Though Fitbit hasn’t been tremendous constant, the discharge of a brand new Cost gadget is turning into an annual custom. Because the first Fitbit Cost launched in 2014, the corporate has stored issues fairly fundamental with easy designs, monochrome shows, and a direct concentrate on health above all else. That each one modifications with the 2021 Fitbit Cost 5.

Our full information: What that you must know concerning the Fitbit Cost 5

The Cost 5 comes with a full-color AMOLED show, which is a primary for the road. It additionally carries over just a few smartwatch options from bigger (and costlier) Fitbits, such because the Fitbit Sense. After all, all these upgrades additionally enhance the worth of the Cost 5, making it by far the costliest Cost so far.

Does the brand new tracker earn its new worth? Discover out within the Android Authority Fitbit Cost 5 evaluation.

About this Fitbit Cost 5 evaluation: I used the Fitbit Cost 5 for seven days, operating software program model 20001.142.30. It was related to a Google Pixel 5 all through the testing interval. The Cost 5 unit was supplied to Android Authority by Fitbit for this evaluation.

What that you must know concerning the Fitbit Cost 5

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  • Fitbit Cost 5: $179.95 / €179.95 / £169.99

Fitbit launched the Cost 5 on August 25, 2021. It comes scorching on the heels of one other current Fitbit tracker, the Fitbit Luxe, which launched just a few months earlier. In contrast to the Luxe, although, this tracker has a bigger show and is extra utilitarian in design.

Nonetheless completely different the Luxe and the Cost 5 look, they’re remarkably related in some ways. The software program is just about equivalent, they each have full-color AMOLED shows and no {hardware} buttons, and each borrow some options from the flagship Fitbit Sense smartwatch.

The Cost 5 has a lot of the anticipated well being options from earlier Fees, together with a coronary heart charge sensor, SpO2 monitoring, sleep monitoring, and step monitoring. Sadly, it doesn’t have an altimeter, so it loses out on the flexibility to trace flooring and different height-related actions.

See additionally: The very best health trackers you will get

New to the Cost line, although, is an electrodermal exercise (EDA) sensor. This can be a sweat/stress sensor first seen within the Fitbit household on the Sense. The Cost 5 may also monitor pores and skin temperature, however that solely occurs when you sleep and there’s no devoted {hardware} for this monitoring.

There are additionally loads of smartwatch-esque options right here, together with notifications out of your telephone and the flexibility to learn texts, emails, and so forth. Fitbit Pay — which lets you use NFC to pay for gadgets at retail checkouts — can also be included. Music controls, nonetheless, are usually not included.

As with all different Fitbit merchandise, you’ll must pay $10 monthly for Fitbit Premium to unlock all of the out there options of the Cost 5. Nonetheless, it isn’t mandatory to do that for the fundamental performance of the tracker and also you get six months of Premium free along with your buy.

The Fitbit Cost 5 is available in three colorways — Black strap with Graphite stainless-steel case (examined), Lunar White strap with Mushy Gold stainless-steel case, and Metal Blue strap with Platinum stainless-steel case.

Design: A colourful step approach up

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Hero Color

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When you’d solely glanced on the Fitbit Cost 5, you’d instantly see why it’s so rather more costly than the Fitbit Cost 4. Gone is the ugly monochrome show — as a substitute, we’ve a ravishing full-color AMOLED panel as an alternative. The show is considerably greater than the one on the Luxe, which was the primary tracker from Fitbit with a colour display.

That additional display actual property is vital as a result of Fitbit additionally eliminated the capacitive aspect button we noticed on the Cost 4 (and the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3). Now, all navigation occurs on the show by way of both swipes or faucets. This technique mirrors what we noticed on the Luxe, however that tracker’s teeny tiny show made these strikes tough. With this greater show, navigation is a breeze.

The total-color panel can also be considerably brighter than the dim monochrome one on the Cost 4. Utilizing the Cost 4 on a sunny day is nigh inconceivable, however the Cost 5 is straightforward to learn in shiny conditions. This can be a very welcome improve.

With all of this, Fitbit someway made the Cost 5 bodily smaller than the Cost 4. It’s nonetheless greater than the too-small Luxe, however it’s slimmer, curvier, and extra elegant than final yr’s tracker. This makes it one of the crucial unobtrusive health trackers I’ve used.

The default strap that got here with my unit is similar to the one which got here with my Sense. It’s an all-silicone affair with a slot to retailer the surplus strap when buckled. Within the field, there’s a bigger strap so individuals with thicker wrists can swap it out. Sadly, the revamped design of the Cost 5 signifies that straps for older fashions — together with the Cost 4 — are usually not suitable with the Cost 5. Seems such as you’re going to want to purchase all of your favourite bands once more.

The brand new design is nice, however you will want to purchase all-new bands for the Cost 5.

Do word that the brand new colour show and smaller type issue ends in weaker total battery life. I maxed out the settings of the Cost 5 (always-on show turned on, brightness and vibrations set to most, and so forth.) and received by way of 72 hours of use with about 10{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} left to spare. That included sleep monitoring, three exercises, a number of bike rides, and setting the odd alarm/timer right here and there. Battery life isn’t nice, and it’s significantly poor for a $180 tracker, particularly when you think about the full-color Xiaomi Band 6 can get by way of simply over per week with all its options turned on.

Lastly, Fitbit additionally did away with the cumbersome clip-style charger that got here with the Cost 4. As a substitute, it has a proprietary magnetic charger not not like what we noticed on the Luxe, Sense, and Versa 3. This magnetic charging cable is included within the field, however there isn’t any wall adapter included. Sadly, the Cost 5 doesn’t assist any method of wi-fi charging.

Well being and health monitoring: The standard Fitbit caveats

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Fitbit App Heart Rates

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The Fitbit Cost 5 is a health tracker, so it fairly clearly has a ton of health options. It additionally tracks your steps, sleep, and stress, and has onboard GPS for any distance-based exercises. Right here’s how every part measures up.

Health monitoring

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Workouts

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As with the Cost 4, there are 20 exercises you possibly can monitor, together with operating, swimming, biking, yoga, and extra. Nonetheless, additionally just like the Cost 4, you possibly can solely select six of those exercises to look as choices on the Cost 5 at anyone time. If there are greater than six exercises you commonly monitor, you’ll must manually swap some out when mandatory utilizing the Fitbit app in your smartphone, which might be fairly tedious. The Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 would not have this limitation.

Associated: The very best health apps to get into form and keep there

Regardless of having the ability to monitor the identical variety of exercises as its costlier smartwatch siblings, the Cost 5 is lacking two vital options. The primary is the beforehand talked about lack of an altimeter. With out this {hardware} function, the Cost 5 can’t report your ascended flooring and won’t be as correct in terms of monitoring elevation-based exercises, akin to mountaineering. This can be a curious omission, particularly when you think about the Cost 4 has this function.

The second monitoring function lacking is the flexibility to report real-time laps in your exercises. On the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3, a lap button seems on the show throughout sure exercises should you select for it to be there. The Cost 5, although, doesn’t have this function. Granted, you possibly can all the time manually add laps after the very fact in your Fitbit app, and it must be famous that the Cost 4 additionally lacks this function. Nonetheless, for a $180 gadget targeted solely on health, this looks as if one thing you’d need to have.

Coronary heart charge monitoring

Fitbit Charge 5 Review In Hand with Color

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The accuracy of the all-day coronary heart charge monitoring on the Cost 5 is on par with what we’ve seen from earlier Fitbit gadgets. My common resting coronary heart charge recorded by the tracker matched what I noticed from a finger clip pulse oximeter.

Nonetheless, throughout exercises, I confronted a bizarre problem with coronary heart charges. After I first began some exercises, my recorded coronary heart charge would start a lot increased than it really was. Even when I used to be simply sitting at my desk with a resting coronary heart charge of ~50BPM, the tracker would begin with a coronary heart charge a lot increased, typically breaking previous 100BPM. After a minute or two, the tracker would slowly drop down nearer to my precise coronary heart charge. Clearly, this created some inaccurate exercise knowledge.

The accuracy of the all-day coronary heart charge monitoring on the Cost 5 is on par with different Fitbit gadgets.

I requested Fitbit about this downside and the staff advised me that when the Cost 5 is recording common coronary heart charge knowledge it “ticks” a sure variety of instances every hour. When recording exercises, although, it “ticks” many extra instances than that to extend accuracy. Fitbit thinks that the swap from resting mode to exercise mode is perhaps inflicting a quick spike. It stated it was wanting into this problem. Nonetheless, it must be famous that I didn’t have a retail unit for this Fitbit Cost 5 evaluation and the Fitbit staff couldn’t replicate this downside on their very own gadgets. So that is most likely an remoted incident, however I felt it was vital to share.

Aside from that bizarre problem, although, exercise coronary heart charge recording is sweet. Try the graph beneath from a motorcycle trip I did. You may see comparability traces between the Fitbit Cost 5 outcomes and the Wahoo Tickr X chest strap:

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Heart Rate vs Wahoo Tickr X

The charts are very related, with the identical peaks and valleys. Even the common and peak coronary heart charges recorded by each gadgets are extraordinarily shut.

Step monitoring

Fitbit Charge 5 Review vs Fitbit Charge 4 on Wrist

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Fitbit is infamous for over-counting steps with its gadgets. I spent some days carrying it on my proper (dominant) wrist with the Fitbit Sense on my left wrist. Every day, the Cost 5 recorded a number of hundred extra steps than the Sense. This probably has to do with the selection of wrist for every gadget, nevertheless it nonetheless proves that step monitoring with a Fitbit isn’t going to be as correct as a devoted pedometer. Nonetheless, it’s most likely shut sufficient for most individuals’s wants.

Needless to say Fitbit, its opponents, and well being professionals typically, try to downplay step monitoring as a helpful well being metric by itself. Fitbit is pushing Lively Zone Minutes and its new Each day Readiness Rating as higher alternate options to issues like steps and coronary heart charge information. We’ll cowl this a bit extra within the Fitbit app part beneath.

Sleep, SpO2, and pores and skin temperature monitoring

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Fitbit App Sleep Score

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Fitbits are a few of the greatest sleep trackers available on the market. Unsurprisingly, the sleep monitoring knowledge from the Fitbit Cost 5 is correct, simple to grasp, and helpful. You get a sleep rating every day that provides you a roundabout concept of how properly you slept the earlier night. Curiously, this rating doesn’t all the time correlate with how lengthy you’ve slept. I had increased scores for shorter sleep periods, for instance. Typically, the sleep rating the Fitbit app gave me precisely mirrored how well-rested I felt the following day.

Do word that Fitbit made headlines not too long ago for introducing a solution to monitor loud night breathing. Nonetheless, this isn’t out there on the Cost 5. It’s reserved for the Sense and Versa 3, no less than for now. Contemplating there isn’t any microphone on the Cost 5 (which is critical for the loud night breathing rating), the Cost 5 will nearly actually not get this function.

See additionally: What’s SpO2 and why do you have to care?

The Cost 5 may also monitor SpO2, in any other case generally known as your blood-oxygen stage. The nearer this quantity is to 100, the higher off you’re. The tracker takes SpO2 measurements periodically all through the day and you’ll all the time test your common stage on the tracker itself (while not having to make use of a selected clock face). I discovered SpO2 readings to be very correct as in comparison with a devoted pulse oximeter.

Though it doesn’t have devoted {hardware} for the aim, the Fitbit Cost 5 may also monitor pores and skin temperature. It solely tracks this if you are asleep, although, and can’t be manually triggered. It might nonetheless be helpful information, nonetheless, as excessive fluctuations in your common pores and skin temperature might be an early warning signal that you’re getting sick.

Stress/EDA monitoring

Fitbit Charge 5 Review EDA Scan

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The Fitbit Sense launched electrodermal exercise (EDA) sensors to the Fitbit line. The Fitbit Luxe additionally has this function, and the Fitbit Cost 5 lifts the Luxe’s system beat-for-beat.

On the edges of the Cost 5, you’ll discover two skinny metallic strips. While you begin an EDA scan, you’ll flippantly press each strips along with your thumb and index finger. Throughout the subsequent couple of minutes, the tracker will carry out the scan by monitoring how your sweat exercise modifications over time. By performing a number of scans every day at completely different ranges of vitality (pre-workout, post-workout, earlier than mattress, and so forth.), you’ll begin to get a good suggestion of your regular and elevated stress ranges.

By itself, a single piece of this knowledge is simply barely useful. You may most likely inform if you’re at the moment confused or not with out an app telling you. Nonetheless, over time, plenty of these readings might offer you an concept of if you find yourself most/least confused. For instance, in case your stress readings are all the time excessive on Monday mornings, that might be fascinating info that would trigger you to change the way you strategy these days.

A number of items of this knowledge would additionally slot in properly with Fitbit’s new Each day Readiness Rating function. Extra on that afterward.

GPS monitoring

Fitbit Charge 5 Review In Bush

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In contrast to the Fitbit Luxe, the Fitbit Cost 5 has onboard GPS. This lets you monitor GPS metrics while not having to deliver your smartphone alongside. Nonetheless, onboard GPS is a battery-hogging function, so the Cost 5 additionally affords related GPS, by which your smartphone’s GPS does the work and simply transmits that knowledge to the tracker.

You may select certainly one of these two sorts of GPS monitoring for all of your exercises. Conversely, you possibly can select to make use of Dynamic GPS, which permits the tracker to bounce between its personal sensor and your telephone’s each time one connection is stronger than the opposite.

Fitbit GPS monitoring has all the time been fairly good, and the Cost 5 doesn’t disappoint. When in comparison with the GPS of a Wahoo Tickr X chest strap, the Cost 5 turned in almost equivalent outcomes:

Fitbit Charge 5 Review GPS Chart 1

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The maps present varied instances when each trackers fumbled with GPS, particularly in areas with excessive tree protection. I really feel just like the Wahoo Tickr X wins the day, however not by a lot that the Fitbit Cost 5 doesn’t maintain its personal.

I’ll word, although, that the Cost 5 took fairly some time to hook up with GPS initially of the trip. This occurs usually with wrist trackers since they’re a lot smaller than smartphones and chest straps, so it’s type of a mandatory evil.

The underside line right here is that, should you’re a giant fan of GPS monitoring, you’ll be completely satisfied sufficient with the Fitbit Cost 5.

Fitbit app: Large guarantees

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Fitbit App Main Page

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When you’ve owned a Fitbit gadget over the previous few years, you gained’t be stunned by something within the Fitbit app. With the launch of the Cost 5, the corporate hasn’t modified how the app seems to be or works in any respect.

Since we’ve many critiques of Fitbit merchandise, I gained’t rehash the app a lot right here. Total, it’s a really well-designed expertise with every part organized fairly intuitively. Knowledge is offered in a macro, easy-to-understand format. With a faucet, you possibly can dive progressively deeper into particulars for that knowledge.

The massive factor to bear in mind right here, although, is that one of many core options of the Cost 5 doesn’t exist within the Fitbit app but. The Each day Readiness Rating (DRS) has been a fairly large facet of Fitbit’s promotional marketing campaign for this tracker, however I can’t inform you a lot about it as a result of it’s not out there but.

One of many star options of the Cost is not out there at launch.

In concept, the DRS will take all the info your tracker obtains — sleep, steps, exercises, stress, mindfulness, and so forth. — and mix all of it into simply understood bites. For instance, if the app determines you didn’t get sufficient sleep the night time earlier than, it would inform you to skip your typical morning exercise. Conversely, should you slept very well, it would inform you to push more durable along with your exercise to maximise positive factors. When you slept properly however your stress ranges are tremendous excessive, possibly it might inform you to go simple for the remainder of the day.

We’ve seen different firms undertake the sort of reporting, with Garmin’s Physique Battery being one of the crucial common. Physique Battery has been round for years. In that sense, Fitbit is already late to the sport, and now it’s selling a tracker that works properly with this new system — nevertheless it’s nonetheless not out there.

Associated: The commonest Fitbit issues and repair them

Sadly, that is par for the course for Fitbit — the corporate often launches merchandise with out promised star options. However we are able to’t evaluation merchandise on guarantees, so for now, all we are able to say is that there’s nothing actually new within the Fitbit app as associated to the Cost 5.

Fitbit would solely decide to a “coming quickly” deadline for the DRS. Needless to say this function is coming to different trackers as properly, together with the Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Cost 5, Luxe, and Encourage 2.

As a last word right here, the DRS options can be locked behind Fitbit Premium. This service prices $10 monthly, however you get six months free with the acquisition of a Cost 5. Outdoors of the DRS, Fitbit Premium affords a deeper look into your sleep scores, meal plan content material, exercise guides, and much more. Nonetheless, not one of the {hardware} options of the Cost 5 are locked behind Premium, so it’s a utterly optionally available add-on expense. With this in thoughts, contemplating the DRS shouldn’t be right here but, it is perhaps advisable to attend till it lands earlier than shopping for a Cost 5. In spite of everything, you don’t need a doubtlessly giant chunk of your six-month trial to disclaim you entry to the DRS.

Smartwatch options: Simply the fundamentals

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Fitbit Pay

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With the introduction of a full-color show to the Fitbit Cost 5, it feels extra like a smartwatch than ever earlier than. The monochrome show of earlier trackers made them instantly really feel inferior and clunky in comparison with smartwatches. That’s not the case with the Cost 5.

Let’s begin with what it could possibly do. As with earlier trackers, your Fitbit Cost 5 can obtain smartphone notifications. Emails, textual content messages, and telephone calls all seem on the gadget. Within the case of text-based notifications, you possibly can even learn nearly all of the message proper on the tracker. You may then inform the tracker to open the message in your telephone and even clear it, which can take away it from the tracker’s notification record in addition to your telephone’s notifications (on Android, no less than). Nonetheless, you can’t reply to any of those messages on the tracker.

Associated: The very best smartwatches you should purchase

It additionally sports activities different anticipated options, akin to setting alarms and timers — and it consists of Fitbit Pay, so you possibly can depart your telephone behind and nonetheless pay for issues at retail checkouts.

Now, what can it not do? There are not any music options with the tracker, not like the Cost 4 which no less than had entry to Spotify controls. It will possibly’t retailer music both. It doesn’t have a digital assistant integrated, there isn’t any climate app, and there are actually zero third-party apps out there.

If you want the Cost 5 had these options, the excellent news is that the Fitbit Versa 3 does all of these issues and solely prices about $50 extra.

Fitbit Cost 5 specs

Fitbit Cost 5
Show Shade AMOLED touchscreen
14.7 x 21.9mm
60Hz refresh charge
Battery Promoted: As much as 7 days
Reviewed: 3 days with maxed settings
Monitoring Coronary heart charge
Pores and skin temperature
GPS Onboard, related, or dynamic
Water resistance Waterproof as much as 50m
Music controls/apps None
Notifications Learn-only
Colours Metal Blue/Platinum
Lunar White/Gold

Worth and competitors

fitbit charge 5 steel blue platinum 2

Fitbit Cost 5

Identical type issue, approach higher show

The Fitbit Cost 5 is a significant replace from its predecessor. Not solely does it have a colour AMOLED show, it is the primary tracker to come back with Fitbit’s Each day Readiness Rating — a function that goals to foretell how a lot exercise or relaxation you need to tackle for the day.

Regardless of the way you slice it, the Fitbit Cost 5 is dear. There are many trackers on the market that supply related options for a lot much less cash. To not point out that the excessive worth of the Cost 5 places it in harmful territory of being priced like a smartwatch, making it extra of an in-betweener than possibly it must be.

Clearly, the Fitbit Cost 4 ($129.95) is without doubt one of the best alternate options to advocate. Fitbit doesn’t promote it anymore, nevertheless it’s nonetheless simple to seek out for $50 cheaper than the Cost 5, and it does just about every part that gadget does, together with Fitbit Pay assist. It additionally has Spotify controls and an altimeter, which the Cost 5 lacks. You lose out on EDA scanning and the full-color show, although.

See additionally: The very best Fitbit alternate options

The Fitbit Encourage 2 ($99.95) is one other good health tracker from Fitbit. For about half the worth of a Cost 5, you’ll get a really fundamental tracker that excels at customary health, well being, and sleep monitoring. You gained’t get the colour show, EDA scanner, or NFC funds, however this can be a stable possibility for folk who simply need a no-frills tracker.

Coming down in worth a bit we’ve the full-color Huawei Band 6 ($89.99). It has some downsides like non-removable straps and restricted smartwatch-style options. Nonetheless, it’s received an ideal worth, nice battery life, and lots of the health-tracking options of the Cost 5 (aside from the EDA sensor).

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 ($43) is certainly one of our favourite health trackers of the yr. It has stable monitoring and its minimal function set retains its worth very, very low. It additionally has a full-color show, so that you’re not even dropping out on that. You would wish to surrender NFC funds, the EDA scanner, and sleep monitoring accuracy, although.

Lastly, you can all the time improve to the Fitbit Versa 3 ($229.95) for about $50 greater than the Cost 5. That offers you a bevy of smartwatch options together with music controls, Google Assistant or Alexa voice management entry, telephone name assist, the flexibility to reply to messages, and a complete lot extra. With this route, the one factor you’d be giving up could be the EDA scanner and small type issue.

Fitbit Cost 5 evaluation: The decision

Fitbit Charge 5 Review Retail Box

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The Fitbit Cost 5 is an efficient health tracker. It has options that almost all different trackers don’t have, akin to an EDA scanner. It has options reserved strictly for premium trackers, akin to NFC funds assist. It additionally incorporates a shiny, full-color OLED show, which instantly makes it aesthetically and functionally higher than its predecessor.

Nonetheless, its $30 worth hike over the Cost 4’s MSRP doesn’t offer you a greater total health tracker. Sure, the colour show is objectively higher than the monochrome one, however that you must sacrifice battery life and an altimeter for it. The EDA scanner is a cool contact, however how a lot will this metric matter to the common individual?

The Fitbit Cost 5 is an OK health tracker. However why would you spend $180 on an OK health tracker?

For $180, the Fitbit Cost 5 must be the very best health tracker ever. It ought to have all of the fitness-focused options one would wish to trace all manners of exercises. It ought to have an altimeter, have the ability to monitor laps, and have the ability to have all 20 out there exercises on the gadget always. Its battery life and effectiveness at well being monitoring must be unmatched and all of the promoted options must be out there at launch. But the Cost 5 falls wanting supplying each single a type of components.

The best way I see it, should you’re going to spend $180 on a very good health tracker, you may as properly simply spend $50 extra and get a very good smartwatch within the Versa 3. If that doesn’t give you the results you want, then simply spend $135 much less (!) for the Xiaomi Band 6. The Cost 5 exists on this bizarre in-between zone that makes it tough to advocate to anybody however Fitbit fanatics.

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