Is the Fitbit Charge 5 worth buying, even with its connection issues?

Fitbit Charge 5
(Image credit: Future)

The Fitbit Charge 5 is, undoubtedly, an excellent fitness tracker. Beyond passive activity monitoring, it packs in tons of features including GPS, an ECG sensor, and automatic exercise recognition, as well as all the passive activity and sleep tracking features you could want. 

If you have, or want, access to the additional Fitbit Premium service, it might even be the best fitness tracker available right now. So with Amazon Prime Day on the horizon and if you’re in the market for a new fitness tracker then picking up a Charge 5 should be a no-brainer, right? 

Well, there is one particular issue that is hurting current Charge 5 owners, that might make on-boarders pause before they "add to cart". Some users are reporting issues connecting their Fitbit Charge 5 devices to their smartphones via Bluetooth, or previously connected devices uncoupling seemingly at random. Not all devices are affected – I used a Fitbit Charge 5 for a month last year, with no issues at all – but enough users are raising the issue that Fitbit itself has acknowledged there is a problem. 

Most outlets are reporting this has been occurring since January this year. However, browsing older posts on the Fitbit Community forums revealed this is a problem stretching at least as far back as March 2021. 

One user wrote: “This is my 2nd Charge 5 which fails to reliably sync. I called Fitbit Support with my 1st one and they were no help and only suggested to follow the usual steps which I already had done including rebooting Fitbit and phone, removing/reinstalling the Fitbit, removing/reinstalling the app, etc.”

For many users, however, rebooting the device seems to fix the problem, although it does delete your health data for the day. A Fitbit forum moderator recently revealed that Fitbit is aware of the problem and a fix is in the works, although no further details on the fix are divulged. TechRadar has reached out to Fitbit for comment.

Analysis: Is the Fitbit Charge 5 still worth your money? 

It appears to be only a relatively small percentage of Charge 5 devices that are affected by this issue. If the problem was more widespread, we would have heard much more about it before now. 

There’s no denying, as we said above, that the Charge 5 is a splendid device. You only need to read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review to know it’s a great, feature-stuffed fitness tracker with lots of useful tracking and access to Fitbit’s impressive health and fitness ecosystem.

However, all that is only good if it works properly. We don’t believe Fitbit is going to allow its flagship fitness tracker to endure much more bad press, and a software fix is likely in the pipeline. 

With Prime Day a few weeks away, perhaps you might want to peruse our lists of the best Fitbit devices and make a tier list of your choices, while keeping an eye on future Charge 5 headlines. If a fix is announced, you’ll hear about it, and you can pick up a great deal on a Charge 5 safe in the knowledge your tracker’s going to serve you well. If no software patch seems to be forthcoming, and you don’t want to risk being saddled with a device that frequently unpairs from your phone, the Fitbit Luxe or Fitbit Versa 3 might be more suitable.

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.