Fitbit Charge 3.
Fitbit Charge 3.

Fitbit Charge 3
Cool factor 4/5
Usability 5/5
Value for money 4/5

The third iteration of Fitbit’s popular Charge wearable is now available at local retailers.

The Charge 3 offers all the features we’ve come to expect from this brand, and a few nifty extras — as expected from what Fitbit calls its "smartest tracker yet". It costs R2,999.

The Charge 3 is an attractive slim-profile device. Keeping with the look of the range, it has an elongated rectangular watch face (touch screen), unlike the Fitbit Versa, released earlier this year, which has a square watch face, much like the Apple Watch. In addition to tracking your steps and activity throughout the day, the Charge 3 has heart-rate tracking and sleep tracking, and is "swimproof", not just "water resistant". The battery life promises up to seven days’ charge. It has more than a handful of goal-based exercise modes and is capable of swim tracking with a smarter swim mode.

The Fitbit app has a nice clean interface, making it dead simple to see a daily snapshot, as well as longitudinal trends with a few taps into the metrics.

Fitbit has established itself worldwide, while several wearable competitors have vanished into obscurity or shut up shop (RIP the Jawbone UP, my first wearable love). Fitbit still primarily targets lifestyle users who want insight into how they sleep, eat and burn calories, in addition to activity tracking – as opposed to brands like Polar, or Garmin’s Fenix and Forerunner ranges, which target serious athletes and outdoorsy types with their rugged-looking hiking, cycling and running watches.

Particularly interesting is the loyalty aspect: 54% of preorders for the Charge 3 came from "loyal and engaged" customers — a category Fitbit defines as those who have owned two or more of its devices.