Fitbit’s $160 fitness tracker is way better than I expected

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Someone wearing a Fitbit Charge 6 pinch a coral band.

Fitbit Charge 6

MSRP $160.00

“The Fitbit Charge 6 offers fantabulous wellness search and adjuvant Google apps successful a sleek creation — and astatine an unthinkable price.”


  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Robust health-tracking tools
  • Built-in GPS
  • Google apps activity well
  • Fast, responsive software
  • Nearly a week of artillery life


  • Unreliable notifications
  • No section euphony storage
  • Many features require Fitbit Premium

This autumn has been a engaged 1 for Google. The institution has released 2 caller smartphones, a caller smartwatch, and a caller type of Android. But there’s thing other that slipped done nan cracks amid each that: nan Fitbit Charge 6.

The Fitbit Charge 6 was announced successful September, and it was quickly buried nether much breathtaking announcements for nan Google Pixel 8, Google Pixel 8 Pro, and nan Google Pixel Watch 2. But to wholly place nan Fitbit Charge 6 would beryllium a mistake. I’ve been wearing it for a small complete a week, and for a $160 fittingness tracker, it’s an awesome package.

Before you spell and walk $350 connected nan latest Pixel Watch aliases different smartwatch, here’s why you whitethorn want to see nan Fitbit Charge 6 instead.

Why I emotion wearing nan Fitbit Charge 6

After wearing nan Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 earlier this year, swapping to nan Fitbit Charge 6 came arsenic a spot of a shock. I’ve been utilizing 2 of nan biggest and heaviest smartwatches you tin buy, and going to nan Fitbit Charge 6’s small, petite creation threw maine for a curve — but a very bully one!

The Fitbit Charge 6 looks a batch for illustration nan Fitbit Charge 5 that came earlier it. It has a accepted fittingness set style pinch a 1.04-inch AMOLED surface and an aluminum body. It doesn’t push fittingness locator creation successful a bold, caller direction, but it useful very well. I’ve recovered nan Charge 6 incredibly comfy to wear, nan surface looks great, and nan included silicone set feels very nice. I often forgot I was wearing nan tracker, which is possibly nan champion compliment I tin springiness its design.

The broadside of nan Fitbit Charge 6, showing its button.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I besides really for illustration nan broadside fastener connected nan Fitbit Charge 6. It’s not a mechanical button, but it looks for illustration a button, and pressing it gives you haptic feedback (sort of for illustration nan Home fastener connected nan iPhone 7). You tin property it to aftermath nan Charge 6’s surface aliases spell backmost to your watch look erstwhile you’re successful a paper aliases an app. Fitbit removed nan fastener connected nan Charge 5, and I’m thrilled to spot it make a return here.

Although Fitbit hasn’t created immoderate caller health-tracking features for nan Fitbit Charge 6, each of nan accustomed suspects are here. The large upgrade this twelvemonth is an improved bosom complaint sensor that Google claims is 60% much meticulous than that of erstwhile Charge models and offers nan “most meticulous bosom complaint connected a Fitbit locator yet.”

The backmost of nan Fitbit Charge 6, showing its bosom complaint sensor.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Whether going connected outdoor walks and moving connected a treadmill indoors, nan Fitbit Charge 6’s bosom complaint readings are often correct successful statement pinch nan bosom complaint I get from my Oura Ring — sometimes wrong a azygous hit per minute. Some workouts person had larger variances, but that’s usually nan lawsuit erstwhile comparing immoderate 2 wearables broadside byside. It’s been a while since I past wore a Fitbit, truthful I can’t speak excessively overmuch to really nan Charge 6’s readings comparison to older models, but I’ve been really pleased pinch its capacity here.

Beyond search your bosom rate, each of nan health/fitness features you’d expect are present. The Fitbit Charge 6 tracks your steps, has complete 40 workout modes to take from, and tin automatically observe prime workouts (like stepping and running). Some different highlights include:

  • Sleep tracking
  • SpO2 tracking
  • Heart complaint variability (HRV)
  • High and debased bosom complaint notifications
  • Irregular bosom hit notifications
  • ECG app
  • EDA Scan app (for accent management)

The bully news is that each of this useful arsenic advertised. I really for illustration Fitbit’s slumber tracking; it gives you an easy-to-understand slumber people that’s based connected your clip asleep, slumber stages, movement, and bosom rate. Fitbit’s slumber people is often much generous than my Oura Ring, but it ne'er feels for illustration it’s wholly disconnected base. And while I dream I ne'er person to usage them, it’s awesome having irregular bosom hit notifications connected specified an affordable fittingness tracker.

I often forgot I was wearing nan Fitbit Charge 6.

I’ve besides been happy pinch nan wide capacity of nan Fitbit Charge 6. The raise-to-wake motion for nan show useful well, and swiping done nan personification interface is very snappy. I expected it to beryllium a spot sluggish, but it’s honestly arsenic accelerated arsenic I could person asked for.

ECG app connected nan Fitbit Charge 6.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

There’s 1 different point I really emotion astir nan Fitbit Charge 6, and that’s nan artillery life. I began wearing nan Fitbit Charge 6 astatine 9:50 p.m. connected Friday, October 13, pinch nan artillery afloat charged to 100%. It wasn’t until 9:50 p.m. Thursday, October 19, that nan Charge 6’s artillery yet sewage down to 16%.

That was pinch slumber search each nighttime and six recorded workouts — including a operation of outdoor walks, treadmill runs, and spot training.  This was besides pinch nan always-on show turned off. You tin move it connected to ever spot nan clip without having to pat nan surface aliases raise your wrist, but if you do this, expect that to trim into your artillery life a bit.

The Fitbit Charge 6 besides recharges reasonably quickly. The proprietary charger magnetically attaches to nan backmost of nan locator and takes it from zero to 100% successful astir an hr and 20 minutes.

Good news for Google fans

A paper stored successful Google Wallet connected nan Fitbit Charge 6.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Along pinch its improved bosom complaint tracking, nan different large communicative astir nan Fitbit Charge 6 is really it’s been Google-ified. There are a number of Google apps now disposable connected nan Charge 6, including Google Wallet, Google Maps, and YouTube Music.

Google Wallet replaces Fitbit Pay and allows you to make contactless payments pinch your in installments aliases debit card. Swipe down from nan apical of nan Charge 6, pat nan Google Wallet icon, and you’re fresh to pay. It’s worked flawlessly each clip I’ve utilized it.

Google Maps besides hasn’t fixed maine immoderate issues. When you commencement turn-by-turn navigation connected Google Maps connected your phone, you tin pat an icon connected nan Fitbit Charge 6 to reflector nan directions from your telephone connected nan locator — including vibration alerts erstwhile you request to turn, get disconnected an exit, etc. I recovered nan alerts to beryllium somewhat delayed compared to utilizing Apple Maps navigation pinch an Apple Watch, but it’s still a bully summation to have.

What astir YouTube Music? Similar to Google Maps, starting a opus connected YouTube Music connected your telephone allows you to pause, resume, and skip tracks connected nan Charge 6. However, this YouTube Music app is exclusively for controlling playback connected your phone. There’s nary measurement to download songs from YouTube Music, aliases immoderate euphony app, for that matter, onto nan Fitbit Charge 6.

As overmuch arsenic I would person liked to person section euphony storage, it is breathtaking to spot each of these Google services trickle down to nan Fitbit Charge 6. Google Wallet supports much cards than Fitbit Pay did, Google Maps has proven useful a mates of times during my testing, and though I don’t personally usage YouTube Music, it’s a awesome add-on for anyone who does. It’d beryllium moreover amended if it supported offline playback, but I digress.

The caller Fitbit app

The location page of nan Fitbit app connected an Android phone.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

While you tin position galore of your health/fitness stats straight connected nan Fitbit Charge 6, nan main measurement you interact pinch this information is done nan Fitbit mobile app — which received a important redesign earlier this year.

The halfway creation of nan app is mostly nan aforesaid arsenic before. On nan Today page, you spot your superior extremity astatine nan apical of nan screen, immoderate secondary ones beneath it, and a database beneath that detailing your different wellness data. Fitbit now offers a fewer different “focus” options to alteration nan 4 goals astatine nan apical of nan page, aliases you tin create your ain civilization attraction and prime whichever metrics are astir important to you. From there, you tin show, hide, and rearrange each of your different wellness information further down connected nan page.

The Fitbit app moving connected an Android phone.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I emotion really overmuch power Fitbit gives you complete really nan Today page looks. You tin prioritize nan accusation you attraction astir nan most, hide what you don’t attraction about, and nan UI for this is each ace intuitive — conscionable pat nan pencil icon connected nan Today page and you’re fresh to commencement customizing things.

The different 2 pages, Coach and You, besides activity well. Coach is wherever you’ll find each of Fitbit Premium’s guided workouts and mindfulness sessions. The room has a really generous magnitude of contented to sift through, and you tin easy hunt for workouts by activity type, duration, your preferred instructor, and more. The You page offers shortcuts to your individual wellness goals, Fitbit friends, and badges.

Overall, I deliberation this updated Fitbit app looks rather nice. You’re still seeing nan aforesaid information arsenic before, but galore of nan pages person been updated pinch a much modern, simplified look. The Fitbit app ever felt outdated to me, and this update does a (mostly) bully occupation of cleaning things up. There are a fewer pages present and location that still usage nan aged app design, but for nan astir part, this is simply a invited change. Now conscionable springiness maine a acheronian mode, Fitbit. Please.

A fewer nagging issues

Notification connected nan Fitbit Charge 6.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I’ve been amazingly happy pinch nan Fitbit Charge 6, but location are a fewer issues that clasp it backmost from being a location run. My biggest gripe is that notifications are extremely unreliable. During my first time pinch nan Charge 6, I was confused arsenic to why I wasn’t getting any notifications from my Google Pixel 8 Pro. As it turns out, you person to manually alteration notifications from nan Fitbit app and past prime which apps connected your telephone that you want to nonstop notifications to nan tracker. This isn’t explained anyplace during nan setup process, and figuring it retired took maine longer than I’d for illustration to admit.

However, moreover aft enabling notifications, I’ve still had problem pinch them. Some days, notifications are sent to nan Charge 6 without responsibility and activity arsenic intended. On different days, I don’t person immoderate notifications astatine each — contempt not changing immoderate settings. In my experience, notifications person agelong been hit-or-miss pinch Fitbits, and that doesn’t look to person changed pinch nan Fitbit Charge 6.

I already mentioned it above, but nan deficiency of section euphony retention connected nan Fitbit Charge 6 really is simply a bummer. The locator has built-in GPS, opening up nan anticipation of going connected runs aliases walks without hauling your telephone pinch you, but not offering immoderate measurement to shop songs connected it conscionable kills that convenience for me.

Fitbit Coach page connected nan Fitbit app.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Finally, I don’t emotion really galore features are locked down Fitbit Premium. You don’t need Fitbit Premium successful bid to usage nan Fitbit Charge 6, but galore of its champion features are locked down nan subscription — including your Daily Readiness Score, guided in-app workouts, in-depth sleep- and stress-tracking data, mindfulness sessions, and more. If you’re willing successful buying nan Fitbit Charge 6, you should scheme connected getting a Fitbit Premium subscription if you want to get nan astir retired of it.

Fitbit Charge 6 value and availability

The Fitbit Charge 6 connected nan Google Store.Google

The Fitbit Charge 6 is disposable for acquisition now. It costs $160 and is disposable successful 3 styles: an obsidian set pinch a achromatic aluminum case, a porcelain set pinch a metallic case, aliases a coral set pinch a champagne golden case. You tin bargain it from nan Google Store, Fitbit’s website, and retailers for illustration Amazon and Best Buy.

The Fitbit Charge 6 besides comes pinch a six-month free proceedings to Fitbit Premium, a $60 value. After that, Fitbit Premium costs $10 a month.

The main workout surface connected nan Google Pixel Watch 2.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

How does each of that stack up to nan competition? The Pixel Watch 2 besides uses Fitbit’s health/fitness platform, but you get a mates of further sensors (a somesthesia sensor and a continuous EDA sensor), positive a full-fledged Wear OS smartwatch experience. However, astatine $350, it’s besides considerably much costly — and it’s taxable to nan aforesaid Fitbit Premium membership.

Another action to see is nan Garmin Vivomove Trend. It’s a hybrid watch that looks great, shows basal wellness information connected a hidden screen, and useful pinch nan fantabulous Garmin Connect app — giving you entree to a wide scope of wellness search tools, each without immoderate subscription needed.

Should you bargain nan Fitbit Charge 6?

Someone wearing a Fitbit Charge 6.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I’ll beryllium honest: I didn’t expect to beryllium each that impressed by nan Fitbit Charge 6. On paper, it’s nan slightest absorbing of Google’s astir caller hardware releases, and it doesn’t look each that different from nan Charge 5.

The Fitbit Charge 6 really amazed me.

But aft wearing and surviving pinch nan Fitbit Charge 6, I’m happy to admit that it really amazed me. If you don’t want to deterioration a smartwatch, but still want to way your wellness and fittingness — and pinch beautiful broad fittingness search astatine that — nan Fitbit Charge 6 is simply a awesome option. It’s comfortable, has conscionable astir each health/fitness characteristic you could inquire for, delivers awesome artillery life, and is paired pinch a very bully companion app. And astatine conscionable $160, it’s 1 of nan amended values retired there. The Fitbit Premium constituent cuts into that a bit, but if you worth what comes pinch nan subscription — from nan other wellness information to nan guided workouts — it’s very overmuch still worthy it.

Not everyone wants a smartwatch. Not everyone wants to walk $300-plus connected a fittingness tracker. Some folks want a wearable that’s small, affordable, and reliably tracks their activity. That’s precisely what you get pinch nan Fitbit Charge 6. If it’s nan type of wearable you’re looking for, it’s 1 of nan amended options you tin get.

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