The wearable market seems to have plateaued a bit, perhaps partly due to most users being satisfied with the trackers they already have. So what can fitness tracker makers do to increase sales? Make consumers realize they will need more. The Fitbit Charge 3 is an example, adding a new sleep tracking feature that won’t exactly guarantee you the most peaceful slumber but could at least help you understand why you’re not getting any.
That’s not all that the Fitbit Charge is all about, of course. It’s a significant upgrade in every way, thanks to the larger display and more rugged materials. It also has some smarts that Fitbit’s young smartwatch line boasts of, specifically Fitbit Pay. In other words, it’s the closest a smart fitness tracker will get to a smartwatch without being a smartwatch.
Fitbit’s marketing for the Charge 3, however, focuses heavily on the tracker’s relative SpO2 sensor. This optical sensor that’s used for tracking oxygen saturation is being used to measure the quality of sleep which, in turn, can be used to indicate health issues, including sleep apnea. That bit might be a bit controversial for health professionals who raise an eyebrow at such claims.
Regardless, there’s no stopping the Fitbit Charge 3, which will go on sale on October 7. As announced, it will cost buyers $149.95 for the normal edition and $169.95 for the special edition that supports Fitbit Pay. The Fitbit Labs Sleep Score beta program, which will offer deeper insight into your sleeping patterns thanks to that relative SpO2 sensor, will begin in November but will be limited to only a few users in the US, the UK, and Australia.