(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
Published: Wed 30 Nov 2022, 9:46 PM
I am a giraffe, all five feet eight inches of me. This is not an existential crisis and, no, I'm not typing out this review with my hooves but very much with my fingers.
So how am I a giraffe, you ask? Because Fitbit said so, after carefully reviewing my sleep patterns and matching them to the algorithms stored on their Charge 5 device — or at least on the Fitbit app.
It so happens that my sleep tends to be shorter and I'm more likely to sleep later and wake up earlier. Also, I have a relatively good proportion of deep and REM sleep despite a shorter overall duration, so I am adequately rested in spite of the shorter sleep hours.
That's not me with a sudden, magical PhD in sleep study — it's the Fitbit app giving me its analysis of my sleep after 15 days of wearing the Charge 5 to bed. And depending on the biometrics obtained by the device while you're catching the Zs, you could be either a parrot, dolphin, tortoise, bear or a hedgehog.
But wearing it to bed — isn't that a bit intrusive, you might ask, to have it strapped to your wrist all night, night after night? At first, yes, but it took only a couple of nights to get used to it. The way this device is designed, it requires you to wear it 24x7 to get the maximum usage out of it. So, I wore it for 10 days straight, whether while asleep or in the shower — barring the time off my wrist for charging, of course, but we will get to that.
What helps in keeping it on is the device's thinness — the Charge 5 is 10 per cent slimmer than its already slim predecessor — and the band it is shipped with, which is of a satiny, silky silicone and flexible like your skin. Factor in the water lock facility for when you have to swim with it or wear it in water, and it's good to have the Charge 5 on your wrist for extended periods of time.
Beyond the tactile experience, the Charge 5 is easy to set up: you download the app on your mobile and pair the device with it, allowing you to access its features and track records of your fitness as you create them.
Once set up, the Charge 5 has several plusses that make it a breeze to use. Its AMOLED display is bright and crisp, allowing you to view all the information easily, even in the bright Dubai sunlight. You tap the home screen to get to the common vitals, like steps done, heart rate and calories burnt. It's a small screen and scrolling through while running would be cumbersome, so it's just as well that the brightness is good and the responsiveness spot on.
Navigation through the information and menus is pretty straight forward — you swipe up or down on the home screen to get into more details, such as total activity levels, hourly activity breakdown, sleep score, etc. You also swipe left and right to access things like notifications, the various exercise modes like cycling, swimming, running, et al. There are six modes on the device and you can customise each to suit your personal activity levels and goals.
The Charge 5 truly shines for the average fitness buff and I can say that despite starting out as a fitness tracker agnostic, I'm now hooked. There is a certain reassurance at looking at the steps you've done every day and to knowing how high or low your heart rate went or how many calories you burnt.
The one gripe is that the heart rate sensor and the GPS antenna are both on the device's underside, so you can get only one with any accuracy at one time.
When it comes to battery life, Fitbit claims seven days on a single charge, but that is optimistic. In real-life usage, five days is what I got — and I'm not complaining. It means you can wear it all through the working week and charge it on the first morning of your weekend and then wear it to brunch, which you'll then work off for the rest of the week!
Your Charge 5 will faithfully let you know how you're doing in that endeavour.