Last year, Fitbit released the Charge 4, a fitness tracker that proved itself a great option for casual joggers and gym-goers alike. Now, we’re seeing early signs of what Fitbit might have in store for the Fitbit Charge 5.
The Charge 4 was a great all-round entry level fitness tracker, offering a long battery life, an SpO2 sensor and built-in GPS tracking. The fitness tracker earned four and a half stars in our review and sits proudly on our list of the best fitness trackers, meaning Fitbit will have a lot to live up to with the Charge 5.
One thing the Charge 4 did lack was local music playback, so we’d love to see this feature available on the Charge 5 so runners can head out the door without having to take their smartphones with them.
Usually, we only see a new Charge launch every two years, which might explain why leaks and speculation about the Charge 5 had been a little light on the ground. However, July and August 2021 have brought along our first glimpses at the rumoured device, suggesting the Charge 5 could come along sooner than expected.
Read on to discover everything there is to know so far about the Fitbit Charge 5, including when we might see it, what it could look like, and what specs we expect it to pack.
Release date – when will the Fitbit Charge 5 launch?
In the past, Fitbit’s Charge devices have been released on a bi-annual basis, starting in 2014 with the original. The Charge 2 arrived in 2016, with the Charge 3 and 4 following in 2018 and 2020 respectively.
It doesn’t take a genius to spot the pattern here, with a 2022 release date seemingly likely. Though the leaked Morgan device in July 2021, if legitimate, does suggest that we may see a device sooner than anticipated – possibly August or October 2021 if past Fitbit release schedules are anything to go by.
The October date only seems more likely thanks to renders shared by leaker Evan Blass. The images show the supposed fitness tracker with the date “23 Oct” displayed on the screen, making October 23rd a possible contender for the release date. However, this could also be a completely random date used in the renders.
That is all assuming the pictured wearable is A) real, B) ever released, and C) a member of the Charge family.
So let’s take a closer look…
This is, according to 9to5Google, the Fitbit Morgan. The site doesn’t guarantee that it’s the Fitbit Charge 5, merely noting that as it’s wider than the recently released Fitbit Luxe, it’s likely “a device in the ‘Charge’ category of trackers, if not the Charge 5 itself.”
The device looks less angular than the Fitbit Charge 4, and seems to mimic the smooth, rounded style of more recent devices like the Sense, Versa 3, and Luxe. The bezels look somewhat out of place, however.
Tipster Evan Blass (@evleaks) also shared images of what he claims is the Charge 5 on Twitter in August.
The black model, in particular, looks very similar to the Morgan when shown face on. Like the Morgan, the “Charge 5” shown in the Twitter leak features a rounded rectangular colour display with similar-looking bezels and a width that matches its accompanying band.
However, the more recent images show two long buttons along either side (longer than those on the Charge 4), whereas the Morgan appears to include two smaller buttons at the top on either side. The Twitter leak also showcases the fitness tracker in two more colours aside from the black shade we’ve already seen – pastel blue and pastel pink. The colours appear a lot lighter than the dark Rosewood and Storm Blue models available with the Charge 4.
Generally speaking, Blass’ images share more similarities with the Morgan than they do the Charge 4.
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Specs and features
The biggest change visible from the Fitbit Morgan image and the Twitter leak, once again assuming they’re legitimate, is the upgrade to a colour screen. The previous generations have all been black and white, though a switch to colour certainly seems likely given it’s a change adopted by the Versa series to great acclaim.
9to5Google also says that Morgan supports NFC payments, which is hardly surprising given this was already a feature of the Charge 4. Oxygen saturation (SpO2) and built-in GPS would also be expected, as features already available in the current model.
It seems likely that the Charge 5 will lift some of the wellness features from the Fitbit Sense, too. This is speculation on our part, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see some form of stress monitoring or the ECG sensor making the jump from smartwatch to fitness band with the Charge 5.
Fitbit’s Versa and Sense lines of smartwatches have been a great success for the company, but not everyone wants the smartwatch form factor. Introducing some of the features from the flagship smartwatches – most notably the colour screen – would be a great way for Fitbit to stake its claim on that section of the market.
Cheap fitness trackers are dime a dozen, but none offer the superb sense of community that the Fitbit app provides. The Fitbit Inspire 2 offers an entry-level experience, so hopefully the Fitbit Charge 5 can provide something more substantial for those who want more functionality without a fully featured smartwatch on their wrist.