Fitbit Charge 5. Why I’ve Run Out Of Patience

In the middle of March this year, I decided I’d been living a healthy lifestyle for long enough to warrant buying a fitness tracking watch to take me to the next level. As is often the way, things deteriorated very shortly after buying the device that I settled upon, but that is a different story.

I’d looked at everything out there and I’d previously owned a Samsung Gear S3, but didn’t want another phone on my arm, instead I wanted to go for a device that its core function was to be a fitness watch and that could track my sleep also. Reading reviews, I settled upon the Fitbit Charge 5. I’m sort of regretting it now. Everyone I’ve detailed this account to has found it amusing, I just found it completely frustrating, and I am just getting the energy together to contact Fitbit to see if they can help. It was easier for me to have a moan here first.

I got the device in March, I loved it. Small, smart, good battery life, within a couple of weeks of getting it, I cracked a rib training which immediately restricted me. Typical. I wasn’t able to do what I had been used to and lost faith.

Now, shortly afterwards I had a bad day and was sat there in the evening and had a hankering for a KFC, so got into my vehicle, started it up and noticed my step count. I then sat on my ass, drove there, drove through, stuffed my face and drove home. Just before I got out of the vehicle, I checked my step count. It had increased by 158! You’d think it would have known that I was driving from a mix of the accelerometers and GPS, but the smart watch is apparently not that smart.

In early June I had a stinking cold and fearing I had COVID, I started paying attention to the Fitbit’s sp02 reading; this is where it’s supposed to measure your overnight blood oxygen level. At one point, it was showing my previous night had been 91%. According to those more qualified than I, that should mean that I’m in a hospital on oxygen. I just did a quick search; “In a patient with COVID-19, SpO2 levels should stay between 92%-96%. Low oxygen levels that drop below this threshold require medical attention, as it can result in difficulty breathing and other serious complications.”

I was unwell, but would have been fine to jog, and exert myself, so I feel that it is safe to say that the reading of my sp02 supplied by the Charge 5 is incorrect.

And now, the final straw, remember, a smart watch, or a fitness watch is precisely that. As a watch. Its primary function is to tell the time. This is where my Charge 5 is not playing ball…..

I went on a short break last week, and as soon as the Charge 5 synced with my phone which had automatically updated to the holiday time zone, it was also showing the same time. Wonderful.

I get home yesterday, my phone automatically updates to the new time zone, wonderful, I sync my Charge 5, it is still showing holiday time. So far, I have followed all of the guidance;

  • Re-sync
  • Change time zones on phone, then sync, then change zones to correct one and then sync.
  • I’ve upaired the Charge in Bluetooth, and paired again, and synced again.
  • I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled the app, unpaired in Bluetooth, put it all back together again, and synced again.
  • Restarted the Charge and synced.
  • Pulse restarted (charge device, then press the button located on the flat end of the charger 3 times, pausing for 1 second between presses. Then wait 10 seconds or until the Fitbit logo appears), and synced.

So, after all of that, after every change, every sync, it is still showing holiday time. AND THERE IS NO WAY TO MANUALLY OVERRIDE IT! A WATCH THAT YOU CANNOT SET THE TIME ON!

Aaargh! Right, I’m going to message customer support, I’ll post the outcome.

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