Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
Fitbit Charge 6: Everything we know and what we want to see
The Fitbit Charge series is the company’s longest-running device line packing plenty of health tracking kit into a slim body. The latest addition to this series came in 2021 — the Fitbit Charge 5 — so we’re well due for a new model. But is the company planning a Fitbit Charge 6? We’ve gathered everything we know about the fitness tracker, including what we hope to see further down.
Fitbit Charge 6: Everything we know
Will there be a Fitbit Charge 6?
We’d be pretty surprised if Fitbit canned its Charge line. It’s among the more popular and recognized Fitbit series that also includes some of the best fitness trackers in the business. However, the Charge series has been among the company’s least active of late.
Fitbit failed to launch a new Charge model alongside the Sense 2, Versa 4, and Inspire 3 at its August 2022 event, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the Charge 6 won’t debut at all. Fitbit is known for its unpredictable launch schedule, so it’s not a huge concern that the Charge 6 didn’t launch exactly a year after the Charge 5. In fact, the company also skipped a year before launching the latest Versa model.
When will the Fitbit Charge 6 release date be?
- Fitbit Charge: November 2014
- Fitbit Charge HR: January 2015
- Fitbit Charge 2: September 2016
- Fitbit Charge 3: August 2018
- Fitbit Charge 4: March 2020
- Fitbit Charge 5: August 2021
Fitbit missed the first anniversary of the Charge 5, so there’s no telling when the Charge 6 may break cover.
Looking at previous Charge device launches, there’s no particular pattern to note. The Charge 3 launched two years before the Charge 4, and neither debuted in the same month. The Charge 3 and Charge 5 both launched in August. Going back a little further, Fitbit launched the Charge 2 in September 2016. It’s difficult to predict a launch date with no discernible pattern to work off of.
As we mentioned in the previous section, it took Fitbit nearly two years to launch its Sense sequel. If it does the same with the Charge series, we could expect a Charge 6 to debut in August 2023.
Drawing on previous launch dates is definitely not a surefire way to predict the future. For now, we have to adopt a wait-and-see approach. A Fitbit device with NFC did pass through the FCC in August 2022, but there aren’t enough details in the listing to confirm that it is the Fitbit Charge 6.
What specs and features will the Fitbit Charge 6 have?
Like Apple and Samsung, Fitbit has adopted an evolution-over-revolution approach with its more recent devices. The days of wild aesthetic tweaks are seemingly over.
The Sense 2 and Versa 4 are similar to their predecessors, while the Inspire 3 is the spitting image of the Luxe. Given this evidence, we expect the Fitbit Charge 6 to look much like the Charge 5.
There’s some evidence to support this, too. According to a 9to5Google source, the Fitbit Charge 6 “is near identical” to the Charge 5. It’s great news regarding band compatibility and pricing, but it may give Charge 5 owners little reason to upgrade. This also suggests we can expect a compact form factor, curved glass facade, and bright AMOLED screen to return.
Fitness and smart features
We expect the Fitbit Charge 6 to be the pinnacle fitness tracker in the company’s range. This means building on the Charge 5, which crammed most of the Sense’s features into a slimmer body. If Fitbit sticks to this play, we could see some core Sense 2 features make their way onto the Charge 6.
The most exciting addition would be the addition of the continuous body response (cEDA) sensor. This would allow for all-day automatic stress monitoring by testing electrical current changes prompted by sweat on the skin. The Charge 5 does have an EDA sensor, but it can only provide manual spot readings making it far less useful. It’s worth noting that the cEDA sensor chews through the battery on the Sense 2, so Fitbit would have to bolster the Charge 6’s battery size in response.
Beyond this, the Fitbit Charge 6 should include the standard fitness tracking kit, from a heart rate monitor and SpO2 sensor to sleep tracking.
In regards to non-fitness features, there’s a good chance the Charge 6 could have a contactless payment option like the Charge 5. The FCC listing mentioned in 9to5Google‘s report says that the unnamed device has Bluetooth and NFC. Since the Charge 5 was the only line to offer wireless payments, it’s likely the listing refers to the Charge 6.
Now under Google’s wing, you can expect the Fitbit Charge 6 to lock these features behind a Google account login. From June 6, Google sign-ins will be mandatory for new Fitbit users, while exiting users can opt to continue logging in with their Fitbit account until 2025.
What will the Fitbit Charge 6 price be?
The latest line of Fitbit devices has not seen a sharp price increase. The Sense 2, Versa 4, and Inspire 3 cost the same as their predecessors at launch. If this is the case with the Fitbit Charge 6, we can expect a $179 asking price on debut. That’s a little steeper than most fitness trackers in the market, so we’ll have to see if the company has room to slice a few digits off that fee.
Considering that the Inspire 3 looks an awful lot like the Luxe, it’s unclear if Fitbit would bother launching a Luxe sequel. This would free up the $149 price point for the new Charge model and regain some much needed goodwill from the Fitbit community.
Fitbit Charge 6: What we want to see
The return of the altimeter
Despite a laundry list of upgrades, Fitbit stripped the Charge 5 of this underappreciated Charge 4 feature. The altimeter helped the Charge 4 and its owners keep tabs on elevation and floors climbed. It was a great metric for hikers, climbers, and those who live in high rises. However, for some unclear reason, Fitbit nixed this feature on the Charge 5.
Since the Charge line tends to gain new fitness features each year, Fitbit must include an altimeter on the Charge 6. Not only will it make the tracker a worthwhile upgrade over the Charge 5, but it’ll also make it a complete fitness tracker for those who train in undulating areas.
Continuous EDA smarts
As mentioned above, Fitbit included several Sense-exclusive features on the Charge 5, including the ECG, skin temperature sensor, and EDA sensor. The latter recently received an update on the Sense 2, which now monitors EDA activity continuously. This continuous body response sensor makes for more intuitive stress tracking.
This feature on the Charge 6 would be a great addition to the Charge 5’s health tracking kit and give it a leg up on its fitness tracker rivals. In reality, it’s also the only readily-available and major new sensor Fitbit could add to the device to set it apart from its predecessor.
Better battery life
The Charge 5 took a considerable battery life hit when it gained a new sensor loadout and bright AMOLED screen. It was a sore point during our review. With the always-on display activated and screen brightness and vibrations set to their maximum, we got just 72 hours from a single charge. The Charge 6 needs more robust battery life to keep pace with more affordable smartwatches and cheaper fitness trackers.
It’s unclear how Fitbit could achieve this. It’ll have to expand the Charge 6’s dimensions to fit a bigger battery. This seems unlikely, given the rumor of its identical design to the Charge 5.
The Fitbit Charge 4 launched with rudimentary Spotify controls that let Premium subscribers control tracks playing on their phones. This feature was stripped entirely from the Charge 5, while the band also failed to gain any universal music controls that would let users stop, pause, or skip tracks on their phones.
In 2023, this would be almost unforgivable. Traditionally, the Charge series has lacked music controls, but its high time Fitbit adds this to its premier fitness tracker line. This is especially true considering that almost all its competitors at or below its price bracket, like the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 and HUAWEI Band 7, include music controls.
Looking at the Fitbit range at large, we don’t expect music controls to make a return. The Sense 2 and Versa 4 launched without this feature, so we doubt Fitbit would include it on the Charge 6. Nevertheless, we can dream.
Google app support
Now that Google is establishing itself as Fitbit’s owner, we’d like to see some more of the company’s features on the Charge 6. Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation support would likely make it the cheapest new tracker with this feature. Adding Google Assistant for on-the-fly queries, Google Wallet for payments, and Google Home controls for smart home commands would sweeten the deal.
It seems unlikely we’ll get Assistant support on the Charge 6 when the Sense 2 and Versa 4 did not. However, it would give the Charge 6 some welcome Pixel Watch-like utility.
That’s everything we want to see from the Fitbit Charge 6. Which features do you hope for most? Let us know by voting in the poll below.