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A week before Google debuts the next-generation Pixel Watch, Fitbit is introducing the Charge 6 fitness band. The wellness-centered wearable launches in conjunction with the revamped Fitbit app. It’s billed as the “only fitness track with Google smarts.” Depending on who you are, that’ll either make you very happy or very annoyed.
The Fitbit Charge 6 is the successor to 2021’s Charge 5, which we liked even though it shipped with missing features. Regarding the design, the Charge 6 isn’t a significant departure from its predecessor. But at least it seems more like a finished product.
The Charge 6 features a small, pebble-like 1.04-inch display made with Gorilla Glass, aluminum, and resin. Fitbit says it designed the Charge 6 to be slim and discrete, unlike a more obvious smartwatch display. Fitbit also brought back the side button for interacting with the interface. As with all sports-centric wearables, the Fitbit Charge 6 is water-resistant up to 50 meters.
In terms of sensors, the Fitbit Charge 6 has plenty. There’s the requisite heart-rate monitor, accelerometer, sensors for SpO2 monitoring, and a temperature sensor. There is NFC for using Google Wallet and GPS and GLONASS for using Google Maps—this is a Google-y Fitbit, after all. The Charge 6 also offers readings for ECG and EDA, which measure stress. And if you’ve got a Peloton or a NordicTrack, you can use the Charge 6 to sync your heart rate information during a workout. Fitbit says the Charge 6 features “60% more accurate readings during vigorous activities” than the Charge 5.
Here’s the part that might get you peeved: you must have a Google account to use the Fitbit Charge 6, as well as the Fitbit app. The Charge 6 is compatible with Android and iPhone users with iOS 15 and up. Though this is very much an Android-tinged wearable, as things like smartphone notifications will require Android 9 and up.
Advertised battery life is up to seven days, as long as you’re not using too many of the special sensors. However, Fitbit encourages you to track your stats at all times to get the most out of the fitness band’s capabilities and to routinely charge the device in order to do so.
The Fitbit Charge 6 is available to pre-order now for $160. It comes in a variety of colors, including porcelain (white) and coral (orange). There are also a variety of new bands, including Ocean woven with fabric and Hazel sport with perforation. The wearable ships later this fall.