Is there a abode for a committed fettle tracker in a apple abounding of added able and feature-packed smartwatches?
That’s the catechism adverse the anew appear Fitbit Allegation 3, the latest amend to Fitbit’s flagship fettle tracker, advancing two years afterwards its antecedent — the Allegation 2 — came out. But the wearable bazaar has afflicted a lot in two years: Apple has apparent a improvement from the already abashed branding of the Apple Watch into a added focused, fettle device; Pebble has vanished (and been bought by Fitbit); Android Abrasion has acutely angry into a comment on the industry; and alike Fitbit has gotten into the smartwatch bold with the Ionic and Versa. Faced with that affectionate of competition, can the analogously apprehensive fettle tracking appearance of the Allegation 3 survive?
8 Verge Score
At a distance, the $149.99 Allegation 3 looks agnate to the Allegation 2; it’s not absolutely the aforementioned desperate check amid the Allegation HR and the Allegation 2. But attending afterpiece and you’ll see that Fitbit has done some austere redesign assignment on the Allegation 3. It’s far beneath blocky and is adulate than the antecedent generation, with a cautiously arced affectation and hardly cone-shaped abandon compared to the added ellipsoidal Allegation 2. Like the Versa, the bands bend bottomward off the watch instead of out to the ancillary for a added adequate fit — but clashing the Versa, the bands accept a new, quick-release arrangement that makes it absolute accessible to bandy them out.
Light up the display, though, and changes are far added apparent: the Allegation 3’s OLED console is a touchscreen now that offers grayscale colors (not aloof atramentous and white), with badly bigger resolution that drops the squarish, pixelated attending of the old screen. The awning is bigger, too, with what Fitbit claims is 40 percent added alive area, although there’s still a cogent bezel about the edges that blends into the atramentous background.
Less visible, but still acute additions are the new 50-meter baptize attrition (which additionally enables bathe tracking) and the bigger array action — Fitbit claims the Allegation 3 can aftermost up to seven canicule off a distinct charge, up from bristles on the Allegation 2, claims that added than captivated up in the anniversary and a bisected I activated it.
Fitbit has additionally afflicted the concrete button on the ancillary to what it calls an “inductive button,” a thumb-sized cavity on the larboard ancillary of the tracker that offers a haptic acknowledgment aback you columnist it. I was assured to abhorrence this, a lot, but it was decidedly good. The haptics feel good, and the button is acclimated so infrequently anyhow in the all-embracing UI that I didn’t absolutely absence the concrete button at all. And it’s absolutely account the accommodation of enabling waterproofing and giving added amplitude central for array life.
From a accouterments perspective, it’s apparently one of the nicest-looking accessories that Fitbit has fabricated — brace it with one of the alternative covering straps, and you can apparently get abroad with it as a semi-formal watch even. But the simple actuality of admeasurement agency that it’s boxy to fit both the Allegation 3 and a approved watch on the aforementioned wrist. If you’re accession (like me) who prefers to abrasion a approved watch, you’ll either charge to accept amid fettle abstracts and appearance or aloof abrasion your Fitbit on the added wrist.
And you’ll charge that higher-resolution screen, too, for what ability be bigger accession to the Allegation 3 — basic, smartwatch-style notifications that not alone let you see admission calls or texts, but alerts from basically any app on your phone.
But for all its smartwatch aspirations, the Allegation 3 is still absolute abundant aloof a fettle tracker, abnormally in its accepted state. At launch, it can affectation notifications from any app on Android or iOS (Windows Buzz abutment is advancing soon, seriously), but there’s no way to collaborate with them at all.
Android phones will eventually get a quick-reply affection for messages, but if it’s annihilation like the accepted accomplishing on Fitbit’s abounding smartwatches, it’ll acceptable leave a lot to be desired. And while Fitbit is able “popular cast apps” for the Allegation 3 in the future, appropriate now you’re bound to a paltry alternative of Exercise, Relax, Timers, Alarms, and Acclimate apps, with a agnate baby alternative of watchfaces.
And alike the smartwatch appearance it does accept are mostly bound to alive alone aback you’ve got a buzz adjacent — there’s no standalone GPS or LTE, no way to locally abundance music (or alike ascendancy music that you are playing), and alike the acclimate app can’t amend after a buzz nearby. Despite its smartwatch ambitions, the Allegation 3 is still a committed fettle bandage first, admitting one with a few advantageous smartwatch appearance added on.
Fitbit has added some new tricks to the Allegation 3’s UI, though, the best advantageous of which is a new dashboard begin aback you bash bottomward on the alarm face that gives you active totals on your steps, affection rate, absolute ambit walked, calories burned, stairs climbed, sleep, and menstrual tracking. It’s a advantageous menu, but I couldn’t advice but ambition for a little added customization aback it comes to what the watchfaces themselves can show, which is bound to aloof footfall calculation and affection rate.
As for the fettle tracking itself, Fitbit continues to do acceptable assignment here. There’s a acumen that these accessories are so accepted and it’s because Fitbit’s trackers and the accompaniment apps are simple, easy, and accurate.
I activated the Allegation 3 with my accepted mix of alfresco running, treadmill running, and walking around. In general, the automatic tracking was appealing acceptable at audition aback I was active or walking, although you’re still bigger off activating the absolute exercise approach on the watch to be safe. Starting things manually additionally lets you clue GPS (using your phone, aback the Allegation 3 doesn’t accept it on board), and gives you stats during your run anon on your Fitbit.
The Allegation 3 additionally offers automatic bathe tracking, which Fitbit had already offered on some of its added devices. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to acquaint how able-bodied that affection formed in particular, accustomed that the minimum beginning for the autotracking axis on is 10 account of connected exercise, and I’m aloof not that acceptable at pond laps (in my defense, 10 connected account of pond is a lot of swimming!) That said, the manually enabled bathe tracking formed able-bodied enough, giving me mostly authentic tracking (it logged nine laps instead of the 10 I did, but the aftermost one was appealing awkward so it’s absolutely accessible that’s on me.) The Allegation 3 additionally can’t appearance you any advantageous advice while you swim: aloof time and affection rate, so you’ll accept to calculation your laps yourself or delay to acquisition out your boilerplate clip aback you get aback to your phone.
The Allegation 3 has the aforementioned upgraded affection amount sensor that the aggregation says is added authentic than antecedent versions. I don’t accept the medical accessory to appropriately test, but for abecedarian readings of “am I advance myself appropriate now” or “am I freaking out at the dentist,” it seemed correct. That said, if you’re a austere amateur or charge medically authentic affection amount sensing, you’ll apparently still appetite a able arrangement for that. And Fitbit still won’t accompany its abstracts to Apple Health or Google Fit, which isn’t absolutely hasty at this point, but charcoal affectionate of frustrating.
Taken as a whole, it’s the best effortless fettle tracker that Fitbit has anytime made. It works with about any buzz on the market, whether you agreement your adaptable adherence to Apple, Google, or alike Microsoft. It’s ablaze and humble abundant to consistently accumulate on your wrist, and beautiful abundant that you won’t accept to booty it off. Beddy-bye tracking agency that you can abrasion it at night, and waterproofing agency that alike while showering or swimming, you’ll never charge to booty it off. And the array lasts continued abundant and accuse fast abundant that you’ll maybe accept to booty it off for an hour a week, tops.
And why would you booty it off? Fitbit has bigger its software to the point area you never accept to collaborate with it — artlessly abrasion the Allegation 3, and it’ll do the rest. It can amount out aback you’re active or walking or biking or pond and clue that action for you, apperceive aback you’re sleeping and aback you’re awake, and alike abreast connected affection amount readings.
And that’s area the Allegation 3 excels. Not as a backward smartwatch, with promised appearance that acceptable won’t ample the abode of a able Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but for users who don’t appetite or charge that functionality and aloof appetite some fettle tracking above what their phones can already provide. And in that regard, it succeeds.
Correction: Fitbit had ahead offered automatic bathe tracking on added devices, not alone the Allegation 3 as this commodity originally claimed.
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