Fitbit Charge 5 vs Charge 4 vs Charge 3: What's the difference?

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(Pocket-lint) - Fitbit offers galore devices successful the activity tracking market, from the plain and elemental Inspire 2 to its top-of-the-range smartwatch Sense.

The Charge 5 is an enactment tracker that sits successful betwixt the Fitbit Inspire scope and the Fitbit Versa range.

We've compared it to its predecessors - the Charge 4 and Charge 3 - to spot however the devices disagree and assistance you enactment retired if you should upgrade.



  • Charge 3: OLED touchscreen, buckle, aluminium, interchangeable straps, water-resistant
  • Charge 4: OLED touchscreen, buckle, aluminium, interchangeable straps, water-resistant
  • Charge 5: AMOLED always-on colour touchscreen, buckle, aluminium, interchangeable straps, water-resistant

The Fitbit Charge 3 and Charge 4 are virtually identical successful design, but Fitbit has pivoted distant from the quadrate look of these devices for a sleeker and thinner Charge 5 body. 

Despite the Charge 5's redesign, they each inactive stock the aforesaid penchant for interchangeable straps. However, due to the fact that of that caller look, there's besides a scope of somewhat antithetic designs to prime betwixt - modular silicone options are joined by breathable athletics alternatives, nylon hook and loop bands and hand-crafted Horween leather straps.

After offering an OLED show with the Charge 3 and Charge 4, the Charge 5 is besides the archetypal to diagnostic an AMOLED screen. This makes everything you spot connected the wrist overmuch brighter, portion Fitbit has besides installed an always-on show enactment for the archetypal clip connected a tracker.

The 3 devices each person buckle fastenings and they each diagnostic an optical bosom complaint show that sits connected the underside of their main bodies, arsenic good arsenic h2o absorption up to 50-metres, making them acceptable for the swimming pool.

Specs and sensors

  • Charge 3: HR, SpO2 monitor, connected GPS, NFC successful immoderate models
  • Charge 4: HR, SpO2 monitor, built-in GPS, NFC
  • Charge 5: HR, SpO2 monitor, EDA sensor, ECG readings, built-in GPS, NFC 

All 3 Fitbit Charge devices being compared present person an optical bosom complaint monitor, offering automatic and continuous bosom complaint tracking. They besides each person an accelerometer, altimeter and vibration motor. 

Each besides finds country for comparative SpO2 sensors, too, allowing users to presumption a graph successful the Fitbit app to spot an estimation of the oxygen level variability successful your bloodstream, which is designed to assistance amusement variations successful your breathing during sleep.

However, the Charge 5 is the lone instrumentality to diagnostic an EDA sensor and the Fitbit ECG app. The erstwhile is capable to observe tiny changes successful your finger's sweat glands, and arsenic a result, accent level changes, portion ECG readings are capable to observe the heart's bushed and cheque for signs of atrial fibrillation. These 2 features, and the accompanying information disposable successful the Fitbit app, marque it a overmuch much superior wellness tracking instrumentality than we've seen antecedently successful the Charge lineup.

In presumption of determination tracking, Charge 3 lone offers connected GPS. This uses your smartphone for the GPS signal, meaning you'll request to bring it with you erstwhile you spell for a tally oregon locomotion if you privation elaborate representation data. The Charge 4 and Charge 5, however, connection built-in GPS and effect successful untethered tracking. There are 7 GPS-enabled workout modes to take from.

All 3 besides person NFC connected board, allowing you to wage with your enactment tracker astatine contactless terminals done Fitbit Pay. While the NFC spot comes arsenic modular connected the Charge 4 and Charge 5, though, it's lone disposable successful the Special Edition models of the Charge 3.



  • Charge 3: Activity and slumber monitoring, auto-exercise recognition, multi-sport tracking, smartphone alerts, aquatics tracking, goal-based exercise, tally observe with car stop, accept/reject calls, Quick Replies, NFC, Active Zone Minutes
  • Charge 4: Adds Spotify support, SmartWake alarms
  • Charge 5: Adds Daily Readiness, Stress Management Score

The Fitbit Charge 3, 4 and 5 each diagnostic all-day enactment tracking (steps, distance, calories, floors climbed, enactment minutes, hourly activity, stationary time) and slumber monitoring with Sleep Stages and Sleep Score. They besides each let you to spot regular stats connected their displays, on with smartphone notifications, which are much precocious with Quick Replies if you're connected Android.

Other features recovered connected each 3 devices see SmartTrack, which automatically recognises erstwhile you exercise, Multi-Sport tracking, Cardio Fitness Level (an estimation of your VO2 Max) and Guided Breathing, which offers personalised breathing sessions based connected your bosom rate.

In summation to each the features offered connected these Charge models, they each besides person aquatics tracking connected board, Goal-Based Exercise, Run Detect with auto-stop, a timer enactment and upwind information. 

There's besides a diagnostic called Active Zone Minutes. This diagnostic uses your personalised bosom complaint zones to way your effort for immoderate energising activity, allowing you to gain recognition towards the recommended 150-minute play extremity for each infinitesimal of mean enactment successful the abdominous pain portion and treble the recognition for vigorous enactment successful cardio and highest zones. 

Adding to the Charge 3's features, the Charge 4 offers Spotify enactment for power of the streaming level from your device, arsenic good arsenic SmartWake, which uses instrumentality learning to aftermath you astatine the optimal time. This diagnostic was antecedently lone disposable connected Fitbit smartwatches.

From there, the Charge 5 has besides debuted immoderate caller features. The instrumentality volition connection a Daily Readiness people to Fitbit Premium members, which is calculated from your activity, bosom complaint variability and slumber data. Details connected what affected the people and recommendations based connected the accusation are besides provided.

The Stress Management Score, which measures your responsiveness, exertion equilibrium and slumber patterns, volition besides beryllium disposable for Charge 5 users wrong the Fitbit app.

Price and conclusion


The Fitbit Charge 3 whitethorn beryllium a small agelong successful the tooth, but it could inactive beryllium a bully enactment for immoderate - particularly fixed that the plan is fundamentally the aforesaid arsenic the Charge 4. It has a large diagnostic acceptable and you mightiness find it astatine a decent terms compared to the Charge 4. 

With the Charge 4, however, other features similar Spotify power and built-in GPS that's a precise coagulated exemplary to spell for if your fund allows. If you similar the diagnostic acceptable of the Charge 4 and privation thing that's a small much focused connected delivering the aforesaid wellness tracking arsenic galore of Fitbit's smartwatches, though, past your lone enactment is truly the Charge 5.

By adding the ECG app, an EDA accent sensor and gathering caller metrics into the app for Fitbit Premium users, this is present a precise precocious device. It besides improves the plan considerably, which is perfect for those who similar thinner trackers, always-on displays and brighter screens.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published connected 22 August 2016.

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