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Fitbit Charge 5 vs Xiaomi S1 Active : Which Will You Choose

Fitbit Charge 5 and the Xiaomi S1 Active are two devices that can assist you in different ways. What I mean is that the Fibit devices tend to focus more on your overall health, where as the S1 Active is more of a watch that’s heavy with smart features and a basic fitness tracker, which will make an interesting comparison.

After testing and experiencing both devices, I concluded that the Fitbit Charge 5 and Xiaomi S1 Active both have their strengths, resulting in a draw. Here’s a summary of my final results and comparison between the two devices

Smart FeaturesS1 Active
Health FeaturesCharge 5
Third Party AppsCharge 5
Workout Mode AbilityCharge 5
GPS TrackingS1 Active
Battery LifeS1 Active

After examining the final results, I am extremely pleased with the final outcome, and it is a true representation of my thoughts on both devices when compared. In this article I will go into detail as to how I come to the final conclusion for each category.

If you are not familiar with my articles, I dont provide a comparison of specifications. There are many websites out there that can provide this information. I only provide comparisons based on my own testing results and user experience. That way it can give you a general idea if the device is really worth buying for you.

Smart Features : Winner Xiaomi S1 Active

Media player for the S1 Active is very good, especially with a very big screen

When it comes to smart feature ability, the Xiaomi S1 Active is the clear winner. Based on my testing results, the S1 Active should have gotten a higher score. The only downside is that the features did not perform reliably and consistently. Here is a summary of my final results in comparison in the smart feature category.

LevelS1 ActiveCharge 5
Final Score10/155/15

As you can see there is a five point gap between both devices. The S1 Active gains the advantage because it has features at advanced level and at intermediate level. I will explain in detail as to what features that the S1 Active has over the Fitbit Charge 5.

Ability to control music: The S1 Active’s media player is very reliable and with a very big screen, it’s very easy to function. The only thing it cant do is store music on the device, but if you use streaming applications like Spotify, or music stored on your phone, you can control the music quite easily. You also have the ability to change the level volume as well which is very neat to have.

Ability to make a SOS call: The S1 Active does have this feature, and it works very well once you hit the sport button three times. One of the things that I want you to be aware of is that it does not send a secondary message, like a text message with your GPS coordinates, or a fall detection setting where the SOS call can be sent when you are incapable of activating a SOS call. It works and all, but please be aware of this before you decide to buy.

Digital Assistant Built in: The S1 Active has Alexa built in. In my experience I have fond that the interaction is a little slow, but my only guess is my location in New Zealand, because we dont have a language setting for our country. It maybe slow but you can still interact with Alexa compatible smart home apps. If your interaction works well in your country, then it should be fine, if not then you are more than likely have the same experience I do.

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Contactless Payment : The S1 Active does have this ability. I didn’t get to test this feature because I dont own a Mastercard, and Xiaomi Pay isn’t something that’s set p here in New Zealand. Please check with your bank if Xiaomi Pay can work with your banks systems.

These are the main features that really stand out in comparison to the Charge 5. However there are so many features that the S1 Active that is on offer. In my experience it kind of hit and miss with a lot of the features so check out my full articles for both devices when it comes to smart feature ability.

Health Features : Winner Fitbit Charge 5

When it comes to health features, Fitbit is one of the more reliable brands out there in the market. It does come with a catch, in order to take advantage of the Health features on offer by Fitbit, you must be an active Fitbit subscriber.

I have seen on reddit forums that a lot of people want to avoid paying for a subscription. However, it may become the new normal as other Health specialist devices like Withings or whoop may follow suit.

With the Sense 2 being the flagship model for Fitbit, the Fitbit Charge 5 can match it except it does not have the new stress management tools that’s only available in the Sense 2. Which goes to show how powerful the Charge 5 device is when it comes to managing your health.

Does the Charge 5 still wins this category without a Fitbit subscription? it shore does, and it will track with great accuracy, but without the advanced health insights, which you have to pay for.

Third Party Apps : Winner Fitbit Charge 5

When it comes to apps or third party app ability, both devices dont really offer too much, however there is a clear winner and the Fitbit Charge 5 clearly wins this category. Here is a summary of my testing results and user experience.

FeatureS1 ActiveCharge 5
Connection TypeBluetoothBluetooth
App Stores2/52/5
In Direct Ability0/55/5
Direct Ability1/5zero
Final Score3/157/15

In comparison the Charge 5 has a four point margin over the S1 Active. This is quite significant and I will explain that next in a very short summary.

App Stores : Both devices have their own unique App store, however it’s not quite like Google’s play store, Apple store or Garmin Connect. You are very limited to choices and in the end you dont get any useful apps to download and use. Which I will explain in detail later on.

In Direct Ability : If you are not familiar with the term, it means pairing your account with a third party application. In my experience the Charge 5 out performed the S1 Active by a long way. In my testing I used apps like Strava and My Fitness pal and shared my tracking data with the Fitbit Health App. Every time I completed a workout or track my calories, the data synchronizes immediately once my phone is in Bluetooth range, which makes the device very reliable. Whereas the S1 Active, the experience was not the same and times the data that the Third party app needed would not synchronize at all, which I found a little frustrating, and the S1 Active deserved it’s rating of 0 out of 5.

See also  Xiaomi S1 Active : Is it Really Worth Buying

Direct Ability : If you are not familiar with the term, it means the ability to control a app or third party app from your watch. Unfortunately the Charge 5 does not have this ability, because there are no apps compatible to the device within the Fitbit App library or the ability to control a third party app from the device.

As for the S1 Active, there are apps within the Xiaomi App Store compatible with the device, but does not have the ability to download a third party apps to control from the device. To transfer a app to your device, you must have a Android or IOS device to transfer over. The app I did try to test out was a note taking app, which didn’t really work most of the time, and the app would disconnect my watch from my phone. It wasn’t the greatest experience, so I just wanted you to know that.

I know this is just a small summary on third party ability, but I have done a full article on this for both devices. If you want to know more about how I rate each device in it’s specific category, please check out my articles for that information.

Workout Mode Ability : Fitbit Charge 5

When it comes to tracking your workout’s I was very surprised that the Charge 5 came out on top. However it is a true reflection on how I tested each device and it’s ability to track your workouts. Here is a summary of the final results

CriteriaS1 ActiveCharge 5
SpecialitySmart AppsHealth
Basic Level5/55/5
Intermediate Level1/52/5
Advanced Level0/50/5
Final Score6/157/15

In the end the Charge 5 gains a one point advantage over the S1 Active. When it comes to tracking your device at a basic level, both devices are very reliable to do so. The real challenge is the tracking ability at intermediate level, and both devices do have a real advantage over each other which I will explain next.

Ability to determine your training load: Unfortunately the S1 Active does not have this ability, whereas the Charge 5 can with a feature called Daily Readiness Score. This feature is fantastic and can determine how much stress your body is undertaking by collecting your sleep tracking, stress management tracking and workout tracking data. The great thing I like about this feature is that it can make suggestions on how you should workout based on your training load, which allows you to train a little smarter. The only downside is that this feature is only available if you have a premium subscription.

Ability to provide GPS tracking workouts: Both devices have this ability, however the S1 Active does it better because of it’s accuracy to track your planned route. I will explain the level of accuracy in the next category.

Overall both devices are really basic fitness trackers to a point. If you want to know more about how I rate each device in these specific categories please check out my articles, it will explain how I approach device when testing.

See also  Fitbit Charge 6 : 0 out of 5 For GPS Accuracy

GPS Tracking : Winner Xiaomi S1 Active

When it comes to GPS tracking, the S1 Active is the clear winner here with a very lopsided score line. Here is a final summary of my testing results.

CriteriaS1 ActiveCharge 5
No of GPS sensors51
Basic test5/51/5
Hard test1/51/5
Very hard test4/51/5
Final Score10/151/15

In the end the S1 active has the clear advantage with a whopping nine point margin, which tells you a lot about the accuracy between both devices. A lot of it is down to the number of GPS sensors built in. With 5 sensors connecting to five different satellite navigational systems, it will improve the accuracy by a lot which is reflected in the lopsided score line. If you want to see my testing results including how I go about rating each devices level of accuracy you can check out the full articles below.

Battery Life : Winner Xiaomi S1 Active

Xiaomi S1 Active has the ability to make a SOS call

When it comes to battery life, I like to do this in two parts, and based on my final result the S1 Active win based on it’s ability to be more efficient when using GPS tracking. Here is a summary of my testing results based on my typical usage

CriteriaS1 ActiveCharge 5
Battery economy without GPS2/52/5
GPS Battery Consumption rate per hour5/51/5
Final Score7/103/10

The four point margin that the S1 Active has over the Charge 5 is quite a large gap between the devices. Based on my testing experience, battery life is very competitive across the board.

Battery Economy Without GPS

In this testing phase both devices are very evenly matched. The final rating may seem low, but it’s an indication of how good some of the devices are in the market so the rating is fair. Here is a comparison between both devices in this test phase. Please also note that I end the test once 90% of the battery has been consumed.

CriteriaS1 ActiveCharge 5
Battery economy without GPS per day14%15%
No of days66
star rating2/52/5

GPS Battery Consumption Rate Per Hour

When ever you use GPS tracking, it takes a massive toll on your battery life, which is something that I test for in the category. The S1 Active gains a five star rating which makes it one of the top devices in the market.

In comparison to the Charge 5, you could burn up to 25% of your battery life in a hour. Please note that in the testing I used GPS mode so that the comparison is tested fairly. Even still that’s a massive difference between the two devices.

CriteriaS1 ActiveCharge 5
GPS battery consumption per hour5%22%
star rating5/51/5

Final Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot about both devices in comparison to each other. Although the comparison ended in a draw, both devices really showed there strengths.

If you are some one that’s at a point where you are deciding between both devices and wondered which one to pick? I will generate a profile who I would think would better suit the device.

Fitbit Charge 5 : The ideal person who I think would benefit in purchasing this device is some one who

  • Has a active Fitbit premium subscription
  • Prioritizes sleep health
  • Prioritizes stress management
  • Wants a basic fitness tracker
  • Minimal smart features.

I really do believe that if you tick all of the boxes above, you will definelty get the best value out of the device, especially the first three.

Xiaomi S1 Active : The ideal person who I think will benefit in purchasing this device is some one who

  • Likes to use smart features
  • Isn’t interested in health tracking, but just a general idea will do
  • Basic fitness tracer
  • Reliable GPS tracking
  • Excellent battery life for long GPS tracking.

The health features, isn’t the devices forte, so if you are someone that doesn’t prioritize health tracking and is happy with general tracking, then this device would be great for you.