives it a more compact and elegant appearance with the incorporation of some details on the sides, but above all, conditioned by the arrival of the new OLED screen to colour.

The Charge 5 has a smoother and more rounded appearance at its edges and that has a direct impact on its ergonomics, which has been considerably improved by adapting much better to the wrist.

In this sense, the feeling of comfort and of achieving a better fit is felt from the first minute, something to which the scarce 15 grams that the sports bracelet weighs contribute.

Fitbit has sent us the Charge 5 with a black finish and next to the bracelet are two interchangeable bracelets with different sizes to better adapt to the diameter of the wrist. Unlike the Charge 4the new version does not allow to mount the straps of the previous models because the strap anchor is different.

The straps are made of a soft and flexible type of hypoallergenic silicone that has contributed greatly to obtaining that feeling of comfort from the first minute of use.

Another of the important novelties of the Charge 5 is the commitment to anodized aluminum and stainless steel as construction materials of its case, providing a more solid and resistant device without the weight having suffered with the change.

Speaking of resistance, it should be noted that the screen has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 certification against scratches and bumps, something that is appreciated because it is so exposed, and it resists dives of up to 50 meters, so you can swim or shower with it without problem.

Fitbit charge 5 review
Fitbit Charge 5

The change in construction is noticeable in the two plates located on the sides of the bracelet. This has forced the removal of the lateral haptic button to make room for the contact surfaces of the EDA sensor (electrodermal activity sensor) and ECG (electrocardiogram).

Eliminating this “button” on the side implies that the entire burden of the operation will fall on the touch screen, something that has not completely convinced us in our experience with the new screen.

On the inside of the bracelet we find the optical heart rate sensors and the SpO2 sensor in the same arrangement that we found in the Charge 4, with the difference that the charging Pogo contacts are a little lower, forcing us to also use a new charger.

In this case, you opt for a very compact magnetic charger that is attached to the back of the bracelet at one end and is connected via USB at the opposite end.

The absolute protagonist of the front is the new AMOLED color screen that grows in size to 1.04 inches, leaving a density of 326 dpi.

Although having black backgrounds in the spheres helps to create an “all-screen” feeling, the truth is that Fitbit could have compacted the edges a little more, especially at the lower and upper ends to take more advantage of the front, giving more useful space for the screen.

The change from the previous model is remarkable both in terms of quality and brightness. We find a screen that looks really good under all light conditions thanks to the contrast of graphics with vivid colors on a completely black background.

Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5

The screen responds well to swipe touch gestures when moving from one screen to another of the interface, but it is not reactive enough to the gesture of activating the screen when raising the hand to check the time. 

As it does not turn on immediately, the gesture tends to be repeated, believing that it has not been recognized the first time, which generates some confusion.

When there is not enough travel for this gesture, such as when you are sitting or lying down, the Charge 5 activates the screen with a quick turn of the wrist or forces you to double tap on the screen and wait for it to activate to check the time. This has made us miss the effective haptic button of the previous generation.

The screen allows you to activate a touch lock to avoid ghost touches while swimming or when it will be exposed to splashes. 

Otherwise, the navigation through the interface shows little change from previous Charge bracelets.

Fitibit Charge 5 allows you to change the spheres between a catalog of 23 different designs with more practical options in which the representation of the records of steps, calories or minutes in the Active Zone is prioritized, as well as others that are more concerned with aesthetics. They are not many options nor do they allow too much customization.

Keeps records accurate, but many of the new features are paid

Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5

The Charge 5 that we are analyzing takes a step forward to get closer to the benefits of the brand’s smartwatches, using the same software platform and the same group of sensors that we already saw in smartwatches like the Fitbit Sense.

Functions such as the measurement of oxygen saturation in the blood, the heart rate or the possibility of carrying out electrocardiograms were already present in Fitbit smartwatches, but now they reach the range of sports bracelets in the hands of the Charge 5.

These sensors provide excellent precision during sports activities, accurately recording distances and vital signs.

However, we have encountered some problems with the connectivity of the integrated GPS that sometimes randomly lost coverage.

Integrated GPS uses three modes of operation: Integrated, which uses only the GPS on the wristband; Telephone, in which the Fitbit app collects data directly from the mobile’s GPS, ignoring the Charge 5’s GPS; Dynamic, in which the device combines both systems automatically.

The bracelet only allows you to activate six shortcuts to the record of sports activities on the bracelet, so they must be previously configured from the Fitbit app, eliminating those you do not need and activating your favorites from a list of 23 sports activities.

Among them we find both gym and outdoor activities: running, walking, tennis, swimming, weights, golf, hiking, yoga, Pilates, martial arts, cycling and spinning or different training modalities such as Bootcamp, and gym machines such as elliptical, stair machine or treadmill running.

The bracelet has an automatic activity recognition mode that works really well and you just have to start walking at a constant pace for the bracelet to emit a vibration and ask you if you are doing a sports activity and if you want to activate a specific training mode for her.

On the other hand, it also automatically controls the pauses and resumption of activity when you stop or continue, which avoids having to constantly be aware of the bracelet during workouts.

The data recorded in each activity can be consulted from the app, as well as viewing the route on a map that shows the relevant data for each sector. This data is processed and converted into minutes in Hotspot, Fitbit’s metric for measuring daily activity time recommended by the WHO.

In addition to the sensors directly related to sports activity, the Charge 5 has a sensor specially designed for stress control and rest monitoring. A very important part of training that is not always taken into account.

One of the novelties of the FitBit Sense, which now comes to the range of Fitbit sports wristbands thanks to Charge 5, was the incorporation of an EDA scanner (electrodermal activity sensor) capable of capturing changes in the electrodermal activity in the skin. that produces stress.

In this way, Charge 5 obtains data that allows to detect stress peaks and helps to control them with breathing techniques and mindfulness with relaxation and meditation sessions directed from the app itself.

In the section on sleep monitoring, few news with respect to what we already saw in the FitBit Sense or the previous Charge. The sensors allow to establish the different phases of sleep and the time that each one of them has lasted. All this data is represented graphically in the Dream section of the app, but it also has more uses.

The Fitbit app and its algorithms process sleep data to create a new metric called Daily Readyness, which just reached us as an update as we finished this review.

This metric takes into account all the data collected from the heart rate, activity levels and sleep efficiency and gives a score to the user’s current energy performance level.

Based on that score, the app recommends taking a break with meditation activities, stretching sessions or moderate exercise, or encourages you to give it your all in the next workout if your energy level is optimal.

The downside is that this feature, like deeper data analysis, is only reserved for Premium users of the app. The good news is that 6 months of free Premium subscription is included with the purchase of the Charge 5.

Leaving aside the data logging functions, some important absences are noted in the available applications section. Fitbit provides a closed ecosystem of apps, so you can only use your own apps and not those of unauthorized third parties.

If you are one of those who prefers to play sports listening to music, the Charge 5 does not bring good news since Fitbit does not offer support to control Spotify content from the bracelet as it did from the previous version.

In addition, it has a mobile payment system through NFC that allows the Charge 5 to work independently of the smartphone. However, Fitbit Pay only offers support for a limited number of banks, so if you are not a customer of any of them, you will not be able to use that function.

The connectivity with the smartphone is via Bluetooth and receives notifications from the mobile to read them directly on the screen of the Charge 5.

Charge 5 allows you to read the entire message received from the notification and not just the first words, but not respond to those notifications or answer calls since it lacks a microphone and speaker.

Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5

Five days of use without too much trouble

Fitbit has done an excellent job of optimizing energy consumption and has managed to minimize the impact of mounting a brighter screen than in the previous generation and reduce its weight and dimensions.

With these improvements, it maintains an average of about 5 days of use with 3 or 4 weekly sports activities and with the GPS setting in Dynamics that limits the use of the integrated GPS.

If you increase the number of sports activities (or the duration) and change the GPS settings to use the integrated one, the autonomy drops drastically up to 2 or 3 days of use.

When the time comes to recover the charge, the Charge 5 slightly improves the data of its predecessor, managing to recover 50% of the charge in 37 minutes and completing 100% in 1 hour and 35 minutes.

It is difficult to be an advanced smartband with smart watches so close

We reached the final stretch of this review feeling a bit bittersweet after trying the Fitbit Charge 5 for several weeks.

The new Fitbit sports bracelet undoubtedly takes a step forward in terms of monitoring functions, approaching the performance that we can find in the most advanced smartwatches of the brand, but with a weight and, above all, with a lower price.

This is where the Fitbit Charge 5 has been empowered compared to previous versions by offering accurate data logging and a very broad representation that allows you to better understand your performance in workouts and, with the new Daily Recovery Level function, adapt your workouts.

However, these improvements have been made at the cost of sacrificing functions that affect the daily use of the bracelet, such as the possibility of controlling music from the bracelet or that some of the functions that differentiate it are under subscription play against it..

We have already seen that the Charge 5 climbs positions in the Fitbit catalog and is just behind the top smartwatches of the brand.

If we compare it with the rest of the devices on the market, the 179 dollars that the Charge 5 costs places it at the same level of smart watches with better connectivity, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 which are already up to 179 dollars or the Huawei Watch GT 3 that can be purchased for 129 dollars.

The best

  • OLED color display
  • Automatic activity detection
  • Integrated GPS
  • Accuracy in data recording


  • GPS accuracy
  • Limited apps
  • Limited mobile payments
  • Exclusive payment features

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