The Fitbit Charge 4 is a simple but effective fitness watch that epitomizes the cliched phrase: dynamite comes in small packages. Weighing a featherlite 30 grams, it’s so comfortable on the wrist that you forget you’re wearing it! That doesn’t take away from the fact that it does a job that’s just as good as the larger and heavier watches, if not better. Main features include, 24/7 heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, built-in GPS, calorie counter, fitness challenges, Fitbit Pay and Spotify Control.
What made us warm up to this little companion? Upon unboxing, it was very easy to underestimate the performance quality of the watch due to its small size. This quickly changed when we put it on and felt how light and comfortable it was, especially considering that it will be worn throughout the day and night, and most importantly, during intense workouts. The fact that the face is the same width as the band is a positive as it doesn’t dig into your skin no matter how much you twist and turn during exercises or sleep. The display was also simple and easy to navigate because it doesn’t contain complex options, other than the time and a slide through menu of your tracker metrics, starting with total steps and heart rate amongst others.
Now you might be asking, “What’s so special about the watch if it’s small and simple?” Well, like all superheroes, the Charge 4 has a companion that backs it up and allows it to perform as impressively as it does, the Fitbit App. Let’s jog your memory, remember that there are great features like 24/7 heart rate tracking and fitness challenges amongst others? Well the app is the sidekick that carries all the equipment you need to be fully immersed in an amazing world of fitness and wellness. On the app you can access in-depth fitness and wellness reports such as, total steps for the day and a detail of how your daily progress has been over the past week or month. We found this especially cool because you can set a minimum number of steps per hour and the watch nudges you (via a soft vibration) 10 minutes before the end of each hour reminding you of the number of steps you need to complete to meet your preset quota.
Other reports include sleep data, where the quality of your sleep is scored out of 100 and can be assessed using the detailed reports; Heart rate and calories are also reported on the app. The calories aren’t just counted during workouts but throughout the day, including in your sleep. How in the world does that work? When you register your profile on the app, you provide your height, weight, age, body shape and fitness goals, these are used to estimate the number calories you burn per minute. In the app, you can also input your meals which will automatically calculate the number of calories per food type, making it extremely simple to measure whether you are burning more calories than you take in, which has been said to be the best way to lose weight or maintain weight levels by many experts.
The Discover area of the app gives you access to a variety of guided fitness programmes, challenges & adventures, mindfulness programmes and workouts that range from beginner to expert levels. This is one of our favourite areas on the app, it allows you to get creative, challenge friends or other unknown users and stay motivated with new and different movements. This is especially welcomed during lockdown and COVID-19 as it allows you to be connected to the fitness world in the comfort of your own space.
Well stretched is the perfect description of how much has been packed into the Charge 4 and the accompanying Fitbit App, let’s summarize the main points:
- Great size – weightless feel on wrist;
- 24/7 heart rate and calorie counter;
- Long lasting battery (2 to 3 hour charge lasted at least 6 days)
- Sleep monitoring;
- Competitive pricing;
- Wide-range of in-app features;
- Fitbit pay (paying through watch, which is positive for social distancing);
- Limited watch face display due to small size;
- App requires premium (paid) account in order to access some report details (this costs R149pm);
- Reliance on app features instead of watch.
Chin-up, you don’t have to give up an arm and a leg to join the Fitbit Charge 4 club, with the watch retailing at a reasonable R2 999 and offered in black, rosewood, and storm blue/black.