Fitbit Charge 4 vs Fitbit Charge 3: Does It Worth the Upgrade?

If you are in Hurry! here is a quick comparison of Fitbit Charge 3 vs charge 4

Model

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 4

Display

1-inch Grayscale OLED

1-inch Grayscale OLED

Water resistance

5 ATM

5 ATM

Battery life

7 days

7 days

Onboard GPS

No

Yes

Heart rate sensor

Yes

Yes

Fitbit Pay

Yes (only with Special Edition)

Yes

Activity and sleep tracking

Yes

Yes

Spotify control

No

Yes

Colors

Black/Graphite, Blue Gray/Rose Gold, White/Graphite, Lavander/Rose Gold

Black/Black, Blue Black, Rosewood/Rosewood, Granite Reflective Woven/Black

Rating

Price

The first smart wearable device was released back in 2004, but it was unpractical, and most of the features didn’t work in the real world. A decade later, Microsoft released the first wrist-worn smart device, and since then, this category has been growing rapidly.

The fitness trackers from Fitbit are one of the most popular devices in this category and there is a good reason for that. They have a lot of features and built with high-quality standards. On top of that, they are very affordable.

Since Fitbit announced the Charge 4 specifications, we saw a lot of improvement over its predecessor. In this comparison, we will put the Fitbit Charge 4 vs 3 and determine which is the best.


About Fitbit


Fitbit Inc is an American based company that helps people lead healthier and active lives with their products. Fitbit is considered as one of the most innovative companies that ignited the smart wearable trend.

Fitbit wearables can be worn either on the wrist or attached on clothing, and they track things as calories lost, steps walked, and hours of quality sleep.

The best thing is that they offer innovative features that can rival some of the biggest names in the industry, and all for a fraction of the price.

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge 3 is an excellent choice for a smart tracker that covers the basics, such as health tracking, heart rate, steps walked, calories lost, and activity/sleep tracking.

It has a 1-inch grayscale OLED display, larger than average, and an impressive battery of 7 days. The Charge 3 is a very compact smart band that is very comfortable to wear.

As an upgrade to its predecessor, Charge 3 is now completely waterproof. The design also went through a couple of changes, and now it is more refined and thinner than the previous Charge 2.

Also, Charge 3 is now made from aluminum instead of stainless steel, making it lighter and comfortable to wear.

The Fitbit Charge 3 comes with a plastic strap that feels a bit cheap, but they decided to replace the chunky metal clips with a tiny black button that ejects the strap when pushed.

On the underside, you can find the heart rate monitor joined by a SpO2 Pulse oximetry sensor.

Pros

  • Large screen
  • Great battery life
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Activity and sleep tracking
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No onboard GPS
  • Monochrome screen
Fitbit Charge 4

As you can see, the Fitbit Charge 3 went through a lot of changes over its predecessor, and Fitbit continued with this innovation trend.

At first glance, both devices look very similar, but the Charge 4 has a significant upgrade. It comes with a built-in GPS, Spotify support as well as Fitbit Pay.

Like the previous version, the Charge 4 is very slim and light, which means it is very comfortable. In has the same shape and monitor size as the Charge 3. They decided to stick with a monochrome display rather than a colorful screen, to expand the battery life.

In addition to all the new features, the Fitbit Charge 4 still has a very decent 7-day battery life.

This smart wrist band will keep track of your activity data for the past 30 days. If you want, you can go further back by using the app.

The optical sensor on the back will measure your heart rate every second you are working out, and every five seconds when you are resting.

The built-in GPS makes all the difference. Now you can run, cycle or swim without data provided by Garmin or Polar. Additionally, the Charge 4 has NFC that provides contactless payments through Fitbit Pay.

Pros

  • Built-in GPS
  • Water-resistant
  • Swim tracking
  • Contactless payment
  • Extensive workout stats

Cons

  • Monochrome display
  • No music storage

Face-to-Face


Which is Better Fitbit Charge 4 or 3?

To find out if it is worth it to upgrade from Fitbit Charge 3 to Charge 4, we need to take a more detailed look at each of their specifications.

Design

Design

Design-wise, both smart wearable devices look identical. Both of them have the same 1-inch grayscale OLED touchscreen display with the same high-resolution of 100x160px.

In terms of display, the Charge 4 screen appears to be more advanced due to improved backlighting that adjusts to different lighting conditions. This means that you will be able to view your metrics whether you expose your wristband to direct sunlight or in a dark room.

Their design is very similar, as we can see from their dimensions. The Charge 3 is 35.8 x 22.7 x 11.8mm compared to the Charge 4 that comes at 35.8 x 22.7 x 12.5mm. This means that Charge 4 is a bit thicker than its predecessor, but the difference is not noticeable.

Another significant upgrade on Charge 4 is the robust silicone strap that comes in different colors (black, rosewood, or blue/black). The previous version had a plastic strap that was not that comfortable and felt like it was cheaper.

You can also purchase a Charge 4 Special edition, which is supplied with two straps: a silicone one and reflective nylon that looks phenomenal. In contrast, the Charge 3 special edition also comes with two straps (plastic and nylon).

Winner: Fitbit Charge 4

Navigation

Navigation

In terms of navigation, nothing is changed with the Charge 4. Both smart trackers are fully touch-enabled for taps and swipes.

They also have one physical haptic inductive button on the left side that can be used as a shortcut to settings, dismissing alarms, or activating Fitbit Pay. Since both gadgets have a large enough display, navigation is straightforward. The touch sensitiveness is excellent, just like the more expensive brands on the market.

Winner: Tie

More:Garmin Vivosmart HR+ vs Fitbit Charge 2: Which Is The Best Fitness Tracker

Sensors

Sensors

Probably the biggest deciding factor when it comes to choosing between smart wearables are the features. The features come from the sensors that are built in the device.

When it comes to sensors, both have a lot of things to offer. The Charge 3 has a 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor, vibration motor, relative SpO2 sensor and NFC (only on special edition). On the other hand, Charge 4 has the same sensors plus the built-in GPS and an NFC for Fitbit Pay on the standard version.

Winner: Charge 4

More: Fitbit Blaze Vs Versa: Which One Is The Best Fitbit Smartwatch?

Apps and Notifications

Apps and Notifications

You need to consider the essential applications that come with any smart tracker just so you can focus on the things that matter to you. In terms of applications, both models cover the basics.

On the Charge 3, you can access apps like Exercise, Timers, Alarms, Weather, Relax, or Settings, and the Charge 4 has all of the mentioned above plus Agenda which is a mini-calendar, and Spotify which allows you to control music on your phone.

Both smart trackers can receive notifications from your phone, and you can set custom quick replies for responding to text messages.

Winner: Charge 4

Battery life

Both gadgets come with an amazing battery life of 7 days. This includes sleep and normal exercise tracking. However, since Charge 4 comes with a built-in GPS, the battery life will be shortened.

Fitbit estimates that the GPS signal will shorten the battery life to five hours due to constantly sending and receiving a signal. However, if you don’t plan to use GPS features, you can simply turn it off, and the battery will be the same as its predecessor.

Winner: Tie

More: Fitbit Charge 2 vs. Charge 3: The Battle of New and Old

Tracking Features

Tracking Features

There is also a crucial improvement with Charge 4 when it comes to tracking.

The previous Charge 3 came with an array of apps and features like:

  • Cardio Fitness score
  • Sleep Stages
  • Real-time pace and distance
  • Goal-based exercise modes
  • Guided breathing
  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring
  • Automatic exercise recognition
  • Swim tracking
  • All-day calorie burn
  • Female health

On the other hand, Charge 4 comes with all of the features mentioned above, plus a couple more.

Additional features on the Charge 4:

  • Active Zone Minutes
  • Workout Intensity Map

The most significant change when it comes to tracking is the Active Zone Minutes on the Charge 4. In order to personalize your workout results, Fitbit will establish heart rate zones using personalized cardio, fat burn, and peak heart rate metrics.

This will help you optimize your effort during every workout. Additionally, Charge 4 will alert you when you’ve reached your optimal target heart rate zone and record your workout on a Workout Intensity Map which is available on the app.

Winner: Charge 4

What Is The Difference Between the Fitbit Charge 3 vs Charge 4?

Built-in GPS

The biggest difference when we compare Fitbit Charge 3 vs Charge 4 is the built-in GPS on the newer version. This means that you can map your route by using the onboard GPS rather than using the GPS connection from your phone, which was the case with Charge 3.

The best thing is that the built-in GPS in Charge 4 is very reliable, so you don’t have to worry about getting inaccurate results.

Smart Wake Feature

The newer Charge 4 comes with sleep tracking just as the Charge 3 but with more advanced features. With the newer software on the Charge 4, you can add Fitbit’s “smart wake” feature.

This is a brilliant feature that uses machine learning to find the optimal time to wake you up every morning. You will also have access to your Sleep Score where you can find out the overall quality of your sleep.

You can also set alarms or activate Sleep Mode, just so you can better control your routines and sleep schedules.

More: Fitbit Inspire vs Inspire HR: In-depth Comparison 2020

Spotify Music Control

Nothing goes better with exercise than music. Fitbit noticed the lack of music controls on the previous Charge 3, which is why the latest version comes with Spotify music controls.

This feature will allow you to control the music on your phone by pausing or skipping through playlists. The best thing is that by purchasing the Fitbit Charge 4, you will be treated with a free trial of premium Spotify service. After your month expires, you have to sign up for a premium account to continue using Spotify.

NFC Pairing

Near Field Communication or NFC is a feature that enables short-range communication between compatible devices. NFC can be used for various things, and with these devices, you can use it for contactless payment through Fitbit Pay.

The previous Charge 3 didn’t have an NFC feature on the original model. You had to purchase the Special Edition to enjoy the feature. Fortunately, with the Charge 4 they decided to include the NFC connection to the standard version.

More: Fitbit Versa 2 vs Charge 4: Which One Should You Buy?

Verdict

Choose the Fitbit Charge 3  if:

  • You want a smaller design.
  • You want the less expensive smart wristband.
  • You don’t mind the lack of GPS.
  • You want good battery life.

Choose the Fitbit Charge 4 if:

  • You want built-in GPS.
  • You want NFC connectivity.
  • You don’t mind the bulkier design.
  • You want a music control feature.

Both devices are excellent and they will last long enough since they are built with high-quality standards. However, Charge 4 has a few crucial features over its predecessor. The built-in GPS and few additional tracking features make the Charge 4 the obvious winner in this comparison.

However, if you have the Charge 3 and you don’t mind using your phone for GPS or the lack of NFC payment, you should not upgrade to the Charge 4.

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