Fitbit Charge 5 – It’s time for the most advanced health and wellness tracker

Fitbit Charge 5 in Steel Blue and Platinum.

Consider the state of the world, there’s no better reason not jump on the health and wellness bandwagon. If you’ve been seriously pondering trading in that wrist watch for a health and fitness tracker then the latest Fitbit Charge 5 is the one to take along for the ride. It may help you turn over that new leaf, helping you keep a pulse on your stress, heart health fitness, typical daily activities and overall wellbeing regardless of your age or daily activity level.

Fitness trackers have come a long way since the pedometer, the original step counter that’s gone the way of Sears, Blockbuster video and the dodo bird. Ownership and utility are no longer just for obsessive health nuts and those who simply want to shed weight, get fit or simply get in their 10,000 steps a day. 

Even better, newer devices are no longer big, clunky and odd shaped – in fact, they’re downright stylish – like a typical wrist watch. And they’re now affordable, app-enabled and can easily connect wirelessly to hundreds of devices like iOS and Android and smartphones and tablets for even greater functionality.

New AFib Feature can save your life

Redesigned added functionality

The redesigned Fitbit, the Charge 5 has taken health and wellness tracking up a huge notch. while maintaining for the most part the functionally of its predecessor, the Charge 4. It gets a new body and an entirely new look. Gone is the plastic housing, swapped for a still sleek and sturdy slightly thinner and little rounder stainless-steel case. The greyscale touch screen and side button are a thing of the past, replaced with a twice as bright colour AMOLED colour screen which you can now see much better in direct sunlight and a plethora of new coloured watch faces.

EDA Stress-Monitoring and ECG

Its two largest enhancements are the EDA sensor which measures your body’s stress response and its ECG capabilities, a test that measures the electrical activity of your heart.  The former measures stress by monitoring even the most minute changes in the sweat glands of your fingers through a simple two-minute test. The latter, a 30 second test, records electrical signals and looks for signs of AFib – atrial fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm that might necessitate a conversation with your doctor.

It already has a built-in heart rate sensor that measures your pulse 24/7. You can optionally set up monitoring to alert you if your heart rate goes outside a desired range. While many factors can affect your heart rate, a high or low heart rate may be an indication of a heart condition that requires medical attention. 

Fitbit app screens in PR template, showing Health Metrics dashboard.

Beyond heart health, the Health Metrics dashboard in the Fitbit app offers a holistic view of other key wellness metrics. These include your breathing rate, variations in your skin temperature and SpO2 , a measurement to estimate your blood oxygen saturation level while you sleep. Active Zone Minutes can also alert you to a target heart rate during a workout.  With the Premium app, you can also track long-term trends and personal ranges.

Other new features include a Water Lock so screen will not illuminate wasting valuable battery power when under water and Always-on mode if you want to continually monitor your stats while working out without the display turning off . 

Other features added to the previous model and still present in the Charge 5 is built-in GPS functionality added to keep track of your location-based workouts, the ability to save your data, navigate through adventures in real time, share the journey with friends and family and on occasion, even leave your phone behind. Sleep Mode turns off notifications and disables screen as so you’re not disturbed at night. 

Ever wonder how much deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep or how much time you’re awake during the night? Fitbit never sleeps but it can keep tabs on you when you do.

A lifting of the wrist quickly displays the date and the number of steps taken. Tap it again to see your heart rate and again for the distance travelled today, calories you’ve burned and more.  A quick swipe accesses a stopwatch and a battery indicator that gives a visual and a percentage of battery life remaining, so you know when it’s time to recharge. What displays depends on which of the 20+ virtual watch faces you’ve selected.

Functionality Beyond Health and Wellness

Beyond health alerts and tracking of your activities, the Fitbit shines when partnered with a smartphone or tablet.  You can set fitness goals, track workout routines and embark on new challenges. The app offers weight and nutrition guidance and tools, and measures your hydration. 

You can also use it for a number of your daily work or home related activities.

Notifications sent quietly sent to your wrist

Alarm Alerts and Message capabilities

Functions of the Fitbit I’m now hard pressed to do without and you might too, are alarms alerts and messaging capabilities.  While you might think of these as redundant smartphone features, having them built in is a definite plus – especially if your phone isn’t handy.

Alarms are handy for more than just a morning wake-up. They can be used to alert you of an appointment or perhaps a reminder to take medications. And instead of a loud racket disturbing the entire household, your Fitbit will gently vibrate to notify you. And it has a snooze button as well.

Fitbit can also be configured to receive notifications. It will vibrate and with a quick glance, you’ll see calendar alerts, text messages and who’s calling your phone. This can be extremely handy, especially pulling out your phone is inconvenient or just not a good idea You’re also able to accept or reject a phone call – of course there no mic or speaker to take the call. If you have an Android phone you can also use your Fitbit to send back quick auto-replies. 

And finally, another handy feature is FitBit Pay for contactless payments from your wrist – if it’s supported by your financial institution. (There are only a select few in Canada).

Battery life is rate seven days without recharging. Results will depend on many factors including display use, GPS connectivity amongst others. About four to five days is typical.

This is just an insight to some of the vast number of features and benefits of the Fitbit Charge 5. There is also a full array of accessories and option wrist band to suit any taste.

Fitbit Charge 5 suits any Lifestyle.

If you want to step up your health and wellness gig with a little added functionality and not necessarily in the market for a full-fledged smartwatch like a tablet shrunk down to fit on your wrist, then the Fitbit Charge 5 is certainly the charm regardless of age or level of activity.

It is important to note that these types devices are designed for general wellness and certainly not a replacement for proper medical attention.

The Fitbit Charge 5 also makes for a great holiday gift. It’s available in three colours and retails in Canada for $199.95 and includes 6-month free trial of the premium app membership.

The syndicated edition of the article will appear in October at Troy Media and 32 affiliated syndicated sites. It’s also been previously published at Active-Life Magazine published by NextHOME.

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.

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