Hey folks, it’s Ray at DCRAINMAKER.com here. And today I’ve got ‘9 New Things to Know’ about the Fitbit Charge 4. Now I’ve been using this for a while now so I’ve got a pretty good idea on what works well…and what may need still a little bit of love.
So as such this video is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. Just me talking about all the newness here. What works well, and again what might not be so hot.
Now the first thing you know before we get into the official ‘9 Things’ is the pricing. This is $149 US dollars, I’ll put the other currencies on right now there.
There’s also the Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition which is $169. That simply gets you these extra bands, or technically one extra band in three part. That is a fancy looking band. There is no other difference between the two, it’s just simply the bands and the bands only. That’s a notable departure from the past where the Special Edition of a Fitbit variant usually had some other features.
Again same software, same hardware…just simply extra bands. So with that let’s get into the first new item on the Charge 4 which is the fact that it has GPS in it. In the past, the way it worked is if you wanted GPS tracks after the fact. For example to upload to Strava, you had to go ahead and have your phone nearby. Versus now there’s GPS built inside of this fitbit claim is about five hours of GPS on battery life and in my testing that seems about right i would say between four and five hours but pretty much close enough that’s different however the normal battery life which is seven days when the GPS isn’t on and for that it also seems about right it’s a bit tough for me to tell because I charged a bunch of times they had a bunch of really long GPS activities so the way it works when you want to start a GPS activity is you go ahead you just swipe to the right you choose exercise there you choose the sport you want if you want to go and turn off GPS you would swipe up at this point and then you would choose to turn off the GPS but if I went out for a run for example outside GPS has on by default you wait for GPS to find signal generally takes between five and ten seconds then you press it again and you’re off and running quite literally as you’re running it’ll go ahead and show your pace using GPS it also shows your distance again using GPS and all that seems to work more or less just fine pace stability in the words how stable is that pace if you’re running pretty stable seems to be mostly pretty good couple wobbles here and there but it’s in the ballpark of what most folks would want from an accuracy standpoint that also looks pretty good I did a bunch different accuracy testing around this in woods nann woods in the tall buildings all the kind of stuff and for the most part it’s pretty solid it does seem to occasionally cut corners a little bit more than I would like but on the whole it’s not too bad if you want to see a bunch of different GPS accuracy testing check out my full written review it’s linked down below or somewhere on the screen there I go into excruciating painful detail on both the GPS and the heart rate accuracy of the charge for moving on to number two on the list is the addition to fitbit pay so that means that you can take a credit card debit card and load it on to this watch assuming your bank supports that we’ll get to that part in just a moment there so there you better go ahead and hold down the button go to nearby merchants and tap to pay for something pretty straightforward you probably using on your phone for quite a while and fitbit’s had on their wearables for quite a while too but only at the versa and ionic basically their higher-end wearables so it’s the first time we’ve seen it at $149 price point from Fitbit or actually really from anyone so there’s no other company that I know of that has a $150 wearable band the has GPS in it and it has contactless payments in it and part of that is because doing contact us payments in a wearable is really really tough because you have to talk to every single bank out there which gets back to that first bit of whether or not your bank supports it Fitbit has a site you can look through and see if your bank is on the list there it’s not as simply saying all Visa are all Amex for all Mastercards your actual issuing bank has to support that so to put that in the context for me in the US my issuing bank for most of my credit cards is chase and chase is supported so I was able to load on my chase card honor this launch no problem all you use walk through the Fitbit app takes a couple seconds so you get to add it and then from there as it’s the device and then from there you hold on the button on the side for a second you type in your PIN code once that’s complete the pin code part is a bit messy but you get used to it I guess then you go ahead and just tap on our payment reader and you’re done straightforward but that was for the US I live in the Netherlands and here my bank ING isn’t supported it’s not on the list at all though most other major Dutch banks are also I have cards from France and those ones are not supported either so you’re gonna have to go to the site and see whether or not your bank is out of there at this point being a few years down the road if your bank isn’t on there it’s probably not looking super positive of course Fitbit is adding banks all the time but just kind of keep that in mind this isn’t something brand new speaking of support by the way if your fun in this video interesting or useful to somebody whack that like button down the bottom it only takes a second and it really helps out this video and the channel quite a bit so the next on the list is the new sleep metrics in particular sleep score that’s a score from 0 to 100 though hopefully not it like the 0 side of things that judges your sleep for the night the higher your sleep the heart call your sleep the higher the score in in most cases for me having toddlers at home that ranged about in the 70 or so range for a sleep score I’d say that seemed maybe a wee bit optimistic but I guess I’ll have to take it to see your sleep score you can actually see in the summary view on the Fitbit charge for itself or you can see it later on in the smartphone app that Fitbit app there you can also see the Fitbit app your sleep stages and durations you can plot them over time and all the graph will go to goodness that you’d expect from pretty much any other app including the Fitbit app also Fitbit does offer the Fitbit premium service which is something you can pay for and that gives you bunch of sleep plans and things like that so sleep guidance or coaching to hopefully giving you better sleep in my case if I were to do that my toddlers would just laugh at me also Fitbit has promised a new feature which is a smart wake feature that will allow you to go ahead and set an alarm for example 7:30 a.m.
and then will wake you at some point between 7:00 and 7:30 depending on your particular sleep stages or phases now in this case if it hasn’t promised a date that is saying coming soon which unfortunately fitbit’s history in this particular coming soon category is not super strong the last time they promised something coming soon it was almost a year later so we’ll have to see on that one it is something that is on many other wearables so hopefully we’ll see a Fitbit implement it sometime soon there were four on the list is the addition of Spotify kind of sort of I mean it’s more like a Spotify remote than it is a Spotify on the watch the wearable the thing so the most important thing to take away from this is there is no music on the Fitbit charge for period you cannot put music on the Farge for the Fajr for the NE for it cannot go on this wearable itself you cannot play music directly from this to your headphones again just to make that SuperDuper clear no music on here what it does though is a controls music somewhere else so you go and you take the charge for in particular the Fitbit app and you link it up to your Spotify accounts behind the scenes or some magic and then from there you can take this and control your Spotify playing on your phone or on your computer or on anything else Spotify plays on you can control their via your wrists technically speaking it mostly works sometimes though not always sometimes it gives me like an app error or something else but when it does work a lot you go and play a different playlist you can actually swipe through them here you can stop and start songs you can go ahead and all of the things you would expect from a remote control but from your wrists in practice though it’s just not super useful like it’s just kind of cumbersome to get into to use just like but just just pull out your phone you have to be your phone anyways so I’m sure there are some very slim scenarios where maybe you have this on you in a gym and your phones in a bag close enough that range sort of works and your headphones you control it that way but honestly I appreciate the gesture but I’ll pass thanks maybe just put music on there that’d be cool but again there’s not music on here on the bright side that does bring us number five of the list which edition of active zone minutes active zone minutes are basically Fitbit giving you a credit for doing more intense workouts but to step back a little bit talk about sort of the zone minute goal which is that you have a hundred fifty active zone minutes per week that falls alongside the American Health Association the WHL guidelines of a hundred fifty minutes of exercise per week or roughly five times thirty minutes per week how you divide that up though is really up to you it’s something that many of the wearable companies have been doing for a long long time and so fitbit’s gone into that and they’ve rebranded parts of it and give me more credit for more intense workouts so to put this into context let’s say you do a 40 minute run and the first 10 minutes are a relative basic warm-up pace you’ll get 10 minutes of active zone minutes credit for that I think of like 10 coins instead but then you go and do 20 minutes of hard running for that you’ll be in a different zone a harder zone and you may get 40 minutes of credit for that 20 minutes of running so at the end of your run you could end up with say 60 active zone minutes for only a 40 minute run kind of a cool concept and kind of make sense if you’re doing really hard workouts you’ll be able to see your active zone minutes on the device itself at the end of a workout as well as on the fitbit app and you can see how many active zone minutes you have towards your weekly goal as well on the device and also in the Fitbit app which gets us right into the next one which is the new heart rate zones or in particularly the new active zone the idea behind this is to take generic heart rate zones and give them fancy names like fat-burning zone and cardio zone and things like that they’re basically just heart rate zones that you can probably actually remember in your head you can lightly customize some of these zones in the Fitbit app but for the most part they are what they are and the way they are structured or what they are but as you’re doing a workout you’ll get notifications each time you change zones you can turn that off though if it’s annoying just in the settings for each individual workout type and then after the fact in the app you’ll see which zones you were and how much time you spent in each zone and then on the map itself you’ll see which owns you’re in as you were running or riding whatever the case it’s pretty cool actually when you look at the map and see that for an interval workout because you can see the hard part the work effort of that being in red and you can see the easier parts being in orange because I was doing recovery there so it’s kind of neat there overall again nothing earth-shattering but it’s somewhat appreciated it sort of take the sports side of it and push it a bit more into the more basic wearables that Fitbit has next up on the list there is a new weather option or weather widgets that means that you can swipe through here and go to the weather option right there and then see the current weather around you so if you’re in a dark cave like I am right now I can see what it’s doing outside you can also go ahead and add your friend’s house on there by adding another city or multiple cities if you want to and then you can swipe through and see those cities as well pretty straightforward also straightforward is the next feature which is the addition of the agenda so in that same widget role there you swipe until you find agenda and that you’ll be able to connect it up to your calendar on your phone you can also choose to show or not show free time so that way you can see what’s free in a calendar versus just assuming that your entire day is free and it didn’t sink properly or whatever the case may be and the last but not least on the list here is they’ve added a boatload more watch faces or clock faces in the past that was somewhat limited now you have 24 which means it’s somewhat less limited you can’t customize much of anything on them but they are there you can choose which ones you want swipe through different options on the app apply it to the watch the band and you’re good to go ok so there you go kind of a complete look of the overall picture of all the new features the question is though how does this fit into the greater landscape of activity trackers or wearables or sport focused wearables and I’d say it fits in pretty darn well a hundred 49 bucks there is nothing else out there on the market that has contact-less payments and GPS in it and this form factor and has a seven-day battery life and and an that’s solid so if you’re out there looking for something to go and do a casual like 5k or 10k runs this is a really great option for you however if you’re looking into something that has more features in it this might not be it for example you can’t customize any of the data fields on the sport modes you can choose different sport modes but you can’t say which fields are on there or which fields you do or don’t watch or which pages you do or don’t want that stuff is all kind of the way it is it’s their style and you can’t tweak any of it so you got to sort of figure out what you want same goes for GPS battery time if you’re looking to do a longer day hike this won’t really cut it at four to five hours of GPS on time if you left in the morning even came back at five o’clock you would have had your battery died around two or three o’clock in the afternoon so that’s something to keep mine as well still for the vast majority people this is an awesome option for the price and it’s nice to see fit but kind of sort of finally getting it I feel like the last couple years have been a little bit like a every time I look at them you’re like me maybe I guess on sale versus this I don’t think this has to be on sale very often to still be a pretty solid deal so there you go hopefully found this interesting or whatever the case may be if so again like that like button on the bottom there or hit the subscribe button because there is plenty more sports technology and particularly wearable goodness coming up over the next couple weeks that you will not want to miss out on with that have a good one