Fitbit Charge 4 review: A health and activity tracker with built-in GPS and Active Zone Minutes
Work in quarantine
The days feel like a blur when you're in confinement. You're not getting much footwork or any social interactions. With our former activities dwindling down, most might lose the need to slip our activity trackers or smart watches on. Why have a wearable track something that isn't getting much action anyway?
Well, let's switch the cause and effect for a second. Keeping the tracker on fuels a consciousness to remain active, a construct for motivation just so you don't completely fall off the rails during the your time in quarantine. We gave the Fitbit Charge 4 a go recently, and we recovered just that spark of normalcy while setting a new record for our physical activity. Yes, that walk between our bed and the work desk does count for something.
After all, nothing gets by the Charge 4. And it happens to be first activity tracker to have an in-built GPS system. Evening runs with the lightweight device can be done without clutching onto your phone, as it keeps you informed on your pace and distance — real-time. The activity options are as varied as you would assume — from the typical hiking and running to cross-country skiing, kayaking, and surfing.
There's also a brand new metric to debut on this model — dubbed Active Zone Minutes. Which is based off your age and resting heart rate to analyse how hard your body works while engaged in physical activity. This result goes beyond merely counting steps, and it's designed to make your stats more personalised. There's also a credit system that could potentially lure you into stepping up your average workout. You could earn a decent score for every minute of moderate activity in the fat burn zone but double that number for an intensive session in cardio, which sets you in the peak zone. We found ourselves competing with ourselves — just so for that nod of recognition from our new slim device. What's insightful was the detailed summary of your overall progess, which took your goals into account while noting down your heart rate zones.
With regards to the sleep tracking, nothing groundbreaking that we haven't seen already. However, we are looking forward to Smart Wake to roll out in the Charge 4, which was previously only available on Fitbit smartwatches. If we had to choose, a cute nudge in the form of a vibration definitely sounds more pleasant as compared to a deafening alarm.
Even with all the new snazzy tech programmed within, Fitbit Charge 4 still remains to be light as a feather. Design wise — there's nothing not to like. Although if we had it our way, we do wish for better buttons that were functionally easier to press down. Right now, it's still difficult to nail down areas of the device that we can pressure on, which can seem like a bit of a crutch when halfway through a HIIT sesh.