In an era when smartwatches are dominating the fitness wearables market, few companies are introducing fitness trackers. Even fewer are introducing fitness trackers with meaningful upgrades. Fitbit is one such company that takes its fitness trackers as seriously as its smartwatches. This means that you can expect its fitness trackers to pack all the goodness that a fitness tracker can hold and some more. With Charge 4, Fitbit does exactly that.
The Fitbit Charge 4 delivers meaningful updates to its Charge 3 fitness tracker. While the company may not have overhauled the design, it has added just the right mix of features that would help Charge 4 qualify as a worthy successor to Charge 3. Fitbit has added Fitbit Pay, Spotify support and built-in GPS -- a feature mostly seen in mid-budget and premium smartwatches -- to the mix and these features make all the difference.
We’ll talk about that in detail in the review below. So, keep reading...
Fitbit Charge 4: Design
But first a bit about the design.
The Fitbit Charge 4 features a design that is quite similar to Charge 3. This means that you get a 1-inch Black and White OLED display that is encased in an aluminium chassis. The display is bright and clear and it is easily visible under the sun. The touch-based controls are equally proficient at doing their job and they function without missing a beat every time.
At the bottom of the dial, you get the charging pin along with a bunch of sensors and on the left side, there is a haptic touch button that lets you navigate the fitness tracker’s interface with ease. Charge 4 ships with Silicone strips in two sizes and you get three colour variants to pick from -- Black, Black dial with Stormy Blue straps, and Rosewood.
All of this, barring the colours, of course, are similar to what Charge 3 offers. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. Charge 3 features a design that is comfortable to wear even for long durations. Charge 4 follows this rule to the tee. It is comfortable to wear no matter what you are doing or what circumstances you are using it in, even in the rain. Fitbit says that the Charge 4 is water-resistant up to 50 meters and it can track your swim workouts as well. This means that occasional splashes of water be it in the form of rain or pool water should do no harm to it. Overall, Charge 4 is comfortable to wear even at night when it tracks your sleep quality. Well, almost comfortable. I used it to test its sleep tracking feature and in my experience, it is comfortable enough such that I didn’t want to rip it off my skin at any point, which says a lot about it.
Fitbit Charge 4: Experience
Now, the experience.
The fitness wearables market is getting fiercely competitive with every new device that is launched. With smartwatches, it is about onboarding as many premium features as possible. With fitness trackers, it is about getting the features onboard smartwatches on a device that is not as glamorous. The Fitbit Charge 4 nails this trend.
It offers everything that you would see in a fitness tracker from guided breathing sessions and heart rate tracking to sleep tracking, sedentary reminders, and goal-based reminders to name a few. Then it goes a step ahead by offering features that only a few fitness trackers have to offer. The list includes Heart Rate Zones, which gives you real-time stats to help you make your workout sessions more productive, Workout Intensity Map that works in tandem with the Heart Rate Zones feature to give you an overall picture of the workout you did and the impact that it had, built-in GPS that lets you leave your phone at home when you are going out on a run, Fitbit Pay and Spotify support.
What helps in making sense of all the information that Charge 4 conveys is the Fitbit app, which turns the stats into usable information. Fitbit hasn’t changed the overall interface of its Fitbit app drastically over the years. It breeds familiarity. But that’s a good thing as it is this interface of the Fitbit app that makes it easy-to-use for new users and loyalists alike. While Fitbit has added tonnes of new features to the Fitbit app and made it more useful for fitness enthusiasts, it has made changes -- however drastic they might be -- in a sustainable way.
On the battery front, Fitbit claims that Charge 4 offers a run time of up to 7 days when GPS is turned off. It offered me a run time of around six days with GPS being used for around 20-30 minutes each day. On the charging front, it charges completely in around an hour.
That said, everything isn’t la la land with Charge 4. There are areas where it can use some improvements. For instance, it still doesn’t support quick replies on iOS and GPS can be a bit spotty at times. But surely, some upgrades can be left for the future.
Fitbit Charge 4: Conclusion
To conclude, the Fitbit Charge 4 is undeniably one of the best fitness trackers in the market right now. It has the best of what fitness trackers have to offer and it takes a step closer to what smartwatches have to offer with upgrades such as built-in GPS and Spotify support. Of course, there is room for improvement but at a sub-10K price point, Charge 4 is the best that you will get right now.
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