The Fitbit Charge 5 isn’t out yet, but we can make some good predictions about when it’s going to appear and what features is may have when it does.
The Fitbit Charge series sits in between the Inspire and Versa lines in terms of both size and features, with a slim profile and neat rectangular display coupled with an impressive stack of features for such a small device.
The Fitbit Charge 4 was one of the first Fitbits to offer on-board GPS (behind only the Fitbit Ionic), which was a real boon when it launched last year, and made it a viable alternative to chunky fitness trackers. It’s surprisingly affordable too, and has sat comfortably at the top of our roundup of the best fitness trackers for months.
It’s a tough act for the Fitbit Charge 5 to follow, but with the right upgrades, it could meet the challenge. We’ll be keeping this guide updated as soon as we learn more about the next-generation Fitbit, so stay tuned.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A lightweight GPS fitness tracker
- When is it out? Possibly around April 2022
- What will it cost? Probably $149.95 / £129.99 / AU$229.95
Fitbit appears to follow a two-year release cycle with its Charge series. The Fitbit Charge 4 was launched in April 2020, so if the company follows the same pattern, were likely to get our first glimpse of the Charge 5 in April 2022.
We suspect that the Charge 5 is likely to cost £149.95 / £129.99 / AU$229.95 at launch the same as the Charge 4. Fitbit has established a precedent of sticking to the same release price with successive models in the same line, so unless there are some very large advances in tech, we’d be surprised if there’s a price hike.
If this is the case, it will make the Charge 5 one of the most affordable fitness trackers in the company’s lineup, sitting comfortably in between the Inspire 2 and Versa 3.
We expect the Fitbit Charge 5 to keep a similar design to the Charge 4, with a slim rectangular display (Image credit: Fitbit)
Fitbit Charge 5 leaks and news
It’s still very early days, so there aren’t really any leaks or rumors surrounding the Fitbit Charge 5 yet. However, we can make a few educated guesses about its features
What we want to see in the Fitbit Charge 5
The Charge 4 was one of the first Fitbit devices to offer on-board GPS, and we expect the Charge 5 to keep this key feature. We also anticipate it will have a very similar shape and size to previous Charge devices. Fitbit has a track record of only making minor changes to its designs over multiple generations (the Fitbit Charge 3 and 4 are almost identical, as are the Versa 2 and 3), so a big makeover is unlikely.
Nevertheless, there are several new features we’d like to see when the Charge 5 eventually lands. We can’t be sure we’ll see any of these, but we’ll be keeping our fingers firmly crossed.
A higher resolution color display
It’s a sensible choice when it comes to power usage, but the Fitbit Charge 4’s black and white display looks dated – especially compared to cheaper fitness trackers like the Huawei Band 3 Pro and Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5, which are just as small and boast full-color screens. More colors would allow the Fitbit Charge 5 to display multiple stats more clearly, while retaining the same neat form factor.
A higher resolution display would also be an advantage. We wouldn’t expect a screen this size to be useful for mapping, but more pixels per inch would mean we could see more text on-screen for smartphone notifications and stats.
The Huawei Band 3 Pro has a bright full-color display; we’d like to see a similar screen on the Fitbit Charge 5 (Image credit: Huawei)
EDA stress monitoring
The standout feature of the Fitbit Sense is its ability to measure stress levels by monitoring electrodermal activity (EDA). Most fitness trackers that claim to measure stress do so by monitoring heart rate variability (and the Charge 4 can do this), but EDA scanning is a novel tool, and one that would make the Fitbit Charge 5 really stand out from its rivals.
Stress management is an important part of overall wellbeing, and the Fitbit app already allows you to keep a mood diary, so this would be a great addition.
The Fitbit Sense uses an EDA sensor to effectively measure stress levels on demand. Implementing the same tech in the Fitbit Charge 5 would make it really stand out from its rivals (Image credit: Fitbit)
Guided breathing sessions
The Fitbit Charge 4 can measure your breathing rate, and you can check it later in the Fitbit app on your phone, but why stop there?
One of the features we appreciate most on modern fitness trackers like the Fitbit Versa 3 and Garmin Lily is the addition of guided breathing sessions, which encourage you to take a minute or two during stressful situations to sit quietly and calm your breathing, bringing your heart rate down. It would work neatly together with EDA stress monitoring as described above.
Fitbit’s electrocardiogram (ECG) app has been approved by the appropriate medical administrations in most countries, but so far the Fitbit Sense is the only device that actually has an ECG sensor.
It’s a very handy tool that can help give you an early warning about atrial fibrillation, which can be a starting point for a conversation with your doctor.
The Apple Watch was one of the first wearables to feature an ECG app, and it would be a great addition to the Fitbit Charge 5 (Image credit: Apple)
An Infinity band
This would be a small upgrade, but a welcome one. Fitness trackers are increasingly intended for 24-hour use, with a raft of features and tools for monitoring your wellbeing at night. The Fitbit Charge 4’s standard strap is fine, but it’s not quite as comfortable as the super-soft Infinity Band found on the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3, which has no conventional buckle and is made entirely of soft silicone. It makes a real difference to comfort at night, and we were able to forget we were wearing it.