Following in the footsteps of an inherently flawed but rather robust and extremely popular third-gen model unveiled a little over a year and a half ago, this bad boy is Fitbit's very first tracker equipped with built-in GPS functionality. That's something the Garmin Vivosmart 4 does not offer, mind you, and neither do Fitbit's Versa, Versa 2, and Versa Lite smartwatches.
While the Charge 4 looks pretty much identical on the outside to its 2018-released predecessor, untethered GPS connectivity is just one of several cool tricks up the new fitness band's sleeve that help distinguish this from the sub-$200 wearable device pack.
At a starting price of $150, the Fitbit Charge 4 is obviously unable to match the life-saving capabilities of something like the $400 and up Apple Watch Series 5. But aside from far too complex stuff like electrocardiography or fall detection technology, there's not a lot missing here.
You get 24/7 heart rate tracking, all-day calorie burn, guided breathing sessions, female health monitoring, reminders to move every hour, automatic exercise tracking, and yes, even in-depth sleep monitoring keeping an eye on sleep stages and offering an overall Sleep Score every night, as well as advice on how to wake up feeling rested and refreshed every morning.
If all that sounds familiar, it's probably because the Fitbit Charge 3 also had these features enabled at launch. One big thing previous Fitbits only received a couple of months ago is blood oxygen saturation monitoring, a functionality made possible by a so-called SpO2 sensor that the Charge 4 seems to be supporting right off the bat.
Perhaps more importantly, the Fitbit Charge 4 is also introducing "Active Zone Minutes", aiming to provide a more accurate and complete look at the way different kinds of activities get your heart pumping. Essentially, this new "personalized standard" based on the individual wearer's resting heart rate and age will detect any "energizing" activity, be it a quick run, swim, yoga session, or a vigorous walk, giving you different "credits" depending on the intensity of your workout towards a weekly goal of 150 "Active Zone" minutes.
As for the standalone GPS connectivity, you can probably imagine how it works without us going into too much detail. Thanks to this, you can leave your smartphone at home when going out for a run, and the Fitbit Charge 4 will be able to monitor your real-time pace and distance all by itself.
The Fitbit Charge 4 has plenty more going on than just a lengthy list of advanced activity tracking features, supporting among others wrist payments and Spotify music control. While Fitbit Pay functionality is technically nothing new, both the regular and Special Editions of the Charge 4 seem to offer this, which wasn't the case with the Charge 3.
Meanwhile, Spotify integration is completely new, but obviously, the wearable device itself won't do any of the streaming. Instead, you'll need your Android handset or iPhone to handle that, with the Charge 4 merely in charge of stuff like skipping tracks and browsing playlists.
Fully protected against water immersion, just like its forerunner, the Fitbit Charge 4 sports a greyscale touchscreen where you can get various smartphone notifications and alerts, as well as quickly reply to messages (only on Android), just like the Charge 3.
A battery life of up to seven days is another key selling point shared with the Fitbit Charge 3, although heavy GPS usage will undoubtedly and drastically reduce that number.
As already mentioned, the Fitbit Charge 4 is up for pre-order at the same $150 starting price as the Charge 3, this time however supporting both wrist payments and standalone GPS functionality. The regular version comes in black, rosewood, and a cool storm blue/black combo, while the $170 Special Edition rocks an exclusive granite reflective/black woven band plus a "classic" black strap as a backup.
You can expect Fitbit, Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon to kick off their Charge 4 shipments on April 13, and in case you're wondering, the Fitbit Charge 3 is still around at a reduced price of 120 bucks and up. That doesn't feel like a great deal, though, so you might want to wait for even heftier discounts if you don't intend to spend $150 on the hot new Fitbit Charge 4.