Fitbit has announced the latest member of its fitness tracker lineup, the Fitbit Charge 4, alongside new fitness-minded features and new content for Fitbit Premium.
The new device's standout feature is onboard GPS to enable features like an exercise heat map, which helps users review where in a running or biking route they were working the hardest.
It returns with the Sp02 sensor of its predecessor to enable sleep monitoring via nightly Sleep Scores, and will soon be updated with a sleep-cycle-based smart alarm that has so far only been included with the company's smartwatch offerings. Meanwhile, female health tracking, move reminders, food and water logging, automatic exercise tracking and a number of other standard Fitbit trackers functionalities all make a return.
Of particular note is that this device will be the first to support a new workout feature the company has dubbed Active Zone Minutes. With this, the device's heart-rate sensor will help determine when the wearer is in their own personal range of moderate or vigorous heart activity. The feature notifies the user of when they are shifting between these zones mid-workout. Afterward it will generate a report of the workout's zone time durations. It also calculates the minutes in each zone a user will need to meet their daily and weekly goals.
News of the new device and features comes with the announcement of new content additions for Fitbit's monthly subscription service. With it, Fitbit Premium has bumped its guided program count to 16. It includes more than 200 workouts from fitness brands such as barre3, Down Dog and Physique 57, and it will be looking to convert newcomers via a 90-day free trial supported by 40 pieces of new free content.
The Charge 4 will retail for $149.95 in the U.S., with a special edition running for $169.95.
WHY IT MATTERS
Both Fitbit and the broader wearables market have shifted toward a primary focus on smartwatches within the last few years. However, there's still a place for dedicated fitness trackers like the Charge devices, particularly among health-plan- or employer-sponsored wellness programs. Case in point: Today's announcement includes a note from Fitbit that the new tracker will be added later this year to UnitedHealthcare Motion, a wellness program in which participants can earn wearables through regular activity.
At the same time, Fitbit is continuing to support Fitbit Premium as the subscription service marches toward its one-year anniversary. This shouldn't be much of a surprise, as the company has signaled since its launch an interest in transitioning from episodic device sales to long-term, device-supported services.
THE LARGER TREND
All eyes were on Fitbit when rumors of an impending sale came to fruition late last year. But while the industry waits to see whether or not COVID-19, the Department of Justice or other factors will impede Google's purchase, the company has steadily fleshed out its offerings – November came with an OS update sporting heart-rate and sleep-tracking features, while January saw the activation of blood oxygen level variability measurements for Sp02-enabled devices.