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Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 3: 4 big upgrades you need to know about

The Fitbit Charge 4 has finally been announced, bringing with it some huge upgrades to the brand’s biggest-selling activity band. 

But how does it compare to the Fitbit Charge 3? Let’s have a look.

1. Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 3 – GPS makes it a standalone wearable

One feature we’ve been calling for Fitbit to add to its Charge bands for years is GPS – and now it’s finally here. While previous models, like the Charge 3, have relied on a connection to your smartphone for GPS, the Charge 4 build this directly into the band meaning you can run solo without sacrificing the quality of data.

Fitbit has added the ability to track your pace and distance in real time, and it has added seven GPS-specific exercise modes on top of the previous 20+ goal-based modes. These new modes include an outdoor workout option that can be used if you’re on a hike or running. Once you’re done, you can sync that GPS data back to the Fitbit app on your phone for a detailed heat map, including visualisations of the terrain you’ve been on.

The addition of GPS is the biggest new feature here, and it’s very much welcome.

2. Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 3 – You’ll get access to Active Zone Minutes first

Along with the addition of GPS, another tentpole feature for the Fitbit Charge 4 is a new software option called Active Zone Minutes. While Fitbit has said this will eventually come to certain other models, it will launch first on the Charge 4.

This is a new workout feature that tracks everything that ‘gets your heart pumping’ combining all that data into a weekly tally of points. Fitbit said you’ll earn varying amounts of points for stuff like HIIT workouts, yoga or taking a ‘vigorous walk’.

You’ll get live alerts as the week progresses and your goals will be displayed after each workout.

This sounds like another welcome addition, as we’ve always found bands like this struggle to make sense of all the data they gather.

3. Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 3 – There’s now a Spotify app and the smart wake

You’ll find a new Spotify app on the Fitbit Charge 4, a first for a Fitbit band, that lets you change tracks and playlists. Whether you’ll be able to download and store music offline remains to be seen. This would be great, as the addition of GPS means you’re more likely to leave your phone at home during a run.

Another new feature coming to a Fitbit band for the first time is smart wake, which uses machine learning to wake you up from slumber at the best possible times. There’s also a SpO2 sensor inside the Charge 4 that powers Fitbit’s Estimated Oxygen Variation Graph in the Fitbit app.

4. Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 3 – Fitbit Pay now comes as standard

While Fitbit Pay was available on Charge 3, the NFC mobile payment tech was restricted to a ‘Special Edition’ model that wasn’t quite so widely available. This time around every Charge 4 has an NFC chip inside for payments, though your bank will still need to support Fitbit Pay. 

Fitbit Charge 4 starts at £129.99, with pre-orders kicking off today from Fitbit’s store and Amazon. It’ll go on sale from April 15. That’s the same price the Charge 3 started at, however, it’s now available closer to £90.

Buy the Fitbit Charge 3 here:

Buy the Fitbit Charge 4 here: