Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Fitbit Charge 3: Should you upgrade?

Fitbit Charge 4 Review
Fitbit Charge 4 Review (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

The new Fitbit Charge 4 has all of the activity and health tracking essentials you could need plus some premium perks such as contactless payments, built-in GPS, Spotify music controls, and more.

Fitbit Charge 4

Best Fitbit tracker yet

Onboard GPS, HRM, NFC
Active Zone Minutes
Advanced sleep tracking
Female health tracking
Spotify music controls
Slightly larger

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 3

If you're a beginner, the Fitbit Charge 3 is still an excellent choice for those seeking a tracker that covers the basics, like activity/sleep tracking, female health tracking, connected GPS, and heart-rate monitoring.

Fitbit Charge 3

A timeless classic

Activity & sleep tracking
Female health tracking
Great battery life
Heart rate monitoring
More affordable
Lacks onboard GPS
Fitbit Pay on Special Edition only

Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Fitbit Charge 3 What's the difference?

When you're looking for a new fitness tracker, there's no shortage of options to choose from. Many users will be content with a device that covers the basics and comes at a reasonable price point, like the Fitbit Charge 3. After you've spent some time breaking it in, it's not uncommon to find yourself longing for additional features, such as built-in GPS and NFC payments. Well, the Fitbit Charge 4 is here to provide you with all of that and more. If you've been holding out for a feature-packed fitness tracker without having to go full-blown smartwatch, this is it.

The Fitbit Charge 4 is a truly impressive upgrade

Fitbit Charge 4

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central Pictured: Fitbit Charge 4 (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

As you might've gathered by now, the biggest improvements on the Fitbit Charge 4 are the addition of onboard GPS and making Fitbit Pay a standard feature. You also have access to the Spotify app that allows you to easily control your phone's music from your wrist. These are already fantastic upgrades, but there's more to it than that.

The biggest improvements on the Fitbit Charge 4 are the addition of onboard GPS and making Fitbit Pay a standard feature.

Another new perk on the Fitbit Charge 4 is the Active Zone Minutes feature. These are tracked using the Charge 4's heart rate sensor. Based on your fat burn, cardio, and heart rate zones, you'll earn credit for Activite Zone Minutes when you're having an optimal workout. You'll have daily and weekly goals to achieve as well. This new feature aims to give users more in-depth exercise tracking and a personalized number to work toward.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Charge 3
Display1-inch grayscale OLED1-inch grayscale OLED
Battery life7 days7 days
Water resistance5 ATM5 ATM
Onboard GPS✔️
Heart rate sensor✔️✔️
Activity and sleep tracking✔️✔️
Fitbit Pay✔️✔️ (Special Edition only)
Spotify Connect & Control✔️

While sleep tracking is available on the Charge 3, it's even more advanced on the Fitbit Charge 4. An upcoming software update will add Fitbit's "smart wake" feature, which uses machine learning to find the optimal to wake you up each morning. You also have access to the Sleep Score feature for deeper insights into the overall quality of your sleep. You can also set alarms and activate Sleep Mode to better maintain your routines and sleep schedules.

Aside from all of the new features on the Charge 4, you also get to enjoy some classic goodies that Fitbit has continued offering throughout the years. Some examples include Cardio Fitness Level and Score, automatic activity tracking, floors climbed, reminders to move, menstrual health tracking, and logging for your weight as well as your food and water intake.

The Fitbit Charge 3 is a classic that delivers

Fitbit Charge 3

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central Pictured: Fitbit Charge 3 (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

The main difference between the two is a handful of features and a few design aspects. For starters, if you want access to contactless payments, you have to pay more for the Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition. You also won't be able to enjoy the convenience of onboard GPS. However, you'll be able to map your route by connecting your tracker to your phone's GPS.

The Charge 3 doesn't come with the Spotify app for controlling your phone's music, either. This tracker has a slightly smaller body than the new Charge 4, which you might prefer if you like your device to be as compact as possible. Both of these devices have a grayscale OLED touchscreen. You can expect up to seven days of battery life with both devices. You'll also be happy to know that the Fitbit Charge 4 bands and the Fitbit Charge 3 bands are interchangeable, so you can change up your look as you see fit.

The main difference between the two is a handful of features and a few design aspects.

Taking all of that into consideration, it's important to remember everything that the Fitbit Charge 3 can do. You still have access to 24/7 heart-rate tracking, 15+ exercise modes, automatic activity tracking, sleep monitoring, female health tracking, smartphone notifications, guided breathing sessions, and water resistance up to 50 meters. That's quite a lot of features for an entry-level fitness tracker.

Fitbit Charge 4 vs. Fitbit Charge 3 Should you upgrade?

Fitbit continues to be one of the most popular names in the world of fitness trackers, and with good reason. Since its 2018 release, the Fitbit Charge 3 has maintained its title as a universal favorite. If you've worn yours with pride but find yourself wanting more from your fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 is certainly a worthy upgrade.

In fact, you might make the switch solely for the addition of built-in GPS and having Fitbit Pay as a standard feature. It seems like the improvements to workout and sleep tracking will make it worth it, too. If you're a diehard Spotify user, that gives you yet another reason to upgrade. Most importantly, there isn't a huge difference in price between these two devices.

Not a fan of all the extras? The Fitbit Charge 3 has plenty to offer for those who don't need bonus features. It's also an ideal starter tracker for those who are just getting started and want to take things slow. At the end of the day, both of these trackers are great. If you're on the fence about upgrading, we'd recommend splurging on the Charge 4 if you're a fan of all these new features it has to offer.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.