Fitbit Charge 5 has a new smart feature that could be quite a relief

Fitbit Charge 5
(Image credit: Fitbit)

Fitbit quietly added an important feature to its Charge 5 activity trackers and it’s all about tracking your phone, instead of you.

The latest firmware, version 57.20001.171.50, which arrived on Tuesday, adds the ability to ping your paired smartphone and make it emit a loud noise in order to find it. After using the “find phone” button, hitting the “cancel” prompt on the Fitbit Charge 5 will stop the noise.

The feature isn’t new to Fitbit, but previously it was exclusive to the company’s smartwatches such as the Versa and Sense lineups. Naturally, the use of the feature requires a phone to be paired via Bluetooth, within close range of the watch, and running the Fitbit app running in the background. The find phone feature should work on any phone that supports Fitbit’s app.

Quietly adding utility

While it’s odd that, Fitbit, which is now owned by Google, didn't make a big deal about the Charge 5's newfound phone-finding capability, it is the only notable feature in this firmware update. Fitbit’s own Versa smartwatch lineup is similarly priced when on sale, so it is possible that the company didn’t announce the feature loudly because it doesn’t want to cannibalize Versa sales.

Nevertheless, the feature does add more utility (nothing like finding that misplaced iPhone) to the already value-oriented fitness tracker and gives those who don’t want a full-fledged smartwatch another way to find a misplaced smartphone. Fitbit also has the benefit of not being locked to a specific ecosystem. Samsung and Apple watches have similar features, but they're only for Samsung and Apple phones respectively.

If you're thinking about this or other, new smart wearables you should check out TechRadar's latest roundup of fitness trackers.

Luke Little
Freelance Contributor

Luke is a nerd through and through. His two biggest passions are video games and tech, with a tertiary interest in cooking and the gadgets involved in that process. He spends most of his time between those three things, chugging through a long backlog of games he was too young to experience when they first came out. He'll talk your ear off about game preservation, negative or positive influences on certain tech throughout its history, or even his favorite cookware if you let him.