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 spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.
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.