The recent journey of Fitbit has been an eventful one, as the company has gone through a period of integration into the Google ecosystem. This integration has been marked by several major server outages, the discontinuation of beloved features, and the cessation of product sales in over a dozen countries. However, amidst this tumultuous period, the launch of the Fitbit Charge 6 earlier this fall brought a ray of hope to long-time users and tech enthusiasts. Priced at $159.95, the Fitbit Charge 6 promises solid fitness and health tracking features, integration with more apps, and the ability to broadcast heart rate to fitness equipment for the first time.
For many, the return of the side button was a major selling point of the Fitbit Charge 6. This feature was notably absent in the previous model, and its return was a welcome change. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the side button is not a traditional mechanical button but rather a haptic button. While it functions adequately, the lack of a physical “click” may be disappointing for enthusiasts of physical buttons. The haptic button also requires more pressure to activate, which may pose challenges for individuals with limited hand dexterity or mobility.
Despite the side button disappointment, the Fitbit Charge 6 excels in its core functionality of fitness and health tracking. It offers features such as GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, SpO2 readings, EKGs, and EDA scans. Additionally, the ability to broadcast heart rate to fitness equipment is a valuable addition, although its compatibility with different machines may vary. The battery life of the Charge 6 is commendable, lasting up to a week with the always-on display off, and around two days with the display enabled.
One of the notable changes brought about by the Google integration is the redesign of the Fitbit app. While the new app design has drawn mixed reactions from long-time Fitbit users, it reflects the influence of Google’s design principles, particularly Material You. The app redesign has been criticized for its minimalist and less readable interface, although Google has made efforts to address some of these concerns by reintroducing previously removed features and adding customization options. Furthermore, the integration requires users to migrate their data to a Google Account, a process that has drawn attention and raised questions among Fitbit users.
In conclusion, the Fitbit Charge 6 represents a significant step in the company’s journey under Google’s ownership. Despite some drawbacks such as the unconventional side button and mixed reactions to the app redesign, the Charge 6 delivers on its promise of reliable fitness and health tracking. The integration of more Google services, gym equipment integration, and an enhanced app layout reflects the changing landscape of wearable technology. As Fitbit continues to navigate its way through this integration, it remains to be seen how its products will evolve and adapt to meet the expectations and needs of its users.