While it waits for its proposed sale to Google to go through, Fitbit has announced a new fitness tracker model, the Charge 4.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the Fitbit Charge 4 replaces the best-selling Charge 3, Tech Advisor’s “best all-round Fitbit”.
It has new functions, including built-in GPS and Spotify Connect & Control, plus a new personalised fitness feature called Active Zone Minutes. More details below.
Now read our Fitbit Charge 4 review.
When is the Fitbit Charge 4 coming out?
It will be available online at more major retailers worldwide by the date it will actually start shipping, which is starting April 15, 2020.
Check out all the Fitbit range in our best Fitbit roundup.
How much will the Fitbit Charge 4 cost?
The Charge 4 costs £129.99 / $149.95 / €149.95.
A Charge 4 Special Edition is available for £149.99 / $169.95 / €169.95.
As we’ve come to expect with Fitbit trackers and smartwatches, the Charge 4 has a variety of new accessory bands and colours (starting at £19 / $29 / €29) including REPREVE recycled woven reflective bands in Midnight and Rosewood; breathable silicone sport bands in Evergreen and Frost White; and premium Horween hand-crafted leather in Black.
What does the Charge 4 look like?
The Charge 4 is almost identical to the Fitbit Charge 3. Indeed, its accessories are compatible with its predecessor.
The Charge 4 is available now in Black or Rosewood, and from June in Storm Blue/Black.
The Special Edition comes in an exclusive Granite Reflective/Black woven band plus a Classic Black band.
It’s a fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch, so it is a lightweight, swim-proof band with a monochrome touchscreen display rather than more watch-like appearance.
What are the Fitbit Charge 4's features?
So if it looks just like the Charge 3, what is different about the Charge 4?
Of course, the Charge 4 offers everything that the 3 did: it tracks steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, floors climbed, heart rate, and sleep.
It features: Cardio Fitness Level; Guided Breathing; Reminders to Move; Auto Exercise Recognition; Exercise modes such as run, bike, swim, treadmill, weights, yoga, circuit training and more; Female health tracking; Sleep Score; alarms, timers and weather app; and can display Notifications such as Caller ID, texts, Calendar, WhatsApp, and more.
The tracker also has IP68 waterproofing and a week-long battery life.
So what’s new?
The most significant addition is built-in GPS. The Charge 3 could connect to your phone’s GPS, but the 4 has its own, so you can go off for a run and get optimal performance without having to find somewhere to place your mobile. The ability to track your pace and distance in real-time all via the tracker makes it the most functional tracker Fitbit has released and equal in this regard to its top-end smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic (£249 / $249 / €269).
Even the Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch (£199 / $199 / €199) doesn’t boast a built-in GPS!
In addition to the 20+ goal-based exercise modes, you can access seven GPS-enabled exercise modes, including a new outdoor workout mode for any outdoor activity like hiking, running or a brisk walk.
Active Zone Minutes
The Charge 4 also boasts a fitness feature that none of the other Fitbits yet offer: Active Zone Minutes - a new personalised standard based on your resting heart rate and age that tracks any workout that gets your heart pumping, from indoor biking to yoga, measuring the time you spend in each heart rate zone toward a weekly goal of 150 minutes.
You earn credit for each minute of moderate activity in the Fat Burn zone and double the credit for vigorous activity in Cardio and Peak zones.
Active Zone Minutes lets you quickly understand how many minutes you need to reach your daily and weekly goals.
Each time you change zones the tracker gives you real-time alerts on your wrist, so you can push harder or scale back to make your workouts more efficient.
After the workout, you get a detailed summary of your heart rate zones in the Fitbit app.
This new feature is based on recommendations from leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the NHS, who recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, which has been linked to better overall health and well-being, disease prevention, improved cognitive function, less anxiety and better sleep.
Fitbit says that Active Zone Minutes will later roll out to all Fitbit smartwatches.
Charge 4 also features a relative SpO2 sensor, which produces Fitbit’s Estimated Oxygen Variation Graph in the Fitbit app. With this graph, users can see an estimate of the oxygen level variability in their bloodstream, which may indicate variations in your breathing during sleep.
Previously available only on Fitbit smartwatches, Smart Wake uses machine learning to wake you at the optimal time. Fitbit says Smart Wake is “coming soon”.
Spotify - Connect & Control
Like the Fitbit Versa 2, the Charge 4 adds access to Spotify (Spotify Premium subscription required), the music streaming app. There is no music storage on the Charge 4. For that you’d need a Versa 2 or Ionic. But the Spotify app on the Charge 4 does let you control your music and podcasts from your wrist. it lets you play, skip and rewind your music, select your favourite playlists, like songs, and seamlessly switch across Spotify compatible devices.
Contactless payments via Fitbit Pay were available only on the Special Edition of the Charge 3, but NFC is included with the basic model on the 4, and, of course, on the Charge 4 Special Edition.
Watch out for our Fitbit Charge 4 review, coming soon.