I’ve always had a soft spot for Fitbit — after all, I started health tracking because of a Fitbit. But, as we enter the age of better-looking smartwatches and more advanced wearables, how do Fitbits fare?
In this article, I work out … and test Fitbit’s latest wearable, the Charge 3.
Before anything else, it has to be said: The Charge 3 is a health tracker and not a smartwatch. This means that its main function is tracking your health stats. But, because it’s 2018, it, of course, does more than that. Paired to your phone via the Fitbit App, it also gives your smartphone notifications for calls, messages, and some apps — but that’s about it.
On Android devices, you get the luxury of quick replies from the watch but nothing fancy like voice typing or replies other than what you’ve pre-set on the app. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; this thing is for fitness purposes and is not to be used as another shiny thing to distract you from the ultimate goal which is exercising.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best wearable is one you enjoy wearing so much that you keep it on your wrist, which means it can actually do its job and track the fudge out of those calories you’ve burned and steps you’ve taken. To do that, it has to look good enough, or in some cases, discreet enough so that it stays on you.
The Charge 3 looks like your typical fitness wearable and it’s pretty thick to be unnoticeable on your wrist but different strap options help with that. The special edition that I tested came with a black strap that’s great for casual looks and a fresh white band that looks sporty but oh so good.
Of course, there are many other strap options available; you can literally mix and match to suit your mood. And speaking of trackers that stay on your wrist, you’ll rarely have to take it off for charging, as the battery lasted me almost a week with heavy use. Now, on to the actual exercising!
The Charge 3 boasts a wider screen than its predecessor’s and no physical buttons. It’s responsive enough and the wider surface area gives a better feel when swiping through. The default screen shows you the time, your steps, and your heart rate. Though you can pick different themes, most of them are pretty basic and give you the same info. You navigate through the menu with swipes on the screen and an inductive button on the screen’s left side. Swipe down for notifications, swipe up for stats, and swipe right to get to exercising!
This wearable will automatically record any activity you do. Ideally, you keep it on all the time so you get a complete picture of your fitness progress with all the information at hand. You can also start your exercises depending on a number of pre-set activities like running, treadmill, weights, workout, or even yoga.
Picking a particular exercise session means the wearable will guide you through your chosen exercise with updated stats like time, calories burned, and your heart rate. For science, I worked out. If you’re a frequent traveler, feel free to save this routine for your next trip. 👍🏽
1. HIIT exercise
I did a 10-minute HIIT routine with jumping jacks and high knees. For this type of exercise, it’s especially great to have timer notifications on your wrist instead of having to stop and use a timer on your phone — a gentle vibration just lets me know when it’s time to move on to the next set. This quick and easy routine is a great way to get your heart pumping.
2. Basic exercises with exercise bands
When I travel, I work out with fitness bands: They’re so portable and weigh next to nothing so you can bring them anywhere. It’s a great way to stay fit while on the go. On the Charge 3, I tapped “Workout” under “Exercises” and just allowed it to alert me every time I burned 100 calories. (It’s a great motivator. 😂)
3. Beginner Yoga
Trust me, this exercise is not only good for the body; it’s also great for your mind. Yoga is included on the list of pre-set exercises you can track. This time around, I set my goal on the Fitbit at the 20-minute mark. Now let me warn you: I’m no pro at this but I sometimes do Yoga workouts as a way to meditate and stretch. I’ve found these sessions to be therapeutic.
Because it’s a basic wearable, you don’t see actual workout tutorials on the band as you go (something the Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa offered). And, though useful, that’s a feature that I’ve only ever used once because if you want to follow along to exercises, you will, most definitely, just end up watching on your phone.
Findings were: Fitbit, as always, does a great job of tracking activities. It even lets you decide how to track your exercise — either via calories burned or time elapsed; it also gives these updates in real-time. There are exercise summaries after each activity that help give you a picture of how many calories were burned and real-time heart rate checking throughout to make sure you’re not literally dying during exercise. This activity told me that I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was — multiple exercise takes to shoot this video killed me. 😅
No doubt about it: The Fitbit Charge 3 is a great fitness tracker and awesome workout motivator. For those who want a basic wearable that you can trust, this is a great option.
I also love how easy the Fitbit interface is. Even beginners will be able to figure this out. Trust me, I didn’t know crap when I tested my very first Fitbit. Another great function, which not a lot of wearables have, is the built-in female health tracking: a period tracker that’s finally integrated into all your health data.
All in all, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a great way to make sure you’re on track to meet your fitness goals. Just remember that wearables can only do so much. It will give you all the data you need but without you getting off your butt to do the heavy lifting, your nice fitness tracker simply becomes a high-tech bracelet.
Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire
Your survival guide to a crazy season
Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming. (Kidding!)
When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back into our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.
More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.
But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.
Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories
Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them in a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some straps to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.
Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure
Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.
Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked into the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputation from being smeared!
Double-check what you type and say
Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.
P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.
Keep your emotions in check and block your exes
If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time when you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back into your life.
Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.
Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)
If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder always to find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.
Take a moment to slow down
Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, and what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.
Why you should upgrade to the Dyson V15
Smart and powerful
Are you someone who gets excited over vacuum cleaners? Why hello there and welcome to adulthood. Vacuuming is definitely one of the most satisfying chores at home. The results are instant and seeing all the gunk you were able to remove from your floors and furniture is always so rewarding. This is why I can be quite particular about my vacuums. I need one that makes the task easier and a lot more interesting — like the new Dyson V15 Detect Absolute.
Dyson’s latest release in the floor care department is arguably the most intelligent and powerful cordless vacuum in the market today. The suction has improved and is now at 240 Air Watts. Thanks to a Piezo Sensor, the V15’s screen will also tell you the kind of particles it’s picking up in your home grouped by size. This is something that people will allergies will definitely be thankful for. However, the numbers aren’t just there as a party trick or merely for information. There’s a practical use for it. As the V15 detects – pun intended – the particles, it also adjusts the suction accordingly. Detection is done up to 15,000 times per second. This allows for the adjustment of the suction power on Auto Mode to be quick and intuitive. Now that’s nifty.
The right accessories and attachments for your Dyson V15
The V15 Detect also comes with a whole slew of attachments and accessories. Admittedly, seeing the range of tools and thinking of all the things you can do with them are two of the things that really get me excited when getting a new vacuum. I love how you get multi-use pieces as well as task-specific ones.
The Digital Motorbar or the V15’s main cleaning head now comes with an anti-tangle comb that clears hair from the brush bar. This is something I longed for vacuums to have as detangling hair from brushes and rollers isn’t something to look forward to. It’s no gimmick either. My hair’s been getting longer and I shed almost as much as our corgi. We tested it here at home and it actually works.
The V15 — both models — come with the Laser Slim Fluffy Cleaner Head which is perfect for seeing microdust and things you may just miss on hard floors. The Hair Screw Tool is the upgrade of the Mini Motorized Tool. It has the power of its predecessor and the anti-tangle technology of the Digital Motorbar. It’s perfect for cleaning upholstery, mattresses, and even in your car.
You also get attachments that were available in previous models like the Crevice Tool for those narrow, hard to reach places, Combination Tool, Mini Soft Dusting Brush, and the Stubborn Dirt Brush. The vacuum still comes with a wall mount where your charger can go through, ensuring tidier storage.
The HEPA model comes with a built-in dusting and crevice tool that hides inside the wand when not in use. It seems like a minor addition but makes it much easier to switch from full vacuum to handheld. Extra attachments like the Low-Reach Adaptor makes cleaning under beds and sofas a breeze and the Fabric and Mattress tool for your in-home cleaning. This frees up your Hair Screw Tool for your car.
But what I’m really looking forward to is the launch of the Dyson Pet Groom tool here in the Philippines. Set to arrive in early 2023, this piece is a game changer for pet owners. Living with a corgi means having to deal with shedding all year round. We also have to hoover every single day or else we’ll be dealing with fur tumbleweeds throughout our flat which gather more dust and allergens. The new Pet Groom Tool is a brush that you can attach to the main body of your V15. With 364 bristles angled at 35°, you’re able to remove loose fur and dander from your pet. Without hurting them, of course.
Filtering microdust with the Dyson V15
Dyson vacuums have always been pretty idiot-proof. It’s a piece of technology that marries form and substance — looking great while packing a lot of power for a cordless vacuum. I’ve always loved how Dyson vacuums don’t use bags. Clearing the bin is easy — hold it over the bin and pull the side handle down. Less waste makes it kinder to the environment.
The V15 also comes with 5-stages of advanced filtration, capturing 99.99% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. You’re not only cleaning your home but the air around you as well. There’s no need to keep buying filters and produce more waste because all you have to do is regularly take off the filter, place it under running water to clean, let it dry overnight and put it back. This works for both the regular and HEPA filters.
Sure, the V15 is a tad heavier if you compare it to the Omniglide and the V12 slim. However, it’s is a more powerful machine and runs longer. At 60 minutes, I’m able to deep clean most of our two-bedroom home. I’ve owned the V11 Absolute Extra Pro (a bigger V11 released in Germany) since 2019 and I’d say there’s not much difference in weight. I’ve enjoyed the power I got from V11 and always regarded it as my favorite vacuum, thinking that it’s hard to top its suction power as far as cordless vacuums go without making it too heavy. I was actually surprised that the V15 was able to achieve just that.
What’s left to improve?
While I’m absolutely smitten by the V15, here’s what I would love to see in the next upgrades. A laser on the Digital Motorbar would be great so that we can also see microdust and hair that tends to blend with the color of our carpets.
Some people online have complained about the lack of a trigger lock. This means you have to keep your finger on the trigger to keep the vacuum running. I think this is more of a question of preference. I don’t mind having a trigger lock as an option but I rarely used it in my older vacuums. For those who really think it can be an issue for them, the V12 does come with a start and stop button instead of a trigger.
The V15 Detect Absolute comes in two variants — V15 Detect Absolute and V15 Detect Absolute HEPA. The main difference is the filter and the colors. The former is in sprayed yellow and nickel and the latter is in a combination of sprayed gold and iron with the HEPA filter coming in a lovely shade of aqua.
The V15 Detect Absolute HEPA variant retails for PhP54,900 and comes with two extra tools (Fabric and Mattress tool and Low-Reach Adaptor) as well as its hidden dusting and crevice tool inside the wand.
The V15 Detect Absolute, meanwhile, is slightly cheaper at PhP50,900. Both models are now available at Dyson stores in the Philippines as well as their official online stores on Lazada and Shopee.
Uniqlo’s Mame Kurogouchi FW 2022 collection elevates cool weather outfits
Fall/Winter pieces that you can also use in the tropics
Manila is completely devoid of freezing temperatures. However, it doesn’t mean one cannot enjoy pieces from the new Mame Kurogouchi collaboration with Uniqlo. They’re great for layering during travel to other countries with cooler climes while being wearable here in the tropics as well.
At a launch event at their Global Flagship Store in Makati on the 11th of November, the team unveiled the latest pieces that come in neutrals and beautiful earth tones. From olive and mustard to a natural beige and the usual blacks, the cool-toned hues are perfect for this time of year. While they’re quite on trend at the moment, the colors and silhouettes are also versatile enough to be worn well beyond the current season.
Quite the showstopper is the 3D Soufflé Yarn Bustier. It can be worn by itself or over the Heattech Wool Blend Turtle Neck or even the Heattech Sleeveless Top. The latter, although part of the Heattech collection, is light enough for the tropical weather when worn on its own. The sleeveless top also comes in a silk-blend fabric that adds a bit of sheen while being so smooth to the touch.
The Heattech Wool Blend Flare Slit Leggings also drew attention from the crowd during the launch. Perfect for wearing ankle boots, this is a pair you would prefer to keep on top when you do some layering.
It’s not a winter collection with no knits. The Mame Kurogouchi 3D Knit Ribbed Square Neck Long Sleeve Sweater comes with bell sleeves to match the leggings. They also make it easier to dress it up by just adding some accessories. There’s also a ribbed skirt that can be taken from day-to-night.
Innerwear is also a big part of the collection. Proving that comfort and style can co-exist, the collection also features hip-hugging underwear and body shapers that aren’t the least bit painful to wear. Wireless bras and period panties that Uniqlo already has in its stores are also part of the collection but in the Mame Kuroguochi hues.
Mame Kurogouchi is a womenswear brand established in 2010. It is gaining worldwide recognition for the use of innovative materials, ingeniously constructed details incorporating traditional techniques, and curved lines that accentuate a woman’s beauty. Designer Maiko Kurogouchi’s commitment to creating clothing with details that allow women to live unrestricted, vibrant lives has captured the hearts of people around the world. This makes her the perfect designer for Uniqlo to collaborate with for comfortable, stylish pieces for FW 2022. The collection is now available in select stores and their online shop. Prices range from PhP590 to PhP1990 for items in the collection.
Uniqlo is running a sale until the 17th of November on some of their regular and seasonal collections. Some items go as low as PhP390. For those living in Laguna, the new Nuvali Roadside Store opens tomorrow, November 16, at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa.
Apple M2 Mac mini Review
More Affordable, More Powerful
Forspoken review: Outspoken with little to speak of
Wait for a sale
MSI Summit E16 Flip review: Creator on the go
A plethora of ways to be as productive and creative as possible
Logitech launches first-ever gaming earbuds
CASETiFY releases Samsung Galaxy S23 series protective cases
YouTubers React to Samsung Galaxy S23
Apple M2 Mac mini Review
Instagram possibly letting users pay for a blue badge
Best of CES 2023
Gaming TV of choice: Sony releases BRAVIA XR X90K
Razer working on surround sound head cushion for gaming chairs
Genshin Impact v. 3.4: New area, two more characters revealed
Apple Arcade: All upcoming titles, updates for January 2023
News2 weeks ago
Apple iPhone 15 Rumor Roundup: Goodbye Pro Max, hello Ultra
Entertainment2 weeks ago
LG just launched a limited edition NewJeans laptop
Gaming2 weeks ago
Honkai: Star Rail final closed beta sign-up now open
Gaming2 weeks ago
Gaming2 weeks ago
Cult classic GoldenEye 007 is coming to Xbox, Switch
Gaming2 weeks ago
Blizzard shuts down almost all games in China
Deals1 week ago
Buy AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series-Star Wars Jedi: Survivor bundle
Apps1 week ago
Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash