Fitbit Charge 3: what we want to see

Update: With smartwatches growing in popularity and Fitbit itself claiming it plans to make more smart devices we might see the Fitbit Charge 3 get an intelligent upgrade.

The Fitbit Charge 2 has proved to be one of the company’s best-selling fitness trackers, but there are rumors that it's ready for a reboot and that the firm might be planning to release the Charge 3 quite soon.

Fitbit doesn’t usually release new fitness trackers every year, instead waiting until new technology becomes the norm and only then refreshing its trackers, so we probably won't see the Charge 3 this year, but a 2018 launch is looking likely.

You'll find all the rumored Fitbit Charge 3 details below, but we’ve also come up with a list of a few improvements we’d like to see.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Fitbit's next big headline fitness tracker
  • When is it out? Leaks suggest early 2018
  • What will it cost? Launch price of around $150 (£129.99, AU$250) 

Fitbit Charge 3 release date

There isn't much information about the release date for the Fitbit Charge 3, but sources speaking to Bloomberg have claimed Fitbit is planning to launch the new tracker at some point in 2018.

Fitbit released the Fitbit Charge 2 in September 2016, so we initially thought we may see the new tracker at IFA 2017, but instead the company revealed the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch.

Fitbit Charge 3 specs and features

Little is known about the Fitbit Charge 3 so far. The source that suggested the 2018 release date above did say the company is working on a "sleeker" version of the Charge 2 and the Fitbit Blaze, which would make sense, as Fitbit is sure to want to improve the design of the fitness tracker for its next iteration.

It may also be more of a smartwatch than a simple fitness tracker. Fitbit has said it's planning a range of smartwatches beyond the Ionic, and reports show that smartwatches are growing in popularity while basic bands decline, so it would make sense for Fitbit to smarten up its range.

We'd also expect more fitness features for the Charge 3, for example GPS is a likely inclusion, and you can read about what we'd like to see from the tracker below.

Fitbit Charge 3 price

The Fitbit Charge 2 cost $150 (£129.99, AU$250) at launch so we'd expect this tracker to cost around the same amount, but nothing is confirmed yet.

What we want to see

Here's our list of everything we'd like to see from the rumored Fitbit Charge 3.

1. Better data uses

One of the things the Fitbit app struggles with is giving you useful information from the data you've collected.

With a heart rate sensor, sleep tracking and likely expanded fitness features for the Charge 3 we want the app to use that data in meaningful ways, giving you further insight into your health.

2. A slimmer design

The Fitbit Charge 2 improved on the design of the Fitbit Charge HR, but there is still a lot of work to be done here.

Fitbit's Charge 2 is a thick device and doesn't sit flush with your wrist, so we hope to see a thinner design on the Charge 3 when it eventually launches.

3. A more reactive screen

Some criticized the Charge 2 for having a screen that wasn't properly touch-sensitive. It moves through menus with a tap, but it doesn't work as responsively as the touchscreen on your phone or a smartwatch, so we'd like to see a fully touch-sensitive screen on the Charge 3.

4. Better alarms

You can use the Charge 2 as an alarm, but the functionality is limited. Something we'd like to see on the Charge 3 is an alarm that works in a window of time that you set but only wakes you up when you're in light sleep.

For example, you could set an alarm for anytime between 7AM and 7:30AM, but it would wake you up at 7:15AM if it realized you were in light sleep at that time.

5. GPS built-in

GPS on the Fitbit Charge 2 worked by linking up to your phone, requiring you to carry your handset with you, so it was quite limited.

We'd like to see Fitbit build GPS into the Charge 3 itself, to make it a more effective device for those who want to take it out running without a phone in their pocket.