“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker
Modern fitness bands or wearables have come a long way since they were first introduced and continues to evolve with new features and functionalities to help achieve our fitness goals. Fitbit is one of the front runners in the health and activity tracker space with regular new product releases and updates.
Fitbit Charge 4 is the company’s latest evolution of its most popular family of devices, with some of the most advanced combination of sensors and features.
Here’s our review of Fitbit Charge 4:
Fun fact. 7 Years ago. I was gifted my first fitness tracker. The revolutionary Fitbit Flex which was a product that was way ahead of its time. With a unique 5 LED light system that showed you your progress it truly was something. Apple had only incorporated its own Activity Rings in 2015 so for Fitbit to pack so much tech in such a tiny form factor is simply commendable.
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Over the years, Fitbit continued to launch products for all kinds of end users. You had the value for money options with all the basic functionalities required and then the premium line which puts it at par with some of its competitors like the Apple Watch, Garmin and so on.
Today, Fitbit is all about reaching innovation to the masses at the most affordable prices which brings us to the all-new Charge 4. For something that costs under 700 Dirhams, this is truly a no-brainer because even we at AG were quite surprised how they managed to pull this off.
Fitbit Charge 4 – New and Improved
The Fitbit Charge 4 at a glance might not seem all that different from the company’s previous model the Fiitbit Charge 3 however looks can be deceiving as this year’s Charge 4 packs in some serious under the hood improvements.
Apart from all the features we saw in the Charge 3 like the Heart Rate and SpO2 Sensors, we now have built-in GPS, Improved Sleep tracking, Spotify Music Controls, Fitbit Pay and Active Zone Minutes.
As mentioned, the Charge 4 maintains the same form factor as the previous generation. Based on our testing, we found the device to super light and comfortable to sport. The band makes it feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all.
The Charge 4 is water-resistant up to 50M so feel free to use it in the pool or while you take a shower. Or you know, if someone just dunks you into the river for fun.
Now the only thing I wish Fitbit could have worked on was implementing a color display. Sure the OLED Display is crisp and clear in all kinds of viewing conditions including direct sunlight but for product of its class, a color display would have been a nice addition to make the user interface a lot more vivid and interesting to interact with.
Fitbit claims the Charge 4 can last up to 7 days on a single charge. However, in our testing we found out that the device only lasted about a little above 4 hours with intensive workouts that use a lot of GPS Tracking. This isn’t a deal breaker per se as my own personal Apple Watch lasts only a day before I have to connect it to a charger again but nowhere close to my Huawei Watch GT 2 which gives me about 10 days’ worth of usage.
But again, it won’t be a fair comparison of Fitbit Charge 4 with Smartwatches, especially when it comes to price-performance ratio.
Fitbit has packed in so many functions in this device that it’d be hard to call it a fitness tracker rather than a multi-function life companion. Firstly, you’ve got more than 20+ goal-based exercise modes like swimming, yoga and running. The interface is so intuitive that you can set a target and then get real-time information while you are working out to track your progress.
The Built-in GPS allows you to track your real-time pace and distance but more importantly once you are done working out, you can get a map of your route in your Fitbit companion app. The GPS also comes in handy in a feature called ‘Workout Intensity Map’ which shows you the areas in the map where you achieved different heart zones. Whether you were pushing yourself or simply taking it light. For instance, if you were climbing uphill, your heart rate is naturally bound to increase which is then shown on the map.
TIP: GPS is not turned on by default on Fitbit Charge 4 presumably to conserve battery strain. To turn on GPS, open the Exercise app User and swipe to find the exercise you want to track. Swipe up to enable GPS
Sometimes, absent-minded users like me can simply forget to start tracking my workouts. Luckily Fitbit has integrated a SmartTrack Automatic Exercise Recognition system that automatically records your workout the moment it detects any physical activity. Impressive I must admit.
In this era of contactless payments, Fitbit has managed to integrate Fitbit Pay which allows you to pay for your purchases with a simple tap on the POS machine. We can confirm that Fitbit Pay works with most of the leading banks like Emirates NBD, RAKBANK, Al Hilal Bank, Najm and more.
Finally, what’s a fitness Tracker without some entertainment. With Spotify integration, you have music controls built into the watch so can play, pause, skip at your convenience. But note that the device itself is not capable of storing any music.
This is a function I personally feel everyone should make good use of regularly. It’s safe to say that each of us have our own unique sleeping patterns. Some of us go to bed early, some of us super late after watching a lot of TV that it becomes too difficult to understand what our body truly needs.
Thing is, once we’re asleep, we’re pretty much disconnected from the world. But that’s not the case anymore. Go to sleep with your Fitbit Charge 4 and prepare to be amazed with the plethora of statistics that awaits you once you wake up.
You see, our sleep consists of various stages like light, heavy, Rapid Eye Movement (REM), awake time. The Fitbit using its complex algorithms and built in sensors can monitor each of those aspects by combining data from your heart rate sensors and blood oxygen sensors.
In the end, you know how well you’ve slept. How you can improve it next time, so you get a proper good night’s rest and then track your improvements over time.
Activity Zone Minutes
With most of us being stuck inside our house because of the lockdown, Fitbit has come up with an innovative way for you to have fun while engaging in physical activities. For instance, they want you to think of your home as a gym, your kitchen your dance floor and your cleaning routine your cardio for the day.
It is a feature that basically figures out different ways to keep your heart pumping during these unprecedented times. A simple dance routine of 10 minutes can earn you 18 Active Zone Minutes. This way you reach your daily and weekly activity goals a lot easier. WHO recommends you get at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week.
The Fitbit Charge 4 is no doubt one of the best fitness trackers in the market. It is packed in features at a very affordable price point, so you do not have to worry about breaking the bank. If you are on the lookout for your first fitness tracker, this is absolutely a no-brainer. It has everything you need to keep your heart pumping and your blood flowing.
If you are looking for an upgrade from one of the previous models, it depends on whether the added functionality like built-in GPS and improved Sleep Tracking makes a big difference to you.
Available at all major electronic retailers at AED 699, The Fitbit Charge 4 is truly one of the most promising fitness trackers available in the market right now and definitely gets our approval for its solid form factor and overall performance.