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Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 4 Special Edition (2020): What’s the Difference?

The much-awaited Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition, the successors to the top-selling Charge 3, are now available to purchase. Fitbit finally equips its new fitness activity trackers with a built-in GPS, a feature requested by many of its users. Apart from this, what other upgrades does the Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition have and how does it differ from the standard edition Charge 4? Read on to find out.

Fitbit Charge 4 vs Charge 4 Special Edition (SE) Comparison Chart

ModelFitbit Charge 4Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition
 Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Charge 4 Special edition SE
PriceCheck Price

at Walmart.com

Check Price

at Walmart.com

DisplayOLEDOLED
Dimensions1.4″ x 0.9″ x 0.5″1.4″ x 0.9″ x 0.5″
StrapClassic BandReflective Woven Band
Classic Band (Black)
ColorsBlack
Rosewood
Storm Blue/Black
Granite
GPSBuilt-inBuilt-in
Call & Text AlertsYesYes
Smart AwakeYesYes
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
PedometerYesYes
Calorie Burn TrackerYesYes
Sleep ReportsYesYes
Resting Heart RateYesYes
Active Zone MinutesYesYes
Blood Oxygen LevelYesYes
Swim TrackingYesYes
Menstrual TrackingYesYes
Bluetooth4.04.0
Fitbit PayYesYes
CompatibilityiOS, Android, WindowsiOS, Android, Windows
Subscription90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium
Battery LifeUp to 7 daysUp to 7 days

Difference

The standard Fitbit Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Standard Edition only differ in their wrist strap materials

A purchase of the Fitbit Charge 4 (right) Special Edition comes with an extra classic band like the one in the standard Charge 4

Consistent to previous Fitbit Charge launches, its flagship Charge 4 is available in special edition. For the Charge 3, the special edition meant getting the Fitbit Pay feature and a woven band instead of the classic one. The upcoming Charge 4 lineup has made Fitbit Pay a standard inclusion for the standard and the Charge 4 Special Edition (SE).

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The only difference we have seen so far between the standard Fitbit Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition is the strap material. For an extra 20 USD more, you will get a black reflective woven band and a classic black sport band with your purchase. This reflective woven band is perfect for users who spend time outdoors while it’s still dark.

New Features: GPS

The standard Fitbit Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition boast a built-in GPS

Track your location, distance, and pace even without your smartphone

A built-in GPS has long been a much-requested feature among Fitbit users, and the Charge 4 is the company’s answer to that. Both the regular Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition (SE) are the only Fitbit fitness trackers that don’t rely on your smartphone to track and record your distance and pace.

Even the Fitbit smartwatches don’t come with a built-in GPS. Those who like doing sports or workouts without the hassle of carrying a smartphone will find this upgrade helpful. Fitbit also offers GPS-based workouts from its app to maximize this new feature.

New Features: Active Zone Minutes

The standard Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition debut Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes

Tracking your ‘Active Zones’ will help you crush your fitness goals

Fitbit rolled out its new Active Zone Minutes in the standard Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition. Through this upgrade, you can set your Active Zone Minutes goal and based on your heart rate metrics, receive bespoke recommendations to achieve your target steps, distances, exercises, and workouts.

It further gives more credit to high-intensity activities to help push you to get your heart rate up. Your height, weight Fitbit announced that they will roll this out in its smartwatches, but have not mentioned anything about including the Active Zone Minutes in the older Charge models.

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New Features: Smart Wake

The standard Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition will come with Fitbit’s Smart Wake feature previously available only to its smartwatches

fitbit-charge-4-vs-charge-4-special-edition-se-2
As the name implies, Smart Wake will wake you up at the most ideal time

When Fitbit released the Charge 3 in fall of 2018, it came with a built-in SPO2 sensor that measures blood oxygen levels. However, it was only recently when Fitbit released an update that activated this feature.

The Charge 4’s smart Wake feature is the same. Fitbit announced that the latest Charge 4 (including the Special Edition) will offer the smart Wake, but it’s “coming soon.” When exactly remains to be seen. We’re hopeful that this will be released much sooner as this was already available in the company’s smartwatch lineup.

Once Fitbit activates this your Charge 4 can wake you up at the most optimal time as based on your sleep data. The smart Wake will wake you up during your REM or light sleep in the morning so you feel better invigorated upon waking up.

Smart Features

Both the regular Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition offer Fitbit Pay and Spotify controls

Manage your Spotify tracks using your fitness tracker

Whether you opt for the standard Charge 4 or the Special Edition one, you’ll be able to enjoy contactless payment at select establishments that accept Fitbit Pay. You can set-up your bank or card with your Charge 4 and you can pay using your Fitbit. As long as the establishment accepts contactless payment such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, you can use Fitbit Pay. This alleviates the need to take your phone or wallet with you when you go running or biking.

Another minor, but definitely convenient, upgrade found in the Charge 4 is the ability to manage Spotify tracks directly from your fitness tracker. This is helpful for users whose headphones don’t have a user-friendly interface for managing tracks.

Connectivity and Compatibility

The standard Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition pair smoothly and have NFC pairing

Fitbit Pay works because of the near-field communication (NFC) connectivity equipped in your Charge 4. This further makes pairing your Fitbit with your device a quick and straightforward process. Simply download the Fitbit app, hold the Charge 4 close to your device, and follow the on-screen instructions.

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Both the standard Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition are compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows. This ensures any smartphone user can pair a Fitbit with their device. Alerts for calls and messages are also available for Android users.

Battery Life and Water Resistance

Both the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition can be used for up to 7 days and are waterproof

To yield accurate results and heart rate data interpretations, including sleep quality, it is recommended that you wear your Fitbit even while you sleep. This is why the Charge 4’s battery life can last for up to 7 days. This way, you can wear your fitness tracker almost 24/7. However, frequent use of the built-in GPS will yield remarkably shorter usage hours.

Certified 5ATM, both the standard Fitbit Charge 4 and the Charge 4 Special Edition can withstand fresh water submersion for up to 50 meters. This allows you to track and record your swim sets, pace, distance, and intensity, among others. It is worth noting that the woven band dries much more slowly than the classic sport band, so if you intend on using your Fitbit for swimming, this is something to consider.

Verdict

The Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition offers better value for your money

Getting the Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition that comes with a reflective woven band for an additional 20 USD offers great value for your money. A separate purchase of the Fitbit woven band costs around 35 USD each, thus you save around 15 USD if you get the special edition. It also comes with the classic sport band so switching won’t be a problem. However, if you don’t want the black woven band at all or want a different color, you’re better off getting the standard Charge 4 version.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between Fitbit Charge 4 and Special Edition?

The Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition comes with a reflective woven band, in addition to the classic black band. The standard edition of the Fitbit Charge 4 doesn’t come packaged with a reflective woven band, but it can be purchased separately.

📌 Is the Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition worth buying?

The Special Edition of the Charge 4 is definitely worth buying if you want the woven band strap for your Charge 4. Buying the Special Edition works out cheaper than buying the Charge 4 and woven band separately.

📌 Is the Fitbit Charge 4 worth buying?

The Charge 4 is the first Fitbit Charge model to feature in built GPS tracking. This makes it an essential purchase for those who exercise regularly and want to map their workouts.

📌 What can a Fitbit Charge 4 do?

Alongside 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep reporting and all the usual Fitbit Charge features, the Charge 4 offers integrated GPS tracking, Active Zone minutes, Smart Awake and Fitbit Pay functionality.

Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.