Fitbit Charge 2 vs Charge 3 - The Tracker in Comparison

Written by Lucas B | published on 28.04.2019 | no comments |
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Fitbit Charge 2 vs Charge 3 - The Tracker in Comparison The Fitbit Charge 2 is one of Fitbit's most popular trackers. On the market, it is noticeably superior to models from other manufacturers. So the new model, the Fitbit Charge 3*, is an exciting thing. In this article I compare both models and explain the differences between the trackers.

Among other things, I clarify the interesting questions:

Comparison table


Model Fitbit Charge 2* Fitbit Charge 3*
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Display Display
  • Großes OLED (3.8cm²)
  • Mehrzeilig
  • Tap-Funktion
  • Graustufen-OLED
  • Mehrzeilig
  • Touchscreen
Color display Color display No Color display No
Waterproof / Swimproof Waterproof / Swimproof No Waterproof / Swimproof Yes
HR function 24/7 HR function 24/7 Yes HR function 24/7 Yes
HR type HR type PurePulse HR type PurePulse
Changeable bands Changeable bands Yes Changeable bands Yes
Floors Floors Yes Floors Yes
Sleep tracking Sleep tracking Yes Sleep tracking Yes
Multisport-Tracking Multisport-Tracking Yes Multisport-Tracking Yes
Guided breathing exercises Guided breathing exercises Yes Guided breathing exercises Yes
Battery (up to) Battery (up to) 5 days Battery (up to) 7 days
Accutip Accutip Lithium-Polymer Accutip Lithium-Polymer
Charging time Charging time 1-2 hour Charging time 2 hour
Ladekabel Ladekabel USB, Ladestation Ladekabel USB, Ladestation
GPS GPS Connected GPS (smartphone) GPS Connected GPS (smartphone)
Internal music storage Internal music storage No Internal music storage No
Sensors Sensors
  • Optischer Herzsensor
  • 3-Achsen Beschleunigungsmesser
  • Höhenmesser
  • Vibration
  • Optischer Herzsensor
  • 3-Achsen Beschleunigungsmesser
  • Höhenmesser
  • Vibration
  • Relativer SpO2 Sensor
  • NFC (nur in Sondereditionen)
Third-party apps Third-party apps No Third-party apps No
View offer* Check price » Check price »
buy Fitbit Charge 2
buy Fitbit Charge 3

The differences in detail

As so often in my series of Fitbit comparisons, we will go into some detail about the crucial differences between the Charge 3 and Charge 2 of Fitbit.

Pulse sensor

Both devices have a pulse sensor, which measures permanently. This distinguishes the Fitbit Charge series and is enormously important for the quality and usability of fitness trackers. Furthermore, Fitbit relies on the in-house PurePulse technology. You can find out more on the manufacturer's website. But in this point Fitbit has proven itself and I have often praised the manufacturer for it. For this reason, I don't want to go into the measurement of heart rate here and take a closer look at the differences between the two models.


In terms of design, Fitbit remains true to the Charge series, which I find very good myself. The slim and compact design with display made the Charge. The Fitbit Charge* also differs from the Fitbit Alta*, which is completely without display (see also Charge 2 vs Alta HR).

All in all the Charge 3 is even more compact than the Charge 2. Fitbit has managed to bring the device closer to the arm by having the pulse sensor more recessed in the tracker. The design on the underside is also a bit rounder.

Personally, I think that the carrying head comfort is a lot better than the Charge 2. It prints even less. 


The display remains colourless as with Charge 2. However, the Charge 3 has a touch function, which significantly extends the operation of the device. There are also various functions that can be controlled via the display. Of course not as extensive and complex as with the Versa* or Ionic*. Because no apps can be installed on Charge 3 either.


The fans of the Fitbit Charge series have waited a long time for the function and now it is here. Fitbit made the Charge 3 waterproof.

You can go up to 50 meters with the tracker under water. A feature, which I am personally very happy about and from my point of view is a highlight of the Charge 3 as well as in contrast to the Charge 2. So you don't have to take the tracker off when showering or swimming. Better still, swimming units with pulse can be recorded.


Both the Charge 2 and the new Charge 3 do not have an integrated GPS. From my point of view no surprise, as the more expensive Fitbit model didn't have an integrated GPS module this year either. Here I'm talking about the Fitbit Versa. So it would have been strange to equip the cheaper model from the assortment with the very demanded function.

A built-in GPS module has only the Fitbit Ionic. At that time there was still the Surge, but it has not been on the market for a long time. Why Fitbit has hardly installed GPS is not clear. It will probably be related to the extremely high battery consumption.

Nevertheless it is not impossible to record routes via GPS. But you still need your smartphone. In connection the Charge 3, as well as the Charge 2, can use the GPS module of your mobile phone and record the distance. The whole thing is called Connected GPS. In practice, it works quite well. However, you should have deactivated the energy saving mode on your mobile phone. Otherwise the connection will tear off.

Battery life

Charge 3 gets an upgrade in battery life. So the device is advertised with a running time of up to 7 days. Charge 2, on the other hand, has a battery life of only 5 days.

From experience I can say that the running time is of course not always correct and strongly depends on the intensity of the use. But for a relationship the difference is meaningful. So you can get along with the charge 3 longer without charging. That was clearly shown with me.

Especially in the training mode the battery of the devices is much more stressed. Both devices increase the measuring frequency of the pulse to every second instead of every 5 seconds as usual.

The time required to fully charge Charge 3 and Charge 2 is almost identical here. Charge 2 is advertised with a charging time of 1 to 2 hours. According to Fitbit, charge 3 takes 2 hours to be fully charged.

Sensors and components

Let's stick with the hardware and take a look at the sensors and components used. In the base these are identical for both devices. In comparison, however, Charge 3 offers further components and sensors.

Worth mentioning here is the relative SpO2 sensor. This has already been installed in other Fitbit devices. So far however only with the models of the higher price range. The sensor can measure the oxygen content and thus offer more exact recordings as well as evaluations.

In the special edition Fitbit adds an NFC chip. Fitbit has already installed this in the Versa. With the NFC chip it is possible to pay contactless with the Fitbit. Since this year a strongly growing market in the German area, which makes me very happy. You can find out more about NFC (Near Field Communication) itself on Wikipedia.

The NFC chip could even be installed in every model in Germany. According to the manufacturer, however, this is only the case with the special edition of Charge 3. In the USA this is also the case. But also with the Versa Fibit acted differently in Germany and equipped the normal model also with NFC.

Functions and operation

Charge 3 offers a few more functions in the range of functions. Here Fitbit again plays with the app on the mobile phone. So various functions are only activated for certain Fitbit trackers. For example, the Connected GPS is not available on the Fitbit Alta HR. Technically that wouldn't be a problem. But apparently the manufacturer would like to create differences here.

On the device itself, the Charge 3 offers a few small advantages compared to the Charge 2. This is also the case with the familiar touch screen. For example, calls can be answered and Android can even answer messages with ready-made texts. In general, the display control for Charge 3 is much more complex than for Charge 2.

For myself, these functions are of less interest. I think those who value smart functions should take a look at the more expensive model Versa. I also compared the Versa with the Charge 2.


Of course, the subject of price is also exciting. Charge 3 is offered for about 150 Euro. That was also the price for Charge 2 when it came onto the market. The price for the Fitbit Charge 2 has already decreased in the past weeks and months. The price will presumably fall a little further. But that is logical.

I think the price is reasonable and I am pleased that Fitbit is staying true to the price structure here. First of all I had already been over the somewhat Ionic with a quite high price was launched on the market. The Charge 3 continues to be one of the cheapest models in the Fitbit family.

This can be more for Charge 3 than for Charge 2.

Let's briefly summarize the upgrades of the Fitbit Charge 3* compared to the Charge 2*. I would like to keep to a few brief points. They can also help you with the next sections. I have dealt with the points in detail in the article before.
  • Optimized design
  • touchscreen
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Longer battery life (+2 days)
  • More Sensors / Components
    • SpO2 Sensor
    • NFC for payment (special edition)
  • Software updates (New functions and features)

Is it worth changing from Charge 2 to Charge 3?

Let's come to a very exciting and probably frequent question. Is it worth changing from batch 2 to batch 3? Of course, the decision is up to you. If you don't need any of the new functions of Charge 3 that Charge 2 doesn't offer, the upgrade makes less sense.

Please note, however, that many new functions will only appear for Charge 3 and no longer for Charge 2. Fitbit is of course interested in you purchasing the new device.

So the manufacturer tries to lure you with upgrades in the software. Fitbit has also done this with previous models. So there were no more firmware updates for older Fitbit models. We also know this from mobile phones. Only that Fitbit can act a little more freely here.

In general, I recommend switching from Charge 2 to Charge 3*, as you can read in more detail in the next section.
buy Fitbit Charge 2
buy Fitbit Charge 3

Do I switch to the Charge 3?

I myself am a very big friend and follower of the Charge series and was long owner of Charge HR and following Charge 2. So it might be interesting for you what I will do. For me personally, the slim and simple design of the tracker was and is important. So the Charge 3 continues to suit my taste, if not even more.

Personally I am also very happy about the new features of the Charge 3. Especially the functionality for swimming convinces me. So I ordered the Charge 3* and changed. I am incredibly satisfied with the decision. I am incredibly satisfied with the decision!

New purchase - Charge 2 or Charge 3?

You don't have a fitness tracker yet and want to join the family of Fitbit fans? Are you wondering if batch 2 or batch 3 is the right one for you?

I don't want to go into the complete decision which Fitbit tracker is right for you. It's just a question of or Charge 3 or maybe Charge 2 is the right choice for you.

In my opinion this depends a bit on the price development. However, I would rather choose Charge 3 for a new purchase. Here you have more functions, which I had listed here, as well as the current Tracker. As already mentioned before, you will be provided with the latest software updates from Fitbit.
buy Fitbit Charge 2
buy Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge 2 is still between 100 and 120 Euro. This is a saving, but it is not extremely large in proportion. Personally, I would definitely grap the charge 3*, which is for about 150 euros.

Tips for bands for Charge 3 and Charge 2

Finally, I have a little tip for you. That concerns the bracelets of Fitbit. Fortunately, it has been possible to change the Tracker bracelets for quite some time. So the look of the fitness trackers can be adjusted quickly and easily.

The Fitbit wristbands are quite expensive. Here there is a way out and a large selection of imitation bracelets. For the Charge 2 you will find here*. I also used a fake band from MoKo for my Charge 2. I was very satisfied with that. For the Charge 3 there is also a large selection of imitation bands*. I also wear such a band with my Charge 3 and I am very happy.

Further questions, additions, suggestions or wishes you can leave to me gladly in the comments. I am always happy about any feedback.
Tags: Fitbit The article is written by and published on .
Geschrieben von Lucas B
Lucas ist einer der Betreiber und Entwickler von buffcoach. Obwohl er im Bereich der IT tätig ist, nehmen Sport und Ernährung einen sehr großen Anteil seines Lebens ein. Er trainiert im Bereich des Kraftsports nach Grundlagen von Crosstraining. Sein Ziel ist es stark und fit zu sein. Eine gesunde Ernährung ist damit eng verbunden. Sein Wissen teilt er auf im Magazin und Forum.
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