What you need to know
- A Google FCC filing spotted by 9to5Google points to a new Fitbit tracker, though details are scant.
- It uses Bluetooth LE but not NFC, which suggests a lower-end Fitbit tracker rather than the Charge 6.
- Fitbit will revamp its app this fall, possibly in preparation for new Fitbit trackers.
It's been nearly a year since Fitbit released any new hardware. With the long-rumored Fitbit Charge 6 still nowhere to be found and Google retracting or redesigning a lot of Fitbit software in recent months, we've been uncertain where, exactly, Fitbit would go next. Now, we have a small hint of what to expect.
9to5Google's Kyle Bradshaw spotted a Google LLC FCC filing with model number G3MP5 corresponding to an unnamed device with Bluetooth LE support.
How do we know it's a new Fitbit? Bradshaw notes that the FCC e-label declaration page states you can find the regulatory info on the device by going to Settings > Device Info > Regulatory Info from the Home screen. These are the exact same steps you follow on a current Fitbit device like the Charge 5 to find this info, and Google, of course, owns Fitbit.
In terms of which Fitbit device it is, we can assume it's a lower-end model because the FCC Exposure report only references Bluetooth. The newest Fitbits have deactivated Wi-Fi antennas, but most high-end models do at least have NFC for tap-to-pay — something that would appear in this report. For instance, the extensive Meta Quest 3 FCC report last month included testing for both Wi-Fi 6E and 5G bands.
Of the Fitbit models currently available, it's likely not an Inspire 4 because the Inspire 3 just arrived last year, nor is it a Charge 6 since the Charge 5 has NFC support. That leaves other trackers like the Fitbit Ace 3 (released March 2021) and Fitbit Luxe (April 2021) as candidates that are overdue for a successor.
Frankly, we just haven't seen that many new fitness trackers this year, with a lot of companies focusing entirely on smartwatches. When the Amazon Halo brand died earlier this year, we wrote that fitness trackers used to make up 50% of wearable sales but had dipped to just 19% throughout 2022.
If this mystery Fitbit tracker just turns out to be a kid-branded Ace 4, with no next-gen Charge in sight, it'll be another bad sign for fans of fitness trackers.
Otherwise, it's theoretically possible that Google could release some kind of Pixel-branded tracker, using Fitbit software but leaving the old Fitbit branding behind entirely. A Pixel Band could be a logical, lower-priced sibling to the Pixel Watch.
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Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.
For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.
My Charge 5 is less than 2 years old and won't hold a charge overnight. I would expect a $!50 device to last at least 4 years. I can't wait for the C6, so it's the Amazefit Band 7 for me. Only $40 and has more features than the C5.Reply
Works with Strava which is the only place my friends are. The only thing missing from the C5 is on-device GPS. But I always have my phone with me anyway. Also, no NFC, so no Fitbit pay.