The Fitbit Charge 6 has been announced and Google’s fingerprints are all over the new fitness tracker that now features Google Maps and Google Pay, and which allows you to control the playback of YouTube Music on your phone.
This is still a fitness-focused device and so other key upgrades from the Fitbit Charge 5 include a heart rate sensor that Fitbit says is the most accurate it’s ever had in one of its trackers. There are also 20 new sports modes available, including CrossFit and HIIT.
The new heart rate sensor is intended to be particularly useful during vigorous workouts, such as HIIT sessions, where Fitbit says it is 60% more accurate than previous sensors. You can now broadcast your heart rate data from the Fitbit Charge 6, so you’ll be able to see it live on cardio machines from Peloton, NordicTrack and Concept2.
While it looks similar to the Fitbit Charge 5, the Charge 6 adds a haptic feedback button, which will hopefully make it easier to navigate the fitness tracker’s menus. A Zoom Magnifier accessibility feature has been added and this allows you to get larger text on the device.
The Fitbit Charge 6 is now clearly a Google device: this starts with the fact you need a Google account to use it, though it still works with iOS and Android phones. The addition of Google Pay and turn-by-turn directions through Google Maps makes it the smartest Charge yet, and useful features have been lifted from the Google Pixel Watch.
It’s now possible to control music playback on YouTube Music on your phone, if you have a YouTube Music premium account. This is still a somewhat limited feature compared with other devices, most of which can store music, or at least control music on your phone from any source.
You can order the Fitbit Charge 6 now and shipping is to start on October 12th. It costs $159.95 in the US and £139.99 in the UK. That makes it $10/£10 more expensive than the Charge 5 costs now—though the Charge 5 did have an RRP of $179.95/£169.99 on its launch.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.