Fitbit has introduced the Charge 6, a classic sports bracelet that now has enhanced Google integration. The novelty costs $159.95, which is less than its predecessor Charge 5, which started at $179.95, and boasts an improved heart rate tracking algorithm and compatibility with some sports equipment.
An important feature of the new model is the return of the side button, which was replaced by an inductive groove in the Charge 3 back in 2018. This change was the subject of discussion among users due to problems with its reliability. However, the side button on the Charge 6 is also not mechanical, it is a tactile key that provides feedback when pressed.
In terms of design, the Charge 6 is very similar to the Charge 5. The set of sensors also remains the same as its predecessor: an optical heart rate monitor, accelerometer, built-in GPS, SpO2, temperature sensor, and multi-purpose electrical sensors for stress monitoring and advanced heart health alerts. The battery life of the model is claimed to be 7 days without the display always on and constant measurement of blood oxygen saturation. The latter features, as Fitbit notes, will reduce battery life, but it does not indicate how much. The bracelet charges from 0 to 100% in 2 hours.
In terms of software, the Charge 6, according to Fitbit, offers the most accurate heart rate measurement among fitness bracelets, which greatly improves the tracking of intense activity. It can also connect to fitness trackers from brands such as NordicTrack, Peloton, Concept2, and Tonal via Bluetooth to monitor heart rate. This feature seems to be Fitbit’s answer to Apple’s GymKit and Garmin’s ANT Plus and Bluetooth integration.
In addition, the Charge 6 has built-in Google Maps and Google Wallet applications with support for contactless payments via Google Pay. Users can view step-by-step instructions on their wrist and control YouTube music. However, it’s worth noting that music control works more like a remote control and requires a YouTube Music Premium subscription. This move comes after Fitbit’s decision to close access to other music platforms such as Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer.
Existing Fitbit users will need to migrate their data to a Google account to use the Charge 6, with the migration becoming mandatory by 2025. The Charge 6 is available for pre-order in the US in black, silver with white stripe, and gold with coral stripe colors, and is expected to launch on October 12.