Fitbit Charge 3 specs, release date, news and rumours

Fitbit has focused its more recent launches on fitness smartwatches rather than fitness trackers, with the Fitbit Ionic announced in late August 2017 and Fitbit Versa in March 2018.

Leaks suggest the company might be about to update its popular Charge 2 fitness tracker though. Here is everything we’ve heard so far on the Fitbit Charge 3.

Fitbit Charge 2 review
Fitbit Charge 3 release date
Possible IFA 2018 launch

Fitbit typically announces a couple of devices a year, normally coinciding a launch with a big trade show, like IFA, MWC or CES. The company doesn’t usually announce products at the shows themselves but often a couple of days prior, using the shows to then present the new devices.

With IFA 2018 only a few weeks away, we would expect a new Fitbit device to appear and based on the latest rumours, it looks like it might be the Fitbit Charge 3.

The Charge 2 was announced two years ago at IFA 2016 so an update to this excellent fitness tracker is definitely plausible. Fitbit revealed the Charge 2 on 29 August and the Ionic on 28 August, both the Monday before IFA press days kicked off. If the company follows the same pattern, we might see a new Fitbit on 27 August this year. Nothing is confirmed yet though.

Fitbit Ionic review
Fitbit Charge 3 design and display
Slimmer and sleeker than Charge 2
Different interchangeable strap options
Hi-Res OLED display likely

There have only been a couple of leaks surrounding the Fitbit Charge 3’s design, but both appear to show the device in all its glory.

The first leak comes from dutch site NieuweMobiel, which published some images of what it claims is the Charge 3, showing it to share a similar but more refined design of the Charge 2. The second leak comes from Android Authority, showing the same design for the Charge 3 as leaked by NieuweMobiel.

Based on the images, it looks like the interchangeable straps will still be intact, though with a neater mechanism and we can expect a range of different bands, including a perforated sports band like the Apple Watch Nike+ as well as a fabric option. There’s also a diamond-shaped etched band in the NieuweMobiel leak, which looks similar to the strap found on the special edition Charge 2 models.

 

The body colours shown in the leaks suggest there will be a rose gold Charge 3 and a black or gunmetal Charge 3. If the Charge 2 is anything to go by though, these will probably be special edition models and cost a little more.

The leaks also appears to show Fitbit having done away with the side button of the Charge 2, replacing it with an indent instead. The PurePulse heart rate sensor appears to be in the same position as the Charge 2 however, though the actual body of the Charge 3 seems to be curved and sleeker than its predecessor.

We’d expect a high resolution OLED display to take precedence on the front, as the leaks support, and it looks like we can also expect a buckle fastening, like the Charge 2, Alta HR, Fitbit Ionic and Versa all offer.

Which Fitbit is right for me?
Fitbit Charge 3 features and specs
Same as Charge 2, plus extras
Hopefully water resistance and swim tracking
NFC payments?

The leak from NieuweMobiel didn’t reveal what features or specifications the Fitbit Charge 3 might come with, but the Android Authority leak did reveal a little more.

According to Android Authority, the Charge 3 will offer water resistance and swim tracking, as well as some smartwatch-like features including Quick Reply. Quick Reply is already available on the Ionic and Versa so it’s plausible to suggest it might come to the Charge 3 too.

The Android Authority leak also suggested there would be a special edition version of the Charge 3 that would be NFC-enabled, offering Fitbit Pay. Fitbit already offers special edition models of many of its trackers, but these have just been different colour ways in the past rather than offering extra features.

The Charge 2 offers a PurePulse Heart Rate, Multi-Sport Tracking and Connected GPS, call, text and calendar alerts and a feature called Guided Breathing Sessions, among others like sleep tracking.

We’d expect the Charge 3 to offer all of the above in some form or another, along with a few extras, and we’d expect improvements on the Charge 2 in terms of battery life and display too.

What is Fitbit Pay, how does it work and which banks support it?
Fitbit Charge 3 price
Will likely cost around £130/£140

The Fitbit Charge 2 starts at £139.99, originally jumping up £20 for the special edition models, though these are now the same price as the standard model.

We’d expect the Charge 3 to sit in the same ballparc. It’s unlikely to be cheaper than £120 and it probably won’t go over the £150 mark for the standard model as this would start creeping into Fitbit’s smartwatch category. 

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