Fitbit’s new Charge 5 is more interested in your stress than steps

Fitbit’s new Charge 5 is more interested in your stress than steps



Fitbit has traditionally focused on step count to monitor your health, with wearers of the popular trackers encouraged to head out for walks, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and add more cardio-vascular exercise into their routine. In recent years, the company had added more and more metrics to keep tabs on your health, including sleep tracking with continuous heart-rate monitoring and stress detection. 

And with its latest gadget, Fitbit Charge 5, the company hopes to “redefine strength”.

According to the health brand, which was acquired by Google back in January for $2.1 billion, the global pandemic has changed patterns in sleep, diet and exercise. And for those who have endured sickness, loss or increased stress, “strength has taken on a new meaning for most, and being strong in today’s world is more than what we can lift or how fast we can run. It’s also what the mind and body can handle.”

To help keep tabs on all aspects of your health, Charge 5 comes fitted with the EDA sensor, which measures your body’s response to stress through tiny changes in the sweat glands on your fingers, that launched with the Fitbit Sense. According to data from Fitbit Sense owners, some 70 percent of wearers were able to reduce their heart-rate with a two-minute EDA Scan session. With the tool now available on more products in its line-up, Fitbit hopes more people will be able to monitor and reduce stress levels.

To help with that, Charge 5 will provide you with a Stress Management Score inside the Fitbit app on your iPhone or Android, so you can see each morning if you’re mentally ready to take on more challenges …or need to recharge before tackling anything else.

If you’re subscribed to Fitbit Premium, you’ll unlock access to more than 300 meditation and mindfulness sessions from brands and experts, like Ten Percent Happier and Mindful Method by Deepak Chopra to help you manage your stress. Premium members will also gain access to exercises from Calm, which is the best-known sleep and meditation service on the planet.

Heart health is also under the microscope with the Fitbit Charge 5, thanks to the 24-hour heart-rate tracking from your wrist. Fitbit will also provide notifications when you are above or below your personal ranges. There are a number of factors that can affect your heart rate, including stress and spicy food, however, an excessively high or low heart rate could also be an indication of a heart condition that requires medical attention.

The tracker will also benefit from an ECG app, which until now has been reserved for Fitbit’s pricier smartwatches.

In addition to managing your heart health, Charge 5 provides an overview of a number of other wellness metrics via the Health Metrics dashboard in the Fitbit app, which includes data on your breathing rate, skin temperature variation, and SpO2. With Premium, Fitbit will analyse this data to provide insights based on long-term trends and personal ranges.

And finally, Fitbit Charge 5 will be one of the first trackers from the company to take advantage of its new Daily Readiness experience. This new feature, which will also be coming to the Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Luxe and Inspire 2 trackers, is designed to help you workout whether your body is ready for a workout, or whether you prioritise recovery instead.

Each morning, you’ll receive a score based on your fitness fatigue (activity), heart rate variability (HRV) and recent sleep. You’ll also get an analysis of what impacted your score, and suggestions like a recommended target Active Zone Minutes goal, along with Premium content to help you make the best decisions for your body.

Elsewhere, Charge 5 is around 10 percent thinner than its predecessor. There’s also a new AMOLED colour display, with the option to be always-on (so you can check the time on your wrist subtly in a meeting with flicking your wrist). Fitbit says the AMOLED is also two-times brighter than its predecessor, which should make it easier to see your stats on sunny days. You can also switch up your look at any time, choosing from lightweight silicone infinity bands, breathable sport bands, plush nylon hook and loop bands from Fitbit and third-party brands.

As you’d expect from Fitbit, the Charge 5 also includes built-in GPS, 20 exercise modes, automatic exercise recognition, and an estimate of your V02 max.

Plus, with a subscription to Fitbit Premium, you’ll be able to access more than 200 workouts from certified trainers and popular brands like Daily Burn, barre3, obé and new high energy workouts from LES MILLS.

The latest tracker from Fitbit will be available for £169.99, which includes a six-month Premium membership (for both new or returning customers). Pre-orders for the Fitbit Charge 5 are available right now at Fitbit.com and a number of retail partners, with the gadget set to hit store shelves in the coming weeks.





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