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Fitbit Charge 5 Review

A so-so fitness performance and tiny display for even the smallest of fingers
Fitbit Charge 5
Credit: Fitbit
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Price:   $150 List | $119.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Good menu layout, poor screen visibility
Cons:  Small screen, slow touch response, no altitude measurement
Manufacturer:   Fitbit
By Jared Eastlick and Jessica Riconscente  ⋅  Sep 12, 2022
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Fitness Impact - 30% 6.7
  • Health Impact - 25% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7.9
  • Ergonomics - 15% 6.2
  • Display - 10% 4.9

Our Verdict

The Fitbit Charge 5 works well as an overall wellness tracker, performing decently in most of our metrics. This band includes a variety of tracking metrics and includes rich community activities. In addition, we found that this tracker has an easy-to-use interface that caters to all. Unlike previous Fitbit products, the Charge 5 was not on our list of top fitness trackers due to the display's small size, uncomfortable fit, and lack of responsiveness. Despite these gripes, it is an overall solid fitness tracker with everything needed for general health and activity.

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Price $150 List
$119.00 at Amazon
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Pros Good menu layout, poor screen visibilityEasy to use, accurate step counter, excellent smartphone appGood value, great fitness tracking ability, excellent battery lifeLots of trackable activities, decent heart rate monitor, solid sleeping trackabilityVery inexpensive, minimalistic, available in multiple colors
Cons Small screen, slow touch response, no altitude measurementNot the most comfortable, so-so cycling trackingCould be more convenient to use, doesn't have the most smart functionsNo internal GPS, no altimeter, difficult to put onLimited fitness/health tracking abilities, display can be hard to read in direct sunlight
Bottom Line A so-so fitness performance and tiny display for even the smallest of fingersOffering great all-around performance on a budget, we think this wearable tracker is a fantastic option for any bargain-conscious shopperThe fitness features packed into this wearable make it an excellent choice for the priceThere are a couple of key features missing and poor fitness tracking that made this product miss the mark in our testingThis bare-bones model can't do too much but it is one of the least expensive trackers we have tested to date
Rating Categories Fitbit Charge 5 Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitbit Versa 3 Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Lintelek ID115HR
Fitness Impact (30%)
6.7
6.8
7.4
4.6
3.6
Health Impact (25%)
6.0
6.9
6.7
5.5
4.8
Ease of Use (20%)
7.9
7.8
7.0
6.3
8.0
Ergonomics (15%)
6.2
6.2
6.0
5.6
4.8
Display (10%)
4.9
7.3
6.6
6.6
5.5
Specs Fitbit Charge 5 Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitbit Versa 3 Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Lintelek ID115HR
Heart Rate Monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Altimeter (stair tracking) No No Yes No No
Battery life Up to 7 days Up to 10 days 2-5 days Up to 14 days 5 days with HR on
8 days with HR off
Charge time 2 hours 1-2 hours 2 hours 2 hours 1-2 hours
Memory 7 days of detailed motion data, minute by minute; daily totals 30 days 7 days of detailed motion - minute by minute; daily totals 30 days Saves 7 days of detailed motion data; Saves daily totals for past 30 days N/A N/A
Water Resistance 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM IP67
Operating Temp 14 - 113 F -4 - 140 F -4 - 140 F 32 - 113 F N/A
Notifications Text, call, push notifications Text, call, push notifications Text, call, push notifications Text, call, push notifications Text, call, push notifications
Vibration Motor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
GPS Tracking Yes No Yes No No
Multi-Sport Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music Control No No Yes Yes No
Sleep Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Silent Alarm Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

We think the Fitbit Charge 5 is an excellent choice for those who are fans of the Fitbit ecosystem. The Charge 5 adds a lot of new software updates. Most of these new features are included with Fitbit premium, which must be renewed after the first month of purchase. For those seeking a sleek design that gets the job done, the Charge 5 will be your cup of tea.

Performance Comparison


Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker - the fitbit charge includes a variety of different fitness features.
The Fitbit Charge includes a variety of different fitness features.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Fitness Impact


In our evaluation, we began testing fitness traceability, particularly this fitness tracker's ability to measure steps walked, cycling, workout intervals, and steps climbed. We also test the quality and engagement from the included community features. After compiling our results, we concluded that this fitness tracker performed slightly above average.

Our step traceability test produced average results from three separate trials; we found a 34-step differential between the tracker's step count and our own. Cycling was a little more dubious since the three metrics available, MPH, distance, and time produced inconsistent results. In some trials, the tracker could record top speed, while in other trials, it did not. Lastly, while tracking steps, the Charge 5 does not have an altimeter (a meter that determines altitude).

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker - the fitbit charge 5 includes a variety of metrics that are...
The Fitbit Charge 5 includes a variety of metrics that are relatively accurate and comprehensible.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Health Impact


For this test, we analyzed the health performance of the Fitbit Charge 5 with five separate metrics. We tested the heart rate monitor, dieting features, lifestyle features, sleep tracking, and waking alarm. Here, the Fitbit Charge 5 performed remarkably well.

We were most impressed with the food diary feature because it is intuitive and easy to use. Logging food is as easy as scanning a barcode or entering a key phrase. The user can accurately adjust the amount of food as well.

On the other hand, our heart rate monitor test prevented the Fitbit Charge 5 from reaching a perfect score. We found that the monitor was not adept at responding to sharp fluctuations in heart rate. At one point in the testing, we retook a reading, which was still about 15 bpm off. With that said, the heart rate monitor is still accurate regarding most other activities that do not require sudden changes in heart rate.

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker - we found the heart rate monitor to be so-so since it could not track...
We found the heart rate monitor to be so-so since it could not track sharp changes in bpm.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


No matter how good a fitness tracker is, it is useless if the end user can not easily comprehend how to work it. Here we measured the Fitbit Charge 5 performance across battery life durability, ease in synching/pairing across devices, intuitiveness of the phone app, ease in navigating the menu, ease of equipping, and its water resistance. In this metric, the Fitbit Charge 5 performed relatively well.

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker - the charge 5 at full charge can last up to seven days.
The Charge 5 at full charge can last up to seven days.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our testing found that the tracker's main menu was particularly user-friendly. When accessing the main menu, the user can easily swipe through the various options, making it effortless to find the relevant metric. Paring the device is quick and simple, taking only a few seconds. Battery life lasts around seven days, requiring 2 hours of charge.

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker - the band for the charge 5.
The band for the Charge 5.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ergonomics


Next, we reviewed how the Charge 5 ranks in comfortability and profile design. This metric accounts for 15% of each fitness trackers overall score.

The Charge 5 has a similar design to previous models, except that the band follows the design of the Apple watch. We found that the band wrapped a little too tight, causing some pressure against our wrists and making it slightly uncomfortable to wear. Other than that, the Fitbit Charge 5 is rather low-profile, sleek, and smooth in design.

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker - a sleek design and a low profile will not make this tracker get in...
A sleek design and a low profile will not make this tracker get in the way of your workouts.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Display


Our last test was interested in the quality of the display. We measured screen visibility, responsiveness, smart notifications, extensive display, and time/date display. We were disappointed in the results as we thought they were below the standards of the Charge series.

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker - we found that the charge 5 does not do too well in direct sunlight.
We found that the Charge 5 does not do too well in direct sunlight.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our greatest concern with the display is the lack of visibility in the sun. The small display makes it especially difficult to angle it correctly to make out the small font. Additionally, we found that it lacked responsiveness, especially with L/R movements.

Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 5?


We believe that the Fitbit Charge 5 is a solid all-around fitness tracker that falls short compared to what we are used to from the Charge series. There are indeed new features on the Charge 5, but we did not feel it warrants an upgrade. We recommend other options in our test lineup.

What other Fitness Trackers should you consider?


If you are looking for a fitness tracker that is friendly to the wallet and you don't need a ton of added features, then the Xiaomi Band 6 is the tracker for you. On the other hand, if you are in the market for a high-performance tracker, check out the Garmin Vivoactive 4 or the Apple Watch SE.

Jared Eastlick and Jessica Riconscente
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