When it comes to smartwatches and fitness trackers, Fitbit is at the top of the game, and their Charge silo is their most popular entry with over 35 million units sold to date. The Charge was initially launched in 2014, and has a few iterations released; with the third instalment now confirmed for a South African release.
The Charge 3 isn’t exactly supposed to be competing with the most sophisticated smartwatches out there in terms of tech or functionality. Rather, it’s aimed at people who want a good intersection between the essentials of a smartwatch, but who also want key fitness and health info on hand, too.
The design is sleek and uses lightweight, fitness-friendly materials – most notably the aluminium case that shaves down on any excess bulk, and with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for the display, making it durable and allowing it to handle whatever your daily routine throws at it.
When it comes to connectivity and smart features, it allows you to customise what will be displayed, whether that be calls, texts, calendar notifications, and third-party app notifications like Facebook or Uber. It also includes access to the most popularly requested apps, like alarms, timers, and weather info. It contains enough to be functional and helpful, but doesn’t have such a slew of functionality that can make the operation of the device bloated and overwhelming.
The fitness aspects are equally impressive, particularly the goal-based exercise modes that should keep all the fitness junkies hitting PBs. It lets you choose a mode – such as biking, running, swimming, or weights – and then by selecting a goal, you can monitor your progress and stats via the device. It lets you view a lot of other stats and breakdowns of your performance, so it should be like wearing a motivational fitness buddy right on your wrist.
Pricing starts at R2,599 for the base model, and R3,099 for the special edition equipped with Fitbit Pay – and they’ll be available in stores starting October 2018. For anyone looking to make their first foray into the smartwatch/tracker market, the Charge 3 is a nice entry that balances form and function that gives you all the essentials you need.