REVIEW: Fitbit Charge 4

Alvin R. Cabral/Dubai
Filed on June 14, 2020
The Fitbit Charge 4 also comes with Fitbit Pay for secure, contactless payments.

Finally, a Fitbit with built-in GPS. Ready to run with even more freedom?

Well we all know that we've been stuck at home thanks to Covid-19, which means all you fitness buffs had to improvise when it comes to sticking with your commitments.

Now that restrictions have been lifted - gentle reminder, please still stay safe and observe all protocols - it's time to get back into your game. And why not add the Fitbit Charge 4 as your buddy while you're at it.


 Display  1.57" monochrome OLED
 Sensors  3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor, GPS, vibration monitor, altimeter
 Memory   7 days motion, heart rate data; daily totals for past 30 days
 Connectivity   Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
 Battery  Li-poly, up to 7d or 5h with continuous GPS use; 2h full charge
 Durability  Up to 50m, swim-capable
 Compatibility   iPhone 5S and later, iPad 5th-gen and later, Android 7.0 and later
 Price  Dh699; Dh799 (Special Edition)


Design-wise, the Charge 4 looks like a twin of the Charge 3; the difference between them - the former is slightly bigger - is so negligible that if you've been using the latter you'll get that same feel.

It still retains, however, a greyscale OLED that has the same 1.57-inch size like its predecessor. Other than that easy-to-navigate display, there's only one physical button on the left that lets you control the gizmo.

But there's one very important feature that's been missed and finally brought on-board on the Charge 4 - built-in GPS. And that means that you don't have to carry your smartphone around when you go for any workout with the Charge 4. As a matter of fact, the Charge 4 has that honour of being the first Fitbit device with built-in GPS. Hooray.

Another very useful feature on the Charge 4 - and a standard across all its models - is Fitbit Pay, the company's own take on secure, contactless payments. You know the drill: Navigate your way towards settings on the Fitbit app, tap Wallet and follow the instructions to enter your card details. 

The service is accepted in almost 500 issuers in 44 countries globally. Here on our turf, Fitbit has partnered with Emirates NBD, RAKBank, Al Hilal Bank, Najm and Habib Bank Zurich to make use of it.

Naturally, workouts and activities are Fitbit's main come-on. You get all of the workouts you're used to and all of stats will be recorded and available for full view and review on the app.

There's also what Fitbit calls Active Zone Minutes, an interesting addition that they defined as a new metric that uses your age and resting heart rate to provide a more personalised measurement of your progress during any activity beyond steps.

To put it in the simplest terms, you'll earn Active Zone Minutes for the time you sweat it out in the fat burn, cardio or peak heart rate zones. Your target is to earn 150 minutes a week, which is in line with recommendations of the World Health Organisation and American Heart Association. That roughly translates to about 22 minutes a day, which you can adjust depending on your needs or capabilities. 

Now when you're done with the day, Fitbit will also be there to, as always, track the way you doze off. Its sleep-tracking capabilities have been enhanced once again, with more advanced tools to monitor your sleep, your heart rate while you're at it, sleep cycles and even restlessness, among several others. If you're a Fitbit Premium member, you'll get an even deeper insight and some tips how to improve it.

And you'll get more out of the device if you're a Fitbit Premium member (free trial for 90 days). Aside from what was mentioned above, you'll have access to challenges to stay active, guided programmes to keep you going and fitness content from a number of popular brands.

Battery life, meanwhile, ensures you don't have to charge every now and then. You get up to seven days or up to five hours of continuous GPS use. And you'll have to wait for two hours for a full charge.

And by the way, you also get Spotify - Connect & Control, so you can enjoy your fave sounds while working out.


Finally, a Fitbit with built-in GPS. The Fitbit Charge 4 is that kind of fitness tracker that gives you the whole plethora of features that won't require you to carry your phone around. The new stuff are welcome additions that further enhance is capabilities, which in turn will help bring out a better you.

While the design still suits me, the biggest what-if in this category is the thought of having a colour display; that would add some real spunk to it, wouldn't it?

As always, the app works very much in harmony with the device so you'll be able to review your stats, which are very much detailed and gives you more than that; the guides and challenges will encourage you to do more, if not push yourself to your limits.

GOODIES: Built-in GPS, addition of Active Zone Minutes, no price change

GOOFIES: Basically the same design as the Charge 3, display still greyscale

EDITOR RATING: The goofies are really negligible, but would've added more to its score. And the no-price-change metric really helped, too. 4.5/5