When it comes to third party apps, what can the Fitbit Charge 5 offer? Well, it can offer you something, but not at a level that other smart watch brands can offer. The Fitbit Charge 5 is really made specifically for health. However, if you are someone that is curious to know how the Charge 5 can connect to third party apps before you decide to buy, then this article would be useful to you.
Within this article, I will share with you the results of my testing and how I go about assessing the capability of the Fitbit Charge 5 with regards to third party apps. I have tested numerous watches before, so you will gain an understanding of my testing criteria when I generate the final score. My hope is that the information I provide you with will give you confidence before making a purchase. Here are my final results.
|In Direct Ability
App Store Score : 2 out of 5
When it comes to App store testing, some of the key features I look for is, can you synchronise your watch with that app and of course lastly does it have it’s own app gallery.
Unfortunately the Charge 5 does not have any third party apps that it’s compatible with using the Fitbit App. In regards to it’s own App gallery, it’s not the greatest and there isn’t much to choose from in comparison to Google Play. A 2 out of 5 is a fair rating in my opinion, because it provides the essentials but doesn’t have the many options.
For better results, it is better to use third party apps in directly with the Charge 5, which is what I am going to explain next.
|Ability to sync third party Apps
|Has a third party app gallery
|2 out of 5
Indirect Method Score : 2 out of 5
If you are not familiar with the indirect method, it means that you cannot directly control the third-party application from your watch. In this method, the third-party application can only be controlled from your phone, but you can share your data from the Fitbit application with the third-party application. From there, the third-party application can use this information and generate its own data that you trust.
The indirect method is something that I have come to love because it allows me to leave my phone at home while still being able to collect the necessary data for the third-party application. This way, I can take advantage of all of the Fitbit’s features, including workouts, sleep data, running, and walking, without worrying about carrying my phone around with me.
When I am testing the watch for the indirect method I check to make sure that it is syncing with the Fitbit application and that it’s sending me the data. I am using a android device in this test so I wont be sharing IOS (Apple device) or HarmonyOS (Huawei). Here are my final results
|Name of App
|My Fitness Pal
Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal is undoubtedly one of the most impressive calorie counters available on the third-party market. What sets it apart from its competitors is its extensive database of food items.
The only information that synchronises really well is the calorie intake. The minute you enter your food in My Fitness Pal it synchronises almost instantly with Fitbit. However, when it comes to the exercise data, it does not seem to sync with my Fitness Pal and at times never. To get the best results continue tracking your workouts with Fitbit and track your calories with MyFitnessPal. It will save you a lot of time entering foods into the Fitbit database which is small in comparison to My Fitness Pal.
As for Strava, It’s one of the most popular cycling and running apps out there. For Strava to work, it will only sync with Fitbit if you are using any GPS tracking activities that the Charge 5 offers which is running, cycling,walking and hiking. Since the GPS tracking isnt very reliable with the Charge 5, you are not going to get the best experience using Strava.
It’s better to use the phones GPS for the best results, which is why I believe it deserves it’s 2 out of 5 rating. The charge 5 relies on other technology to do it’s job, so I just want you to know that it’s not perfect but something you need to know before you buy.
Direct Method Score : 0 out of 5
Unfortunately the Fitbit Charge 5 does not have the ability to use third party apps directly off it’s watch. At this moment there is no Apps that is compatible with the Charge 5 in the Fitbit App store. All that is available to you is watch faces, but as a smart watch tester let me share with you the criteria I go through when testing a watch’s direct method ability.
- Ability to download or synchronise directly to watch
- Ability to use third party app from watch
- Ability to use third party app without phone.
The first bullet point is where a lot of people get caught out. Some device’s only have this ability if the watch’s eco system is like for like for example Android phone pair with a WearOS watch (Galaxy Watch series). The most common one is the HarmonyOS which is your Huawei device’s pair with a IOS (Apple phone).
Two completely different eco systems that dont allow you to use third party apps. I will provide this information every time I test a watch going forward so you wont have the hassle before you buy.
The third bullet point is a rare one, only the Garmin Forerunner 55 that I have tested has this ability. A lot of third party apps that pair with your watch via Bluetooth must have the phone within Bluetooth range to work. Garmin’s devices act like it’s a independent app and dont require your phone to be in Bluetooth range.
This is what I test for, and in future I am sure this will change as devices become smarter. My hope is that this insight will give you an idea what’s out there in the market.
How Does The Charge 5 Compare in The Market
I think this part category would be of interest to you, which gives you an insight how the Charge 5 kind of sits in the market. I will produce some articles on all of them, since it’s the nice testing regime going forward, and more importantly, you can see for yourself how I got my scores. Look out for them in the near future, and I will retest all the watch’s I have to provide an overall picture.
As you can see the Fitbit Charge 5 ranks last on my list, but does it really matter? Well the Charge 5’s real strength is providing accurate and reliable health insights and simplicity. In my opinion it’s a true reflection how I see it between the number one ranked versus the Charge 5.
Obviously the Forerunner 55 is a smart watch which means it has the capacity to provide for complex features versus a fitness tracker which is a little limited.
|Garmin Forerunner 55
|Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
|Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 & 5
|Huawei Watch GT3
|Huawei Watch Fit 2
|Huawei Band 7
|Fitbit Versa 4
|Fitbit Charge 5
Does it Matter to Have a High Third Party Ability?
In my opinion it does help, but only if you have already invested in a premium subscription. The higher the score means it’s more reliable which is something you want in a smart watch.
In the case of Huawei devices, it’s native fitness and health tracking via Huawei Health is very reliable, and there is no need to use a third party app. The Trusport and Truhealth analytics is so awesome to use. I will provide a full article about this so you can understand why.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you learnt a lot about the Fitbit Charge 5’s third party ability. A score of 4 out of 15 is fairly reasonable considering that the Charge 5’s real strengths is providing accurate health insights and simplicity.
For what it’s worth, I knew right off the bat that the score was going to be low, but it only matters if you prioritize third party app ability in a watch. Especially if you have invested in premium level subscriptions such as Strava or Cardiogram and you want that reliability when interacting with the third party app.