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Fitbit unveils Charge 5

A colour screen makes its debut on the new Fitbit Charge 5. It also gets an EDA stress sensor, which debuted on the high-end Fitbit Sense.

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Fitbit has unveiled the Charge 5, which takes a more holistic view to help users keep a pulse on fitness, stress, heart health, sleep and overall wellbeing. With a brighter, colour touchscreen and up to seven days of battery life, the new tracker delivers the convenience features users demand.

As with other new trackers and smartwatches from Fitbit, it comes with six months of Fitbit Premium. The service can help users get deeper insights, actionable guidance, a range of more than 500 workouts, mindfulness tips, and nutritional content. 

With Fitbit Premium’s new Daily Readiness experience, users will be able to understand if their bodies are ready for a workout or if they should prioritise recovery instead. Each morning, users will receive a score based on fitness fatigue (activity), heart rate variability (HRV) and recent sleep. There will also be an analysis of what affected the score, and suggestions like a recommended target Active Zone Minutes goal, along with Premium content to help them make the best decisions for their bodies. 

Fitbit Charge 5’s advanced health and fitness tracker with on-device animation demonstrating the user interface.

The Charge 5 includes built-in GPS, 20 exercise modes, automatic exercise recognition and an estimate of V02 max. With Premium, users can access more than 200 workouts from certified trainers and popular brands like Daily Burn, barre3, obé, and new high energy workouts from Les Mills.

During 2020, a record-high 40% of adults said they experienced a lot of stress. To help better manage stress, the Charge 5 includes an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, which measures one’s body’s response to stress through tiny changes in the sweat glands on the fingers. This sensor was first launched with Fitbit Sense and the company says it found 70% of users reduced their heart rate after a two-minute EDA Scan session, showing these tools can help reduce stress.

Users also get a Stress Management Score in the Fitbit app, so they can see each morning if they’re mentally ready to take on more challenges, or if they need to recharge. There are 300 meditation and mindfulness sessions on its Premium service from brands and experts, like Ten Percent Happier and Mindful Method by Deepak Chopra. It’s also introducing a partnership with Calm, the app for sleep, meditation and relaxation, which will soon provide Premium members with access to Calm content.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the world’s most common heart rhythm condition and, since launching the ECG app on Sense, users have taken more than four million assessments. The ECG app will be available soon on the Charge 5, bringing a critical tool to more people at a more approachable price. The tracker also tracks one’s heart rate 24/7 and provides notifications when you are above or below your personal ranges. 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.

In addition to managing heart health, Charge 5 provides a holistic view of other key wellness metrics via the Health Metrics dashboard in the Fitbit app, including breathing rate, skin temperature variation, and SpO2. 

Users will continue to receive industry-leading sleep tools like daily Sleep Score, Sleep Stages and SmartWake alarms. Premium members also receive a deeper analysis and guidance to improve sleep quality.

Beyond health and wellness support, the Charge 5 offers convenience features like on-device stats, contactless payments, and receiving notifications from a connected smartphone (quick replies with Android only).

It’s 10% thinner than its predecessor, and has an aerodynamic design. With an AMOLED colour display, the Charge 5 has an always-on display option for seeing stats or while training. The display is also two-times brighter than its predecessor making it easy to see stats on sunny days. Users can also switch up their look at any time, choosing from lightweight silicone infinity bands, breathable sport bands, plush nylon hook, and loop bands. 

The recommended retail price for Fitbit Charge 5 is R3,999 and accessories from R599. The device will be available later this year at the following retailers: Makro, Cape Union Mart, Incredible Connection, Takealot.com, Hi Online, Dischem, Superbalist. Total Sports, Sportsmans Warehouse, FNB eBucks and FNB connect.

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