Fitbit Charge 5 vs Charge 4
By Amirah Zakiyyah
Published April 2022
With the latest Fitbit Charge 5 added to the Charge series, you might be wondering what's new in the latest kid on the block compared to its predecessor, the Fitbit Charge 4. We put together the Charge 5 and Charge 4 to see how the watches are different from each other.
See which one better suits your needs based on:
On our list
#1 Fitness Tracking
#2 Smartwatch Features
#3 Design and Display
#4 Battery Life
1. Fitness Tracking
Both the Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Charge 5 adequately support you in your fitness journey. You can count on both watches to provide all-day tracking (stationary time, activity minutes, hourly activity, calories, floors climbed, distance and steps) and review your sleep. On top of a good suite of workout features (Run-Detect with auto-stop, Goal-Based Exercise, swim tracking, weather information and a timer), you'll find SmartTrack (automatically recognises when you start exercising), Multi-Sport tracking, Cardio Fitness Level (estimates VO2 Max) and Guided Breathing (uses your heart rate to give personalised breathing sessions) in these two watches. Have we also mentioned that the Charge 4 and Charge 5 have a built-in GPS?
Adding to all the features mentioned, the Active Zone Minutes feature is supported in the Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Charge 5. Using your personalised heart rate zones, Active Zone Minutes, allows you to earn credits as you track your effort when you engage in any energising activity.
However, the Fitbit Charge 5 debuts the new EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor which uses skin conductivity to examine physiological changes as a result of stress. The Fitbit app provides an in-depth understanding of the factors affecting your stress levels and even recommends steps to help manage them.
Another feature that's excluded from the Fitbit Charge 4 but is available in the Fitbit Charge 5 is an ECG sensor. While Charge 5 shouldn't be used as a medical tool, the watch serves as a way to check for symptoms of atrial fibrillation or heart disease. Data can be churned using the Fitbit app to share the results with your doctor should there be anything amiss detected.
When you purchase Fitbit Premium, you'll gain access to a Daily Readiness Score which pulls out your sleep information, heart rate variability and fitness fatigue to tell you whether your body is up for exercise. Plus, it uses data from these metrics to suggest activities based on what's available on the Fitbit app's list of breathing exercises, workouts and meditation sessions.
2. Smartwatch Features
The Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Charge 5 shine when it comes to smartwatch features. In addition to displaying smartphone notifications and supporting contactless payment via Fitbit Pay, the two watches have the "smart wake" alarm which wakes you up at an optimal point in your sleep cycle, ensuring that you wake up feeling fresh.
Unlike the Fitbit Charge 4, you'd be surprised to know that the Fitbit Charge 5 doesn't allow you to control Spotify music from your wrist. While you'll need a Fitbit Premium membership to access a majority of the mindfulness tools, robust metrics, guided exercises and nutrition facts, you'll get two months free with a purchase of a new Fitbit device so you have time to test it out.
3. Design and Display
The narrow rectangular case is the only similarity that the Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Charge 5 share.
The Charge 4 features a plastic case (combined with a more angular appearance and a darker colour scheme. The range of bands includes ones in the standard edition (with a silicone strap and plastic buckle) and the special edition (which has an additional woven nylon band interwoven with reflective threads).
On the other hand, the Charge 5 is 10% slimmer than the Charge 4 and has a stainless steel case. With metallic accents around the watch face, Fitbit gives the Charge 5 a more stylish look and is something you'd wear outside of the gym. Moreover, the hard buckle has been replaced with a soft loop and tang to give more comfort if you're wearing the Fitbit Charge 5 to sleep.
While the Charge 4 works fine with a monochrome OLED touchscreen, the low resolution means you're limited to the amount of information that can be viewed at once. Viewing app notifications becomes tricky with the Fitbit Charge 4 since only a small snippet of text can be seen.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a huge upgrade from the Fitbit Charge 4. Not only does the Charge 5 have a full-colour AMOLED display and an always-on option, but it's also twice as bright as the Charge 4 so it's easy to see even under direct sunlight.
4. Battery Life
Fitbit estimates battery life holds out for about seven days for both the Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Charge 5. Yet, if GPS, always-on display and heart-rate monitoring are enabled, you have to expect to charge the trackers every few days.
We've settled the key differences between the Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Charge 5, but when it comes down to it, your final pick is up to your personal preferences. The Fitbit Charge 4 takes the lead if you're just starting your fitness journey. Apart from matching the Charge 5's activity tracking features, it's also decently priced. The Fitbit Charge 5 is a better value for buy if ECG and EDA tracking are what you're prioritising.
Shop the full Fitbit collection here.
We also compared the Fitbit Sense with the Fitbit Versa 3 and questioned whether the Fitbit Versa 2 or Versa 3 did better.
Compare Fitbit Devices
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