Fitbit Charge 4 Review – Tried and Tested

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Last Updated on January 7, 2023

The Fitbit Charge 4 may have a similar appearance to Fitbit Charge 3, but it has three key new features that help set it apart: built-in GPS, Spotify integration, sleep tracker, and the Fitbit Pay system.

The Charge 4 can monitor your route and speed, enabling wireless music control, female health tracking, and making contactless payments. This way, you can leave your phone or bigger mobile devices at home when you go for walks, runs, or bike rides.

Fitbit Charge 4 Unboxing

The Fitbit Charge 4 comes in two materials: stainless steel and aluminum. The features and functionalities are the same in both versions. Straps are the only difference.

The swankier strap comes with the “Special Edition,” while the ordinary strap is included with the “Base Edition.” In all cases, a smaller and a bigger strap are included as standard. I’m happy with the smaller one.

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)

In the bottom portion of the package, you’ll find the additional straps and charging wire (depending on the model) as well as some office supplies.

Starting with the printed instructions, let’s take a brief tour of the system. After reading this, you won’t need it anymore. To minimize wrist aches, it reminds you to remove the band from time to time and wash it.

Beside the watch there is more attractive classic band, while the three ordinary bands are hidden.

Finally, there’s the pod’s underbelly. The straps may be detached by pressing the little buttons on either side of the straps. It’s a well-designed mechanism since I’ve never had one break down.

Design and Display Variation

Slim and light, the Fitbit Charge 4 is perfect for wearing day and night, with just the odd break to give your skin a rest. It measures 35.8mm x 22.7mm x 12.5mm and weighs only 12.5 grams.

For the previous 30 days, the watch records your total steps, distance, steps climbed, and calories burned, as well as comprehensive activity stats for the last week. However, the Fitbit app will allow you to go back in time and see how far you’ve progressed.

Every second when you’re exercising, and every five seconds the rest of the time, an optical heart rate sensor in the watch detects your heart rate.

There’s a lot to like about the Fitbit Charge 4’s new GPS feature, which makes it a viable choice for those who like jogging, cycling, and swimming for general fitness but don’t require the richness of data supplied by a specialized Garmin watch or Polar device. An altimeter for counting the number of floors ascended is also included.

With NFC, the Fitbit Charge 4 can make contactless payments with Fitbit Pay and you can manage the Spotify Premium on your phone over Bluetooth for music output.

Fitbit recommends drying the band after swimming, bathing, or sweating since the gadget is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters.

The Fitbit Charge 4’s face is the same thin, rectangular form we’ve come to expect from Fitbit devices. Please note that there are two options available. The Fitbit Charge 4 Standard Edition comes with a black, rosewood (purple), or storm blue/black silicone wristband.

The Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition that I’m reviewing comes with two straps: a black silicone one and a reflective woven band one that looks like tweed and would be appropriate for more formal settings. Changing out the straps is a cinch thanks to the two lengths that come with the watch.

Read also: Garmin Forerunner 245 Review – Tried and Tested

Unfortunately, the Fitbit’s screen is still only available in black and white. However, after using it for a few weeks, I don’t find this to be a significant issue. Even in direct sunlight, the backlit OLED display is bright and crisp, and we’d prefer a monochrome screen if it meant ​saving battery life.

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)

If you’re looking for a watch face that’s easier to see, select one of the less congested alternatives and you won’t have to worry about it.

A bit more time at maximum brightness would be nice, since the screen dims pretty rapidly after being woken up (by tapping the side button or lifting your wrist). It’s likely that this is another effort to save energy.

In comparison to the comparable charging clips used by Garmin devices, this one is considerably simpler to align the connections properly, and it takes less than an hour charge time to make it full.

Fitbit claims a week on a single charge, and I found that to be accurate in my tests, but like other advanced fitness trackers, that duration is significantly decreased when you’re utilizing the on-board GPS to measure your outdoor activities.

User Interface

There are just two controls on the Fitbit Charge 4: a touchscreen and a little button on the left side. To access the device’s numerous settings and menus, press the button or raise your wrist.

A responsive and brighter screen than what is seen in the photos allows for seamless menu changes. Additionally, just two menu selections are displayed at a time, reducing the possibility of picking the incorrect one (which could have easily been a problem with such a small display). Your daily information, such as step count, distance traveled, and calories burned, may be seen by swiping up.

There is just one button, and pressing it brings you back to the previous screen or to the clock face, whichever comes first. Compared to some other fitness trackers, this one has a more subtle vibrating sensation. Your most recent messages and phone calls are seen by swiping down.

There are a number of applications available on this wearable device that can be selected and used, but I found the weather app to be especially useful. It also sends smartphone notifications pretty fast if needed.

It eliminated the need to pull out your phone, open an app, and read through it to see what the prediction is for tomorrow. As an example of the overall Charge 4 experience, it provides just the information you need in an easy-to-read format. Neither over-the-top nor under-the-radar

Fitness and Health Tracking

In order to get the most out of the Fitbit Charge 4’s six activity trackings, you’ll have to pick and choose which ones are most commonly used. You could find this difficult if you like a variety of routines and want to work out both inside and outdoors.

Heart Rate Tracking Technologies

The gadget can automatically identify when you begin an outdoor exercise mode, but it won’t provide a GPS map of your workout unless you choose an activity type before you begin it.

For this reason, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve traveled, how fast you’ve been going, as well as your heart rate. For a casual runner, it’s a lot less information than you’d receive with a specialized running watch.

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)

You can see heart rate trends that Charge 4 optical heart rate monitor collects in real-time. You will also see certain target heart rate zones you have to achieve to meet your fitness goal.

During the course of a week, you should aim to spend 150 minutes in each peak heart rate zone with your favourite workouts (fat burn, cardio, and interval). It’s based on WHO and NHS standards and is comparable to Garmin Connect’s Intensity Minutes feature.

Many other fitness apps give you an estimate of how much time you spend moving, but these health metrics are frequently linked to footfall rather than heart rate and is thus less accurate for indoor activities.

After outdoor workouts, you’ll be able to check your Active Zone Minutes, calories burned, and steps taken, all of which are editable and may be shared, updated, or deleted. To learn more about Active Zone Minutes, you’ll need to click on a link and visit the relevant page on your computer browser.

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Apps

It’s fantastic to see that Fitbit’s mobile app has undergone a substantial upgrade in time for the arrival of the Charge 4, and getting started couldn’t be easier. Just connect to your Fitbit account on your phone (or create a new one) and choose the Charge 4 from the available choices.

Read also: Fitbit Versa 2 Review

When it locates the device, it will ask for a four-digit PIN that will be shown on the device’s screen. Then, you will get the app notifications. As soon as the device is connected to your phone, you will be asked to upgrade the device’s firmware, which will take a few minutes to complete.

All the program’s features can be found on huge, easy-to-find tiles once you enter the app. No more digging through menus. Active Zone Minutes is a measurement that takes into account your resting heart rate as well as your age and keeps track of any exercise that causes your heart rate to rise.

Measuring Blood Oxygen Levels

You may calculate your blood oxygen saturation level by dividing the volume of oxygen-saturated blood by the total volume of blood in your body. Your blood oxygen saturation level is usually between 95 and 100 percent, indicating that your blood is transporting as much oxygen as it possibly can.

Even during activity and sleep, the oxygen variation graph in your blood tend to stay pretty consistent. Your blood oxygen saturation level might drop when you stop breathing or have lung problems because less oxygen enters your body.

Sleep Tracking

In contrast to a professional sleep clinic for medical purposes, the FitBit Charge 4 does not examine your sleep for medical condition. However, it can record symptoms of sleep apnea.

Most importantly, it makes sure tthat you get enough deep sleep by showing you nightly sleep score. You will also see other information about REM sleep stages, sleep habits, skin temperature variation and sleep duration.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • More sleep tools.
  • Fitbit Pay available on all models.
  • Active Zone Minutes metric to keep you motivated.
  • Waterproof to 50m.

Cons

  • The price.
  • GPS technology is not the most accurate.

Fitbit Premium

The Fitbit Charge 4 can do a lot more for you if you subscribe to Fitbit Premium, which is free for 90 days. Choosing a plan (monthly or yearly) and providing payment information is required before you can begin. You won’t be charged until the first three months have passed. If you cancel before then, you will not be charged anything.

There are a lot of the Fitbit Premium content that helps you fix your habit. There are guided programs to improve your sleep quality or stop your sugar consumption habit, challenges, various workout types, and mindfulness exercises.

These premium contents become more useful in combination with sleep tracking to track sleep stages and gives you accurate sleep score.

By using the health metrics shown in Fitbit Charge 4, it analyzes your current behavior and presenting you with tiny reminders throughout the day to help you change your habits.

Also available is a Wellness Report, which depicts your health patterns over the previous month in graphical form. Rather than having it accessible immediately, the program generates it as a PDF, which takes a few minutes.

GPS Accuracy

GPS accuracy is one of the most hotly debated topics in the world. Even if your watch ​functions ​really good overall, what good is it if it tells you to drive on the wrong side of the road? It’s time to unleash the full force of the internet’s rage!

There are many methods to evaluate GPS accuracy, but I like to use a variety of devices in real-world circumstances and across a wide range of activities to do so.

In order to gain a good image of how a certain set of devices handles situations on a specific day, I utilize 2–6 additional devices simultaneously.

Finally, Fitbit shocked me with the accuracy of the Charge 4, which I had expected to be less than stellar. If you’re looking for a decent GPS gadget, this one is more than capable of doing the job.

However, most GPS gadgets have trouble navigating through crowded urban areas like Manhattan, so I have no idea how well it would operate there either. Here, it was strewn among the huge branches. Between “totally fine” and “not nearly,” it was never terrible.

However, as previously said, I believe that the accuracy provided here is more than enough for most people.

Final Thoughts

With GPS, the Fitbit Charge 4 is a significant improvement over its predecessor and a great way to bridge the gap between wearable fitness devices and full-fledged sports watches.

Having a color screen isn’t a big deal in everyday usage, but it does make watch faces less appealing and more difficult to see because of their many shades of gray.

It’s a great user experience overall, with just the right amount of information about my health trends. Getting the right amount of each stat is a difficult task, but it’s one that’s been accomplished well here.

To get the most out of the companion app, Fitbit Premium (or at least the free trial) is required, but it’s well worth it. I recommend you to get a good internet connection before accessing the premium content.

With the help of plans and guidelines that utilize data from the tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 is able to gently assist you toward healthier daily habits, whether you’re just starting out with exercise mode or intense workout.

Read also: Fitbit announces the end of synchronization with PC

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