The COVID-19 pandemic threw the entire world for a loop, most notably throwing a major wrench into daily routines. The past year+ has brought on a seemingly endless deluge of stress. And if anyone knows that it's the folks at Fitbit — at least based on the company's latest tracker, which prioritizes mental wellbeing.
On Wednesday, Fitbit unveiled its most advanced health and fitness tracker yet: Charge 5 (Buy It, $180, fitbit.com), which is now available for pre-order online for a late-September ship date. The newly launched device features a thinner, sleeker design and a brighter, larger touchscreen than those of previous trackers — all while offering up to seven days of battery life with just one charge. Most impressively, however, the Charge 5 will enable users to keep tabs on their sleep, heart health, stress, and overall wellbeing at a whole new level.
Along with the Charge 5, Fitbit also announced a new program for its Premium users (Buy It, $10 monthly or $80 annually, fitbit.com): a "Daily Readiness Score", which will also be available on the Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Luxe, and Inspire 2 devices. Similar to features on the WHOOP fitness tracker and Oura ring, Fitbit's Daily Readiness Score is all about helping users better tune into their body's needs and focus just as much on recovery.
"Our new Daily Readiness experience in Fitbit Premium will help you understand how ready you are to exercise based on signals from your body, including your heart rate variability, fitness fatigue (activity), and sleep, rather than just a single metric," Laura McFarland, product marketing manager at Fibit, tells Shape. "We know that over the past year, listening to your body is even more important than ever. If your body is ready for a challenge today, we want to give you the tools to tackle that goal. But If your body is telling you to slow down, we aren't going to give you a pat on the back for pushing through the pain, actually quite the opposite — our score will recommend you prioritize recovery and give you the tools to tackle your recovery."
High scores indicate users are ready for action while a low score is a sign users should prioritize their recovery. Along with the Daily Readiness Score each morning, users also receive a breakdown of what impacted their number and suggestions such as a recommended target "Activity Zone Minute" goal (i.e. time spent in heart-pumping activity). Users will also get suggestions that can range from audio and video workouts to mindfulness sessions with wellness experts — all depending, of course, on their Daily Readiness Score. (Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care When You Have None)
The Charge 5 has a slew of other neat features such as 20 exercise modes and an estimate of your VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen intake your body can achieve per minute. The tracker also has automatic exercise recognition, so you can trust you're always tracking your workouts even if you don't remember to press "start" on your wrist before pounding the pavement.
On the stress-busting front, the Charge 5 has got users covered. Each a.m. they'll also receive a "Stress Management Score" in the Fitbit app (which is available for download on the App Store and Google Play) to ensure that they're giving their mental health just as much attention as their physical health. And if you're a Fitbit Premium user, you're especially in luck, as Fitbit has teamed up with Calm and will soon offer Premium members access to the popular meditation and sleep app's content. The Charge 5 is also the company's first tracker to include an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor, which measures your body's response to stress through tiny changes in the sweat glands around your wrist. (Related: 5 Simple Stress Management Tips That Really Work)
And like other Fitbit models, the Charge 5 is working for you even when you're counting sheep. Users can expect to receive a daily "Sleep Score" to cue them in on how well they slept the previous night based on heart rate and restlessness. Other snooze-related features include "Sleep Stages," which tracks time spent in light, deep, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and "SmartWake," which enables a silent alarm (think: vibration on your wrist) to go off at the optimal stage of sleep, according to Fitbit. (See: All the Products You Need for Better Sleep)
Last but not least, the Charge 5 provides a holistic view of other key wellness metrics through the Health Metrics dashboard in the Fitbit app. This includes breathing rate, skin temperature variation, and SpO2 (aka your blood oxygen level), enabling Premium users to track trends overtime to get a super-comprehensive view of one's fitness and wellness.
Considering that the crux of wellness is heeding to what your body is telling you, a gadget that provides just that seems essential for self-care. And if you somehow needed more convincing, Fitbit now has superstar Will Smith's stamp of approval. Talk about a match made in fitness heaven.