Great news – it looks like the Fitbit Charge 4 is likely to land soon. And even greater news – there are signs that GPS may well be included in the new activity tracker, despite rumor stories currently circulating suggesting this isn’t the case.
Let’s start with what’s being widely reported: UK store Mobile Fun looked to have spilled the beans on the new Fitbit fitness tracker, listing a range of designs to choose from, including a standard version in Black, Rosewood, and Storm Black/Blue, and a special Granite edition.
These listings pointed towards a similar spec-sheet to the Fitbit Charge 3, with NFC, Bluetooth and the usual activity tracking features all built in.
However, there was no mention of a much-wanted Fitbit Charge feature – built-in GPS for accurate run tracking without needing to piggyback on a smartphone’s GPS radio.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that GPS won’t be part of the Fitbit Charge 4 package. We’ve done some digging around the product ID listed in that Mobile Fun leak and we’ve found references on a couple of other – albeit obscure – retailers that list not only the models mentioned above, but Charge 4 editions with “integrated GPS & FitbitPay“
Listings such as this, on Apcom:
However, we’d take this with a pinch of salt as the FB417 model number (the letters after refer to the colors) also throws up a few other results on other retailers with no mention of GPS. The widespread use of that code though, combined that it throws up an FCC result too, does more or less confirm the Charge 4 is imminent.
The Fitbit Charge 3 was announced in August 2018 and then launched two months later, so we’re long overdue a new version.
Fitbit has told us in the past that adding the ability to track outdoor activity wasn’t the kind of feature it felt was the right fit for the typical Charge user.
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 $50. The Garmin Vivosport does cost around the same price as the Charge 3, but it finds room for the sensor too.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.