Image source: Fitbit

Update does little to fix Fitbit Charge 5 battery drain, users vent frustration

Some Fitbit Charge 5 owners are reporting they are experiencing battery drain. This is despite a recent firmware update which claims to have fixed the issue.

In an ideal scenario, your Charge 5 should run about a week between charges, and 5 hours with GPS switched on. But users have been reporting that their battery would die quickly, sometimes within a few hours.

The software version 1.171.50 that is meant to address this problem was issued about a week ago. Initially, the change-log only mentioned a Find Phone feature and new watch-faces. But this has since been updated to state that they have “fixed a battery drain issue some customers may have experienced with GPS-enabled devices.”

It may be that Fitbit suspected that GPS stayed on post activity on these devices and that resolving this would fix the problem. But the battery drain problem seems to be wider. Frustrated and angry users on Fitbit forums are still reporting the issue, despite updating to the latest firmware version.

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To make matters even worse, some users are reporting that their device has become unresponsive. Black screen, no monitor activity on the back, it won’t even restart. And a few Charge 5 owners which had wearables that were working just fine before the upgrade, are now reporting their device would quickly drain to zero!

“My Charge 5 worked fine before the firmware update. The battery would last for several days, sometimes up to a week,” one users on the Fitbit Community Forum says.

“After the update it now goes from 100% to dead within two hours. So frustrating, it’s essentially become useless.”

Having said that, some Charge 5 owners are reporting that the update has fixed their issue. So it seems to be a mix.

Fitbit has since responded on the forums to address the complaints.

If the screen is not responsive for any reason or the battery is not charging, make sure to follow the steps listed in this article and complete a three pulse restart method as described here

Battery life should also be improved after the update, make sure that you’ve completed the update if you’re still having this issue. In the meantime, please review the steps listed here.

The three pulse restart method they mention consists of plugging your device into the charger. Then pressing the button located on the flat end of the charger 3 times, pausing for 1 second between presses. Then you should wait 10 seconds or until the Fitbit logo appears. You might want to let your Charge 5 battery drain all the way down to zero before attempting to do this.

The company adds that “the update is still being rolled out and you should all receive it soon”. However, the chorus of complaints has continued on the Community Forum.


Typical troubleshooting steps when experiencing battery drain

We have published a detailed post on what to do if you are experiencing a battery drain on your Fitbit. The typical solutions are to restart your tracker, clean the device as well as the charging cable, and to make sure the USB port is functioning fine.

Other things you can do with Charge 5 are to make sure you are using a simple clock face as the more complicated ones may eat into battery life. Also, make sure you don’t have the always-on screen option switched on and that the display is set to manual wake.

Beyond that, there is little you can do apart from waiting for Fitbit to issue a fix. If you suspect your device is faulty, it is best to contact the company’s support channels as you may be eligible for a replacement device.

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