Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Charge 3: Is The Newest Do-it-all Fitness Tracker A Worthy Upgrade?


Bethany Walsh

May 29, 2022

The Charge 4 is the most important change to the Charge series. We've been asking Fitbit for years to add GPS, so we don't have to bring our phones with us every time we run, walk, or hike to track our speed and distance. Fitbit listened. The new Fitbit Charge 4 has built-in GPS, and it works well.

If you are a swimmer, the Charge 4 is better than the older Charge 3 because it has measurements for swimming. New is also Active Zone Minutes. It tracks how much of your workout time is spent in a higher heart rate zone. The Charge 4 is set to 150 min per week by default, which is thought to be the magic number for preventing disease, improving sleep, lowering anxiety, and getting the most out of workouts.

Even though I am Reviews' fitness tracker expert, Fitbit's bad timing with the release of the Charge 4 caught me by surprise. But the world of fitness tracking must move on, and it's been a year and a half since Fitbit released the immensely popular Charge 3, which we found to be the best of the devices we tested.

At least where I live, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, social distance doesn't mean you can't work out outside. After I followed FedEx to get my review unit, I couldn't wait to test the Charge 4, which now has GPS built-in, in the great outdoors.

What is the Fitbit Charge 4's New Feature?

From the outside, it looks very small. I looked at it next to my Fitbit Charge 3 and couldn't find any differences in the way it looks, the way it shows menus or even the clock faces you can download. (You can also use different charge cables.) But Fitbit also didn't change the stock one-inch-wide plastic strap, which is stiff and sleeve and gets sweaty when you work out. It's one of the few things that aren't great about the otherwise great Charge devices. My Charge 3 usually has a band made of woven fabric, which is much more comfortable. It comes with special editions and can be bought separately.

Other new fitness features include heart-rate zone alerts that let you know how hard you're working based on your pulse rate, an "Active Zone Minutes" measurement that gives you "credit" for working hard, and another way to measure how much workout you get overall.

Before, you had to open the app); a device sleep mode that dims the screen and mutes notifications during the time you say you usually sleep; a Spotify app that lets users control music playing on a connected smartphone from the wrist; and Fitbit Pay.

Fitness Tracking

The Fitbit Charge 4 and Charge 5 had GPS built-in and a good set of workout tracking modes. So, even if you choose the slightly older model, you'll still be able to track where and how fast you're going when you work out outside.

But the Fitbit Charge 5 has many other health and fitness instruments than the Fitbit Sense, like an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor. The conductivity of your skin measures how stress affects your body. The Fitbit app also aids you to figure out what makes you stressed and what you can do to deal with it.

These let you look for signs of fibrillation. It can be an initial sign of heart disease. The Charge 5 is not a medical device, but if it finds something wrong, you can use the Fitbit app to make a report you can give to your doctor.


Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Charge 3: Is the newest do-it-all fitness tracker a worthy upgrade? Fitbit is still one of the most well-known fitness tracker brands, and for a good reason. Since it came out in 2018, the Fitbit Charge 3 has stayed a favorite among everyone. The Charge 4 is the most important change to the Charge series. If you've been wearing yours proudly but want more from your fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 is a great upgrade.


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