Google will hold an event on October 4 to announce its slate of new products. Along with the upcoming Google Pixel 8 phones and the Pixel Watch 2 smartwatch, we expect at least one new fitness tracker from Fitbit to be unveiled on the big day.
All the rumors point to the new Fitbit being the long-awaited Fitbit Charge 6. The Fitbit Charge line is Fitbit’s best device in the traditional sense, as it’s the best band-style fitness tracker. It’s able to track your rides and trips more accurately using GPS and features a large AMOLED display (well, big for a bar-style tracker anyway).
Fitbit’s other bands are the Inspire (its cheapest line with a simple display and no GPS) and the Luxe (its trendy mid-range offering with interchangeable jewelery-inspired bands), with the Fitbit Versa 4 and Fitbit Sense 2 smartwatches filling out the rest of the range. We’ve been thinking the Fitbit Charge 6 was coming for a while, but 9to5Google reportedly spoke to sources familiar with the matter who reported that the Charge 6 would arrive during Google’s big event in October.
Sources also share several exciting rumors about the new Charge 6 features. For starters, the Charge 6 will reportedly get a physical button. The Fitbit Charge 3 and 4 featured a haptic feedback button indentation, but the Fitbit Charge 5 went buttonless with an all-touch interface. The physical button will likely be similar to the rectangular button found on the Sense 2 and Versa 4 smartwatches.
From a software standpoint, the Fitbit Charge 6 will reportedly get Google Maps, as well as its GPS credentials, along with YouTube Music. It makes sense to keep everything on Google, but I’m interested in the new freedom this could give Fitbit users if they want to go running without their phone, particularly listening to a workout playlist from your tracker and getting step-by-step in-ear navigation prompts.
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I’ve long wanted voice navigation prompts from competitors like Garmin, which allow you to create a course but are frustrating because you have to check the map on your watch if you feel like you’re about to make a wrong turn. Integrating this capacity into the Fitbit Charge 6, using Google Maps as a base, instantly makes it a go-to option if, like me, you love getting out and exploring new running and bike loop routes around cities and trails.
After the absolute beating we’ve given Fitbit over the past year or so, from the lackluster launch of the Versa 4 and Sense 2 to Google scaling back the Collections and Challenge features, I didn’t think I’d ever get excited about a new Fitbit release again. However, I’m officially looking forward to the Fitbit Charge 6, and if these rumors are true, I’ll be very excited to test it out.
However, Google’s recent data leak scandal may put a bit of a damper on things. It’s currently being sued by a European privacy non-profit over mishandling of sensitive health data — here’s an interactive timeline of Google and Fitbit’s data issues.