The Fitbit Charge 4 and Charge 2 were released almost five years apart by the wearables giant. Fitbit’s flagship fitness tracker is now equipped with a built-in GPS, a much sought-after feature by many users. But is it worth upgrading to the new Charge 4? Our thorough comparison of their features will help you make the call.
Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 2 Fitness Tracker Comparison Chart
|Display||Grayscale Touchscreen||Black and White Tapscreen|
|Dimensions||1.4″ x 0.9″||1.5″ x .84|
|Strap||Classic Band||Classic Band|
|Call & Text Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Water Resistance||Waterproof for up to 50 meters||Water, splash, and sweat-resistant|
|Heart Rate Monitor||Yes||Yes|
|Calorie Burn Tracker||Yes||Yes|
|Resting Heart Rate||Yes||Yes|
|Active Zone Minutes||Yes||No|
|Blood Oxygen Level||Yes||No|
|Female Health Tracking||Yes||Yes|
|Subscription||90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium||90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium|
|Battery Life||Up to 7 days||Up to 5 days|
|Year of Release||2020||2016|
Design and Comfort
Consistent with the aesthetics of Fitbit’s fitness tracker line ups, the
The Charge 4 is also slightly slimmer than the Charge 2, but it boasts 40 percent more display size than the 2016 fitness tracker. This makes it easier to see the screen anytime. Fitbit’s flagship fitness tracker is also equipped with a responsive touchscreen and a touch-capacitive button on the side with haptic feedback. Meanwhile, the Charge 2 only comes with a tap screen and a thicker button on the side that you can use to change screens and modes.
Fitbit has finally included an upgrade that has long been requested by its users: a built-in GPS. This allows the Charge 4 to work as a standalone device so even without your phone, you can track and record steps, distances, pace, and map the intensity of your activities throughout your route.
On the other hand, the Charge 2 still relies on your phone’s GPS to be able to do all the abovementioned. This means if your phone runs out of juice, you won’t be able to track your distance and pace anymore.
Health and Fitness Tracking
Fitbit’s Charge 4 and Charge 2 offer the following essential health and fitness tracking features:
- set fitness goals and track your progress
- monitor your resting heart and heart rate zones
- measure elevation (e.g track floors climbed)
- give customized reminders to move, hydrate, or even sleep
- track sleep stages and give insights for better sleep quality and overall health
- monitor the menstrual cycle and record symptoms
- track and record steps, distances, pace, and calorie burn
- get guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate
- track swim sets
- measure blood oxygen levels through its SPO2 sensor
- map your workout intensities and exertion level throughout your route
- wake you up during the most ideal time based on your sleep scores and stages (Smart Wake will be activated in future updates)
- set goals, get alerts, and receive bespoke recommendations based on your heart rate through the Active Zone Minutes
One of the latest upgrades found in the
Connectivity and Compatibility
Both the Charge 4 and the Charge 2 use Bluetooth 4.0 and are compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows
It is a breeze to pair the
Fitbit made its app and devices compatible with as many platforms as possible. Both the Charge 4 and the Charge 2 can be synced wirelessly with iOS, Android, and Windows 10 and later. If you’re an Android user, you can set-up your fitness tracker to receive alerts and notifications. With the Charge 4, you can use its Quick Replies feature that lets you use preset replies to respond to text messages or calls. Another feature missing in the Charge 2 is the NFC connectivity (more on this in the next section) found in the Charge 4.
Users who don’t like bringing their wallets or phones with them during their runs or workouts will benefit from Fitbit Pay. This is a feature made possible by the Near-Field Communication (NFC) connectivity of the Charge 4. As long as the establishment accepts contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless debit cards, you can also use Fitbit Pay to pay for goods and services.
Battery Life and Additional Features
If you want to consistently monitor your heart rate even during sleep, a long battery life is necessary. Fitbit designed the Charge 4 and the Charge 2 to be worn for up to 7 and 5 days, respectively. Both only need around two hours of charging time using Fitbit’s proprietary charger. However, it is worth noting that heavy use of the Charge 4’s built-in GPS significantly reduces its battery life.
If you go swimming or surfing a lot, then the Charge 4 is the better fit for you. The latest Fitbit Charge boasts a 5 ATM certification which means the device can be submerged up to a depth of 50 meters. This means you can track and record your sets, pace, distance, and intensity while doing water activities that require submerging your fitness tracker in the water.
On the other hand, the Charge 2 is only splash and sweat resistant. This means it is safe for use for heavy workouts, even under the rain, but should not be submerged. When choosing a Fitbit band to wear for your water activities, keep in mind that the classic and sport bands dry a lot faster than the woven bands (typically come with the Fitbit Charge Special Edition).
Considering all the upgrades found in the Fitbit Charge 4, and additional features it can offer with future software updates, the small price difference becomes insignificant. For only a couple of dollars more, you’ll get the following upgrades: waterproof, swim tracking, blood oxygen level sensor, Active Zone Minutes, NFC connectivity for contactless payment, and longer battery life, all with a bigger display and built-in GPS. Not to mention the Charge 4 sports a sleeker design than the older Fitbit Charge 2.
The Fitbit Charge 4 is equipped with more sensors and smart features than the Charge 2. To see their differences at a glance, check out our comparison chart above.
Yes, unlike the Charge 2, you can use the
Yes, the Charge 4 is waterproof up to 50 meters so it’s safe to use in the shower.
No, wearing the Charge 2 in the shower is not recommended. It’s safe to use during workouts, though.