Written by Lieze

Compare the Fitbit Charge 4 to the Fitbit Charge 3

On 31 March 2020, Fitbit launched the successor to the extremely popular Charge 3: the Fitbit Charge 4. Although there is hardly any innovation in design, the Charge 4 is a worthy successor. The activity tracker has everything the Charge 3 has and more. For example, the long-awaited integrated GPS receiver and Fitbit Pay function. We delve deeper into the similarities and differences here.

Fitbit Charge 4

Measure heart rate, sleep, and calories burned | Integrated GPS for route registration | Displays smartphone notifications
in stock
  • Leave your phone at home while running, because the Charge 4 records the route you take.
  • You can make contactless payments with your watch via Fitbit Pay.
  • Train effectively, because the Fitbit measures the intensity of your effort.
  • You'll receive a weekly email with your performance of that week.
  • Doesn't have an always-on screen.

Fitbit Charge 3

Measures heart rate and sleep | Integrated GPS for route registration | Displays smartphone notifications
no longer available
  • You'll receive a weekly email with your performance of that week.
  • With the integrated heart rate sensor, the tracker measures your heart rate via your wrist.
  • The display of the Charge 3 shows notifications and updates that you receive on your smartphone.
  • You have bring your smartphone on a run to record your distance, speed, and route.
  • You can only make contactless payments with the special editions of this watch.

Comparison Fitbit Charge 4 and Charge 3

Charge 4 Charge 3
GPS Integrated Via smartphone
Fitbit Pay Yes Only special editions
Heart rate zones Yes No
Sleep mode Yes No


Fitbit Charge 4 GPS app

Charge 4: integrated GPS receiver, leave smartphone at home

The main difference between the two Fitbit models is that the Charge 4 has an integrated GPS receiver. That means the tracker receives a GPS signal independently and without intervention from your smartphone. It records your distance, speed, and route when you run, hike, or cycle outside. You can leave your smartphone at home.

Charge 3 on wrist runner

Charge 3: uses signal smartphone

The Charge 3 doesn't have an integrated GPS receiver like the Charge 4, but a GPS sensor instead. Do you want to register your distance, speed, and route while exercising outside? You have to bring your smartphone. The tracker can then use the GPS signal from your smartphone. This will drain the battery of your smartphone quickly, though.

Fitbit Pay

Charge 4 contactless payment

Charge 4: contactless payment

The Fitbit Charge 4 has Fitbit Pay, which allows you to make contactless payments. That's easy, because you no longer have to take your bank card out of your wallet. You'll also always have money with you, for example during a bootcamp class at the park. Afterwards, you can buy a bottle of water to cool down, while your wallet is safely at home. Note: you can only make contactless payments if your bank supports Fitbit Pay. View 'required bank account' on the product page or go to the full list to see all affiliated banks.

Charge 3 contactless payment

Charge 3: contactless payment with special editions only

Fitbit Pay isn't supported on the regular Charge 3, but only on the special editions. That's because the special editions have an integrated Near Field Communication chip. This NFC chip is required to connect to card readers that support wireless payment. Do you want to make a contactless payment? Choose the Fitbit Charge 3 special edition or the Fitbit Charge 4. Make sure that your bank supports Fitbit Pay, otherwise you still won't be able to use it.

Heart rate zones

Charge 4 Acitve Zones in app

Charge 4: measures exercise intensity based on heart rate

The Fitbit Charge 4 measures your activities smarter. It measures which heart rate zone you're in and for how long. Fitbit calls this 'Minutes in Active Zones'. The World Health Organization recommends training 150 minutes in moderate intensity or 75 minutes in high intensity every week to stay healthy. Thanks to the Fitbit Charge 4, you can keep track of whether you've already done that. You can also see whether you're training in the right heart rate zone to achieve your goal during exercise, such as losing weight or improving your stamina.

Runner with Charge 3

Charge 3: doesn't measure heart rate zones

The Charge 3 measures your activities, such as your steps, stairs, and workouts, but not your heart rate zone. As a result, you don't know whether you're training correctly for the goal you have in mind. Do you want to lose weight? You have to train in heart rate zone 2, for example. You'll be at 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. In addition, the Charge 3 doesn't measure your 'Number of Minutes in Active Zones' like the Charge 4 does. That function allows the Charge 4 to register how long you train in which heart rate zone, so you can easily keep track of whether you've already complied with the WHO's exercise advice.

Sleep mode

Charge 4 sleep mode

Charge 4: sleep mode for a good night's sleep

It's not a new feature for a smartwatch, but the Charge 4 has a sleep mode. This mode allows you to temporarily switch off notifications and the screen. This way, you can measure your sleep at night without the activity tracker disturbing you.

Charge 3 sleep mode

Charge 3 no sleep mode

Even though the Charge 3 does measure your sleep, it doesn't have a special sleep mode that temporarily turns off notifications and the screen. You can turn off the notifications, but not directly via the watch. Some people are bothered by the glowing screen at night.


Charge 4: 26 grams

It's striking that the design is identical to the Charge 3. The only difference is that the Charge 4 weighs 26 grams, which is a lot lighter. This is an advantage at night, but also during the day. The Charge 4 still has a black and white OLED screen without an always-on option.

Charge 3: 51 grams

Apparently, the design of the Charge 3 was so successful that Fitbit didn't change the appearance. Except for the colors. There is one big difference, though. The Charge 3 weighs 51 grams, which is almost twice as much as the Charge 4. In addition, the Charge 3 doesn't have an always-on screen.


Even though there are few differences, the Charge 4 is a worthy successor. The Charge 4 has everything the Charge 3 has and more. For example, it has an integrated GPS function to record your distance, speed, and route during exercise. In addition, all Charge 4 models support Fitbit Pay. Not just the special edition, like the Charge 3. Compared to the Charge 3, the Charge 4 is also a lot lighter, as it only weighs 26 grams.

Article by:
Lieze Watch Expert.

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