Fitbit Charge 3 Review: One Step Closer to Perfect

Nov 3, 2018
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Have you had problems syncing your Charge 3 with your phone since the latest app update on (I think) 10/28/2018? I've got to remove the Charge 3 from the app, uninstall and reinstall the app, then reconnect the Charge 3. That seems to work almost regularly. The comments in the Google Play Store show that this is a widespread problem.
 
Nov 9, 2018
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Have you checked out the Fitbit support site? Many complaints of inability to connect, wildly inaccurate heart monitor, wildly inaccurate sleep monitor, constant need to reboot system, failure to charge, sudden bricking of the device, stress cracking of screen. Very disappointing to call this an update to the 2. Seems like an early beta released very prematurely for the xmas selling season. Currently has 25% one-star reviews on Amazon, with lots of people returning them because of multiple failures.
 
Nov 22, 2018
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Mijn man en ik hebben de eerste dag dat fitbit charge3 uitkwam onmiddelijk gaan kopen .Wat een teleurstelling Mijn man gaat tafelvoetbal spelen en komt daar met een score, op een uur tijd had hij al duizende stappen, terwijl hij zo goed als stil staat ,ik als poetsvrouw elke beweging met mijn handen geef de fitbit een stap zelfs aan het stuur draaien ,sorry dit zou toch niet mogen , Ik wil het zeker niet afbreken ,daarom de vraag is er iets aan te veranderen ,iets installeren of dergelijke ,wie weet raad ?
 
Nov 22, 2018
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I’ve just purchased a Charge 3 for the waterproof and swim tracker feature. What a huge disappointment. After a few swims what I can see is that......it doesn’t work! Not fit for sale as a swim tracker. Maybe I have a ‘lemon’, but this bad boy does not auto track swim sessions and gives me lap stats of a non-swimmer in floaties.

I’m an IT guy and have set all the settings up correctly. In any case, auto-track is supposedly as simply as jump in and go. Mine thinks I’m running or some other sport. And lap counting? Shocking and appalling. I do 2.5Km’s to 3km’s a 1 hour session and my lemon tells me anything between 700m and 1.8km depending on its mood that day. I’ve checked out some forums suggesting you push off hard, swim freestyle, don’t stop, stop at every end, etc.....nothing gets me anywhere near what I am counting and doing. Anywhere between 30% and 70% inaccurate?? Thats a joke Fitbit. Change your advertising and put in the facts rather than misleading your customers.

Now, one advantage of my ‘lemon’ thinking that I am running is that it does track my heart rate, which when in proper swim mode of course, for some reason that’s normally disabled. Epic fail Fitbit; enable heart rate in swim mode, make swim mode work, and count laps properly. Or, advertise this device as a “waterproof tracker that doesn’t track your laps accurately, has no heart rate monitoring, and thinks your running when swimming anyway”.
 
Dec 28, 2018
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The device features are great but the Fitbit design is lousy. If you are a big bloke, forget it. The provided large strap is really on one half of a large strap. The other side of the strap, the part with the buckle on it, is the still short strap. Still too small and the buckle on the small strap now sits on the edge of your wrist.

Second fail is this device is easy to read as a watch, but not as a fitness tracker. The numerals are too small if you are older than 40. Sure Fitbit give you a choice of 5 different watch face Apps, but all provide large watch numerals and small performance numerals. Don't know about you, but I already have a watch, I wanted a fitness tracker.
 
Jan 4, 2019
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The Charge 3's (many of them) stopped syncing on December 21. Many, many, many uphappy owners of Fitbit devices. From what I can tell reading the support forums and their Facebook page community, the syncing issue is not only the Charge 3 devices. My last sync was December 22. I spent hours troubleshooting and trying to work with their support to fix mine, all to no avail other than a lot of frustration. They admit there is a serious issue with the software and many devices are not syncing. Read their support forum and FB page community for further proof of the issue. After much time spent and frustration, they are sending me a new device, mine not only quit syncing but it also stopped keeping time--I got it in mid-November. Since there's a bug in the software that is disallowing the syncing, I may be totally out of luck with the new device as well. They're not offering a time frame on when this issue will be resolved. I would suggest no one buy a Charge 3 until they fix the syncing bug.
 
Jan 22, 2019
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Cool idea but what a piece of cheap junk. I was putting mine on and it fell off, face down onto CARPET and now the screen is cracked. Fitbit of course won't do anything about it. Waste of money if quality of product is something you're interested in.
 
Jan 31, 2019
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I totally disagree with the negative reviews. I bought my first one on black friday for $99 and it works fine. I gave that one to my sister and she loves it. After using her Fitbit 2 for years she likes the upgrade. I bought this one as a replacement and am very happy. I love seeing the date, time and heart rate. If you want you can see any of the following three at a time: steps, time, heart rate and/or date. There are lots of clock face choices. I visit the app everyday for the many stats including steps, Floors, miles, calories, minutes of activity, heart rate info and sleep info. I am a swimmer and it tracks me very accurately. I use a SportsCount 200 for swimming as well. It is a lap counter for swimming that fits on my finger. I use it because I can't kept accurate lap count in my head and I need to see what lap I am on in real time while swimming. I swim from 44 to 66 laps per day, mostly non stop. The Fitbit Charge 3 keeps very accurate data and is verified by my lap counter. Both show time and laps.
With normal arm movement it tracks my walking and treadmill use just fine.
I also use the elliptical and find it work fine as well.
I love seeing my text messages and with notifications on I get 6 days of battery life.
It works automatically and syncs well with many apps. I have used it with the MyFittnessPal App and Weight Watchers App. With the Dick's Sporting Goods App you can earn points towards discounts.
I highly recommend this product!!!
 

praxis22

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Aug 7, 2015
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I have a charge 3 bought it on spec as I had a charge 2 (great device) and the 3 was waterproof with a bigger battery. Worked like a charm after I bought it day one Firmware update was quick and painless, (some time in November 2018) then came Christmas and slew of new app updates. At that point the tracker wouldn't sync, tried three different Android phones, including two officially supported models, still wouldn't work. But it was Christmas, i was busy, thought nothing of it. Sat down with it later determined to get to the bottom it if, found there was a new firmware update. It literally took hours, during which time I had to keep the screen alive or the transfer would fail. Finally got it to flash. It synced once, on the 28th December. Wouldn't sync again. Finally went to the support forums. typed in a big detailed post about what I had tried, and version numbers, etc. they classed it as SPAM and blocked it. Had to write to them to get them to unblock it. During which time I took to the firmware update sticky. That was car wreck of people complaining, and people saying they had workarounds and support saying not to use them. so they closed the thread.

I did some checking, Wikipedia has entries in the main article, that read like a marketing release. all about fitbit pay. It seems there is a charge 3 special edition. which was switched on over Christmas. Being a geek I figure they probably had to upgrade all the 3's (include the special ed) as otherwise they'd have to maintain two code bases. the Workaround involved wiping the config from the user interface of the tracker. I gave up at that point. Deleted my account.

Then things got interesting, I used the contact for to ask them about my health data, retroactive backups and GDPR, they bluffed, said my data could not be recovered. I asked again about backups, since I figured they'd have to have them, that is their entire business model, people's health data. they said that my data could not be recovered even from backups.

It is a nice device, looks better than the charge 2, not bad as a standalone tracker. which is how I use it now. Sadly since the flash it says that sleep is not tracked, which was the whole reason I bought a fitbit in the first place.

Be very careful about using one of these if you're a European.

 
Feb 2, 2019
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I am a long time user of the FitBit One - and it was ace. (Note: I also have a few chinese pedometers that I test)

I bought the ionic sometime back and it was odd ... wrong step counts (chinese pedometers were spot on) - I hated the look of the Ionic so stopped using it



The Fitbit Charge came out and I bought it pre-order and it arrived on launch day

Let's skip the fact that it is an awful interface, have to tap numerous times to activate the screen, has a stupid system and the numbers/characters are way too small - But I have now tested it over and over and over and I can confirm there is a major fault with the fitbit charge 3 and step counts



(note: It has counted 22 steps since I started typing this)



I want to say that I actually pay close attention to this as it is my professional job to test pedometers for a project i am working on



Something has bothered me since I have bought the fitbit charge 3, but today I finally lost my temper with it. Why?



My chinese pedometer of choice is showing 2239 steps today.

The fitbit is showing 7190!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG



I have left the house once only and to a local shop - I know it is about 700 steps each way (1400 total), which the fitbit one, numerous Chinese pedometers and my fav Chinese pedometer also records with a margin of no more than +/- 2% (i believe in the industry up to +/- 5% is acceptable)



NOW IMPORTANT NOTE: In all fairness, the FitBit Charge 3 is close to 700 steps too.



In fact on straight walks over distance even if it is off terrain or paths uphills etc - all perform within +/- 2% of each other



BUT THERE IS DEFINITELY ONE THING WRONG WITH THE FITBIT CHARGE 3

Steps counted when typing, washing cooking cleaning, having a shower - it is shocking!!



The fit bit can pick up 300 steps just in a shower. 300 steps for washing up the dishes

It has now picked up another 15 steps typing

i am using it on my non-dominant hand

and i hate that the responses are always about "have you put in the right stride?" what's that got to do with anything?



No matter what i do, the fitbit seems to be 20% more steps on average every day -



After 5 years of using a fitbit and other hardware pedometers I know the distances of some of my walks pretty accurately ... my walk in the park is 5000 steps on average, the walk to the stadium and back is 8000 steps, the walk to the train station and back is just short of 10,000 steps



And all the pedometers I won are pretty accurate with it and in a sense so is the fitbit charge three, but its the other stuff that is terrible and 20% is alot when u are doing 10,000 steps



Its shows 12,000!! and it happens often



So why was today almost three times the distance - well, its the weekend, i have been cleaning the house, washing, ironing, and doing alot of work and catching up with things



The chinese pedometer says 2300 (that's ok 1400 to the shop and back and the remaining 900 is about right for sitting around a lot all day)



BUT 7200 on the fitbit that is a joke! and just depressing when you cannot trust it anymore!



(its picked up another 18 steps)



So yes, its awful - and I doubt they can do a fix - it may actually be a hard ware issue and they are screwed



There was only ever one decent fitbit - the fitbit one



Even for any other brand, belt clips are the most accurate - even my previous favorite Chinese pedometer



The most important thing to remember is the hardware has been good and around for almost 5 years now.



Fitbit's additions are just a waste of time (heart rate? not one person i know uses it afetr the novelty factor is gone - even the personal trainers I know laugh at this "cardio burn zone" lol - and if they do use it its to see their resting heart rate first thing in the morning when they wake up)



Sadly, to make u buy newer versions, they have to add more gimmicks. But its close to the end for fitbit - its share price is worth only 5% of what it was when it went on the stock markets
And it will join the others like Nike fuelband and jawbone



I don't mind paying for a decent product ... but this is actually a freaking disaster - and people will realize soon enough - and then its game over. If you cannot trust your device .. its game over
 

nokabolikov

Distinguished
Feb 2, 2009
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A swim-proof design, improved touchscreen and potential for deeper sleep insights make the Fitbit Charge 3 the best all-around fitness tracker for the money.
As an all-around fitness tracker the Charge 3 is unfit for purpose.

I've had mine since November. Many of the functions work well,
but it is let down, as a fitness tracker,
by its inability to recognize or filter out motorized movement.

My own experience of this problem has come while riding a scooter.
During a 60 km round trip, the watch recorded about 12,000 steps and 200 stair climbs.

This has been an issue with FitBit devices for FIVE years.
The thread about this, started in 2014, is up to page 43
https colon slash slash community.fitbit.com/t5/Feature-Suggestions/Add-quot-Driving-Mode-quot-Feature-to-avoid-erroneous-steps-floors/idi-p/519276#comments

If you are, say, a delivery driver, you have no way of stopping
the device from erroneously recording steps when driving.
The company's advice is to put the device in the charging cradle...
FitBits lack even a manual function to pause recording.

Any reviewer should have already known about this issue or,
at least, discovered it during review testing.

For me, the sleep tracking is the most interesting feature.
It purports to assess REM sleep using hear-rate variation measurements.

I was hoping that it would have better swim tracking functions.
If you set it to record swims, it turns off HR tracking.
If you let it autorecognize, it records HR.
Either way, it badly undercounts laps/lengths.
If the accelerometers are incapable of counting every push off the wall,
it could do is provide a stroke count to let the user calculate actual lengths.

Anyway, until FitBit resolve the issue with counting steps and stairs
during motorized movement, for most people,
their devices are useless for overall fitness tracking.
 
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