Fitbit Announces Fitbit Charge 4

Posted on March 31, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Wearables, Fitbit with 11 Comments

The latest Fitbit Charge fitness wearable provides a new personalized heart rate metric that tracks activity beyond steps.

“Our mission has always been to help people around the world get healthier,” Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park says in a prepared statement. “In today’s extraordinary times, that mission is more important than ever, but we realize how hard it is to focus on your health and wellness. However, staying active, eating well and getting enough sleep can help reduce stress and boost immunity.”

Based on the site description, the Fitbit Charge 4 looks like a minor, evolutionary update over the Charge 3 that I’ve been using for about a year and a half. It provides the same form factor and look and feel, with a grayscale touchscreen and a single side-mounted button.

But there are some improvements over the previous model. The Charge 4 includes a few sleep tracking features that were only available on Fitbit’s smartwatches previously, including a smart wake function, coming soon, that uses machine learning to wake you at the optimal time. It also includes a relative SpO2 sensor for measuring bloodstream oxygen levels, tap to pay functionality, and more.

And then there’s Active Zone Minutes, the new personalized heart rate metric.

“With Active Zone Minutes, we are giving users a new personalized standard for health and fitness so they can get the most out of any activity that works for them and help to keep them motivated,” Mr. Park says. It appears to vibrate the wearable when you reach your target heart rate zone during a workout, and it will “celebrate when you earn extra minutes outside of workouts.” Active Zone Minutes is coming to Fitbit’s smartwatches soon, too.

The Fitbit Charge 4 costs $150 and is available now for preorder. Fitbit says it will ship in about two weeks.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Fitbit Announces Fitbit Charge 4”

  1. yoshi

    I'm still rocking a Charge 2 and it's time for an upgrade. I planned on going to a watch - either a Versa 2 or Active 2. But debating if I really need all that for more money, when this Charge 4 looks great.

  2. simard57

    i wonder when they will start to include a temperature sensor. given these times, it might be a good pre-diagnostic metric

    • faustxd9

      In reply to Simard57:

      I was thinking the same thing! I am wondering if they could tune the existing sensors to detect variations that could predict illness. Of course that is a slippery slope, as is everything with data collection these days.

    • PanamaVet

      In reply to Simard57:

      Early in the stages of coming down with a cold my pulse goes up about 10bpm. Gotta work harder to kill that thing!

      Resting pulse history on my Ionic helps track that. I have to allow for variation if I miss a workout. No sign of Corona yet.

      I get "disappointed" when I'm told I have to pay a monthly ransom to fully benefit from the device I purchased. I'm looking at alternatives now and I hope Paul can help with that. That includes telling me there is no alternative so I know if that is the case. TIA :)

  3. dbarjim

    Has Google taken ownership of Fitbit yet, I don't see the Google name on this charge 4 ?

  4. marvyn

    Does anyone recall - wasn't there something out a while ago that they were activating SpO2 functionality on the charge 3?

    • Nic

      In reply to Marvyn:

      I have it on my Charge 3. It only monitors it at sleep time. I'm not sure if the updated will provide the option for monitoring all the time. Plus, detailed information is only available if you have their premium subscription services.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Yeah. I've certainly never seen it.
  5. faustxd9

    I could be wrong, but the addition of GPS into this version could be a big deal for a lot of people.

  6. swarnock

    Now I know why my Charge 3 conveniently stopped charging last week! Did they mention if any of the Charge 4 new features will only be available in their premium service?

  7. kawaidon

    I read elsewhere that the Fitbit Charge 4 includes built in GPS. Is this not true? That is a pretty substantial upgrade I think.

  8. papachungo13

    Has anyone been able to keep these past 12 months without the band breaking?

    My wife and I have consistently had trouble with the bands on the Charge models