The Fitbit Charge 5 or Fitbit Charge 4 are both excellent fitness trackers – but which one is right for you?
When the Fitbit Charge 4 debuted in 2020, it changed everything for Fitbit. It can track runs, walks, and bike rides thanks to its built-in GPS.
Although it wasn’t the first Fitbit with a GPS chip (both the Surge and Ionic had them), it was still the thinnest and lightest device still on the market. It’s an excellent choice for someone just starting in distance running.
There are many improvements over the Fitbit Charge 4. You can also monitor your heart health using the EDA (electrical dermal activity), stress monitor (like the Sense), and the electrocardiogram (ECG).
Charge 4 replaces monochrome displays with AMOLED displays, while softer angles are replaced with rounded corners.
- Optimize your workout routine with a Daily Readiness Score that reveals if you’re ready to...
- Get a daily Stress Management Score showing your body’s response to stress and take steps to...
- With the Health Metrics dashboard, track SpO2, heart rate variability, skin temperature variation...
Despite this, the Charge 5 is not necessarily the most suitable option for everyone. Learn about the main differences between the two fitness trackers and how to choose the right one for you by reading on.
Compared with the company’s Charge 4 fitness tracker of 2020, how does the Fitbit Charge 5 stack up?
With a GPS and long battery life, the Charge 4 was an excellent all-around fitness tracker. A 24-hour heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, step counting, and sports tracking are among the features. Charge series users welcomed the latter feature, as well as SpO2.
Fitbit’s Charge series typically debuts a new model every other year. The tracker was introduced in 2014, followed by watches in 2016, 2018, and last year. The business, however, broke the pattern in 2021 by releasing the Charge 5 a full year early.
- Use built-in GPS to see your pace and distance on screen during outdoor runs, rides, hikes and more...
- With Active Zone Minutes, feel a buzz when you reach your target heart rate zones during exercise,...
- Use 24x7 heart rate to track resting heart rate & better measure calorie burn. Syncing to mobile...
Availability and price
The Fitbit Charge 5 costs about $200 and includes a six-month Fitbit Premium subscription. Pre-orders already available with a September delivery (at a guess).
Initially released in early last year, again for around $200, the Fitbit Charge 4 is now around $100 on Fitbit’s official website and most retail stores. The Charge 4 comes with a free 90-day trial of Fitbit Premium exclusively for new customers.
At half the price, the Charge 4 is the most inexpensive of the two options. Continue reading to find out what the Charge 5 will bring you for that extra money.
The Charge 5’s display may be the most significant design change. In contrast to the Charge 4, the Charge 5 has an always-on color touchscreen (compared to greyscale). It also has a brighter screen than the Charge 4. In fact, Fitbit says it’s 100% brighter.
Compared to the Charge 4, the Charge 5’s display measures 26.43mm by 21.93mm by 14.75mm. While the Charge 4 measures 35.8mm by 22.7mm by 12.5mm. It’s tough to compare them since the Charge 4 specifications seem to be centered on the display, while the Charge 5 measurements appear to be focused around the shell. The Charge 5 is, nevertheless, 10% slimmer than its predecessor, according to Fitbit.
On each side of the Charge 5, there are longer side buttons with softer edges.
Each fitness tracker includes small and big bands and is water-resistant to 50m. There are three colored Charge 4s and five colored Charge 5s. Available in Black, Lunar White/Soft Gold, Steel Blue/Platinum bands in large and small sizes, respectively.
Build and features
Aside from the 3-axis accelerometer, the Charge 4 and Charge 5 also monitor heart rate using an optical heart rate monitor as well as blood oxygen saturation using a red and infrared sensor. Fitbits come with NFC contactless payment and GPS tracking.
The Charge 4 has an altimeter to monitor elevation and the floors climbed, whereas the Charge 5 does not.
The Charge 5 does, however, include multifunctional electrical sensors that enable it to work with Fitbit’s ECG and EDA Scan applications. These were previously only available on the Fitbit Sense.
The Charge 5 comes with most of the same features as the Charge 4. However, it has also borrowed some features from the health-focused Sense.
In addition to the 20 workout modes (with SmartTrack), the Charge 4 and Charge 5 include 24-hour heart rate monitoring and Active Zone Minutes, SpO2 monitoring, and sleep tracking. You can use both wearables to keep track of your menstrual cycle, manage stress, and monitor heart rate variability for signs of stress or sickness.
You can count the floors you’ve climbed with the altimeter of the Charge 4, while the GPS on both devices lets you check distances and speeds in real-time. While the Charge 5 also has an electrocardiogram (ECG) and electrodermal activity (EDA) apps, as well as a Daily Readiness score.
Fitbit Sense users can use the ECG and EDA Scan apps released last year, and you can use them on the Charge 4 and 5. Using the ECG app, you can check for atrial fibrillation and share your findings with a medical professional. While using the EDA app, you can track your temperature and sweat to keep track of your stress levels and general well-being.
Fitness exhaustion, heart rate variability, and sleep can now be measured by Fitbit Premium users with the Daily Readiness feature. Your clever Fitbit will suggest exercises and a target for Active Zone Minutes based on your age.
There are no major changes in smartwatch functionality, but the Sense did offer a lot.
On the Charge 4 and Charge 5, you can run native and third-party apps, receive smartphone alerts, set timers, and alarms, and utilize both a do not disturb and sleep mode. The fitness trackers also support Contactless payments via Fitbit Pay and Bluetooth connections via Spotify Connect & Control.
The Charge 4 boasts a seven-day battery life (five with constant GPS usage) and can get a full charge in two hours.
Whereas the Charge 5 has a seven-day battery life and can also get a full charge in two hours.
The Charge 5’s main improvements include its smaller design, always-on color display, new ECG, EDA Scan, and Daily Readiness Score apps.
Since the price has fallen, the Charge 4 is still a good choice if you don’t mind the greyscale screen and aren’t concerned with the newer features.
Why not check out our full review of the Fitbit Charge 5?
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Last Updated on October 22, 2021