Fitbit Charge 4 wish list: the features we're expecting

Our hopes for a successor to the Fitbit's flagship fitness tracker
Product family render of Fitbit Charge 3 - no logo
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Update: The Fitbit Charge 4 is now official! Read our full story of the Charge 4 features, price and release date.

The Fitbit Charge 3 was announced in August 2018 and then launched two months later. That means we haven't seen an update for well over a year. It feels like the time may be right for the company's most feature-packed fitness tracker to get an upgrade.

Though with Google's acquisition of Fitbit still yet to be completed, it does cast some doubt whether we will get to see a Charge 3 successor at all or until that sale is completed. We sincerely hope it's not the end.

If there is a new flagship tracker on the agenda, we reckon there's still a fair amount of Charge owners that are holding out for one and don't want to make the move to a Fitbit smartwatch.

It's still one of the best for fitness tracking including solid sleep monitoring and useful insights.

If a Fitbit Charge 4 (or whatever the company calls it) is in the works, we've been having a think on how it can make one of the best fitness trackers even more desirable. Here's what tops our wish list right now.

What would you like to see in a new Fitbit Charge? Let us know in the comments below.

Give us that GPS

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This is something we have been asking for on the Charge for a long time.

In the past, Fitbit has told us that adding the ability to track outdoor activity without your phone wasn't the kind of feature it felt was the right fit for the typical Charge user. We imagine it might have more to do with not making compromises on design.

But it can't ignore the fact that GPS sensors can now be found inside of fitness trackers that cost less than Fitbit's flagship tracker without making them too chunky.

The Huawei Band 3 Pro has managed to squeezed in GPS into its slim body, which can be found for around . The Garmin Vivosport does cost around the same price as the Charge 3, but it finds room for the sensor too.

While the Charge 3 does offer Connected GPS, which means piggybacking off your own phone GPS, it seems that Fitbit is intent on leaving this as a feature for its Ionic smartwatch.

Hopefully it will have had a change of heart, because we think there's an appetite for the proper sports tracking feature on its flagship tracker too.

We want proper music features

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We'd love to have a music player on a new Charge, especially as Samsung has managed to do it on the Gear Fit2 Pro – and we don't mean the clunky MP3 playback on the Fitbit Ionic.

While even gaining the ability to control music playing on our phone would be an upgrade, we're wishing for a little bit more.

If Fitbit somehow did manage to find a way to get a music player and the storage to pile on your tunes, now would be a great time to give us some Spotify offline love, which is currently still only available on Samsung and select Garmin watches

It's the kind of feature we are starting to see on more fitness trackers including the budget-tastic Xiaomi Mi Band 4 – so there's no reason for Fitbit to lag behind when it comes to on-wrist beats..

Time for a colour display

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Outside of its smartwatches, Fitbit has stuck to its guns as far as using non-color touchscreen displays that have at least become brighter and more vibrant over the years.

They have still lacked that big splash of colour. That approach to screen tech has likely been driven to ensure it can deliver the kind of battery life that doesn't have you reaching for the charger every night.

As fitness tracker makers like Xiaomi and Huawei have now proved, you can get the kind of colour touchscreen display you'd usually associate or find on pricier devices.

The Mi Band 4's display in particular really impressed us, especially when you're paying around to for it and it still manages to preserve that good battery life.

Fitbit has shown it can use colour touchscreens on its Ionic and Versa watches and not hurt them in the battery department. Hopefully Fitbit will follow suit for the next Charge and give us that color display we crave.

Bring payments to the masses

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For the Charge 3, we got the ability to pay for things, but only if you opted for the Special edition of the tracker. As the list of participating Fitbit Pay banks has finally started to grow along with the ability to use it on more transport systems, it would be nice to think Fitbit can have this useful smart feature come as standard on all models.

The difference in cost of the standard edition and special edition Charge 3 works out to about .

Payments isn't the only reason to opt for the pricier edition, but it is undoubtedly the main reason you'd go for it. Maybe Fitbit will decide that it's time to bring payments to all devices.

If it does do a special edition too, we hope there's something a bit more special and groundbreaking to convince you to spend that extra money.

More watch faces

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It's maybe unrealistic to think that Fitbit is going to manage to get all of the smarts from its watches into its fitness trackers. It's done a pretty good job so far bringing the likes of payments and swim tracking to the Charge and it's also managed to add watch faces.

It's undeniably one of the appealing things about Fitbit's smartwatches. It's convinced some pretty creative developers to flex their creative muscles to offer a big range of watch faces that are some of the most inventive you'll find on a smartwatch.

While the Charge 3 did get in on the watch face action, it is clearly restricted by the screen size and the lack of color to put something more advanced on there. If Fitbit decides to ramp up screen quality and maybe even the size, it could be prime time to give it more in the way of watch faces.

Battery for weeks

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Fitbit's trackers have always been pretty reliable as far as promising and delivering you around a week of battery life. In our testing of the Charge 3, it certainly delivered on that front meeting that claimed 7 days promised by Fitbit.

It's something we praised the tracker for, but again, we are starting to see trackers on the market that can push things even further. Would two week battery life entirely be out of reach for Fitbit? It's already making big strides with smartwatch battery life albeit the Versa and Ionic are not going to get you beyond a week of play either.

We've already been impressed with what Fitbit has managed so far in terms of battery life on the Charge, but we wouldn't mind a longer spell away from that charger if it can make it happen.


Michael Sawh

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Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.


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