Fitbit’s Charge family of products is the most popular of Fitbit’s lineup, with 35 million devices sold to date. According to Fitbit research, of adult consumers who considered buying a wearable in the last year, 42% wanted a tracker versus 36% who wanted a smartwatch – due to the slimmer design, easy-to-use features, streamlined experience and price point. Further, IDC (International Data Corporation) estimates shipments of fitness trackers will continue to comprise a significant portion of the overall wearables category for the next several years. Trackers also make up the majority of wearable sales in major global markets like Australia, Great Britain, Japan, Singapore and Spain.
“With Charge 3, we are building on the success of our best-selling Charge franchise and delivering our most innovative tracker, offering an extremely slim, comfortable and premium design, along with the advanced health and fitness features our users want. Charge 3 gives existing users a compelling reason to upgrade, while also allowing us to reach new users who want a sleeker, more affordable wearable in a tracker form factor,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “Our commitment to consumer choice and ability to meet the demand of millions of users by offering a range of products, from trackers to smartwatches, will enable us to expand our share of the overall wearables market.”
Premium design, intelligently crafted
Charge 3 is crafted from premium, lightweight materials, including an aerospace grade aluminum case and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 display for a slimmer, modern silhouette, increased durability and more comfortable fit for men and women. It features a crisp, touchscreen OLED display that is nearly 40 percent larger and brighter than its predecessor, offering a more intuitive experience with easy access to your most important information.
Fitbit Charge 3 is the first wearable with an inductive button, which includes new patent-pending technology that provides a streamlined, swimproof design, increased space in the device to add more sensors plus a larger battery with up to 7 days of use, and more effortless interaction while maintaining the performance expected from our most advanced fitness tracker.
To complement the elevated hardware, the interactive software experience was redesigned to more deeply engage and motivate users to reach their goals each day. The high-resolution touchscreen display brilliantly showcases crisp, grayscale graphics with new playful animations and expressive graphics which surprise and delight, creating fun moments to help you celebrate milestones and stay focused on hitting your next goal.
Superior health & fitness experience
Charge 3 also delivers the most advanced health and fitness features found on a Fitbit tracker to date. With more than nine trillion minutes of heart rate data tracked, Fitbit has enhanced its 24/7 PurePulse® heart rate technology for even greater accuracy during exercise compared to Charge 2, and provides a better measure of calorie burn and resting heart rate to optimise workouts and help uncover health trends. The addition of a relative SpO2 sensor – a first for a Fitbit tracker – allows for the potential to estimate changes in blood oxygen levels and help track new health indicators, like sleep apnea.
Additional health and fitness features include:
- Goal-based exercise modes: Choose from 15+ exercise modes like bike, swim, run, weights and yoga; set a goal for calories burned, distance or duration, and see real-time stats, progress and celebrations on device when you reach your goal.
- Water resistant to 50M: Wear in the shower, rain, pool or ocean. See real-time duration on your wrist with Swim Mode, or use SmartTrack® automatic exercise recognition to see laps and pace in the Fitbit® app post-swim.
- Go the distance: Stay motivated with Connected GPS from your phone for real-time pace and distance on device, plus Run Detect with auto pause and auto stop (coming soon).
- Female health tracking: Gain a deeper understanding of your menstrual cycle by using the Fitbit app to log your period and ovulation (coming soon), record symptoms and compare cycle trends over time. With all your health and fitness stats in one place, you can better manage your health; easily see where you are in your cycle in the on-device dashboard.
- Information at a glance: Easily navigate the new personalised, on-device dashboard to see daily activity stats and health metrics like female health tracking; hydration, sleep and weight (coming soon).
- Personalised insights: Know yourself to improve your health with new dynamic insights about your activity, heart rate, nutrition and sleep to help you reach your goals with positive reinforcement and tips to course correct when needed (coming soon in the Fitbit app).
- Social motivation: Connect to one of the largest health and fitness social networks in the world, with more than 25 million active users for added motivation to reach your goals when you engage with friends, family and others through Feed, Groups and Challenges in the Fitbit app.
- 24/7 guidance and motivation: Stay on top of all your daily activity and get a more complete picture of your overall health with features like automatic exercise recognition, Reminders to Move, Relax guided breathing, sleep tracking with Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights, and more.
Advancements in Sleep Tracking & Analysis
Fitbit helps millions of users better understand their sleep patterns and the lifestyle habits than can impact them. Fitbit started tracking sleep in 2009and has built one of the largest databases of sleep over the past nine years with more than 7.5 billion nights tracked. Fitbit also introduced Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights based on heart rate variability to give you an even more in-depth understanding of sleep quality.
“Fitbit continues to harness its data to give users actionable insights into their health and wellness. For example, we’ve found that 1 in 4 people get significantly more sleep on weekends than weekdays, which implies they are trying to make up for reduced sleep during the week. We can deliver insights to these users through the Fitbit app to make them aware of how this behavior affects their well-being and suggest how to set up a sleep schedule,” said Shelten Yuen, VP of Research at Fitbit. “In the future, we hope to provide more guidance to our users to reduce the risk of disease so they can become the healthiest versions of themselves.”
Fitbit continues to make advancements in sleep and is announcing a new Sleep Score beta from Fitbit Labs that will be available to Fitbit users later this year. Using key metrics tracked by any Fitbit device with advanced 24/7 PurePulse heart rate tracking, Sleep Score will provide a nightly score to help give you a more complete picture of your overall sleep quality and what factors affect it.
In addition, for devices with a relative SpO2 sensor, including Charge 3, Fitbit Ionic™ and Fitbit Versa™, Fitbit will test the tracking of breathing disruptions, which can be indicators of health issues such as allergies, asthma or sleep apnea.
“With the Fitbit Labs Sleep Score beta, we’re pioneering an intuitive way for people to understand their sleep. It’s an example of how we are continually evolving the health experience for our users,” Yuen added.
Separately, Fitbit will continue to develop and clinically validate FDA ((U.S. Food & Drug Administration) regulated software as a medical device for various health conditions including sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation. Fitbit is one of nine companies in the FDA’s digital health software precertification pilot program, which is designed to streamline the approval process for software as a medical device.
Stay connected with the right mix of smart features
Along with its advanced health and fitness features, Charge 3 is Fitbit’s smartest tracker yet, offering the best smart features to stay connected to what matters most without overwhelming you with technology or distractions you don’t want or need.
- Expanded smart features: Easily customise and view call, calendar, text and smartphone app notifications (like Facebook and Uber), plus accept or reject calls and respond on the go with pre-populated or custom quick replies for Android users (coming soon).
- Essential apps: Make the most of your day with top-requested convenient apps like Alarms, Timer and Weather; plus Calendar and Fitbit Leaderboard coming soon with future updates.
- Popular brand apps: A select number of popular brand apps will be added on device in the future, similar to those offered on Ionic and Versa.
- Easy and secure payments: Leave your wallet at home and use Charge 3 Special Edition devices to make easy and secure payments with Fitbit Pay™ contactless payments; supported by more than 100 financial institutions in 18 countries. In South Africa, Fitbit Pay is available to all existing FNB/RMB Private Bank cardholders, who have a Fitbit Charge 3™ Special Edition, Fitbit Ionic™ and Fitbit Versa™ smartwatches, wherever contactless payments are accepted.
- Broad compatibility: Compatible across most Android and iOS devices, with Windows coming soon, so you can choose the wearable you want, regardless of your phone.
Accessories, Pricing & Availability
Customise your Charge 3 day and night with a redesigned, easier-than-ever band attach and a range of accessory options. These feature premium materials like refined polygonal-textured and stain-resistant classic bands, breathable perforated silicone sports bands, fashionable woven bands and premium Horween hand-crafted leather bands. Charge 3 Special Edition with NFC features an exclusive, white silicone sports band with a graphite aluminum case or lavender woven band with a rose gold aluminium case, and offers two looks in one with the inclusion of an additional black classic accessory band in-box.
Charge 3 will become available for R2,599 in black with a graphite aluminum case or blue gray with a rose gold aluminum case; accessories range from R349 – R549. Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition with Fitbit Pay will be available at local retailers for R3,099.
Charge 3 will be available in stores starting with October 2018.
How to create an esports team
2018 was a landmark year for South African esports as one of the country’s best teams took the battle overseas and made waves in the international scene. A year ago Bravado’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team relocated to Arizona in the U.S., a venture dubbed Project Destiny, where they used the opportunity to train as full-time professional athletes and conquer the best teams out there.
Project Destiny was a massive success. A year later and Bravado’s CS:GO team had carved a name for itself through several high-profile victories and invitations to top tier tournaments. Clearly this is not the end of the story and the team has been reflecting on the lessons and opportunities.
Team captain Dimitri “Detrony” Hadjipaschali helped lead Project Destiny and gleaned a considerable amount on what needs to go into an esports team.
Team for the right reasons
For aspirant pro players who want to up their game, pun intended, he advises starting at the basics: why do you want a team?
“In recent times, people want to create a team with no direct intention, not knowing if they want to do this casually and socially, or professionally. Doing this professionally requires risk. It depends on how much work and sacrifices are contributed to the cause of creating a team. Playing socially is fine, part-time, as many people do, but playing professionally and wanting to reach the top one day, purely depends on your dedication, motivation and intention.”
Put in the hours
Like any aspirant pro athlete, preparation requires hours of training. Bravado’s players all put in several hours of training daily, 7 days a week, and Project Destiny’s full-time pros worked multiple training sessions every day, usually in the morning and afternoon for 4 hours each, as well as competitive matches in the late evening.
But even Bravado members who are not full time still put in hours of training every day. Serious players need to find the time and build up their dedication because this level of performance is simply the bar set in esports. Said Dimitri:
“The general esports title or game a team competes in will require anything, if not more than, a traditional sport outside of esports would require to get to the top.”
Fortunately, you don’t have to go all-out from the start. Esports are tiered with the top players in the highest tiers. So there is space to cut your esporting teeth while making room for it in your life. But never forget that to be one of the best means no half-measures. In esports, you have to commit to win.
“A good team player is an individual who views his team as a single unit and not just himself as an ‘individual player’ in the bigger picture,” said Dimitri. “They put their team first and before themselves. This is the first main fundamental of a mindset required for a team player.”
Pro teams shouldn’t be mistaken for gaming clans, which are more casual and where gaming is a hobby. Even though they can be very competitive, clans mostly play for fun and entertainment, whereas a professional team is highly competitive with goals that it sets out to accomplish.
This is important because it helps the team members agree on the importance of those goals and the focus required. If you are not willing to show up every day to play the same game, partake in training exercises and learn from feedback, a pro career won’t work for you:
“Playing professionally requires aligned individuals where they share common goals and have equal intentions to realize what they want to achieve and what it takes to compete at a high level.”
Professional athletes aren’t created overnight. It takes many years of focus and dedication while also pursuing studies or working at a day job before someone manages to ascend into a paid career. Esports is the same and demands patience alongside dedication.
Esports teams amplify this requirement. While in Arizona, Bravado applied the maxim “Teams who work together win together.” Household chores were divided up between players, creating a sense of common responsibility. This repetitive reinforcement of team values is crucial for success, whereas impatience for a team to ‘click’ is a recipe for disaster:
“Often, teams do not achieve their desired results and achievements in the short run and immediately resort to a roster change. Or someone in the team is replaced without a completely valid reason. This underestimates the importance of sticking together to create synergy in the long run.”
He also added that using time smartly is perhaps even more important than the amount of time spent on training. The team under Project Destiny used a full-time coach who helped set routines, objectives and priorities:
“The mistake with teams struggling to improve these days is that they do not know and understand how to work with limited time, and how to do this best and constructively as possible. Often teams that aren’t at a top competitive level yet arrange bootcamps, but set the limited time they have with each other incorrectly, or rather not to the best potential.”
When Bravado embarked on Project Destiny, it aimed to put South African esports on the map and serve as role models for aspirant players in the country. By those measures, it has been a huge success and Bravado continues to grow and educate. Through the ongoing support of sponsors Alienware and Intel, Bravado continues its mission of creating esporting excellence and opportunity for South Africans.
Learn more at bravadogaming.com or contact Bravado’s players directly via their social media accounts.
Opera reveals SA browsing habits
Opera, one of the world’s major browser developers, and leader in AI driven digital content delivery and discovery, has released its State of Mobile Web 2019 report, revealing that nine out of ten people in South Africa use their mobile browser every day.
Other Key findings from the report include:
- Internet users in Africa use their browser to access social media domains such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, followed by entertainment and search websites
- Opera News users in Africa spend 50% of in-app time watching videos
- South Africans pay six times more per gigabyte of mobile data than people in India
- Opera Mini saved users nearly 100 million USD in mobile data in 2018
The report reveals that the Opera mobile browsers and standalone news app were used by nearly 20 million internet users in Africa and by more than 350 million people globally in the first quarter of 2019. The State of Mobile Web 2019 report also shows that Opera experienced a growth of more than 26 percent of its user base year on year, compared to the first quarter of 2018 in Africa.
“We are thrilled to see that our mobile browsers and news app have grown by 25 million monthly users in the last year, ” said Jørgen Arnesen, Head of Marketing and Distribution at Opera. “The new Opera News app has led this positive growth, as well as the introduction of new features to our mobile browsers like built-in VPN and crypto wallet. The successful partnerships Opera has with major smartphone manufacturers in Africa have also contributed to this massive growth”.
The 2019 edition of the State of the Mobile Web report looked into the use of the Opera Mini browser and the Opera browser for Android, and it shows that mobile browsing is one of the most popular online activities among African internet users. For example, in South Africa, nine out of ten people use their mobile browser every day, an activity they prefer over the use of other applications like YouTube.
The report also revealed that on average, Africans using Opera spend more than 30 minutes browsing online each day. The most browsed category of websites was social media platform domains such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, followed by search engines like Google, and entertainment and sport websites.
100 million dollars saved on mobile data
In the State of the Mobile Web 2019 report, Opera gives detailed insight into the use of the data savings feature in the Opera Mini browser, and compares the average price of mobile data in 20 countries in Africa. The results revealed that the data compression mode in Opera Mini saved users nearly 100 million USD of data in 2018.
In this analysis, Opera also compared the costs of data in some African countries with the cost of mobile data in India and Germany. The outcome of this analysis showed that South Africans pay six times more per gigabyte of mobile data than Indians and almost the same price as Germans for one gigabyte of mobile data.
Rapidly changing news and video consumption landscape
The report takes a look at the trends of news and video consumption across Africa. This includes analyzing the usage of its standalone Opera News app, which grew from launch to over 20 million users in a period of one year. Categories like breaking news, local news, and entertainment were the favourites among users in the first quarter of the year.
Video content is also becoming more popular among people who use the Opera News app. The report shows that people spend 50 percent of in-app time inOpera News watching videos on Instaclips, the recently added video feature on the news app.
The usage of Instaclips keeps growing since its test launch in December 2018: in Q1-2019, Instaclips registered a total of 122,000 videos uploaded in different languages such as English, Portoguese, French, Arabic and Swahilli.
Expanding beyond browsing to fuel digital transformation
Opera’s commitment to digital transformation in Africa is ongoing. Beyond the development of its mobile browsers and standalone news app, Opera has made major investments on the African continent, expanding its services to other technology areas such as FinTech and digital advertising.
In 2018, Opera announced the launch of OKash, a fintech micro-lending solution that quickly gained traction among mobile internet users in Kenya. Today, OKash ranks among the most downloaded micro lending applications among Kenyans and its user base keeps on growing.
In May 2019,Opera announced the introduction of Opera Ads, a new advertising platform that allows media agencies and publishers to run more targeted marketing campaigns through the Opera platforms.
The full version of State of Mobile Web 2019 report is available to read online or for download by clicking here.