Fit­bit al­ways charg­ing ahead

CHARGE 3 NOT ONLY LETS YOU USE YOUR CHARGE CARD, IT GOES DEEPER UN­DER­WA­TER AND TRACKS WAY MORE AC­TIV­I­TIES

The Nation - - GADGETS - PAISAL CHUENPRASAENG

CHARGE, a pop­u­lar fit­ness tracker from Fit­bit, is now bet­ter, with the third in the se­ries, Fit­bit Charge 3, show­ing sev­eral im­prove­ments.

The new de­sign makes the fit­ness tracker lighter and thus more com­fort­able to wear. It’s now wa­ter­proof to 50 me­tres, so you can use it while div­ing.

Also added is Fit­bit Pay for use with a credit card and a crisp touch­screen dis­play that’s larger and brighter than its pre­de­ces­sor, of­fer­ing a more in­tu­itive ex­pe­ri­ence with easy ac­cess to your most im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion.

The touch but­ton comes in an “in­duc­tion” de­sign so it fits seam­lessly.

An­other im­prove­ment is that it can now dis­play alerts from your phone and can use some apps that run on Fit­bit smart­watches. And its bat­tery is longer last­ing, al­low­ing you to use the gad­get for up to seven days on one charge.

All these im­prove­ments make Charge 3 highly rec­om­mended for Charge fans and those seek­ing a good fit­ness tracker to stay fit and healthy.

Fit­bit said ini­tial pre-or­der sales in­di­cated strong adop­tion among both new and ex­ist­ing con­sumers. It said 54 per cent of Fit­bit.com pre­orders are from loyal and en­gaged cus­tomers who owned two or more de­vices be­fore or­der­ing Charge 3.

This ini­tial con­sumer de­mand is sup­ported by IDC es­ti­mates, which pre­dict ship­ments of fit­ness track­ers will con­tinue to drive a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the over­all wear­ables cat­e­gory for the next sev­eral years.

The Charge 3 is crafted from light­weight ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing an aerospace-grade alu­minium case and Corn­ing Go­rilla Glass 3 dis­play for a slim­mer, mod­ern sil­hou­ette, in­creased dura­bil­ity and more com­fort­able fit.

The Charge 3 is 0.83 inch wide and 1.41 inches long. The dis­play is 1.57 inches di­ag­o­nally. It has two strap-band sizes to choose from – the small band is for a 140-180mm wrist and the larger for a 180-220mm wrist. Both are eas­ily swapped with the press of a but­ton.

Dur­ing the test, I found that Charge 3 was re­ally com­fort to wear, es­pe­cially for track­ing sleep.

The large back-lit dis­play is easy to read. The dis­play au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs to light­ing con­di­tions. You can also change the bright­ness of the screen by choos­ing from dim, nor­mal and auto bright­ness.

Charge 3 is easy to use. You can swipe up from clock face to ac­cess the on-de­vice dash­board and swipe down to ac­cess smart no­ti­fi­ca­tions. You can also swipe left from clock face to ac­cess on de­vice apps. The in­duc­tive but­ton on the left side is used to re­turn to the pre­vi­ous screen by quickly press­ing it.

To start us­ing Charge 3, you need to reg­is­ter an ac­count with Fit­bit.com to use its cloud stor­age to record and track your fit­ness statis­tics and of course the heart rate info that may be handy one day if your doctor needs it in case of ir­reg­u­lar beat de­tected. The cloud ser­vice also sends email to sum up your sta­tus and progress on a weekly ba­sis.

The stats recorded by Charge 3 will be synced to your ac­count through Fit­bit app in­stalled on your smart­phone.

The Charge 3 uses en­hanced 24/7 PurePulse heart-rate tech­nol­ogy that de­liv­ers greater ac­cu­racy than Charge 2 dur­ing pop­u­lar ex­er­cise ac­tiv­i­ties such as run­ning, jog­ging, spin­ning and in­ter­val train­ing, plus a bet­ter mea­sure of calo­rie burn and rest­ing heart rate to help you op­ti­mise work­outs and un­cover health trends.

It mon­i­tors your heart rate all day and all night to record and re­veal your rest­ing heart rate trends over time and fol­low your progress.

As a fit­ness tracker, Charge 3 tracks ac­tiv­i­ties like steps, dis­tance, floors climbed, ac­tive min­utes and calo­ries burned to show how ev­ery part of your day im­pacts your goals.

For me, it recorded more than 13,000 steps in one day, trans­lat­ing into about 9.4 kilo­me­tres. And it’s good that Charge 3 also counts floors climbed. It re­ported that on that day I climbed 18 floors.

Fit­bit Charge 3 also au­to­mat­i­cally recog­nises ex­er­cises like runs, swims, el­lip­ti­cal, sports and more and records them for you in the Fit­bit app. It au­to­mat­i­cally records ex­er­cise last­ing 15 min­utes. You can cus­tomise the au­to­matic recog­ni­tion with the Fit­bit app.

Af­ter Charge 3 is con­nected to your phone, the tracker can use the phone’s GPS to give ac­cu­rate real-time pace and dis­tance for out­door runs and bi­cy­cle rid­ing. I tested this fea­ture for a short five-kilo­me­tre walk by us­ing the “Run” sport on Charge 3 and it worked fine.

Charge 3 also has Fe­male Health Track­ing func­tion that comes up au­to­mat­i­cally when you reg­is­ter your ac­count as a woman. It lets women track men­strual pe­ri­ods, record symp­toms and see a pre­dicted ovu­la­tion cal­en­dar.

If you love to swim, you’ ll be happy that Charge 3 can now track that too. You need first to set your pool length. Charge 3 lets you see real-time du­ra­tion in the wa­ter on your wrist. You can later sync to the Fit­bit app to see laps, dis­tance and pace.

The Swim mode is one of six ex­er­cise modes avail­able on Charge 3 at the de­fault set­ting. Other modes are Run, Bike, Tread­mill, Weights an In­ter­val Work­out. Ac­tu­ally, there are over 15 modes to choose from.

You need to use Fit­bit app on your phone to change the ex­er­cise modes on Charge 3. You must first re­move some pre-in­stalled ones and se­lect new ones. Other modes in­clude Golf, Ten­nis, Yoga, Hike, Kick­box­ing, Cir­cuit Train­ing, Mar­tial Arts, Stair­climber, Spin­ning and Walk.

A nice fea­ture of Charge 3 is that it lets you stay con­nected with smart no­ti­fi­ca­tions from your phone for calls, texts and cal­en­dar alerts. You can also choose which of your favourite apps you want to re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tions on your wrist.

The Charge 3 comes pre­in­stalled with three phone apps – Alarms, Weather and Timers. Fit­bit says a Cal­en­dar app will be re­leased soon.

The Charge 3 has Fit­bit Pay that lets you record your credit card data, like the card num­ber, ex­piry date, name and se­cu­rity code. You can then pay at shops that ac­cept con­tact­less NFC pay­ments. Fit­bit says Fit­bit Pay is sup­ported by Kasikorn Bank, KTC and Siam Com­mer­cial Bank in Thai­land.

There are two ver­sions of Charge 3 – nor­mal and spe­cial edi­tion – and both are avail­able in a graphite alu­minium case or blue grey with a rosegold alu­minium case.

In some coun­tries, Fit­bit Pay is avail­able only on the spe­cial edi­tion, but in Thai­land, Fit­bit Pay is avail­able for both nor­mal and spe­cial edi­tions.

I got to test the spe­cial edi­tion, which also has an ad­di­tional Black Clas­sic Band apart from a Frost White Sport band for the graphite body and a Laven­der Wo­ven ban for Rose Gold body, while the nor­mal edi­tion pro­vides only Clas­sic Band in two sizes, small and large.

Fit­bit Charge 3 nor­mal edi­tion re­tails for Bt6,490 and spe­cial ed­i­tor for Bt6,990. Ac­ces­sories range from Bt990 to Bt1,890. Charge 3 is avail­able at re­tail part­ner stores, in­clud­ing B2S, Life, King Power, Power­buy, VMart and Lazada.

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