Fitbit Charge 4 review: The best fitness tracker?
For a while now, the Apples and the Samsungs of the world have been championing the smartwatch while almost entirely ignoring the compact and lighter ‘fitness band’. Most people, it would appear, like their wearable to look as close to an actual wristwatch as possible. But Google-owned Fitbit has stuck to the sleek fitness band with a vengeance while offering products in the smartwatch mould as well. We reviewed the new Fitbit Charge 4 over an extended period of time and can say that it is clearly miles ahead of the competition, producing the best fitness trackers (please note that I say fitness trackers, and not smartwatches).
There is no reason to fix it if it ain’t broke. The design of the Charge 4 is almost indistinguishable from the Charge 3 before it and there is nothing wrong with that. The monochrome OLED display is just big enough and is easy to use and read in direct sunlight. There is a solitary pressure sensitive button that works well. Fitbit claims a week of battery life, and even the most demanding of us can get five days or so before we need to plug in.
To say that the Fitbit Charge 4 is probably the most feature-packed fitness tracker out there is no exaggeration. With the addition of the onboard GPS, it has taken a major leap over the Charge 3. GPS-based tracking, as expected, is now available for a number of activities such as walking, running, hiking and cycling. The accuracy of the tracking itself is better. I have previously compared a Charge 3 with trackers and smartwatches that are far more expensive only to find it to be extremely accurate. The Charge 4 should be even better.
On the software front, there is a new heat map feature in the Fitbit app. The feature essentially maps out your run/activity by heart rate levels and colour codes them for easy understanding. Also making its presence felt is ‘Active Zone Minutes’ which keeps track of your activities and their intensity, eventually summing them up towards a 150-minute weekly goal of moderate to vigorous activity.
Fitbit still does sleep tracking the best and features such as pulse oximeter are useful add ons. Overall, the Fitbit Charge 4 is head and shoulders over anything else from the competition. I have said it in the past and I will say it again, wrist wearables, are majorly useful only for those of us who want to track our fitness. By that yardstick, the Fitbit Charge 4 is probably among the best wearables you can buy. It does everything with no real bloat, neither on the hardware, nor in the software.
Click here to buy the Fitbit Charge 4.