The new Fitbit Charge 5 might just be the perfect fitness tracker

Fitbit Luxe
(Image credit: Fitbit)

It looks as though the Fitbit Charge 5 will soon be arriving on our wrists, and from what we've seen so far, it might be the best fitness tracker around. 

The Fitbit Charge 4 made a splash when it arrived in March 2020. Although it looked almost identical to the Charge 3, it had one huge upgrade hidden inside its plastic case: on-board GPS.

This was a great boon for runners, who might normally have steered clear of Fitbit devices due to their reliance on 'connected GPS'. This means using your phone's GPS to determine your location, which isn't particularly accurate and means you have to carry your handset while running.

Fitbit Charge 4

The Fitbit Charge 4's standout feature was its on-board GPS (Image credit: Fitbit)

While the Charge 4 wasn't the first Fitbit with its own GPS chip – the Fitbit Ionic had one as well, as did its predecessor, the Fitbit Surge – the Charge 4 was much smaller, with a narrow rectangular screen that made it unobtrusive to wear when working out, or just roaming around the house. 

It was a great device for anyone who was just getting serious about their running, but wasn't quite ready to make the jump to a dedicated running watch.

Brighter and better

Overall, the Charge 4 was an excellent little fitness tracker, but is wasn't without its flaws. For us, the biggest drawback was its low resolution monochrome display, which was functional enough, but could only show a limited amount of information at once (particularly troublesome for app notifications), and just wasn't very attractive.

It looks like the Charge 5 will change all that, with a crisp color display that may well be the same as that of the Fitbit Luxe. It's not possible to say what technology is being used at this point (the leaked images are renders rather than photos, and the on-screen images are simulated) but if the Charge 5 does indeed sport the same AMOLED display as the Luxe, it'll be an enormous upgrade.

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The Charge has also received a major redesign, if the renders are accurate. The smooth metal case and soft colors shown in the leaked renders follow the Biologic Industrial Design Language used by the Fitbit Versa 3, Sense, Inspire 2, and Luxe – a look that the company says is "inspired by and designed for the human body".

In fact, the new Charge 5 shares a surprising amount of DNA with the Luxe – a watch whose main selling point is its sleek, chic design. The main differences are that the Charge 5's case sits completely flush with the band, and the Charge 5 has a soft 'infinity band' rather than a strap with a buckle.

Woman wearing Fitbit Luxe

The Fitbit Luxe has a soft silicone band, metal case, and small color display – features the Charge 5 looks set to inherit (Image credit: Fitbit)

We're not expecting to see a jewelry-style metal bracelet for the Charge 5 either; it wouldn't be a very practical choice for workouts, and we doubt Fitbit would want to dilute the Luxe's appeal too much.

Our only real complaint about the Luxe was its lack of on-board GPS. By combining its looks with the fitness chops of the Charge 4, Fitbit could have a real winner of its hands. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)