Fitbit Charge 4 vs 3 vs Special Edition

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Many people gushed over the Fitbit Charge 3, but the time has come for a new model and many are wondering if it’s worth the upgrade. The Fitbit Charge 4 has many of the same core features, but it adds many new ones and finally has a built-in GPS. There’s also the Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition. What’s the difference between Charge 4 and Special Edition? Read on as we compare Fitbit Charge 4 vs 3 vs Special Edition.

We also just did a comparison of Fitbit Charge 4 vs Versa 2. Check it out if you want to see if Charge is really the best Fitbit model for you.

Fitbit Charge 3Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition

Fitbit Charge 4 vs 3 vs Special Edition Comparison Chart

All three of these fitness trackers have plenty of features. While we’ll go into more detail below, this handy table will show you the major differences between all three of them:

Fitbit Charge 3Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Charge 4 SE
StrapClassicClassicReflective Woven
Call and Text AlertsYesYesYes
Smart WakeYesYesYes
Water Resistance50 meters50 meters50 meters
Heart RateYesYesYes
Calories BurnedYesYesYes
Sleep ReportYesYesYes
Active Zone MinutesNoYesYes
Blood Oxygen LevelYesYesYes
Swim TrackerYesYesYes
Menstrual TrackerYesYesYes
Fitbit PayNoYesYes
Battery Life7 days7 days7 days

There are some differences here and there. Maybe not as many as you may have expected, but the differences are quite large when we get into them.

Fitbit Charge 3 vs 4 vs Special Edition: Similarities

Let’s first cover the similarities between Fitbit Charge 4 vs Special Edition. They are exactly the same thing. The only difference is that the Special Edition has a woven band while the Charge 4 has a Classic band.

What about the similarities between the Charge 3 and 4? There’s actually quite a bit. They have the same band and check many of the same metrics. You can see your heart rate, check the calories burned, and there are notifications from calls and texts.

They are a similar size (though the Charge 4 is bigger on paper, they feel nearly the same), and they share the same battery life. They also have similar touchscreens. They both use OLED technology and are easy to swipe, push, and read.

If you’re just looking for basic metrics about your fitness and health, then the two are roughly tied. However, there are a fair number of differences that you should know of.

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4 vs 3 vs Special Edition: Differences

While the Charge 3 and 4 check many of the same metrics, Charge 4 is considered more reliable as the hardware has been upgraded. Not only that, but there are many features you get with the 4 that are worth the extra price.

Active Zone Minutes

The biggest update is Active Zone Minutes. This is new to Charge 4. While some other Fitbit models will get this in an update, like the Versa 2, Charge 3 won’t be receiving this feature. This is considered a better way to track fitness because it shows you how long you’re in the optimal fat burning zone.

Workout Intensity Map

Charge 4 also has Workout Intensity Map. This helps to track intensity in terms of cardio and fat burning. You can use this to determine your overall fitness performance. Once again, this is not a feature with Charge 3.

Fitbit Pay

Another difference is Fitbit Pay. This has been a standard feature for many Fitbits and is even available with the Charge 3 Special Edition. However, it’s not available with the standard model. Both Charge 4 and 4 Special Edition have this. It’s an NFC sensor that allows you to easily pay for anything at the store. Not essential, but a useful feature nonetheless.

Built-In GPS

Something completely new to Fitbit in general is the Charge 4 having a built-in GPS. Normally you would have to use your phone as a tethered GPS, but now you can track all your movements through the Charge 4 itself.

However, don’t expect to keep the GPS on all the time. While these models all have a battery life of 7 days, the GPS function gobbles up battery life. You can expect the fitness tracker to last a total of 5 hours before it dies. It’s great to turn on when you’re cycling or running, but turn it off when you go back to your normal routine.

Fitbit Charge 3Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition

Final Thoughts

So, is it worth upgrading your Fitbit fitness tracker to Charge 4? That really depends. If it’s a matter of price, then Charge 3 might be better because it’s more affordable. However, the price isn’t that different. You can usually pick the Charge 4 up for roughly the same price as the Charge 3.

While there aren’t a large number of differences, the differences are significant. The Charge 4 gives you Active Zone Minutes, Workout Intensity Mapping, a built-in GPS, and Fitbit Pay. If you don’t mind spending a little extra for great features, then we suggest the Charge 4. If you just want a basic fitness tracker that gives you accurate information to lose weight, then Charge 3 is a great unit.

Fitbit Charge 4 FAQ

Is Fitbit Charge 4 Waterproof?

Yes, Fitbit Charge 4 is waterproof up to 50 meters. This is common of many other Fitbit models.

Does Fitbit Charge 4 Automatically Track Sleep?

Yes. This is common of all Fitbit models. It will automatically sense when you are asleep and it will track your sleep information.

Does Fitbit Charge 4 Automatically Track Exercise?

Yes it will. This fitness tracker will track your heart rate, steps, calories burned, and more. New features to the Charge 4 like Active Zone Minutes and Workout Intensity Map give you even more advanced metrics on your exercise performance.

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