Fitbit recently launched the Fitbit Charge 4, the latest edition of their line of fitness trackers, with enhancements that make it more than just a tracker.
The Fitbit Charge line of fitness trackers are primarily designed for the fitness enthusiast. Over the lat few years, fitness trackers have popped up everywhere and you can get one at $10 to one that could cost a couple of hundred. However, not all fitness trackers are built equal, especially when you consider the quality and diversity of sensors .
Out of the box, the Fitbit Charge 4 looks identical to the Charge 3, its predecessor. You can hardly tell them apart. Even the classic band looks like the one that comes with the Charge 3. However, the special edition does come with an additional woven band. The straps are comfortable to wear and you are very easily able to swap them out and switch them around at the push of a button.
The interface is simple and intuitive with a lone discrete button on the side, and a touchscreen that responds to swipes as you scroll across the options. Being a fitness tracker, the display is smaller than that of a smartwatch. While the screen is monochrome – no colours, it is bright and responsive. You really should not have any trouble accessing the information you need, literally at your fingertips.
While much remains unchanged on the outside, it’s a different story on the inside. The Fitbit Charge 4 has been designed to give a provide better understanding of our bodies and health. It’s packed with Fitbit’s latest combination of sensors and features such as built-in GPS and new Active Zone Minutes feature for more personalized guidance to improve and optimize your activities.
The Charge 4 is the first Fitbit tracker with built-in GPS. More importantly, Fitbit have managed to incorporate the GPS without making it any bulkier, increasing its price, battery performance.
Having a GPS tracker means you can track your real-time pace and distance on the Charge 4, without the need to carry your phone for runs, hikes and bike rides. This allows you to put your phone aside and concentrate on your activity and not worry about arm-straps and the like.
The Charge 4 is also the first Fitbit device with Active Zone Minutes. This new feature monitors and measures your time spent in each heart rate zone, which then helps you reach your fitness and health goal more efficiently. Wearing Fitbit Charge 4 all day also allows you to record and monitor your resting heart rate and other related info.
Another feature that I particularly appreciate, is the sleep tracker which provides deeper insight into your sleep. You can view your Sleep Score, both on-device and, in the Fitbit app for a daily look at your sleep quality based on your resting heart rate, restlessness, time awake and Sleep Stages (light, deep and REM).
I personally feel that the Charge 4’s sensors fare better than the Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch that I reviewed not too long ago that already had better sensors than its predecessor.
In addition you can also see an estimate of the oxygen level variability in your bloodstream, which is derived from a combination of the red and infrared sensors on the back of your device which can help to identify if there are variations in your breathing while you’re asleep.
Pair the tracker with the companion app like any other member of Fitbit’s family of devices and you’re all set to view this data.
In addition to the fitness and health sensors, the Charge 4 also features other smartwatch-esque features such as Fitbit Pay, call, calendar and text notifications and apps to get the weather forecast, set a timer or run a stopwatch.
Battery life lasts up to about 6 days, and up to 5 hours when using GPS continuously. A full charge takes about 40 minutes.
The Fitbit Charge 4 and Charge 4 Special Edition are available for purchase at SGD 248 and SGD 278 respectively – a very decent price point for the features.
The Fitbit Charge 4 is definitely an upgrade from the Charge 3. The fact that it’s priced the same as the Charge 3 was when that was launched makes it an even better deal. The advanced sensors and app features really do blur the lines between choosing between this tracker and a smartphone.