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Fitbit Charge 6 Review

If you just need the basics of daily heart rate, sleep, and some simple GPS tracking, you should consider this model before spending more
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Fitbit Charge 6 Review (The strap design on the Fitbit 6 is comfortable with the tail easily tucked underneath, leaving a smooth wrap look...)
The strap design on the Fitbit 6 is comfortable with the tail easily tucked underneath, leaving a smooth wrap look. Two sizes are provided, S/M and M/L.
Credit: Matthew Richardson
Price:  $160 List
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Manufacturer:   Fitbit
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 3, 2024
61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Accuracy - 30% 7.0
  • Activity Use - 20% 4.0
  • Everyday Use - 15% 7.0
  • Extra Features - 15% 7.0
  • Wearability - 10% 7.0
  • Battery Life - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Fitbit Charge 6 is one of the most simple GPS trackers in our lineup, and it's great for those who want the basics without a huge price tag. The small display isn't great at displaying data, so this model should be viewed more as a tracker and not a watch. The Fitbit mobile app is well-designed and offers easy viewing of your tracked activities as well as items like steps, daily heart rate, and sleep information. If you primarily need to monitor daily health metrics and engage in shorter GPS workouts or runs, this tracker should meet your needs. See how it scored next to other tested options in our best GPS watch review.
REASONS TO BUY
Simple setup
Sleek design
Super lightweight
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Small screen
Difficult to read

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Overall Score Sort Icon
61
82
73
69
61
Star Rating
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Bottom Line Serious athletes should opt for a larger screen so their data is more easily readable, but for the basics, this is a decent optionGreat craftsmanship and design with an updated UI, menu, and AMOLED displayThis watch excels as an affordable GPS companion, offering value and dependable accuracyAn entry-level GPS watch that does everything you need without the advanced features found on the most premium modelsLacking an always-on display is a huge bummer for those who like their like the watch face to be viewable to others, still, this is an acceptable option
Rating Categories Fitbit Charge 6 Suunto Race Coros Pace 3 Garmin Forerunner 55 Amazfit Active Edge
Accuracy (30%)
7.0
9.3
9.0
9.0
7.5
Activity Use (20%)
4.0
8.5
7.5
6.0
6.5
Everyday Use (15%)
7.0
7.5
7.0
7.0
5.0
Extra Features (15%)
7.0
6.5
5.0
5.5
5.0
Wearability (10%)
7.0
9.5
7.5
6.5
6.0
Battery Life (10%)
4.0
6.3
5.4
4.6
4.5
Specs Fitbit Charge 6 Suunto Race Coros Pace 3 Garmin Forerunner 55 Amazfit Active Edge
Measured Main Body Size (Diameter) 23.1 mm 49.0 mm 41.9 mm 42.0 mm 46.5 mm
Measured Thickness 11.2 mm 13.3 mm 11.8 mm 12.5 mm 12.0 mm
Measured Screen Width 20.o mm 36.0 mm 31.0 mm 26.5 mm 33.5 mm
Measured Weight 1.30 oz 2.93 oz 1.50 oz 1.31 oz 1.90 oz
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED MIP MIP TFT
Measured Charging Time 120 min 84 min 113 min 111 min 120 min
Battery Life Claims by Manufacturer Smartwatch mode: up to 7 days In time mode: 26 days
With 24/7 Tracking and Mobile Notifications: 12 days
Training Mode with GPS: 40h / 50h / 70h / 120h
Full GPS: 38 hours - 10 hours with music; All Systems On: 25 hours - 9 hours with music; Dual Frequency: 15 hours - 7 hours with music; Daily Use: 17 days - 15 days with daily stress monitors Smartwatch mode: 2 weeks;
GPS: 20 hours
Smartwatch mode: Up to 16 days; Battery Saver Mode: Up to 24 days; Heavy Usage: Up to 10 days;
GPS: Up to 20 hours
Measured Battery Life with GPS 8 hours 50 hours 34 hours 19 hours 18 hours
Sensors Included Heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen level Heart rate, altimeter, barometer, compass, blood oxygen level Heart rate, altimeter, barometer, compass, blood oxygen level Heart rate Heart rate, blood oxygen level
Navigation None Detailed, back to start Breadcrumb, back to start None Breadcrumb, back to start
Music Options Control only Control only Downloaded control, storage Control only Control only
Touchless Payment Yes No No No Yes - limited
Sleep Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Water Resistance (Max Depth) 50m 100m 50m 50m 100m
Main Software App Fitibt App Suunto Coros App Garmin Connect, widgets for other features Zepp App
Compatible with Other Software Ecosystems Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Watch Face Material Glass Sapphire crystal Mineral Glass Chemically strengthened glass Glass
Battery Type Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion Rechargable lithium ion
Bezel Material Aluminum Stainless steel Glass fiber reinforced polyamide Stainless steel Dual-color plastic
Case Material Resin Glass fiber reinforced polyamide Glass fiber reinforced polyamide Glass fiber reinforced polyamide Dual-color plastic
Strap Material Silicone and aluminum Silicone Silicone Silicone Semi-transparent TPU
Tools Required to Change Band No No No No Yes
Model Tested Standard Stainless steel Standard Standard Standard
Size Tested One size only One size only One size only One size only One size only
Warranty Offered 1 year 2 year 2 year 1 year 1 year

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Fitbit Charge 6 is a simple and affordable GPS tracker, perfect for those prioritizing basic features. Its small display isn't ideal for detailed data, so it functions better as a tracker than a watch. The Fitbit mobile app is user-friendly, providing easy access to your tracked activities, steps, daily heart rate, and sleep information.

Performance Comparison


The Fitbit Charge 6 is perfect for those who just need the basics. Daily health tracking is the priority, but this watch is still a great little GPS tracker for shorter workouts.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Accuracy


We have determined our accuracy rating through a series of tests involving the GPS chipset and heart rate sensor. To evaluate the GPS functionality, each watch was taken on a predetermined 2.8-mile route, and the distance recorded by the watches was compared to the full 2.8-mile distance. As for heart rate assessment, we put a watch on each wrist and went running for half a mile, and these readings were compared to those from our Polar H10 chest strap, known for its scientifically validated accuracy. We performed GPS testing on the same day in similar weather conditions for consistency. The watches were uniformly fastened for heart rate evaluation to maintain a consistent fit. Data was meticulously exported and timestamped to enable a fair comparison between the chest-worn heart rate monitor and the GPS watch.


The accuracy of the Fitbit Charge 6 was slightly off of our control units, +/- 3 BPM, and 0.86 miles on our steep hill test. The unit fared far better on more open trails and matched known trail distances. While these numbers are slightly off, we still feel confident recommending the unit based on our daily experiences. The sleep metrics matched what we observed, and the unit overall accurately displayed heart rate and step counts. While it doesn't boast a huge set of sensors or technologies, the Charge 6 simply works.

fitbit charge 6 - heart rate analysis between the fitbit charge 6 and the polar h10...
Heart rate analysis between the Fitbit Charge 6 and the Polar H10 chest strap.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Activity Use


The smaller screen of the Fitbit Charge 6 makes activity usage more difficult if you want to see what's going on. There is only room to show pace, distance, and time. There are no physical buttons to flip through screens, and the rise to wake is slower than that of other models. This means a lot of attention needs to go into operating the device while on the move.


We can't recommend this model for serious athletes; it's more at home for shorter workouts and for those who don't need a large display. While there are many different sport modes, these don't mean much if the displayed data is difficult to read. You should plan on using the Fitbit to start the workout but do most of your viewing of actual data on the device.

fitbit charge 6 - the fitbit charge 6 isn't the best for activity use since the screen...
The Fitbit Charge 6 isn't the best for activity use since the screen is so small, it's difficult to read especially while running.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Everyday Use


The Fit Charge 6 excels at everyday use, and this is where the unit makes the most sense. It's not trying to be some feature-rich, rugged machine. It's simply trying to track your daily metrics and display them in a nice-looking app. If you don't need multi-day battery or recovery metrics, then really, the Charge 6 could be all you need.


This watch required the least interaction, and we felt less obligated to mess with the model due to its quiet design. The screen really prevents you from getting too into the weeds, and there is little setup that needs to be done. If the thought of setting up a device and customizing it to your liking sounds annoying, then the Charge 6 is for you.

fitbit charge 6 - the fitbit app is well-organized and easy to understand. here you...
The Fitbit App is well-organized and easy to understand. Here you can alter setting, see your latest metrics, and check up on your daily health stats.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Extra Features


The Charge 6 doesn't contain a ton of features, but we are happy items like YouTube Music and Google Pay made it on the device. It shouldn't be a surprise at this point, but the screen really limits any excess. This is especially noticeable when reading notifications, as many scrolls are needed to read a message of any length.


Other daily health metrics are also available, such as stress score, sleep score, and SPO2. Each of these is most easily accessed within the app. The app also contains access to Fitbit's subscription service, which includes recommended workouts and mental well-being exercises. Another nice feature is the turn-by-turn Google Maps directions, which lets you put your phone down and navigate via your wrist. Even with these features, the Charge 6's feature set is small compared to other models, but its simplicity made it stand out in our day-to-day activities.

fitbit charge 6 - there aren't a ton of extra features packed into the slim design...
There aren't a ton of extra features packed into the slim design, but it does have standouts like Google Maps, Youtube Music, and Google Pay.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Wearability


Slim and light, the Charge 6 is barely noticeable when you are wearing the device. GPS watches are often bigger, and they can come across as intense and serious, depending on the style. For a more subdued look or a hint of color, this slim tracker is one of our favorites for those who want less of a footprint on their arm.


The removable straps are easily replaced or swapped out for different colors. The band is comfortable, and the tail easily fits back underneath the main strap, staying out of the way. The rubber design is both durable and easily cleanable and is by far the slimmest in our lineup. It easily fits underneath clothing and is less annoying when sleeping. There are benefits to the shorter battery life, and many are found in the comfort of the device.

fitbit charge 6 - the strap design on the fitbit 6 is comfortable with the tail easily...
The strap design on the Fitbit 6 is comfortable with the tail easily tucked underneath, leaving a smooth wrap look. Two sizes are provided, S/M and M/L.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Battery Life


The Charge 6 lasted us roughly 8 hours of GPS tracking and just under seven days of continuous smartwatch usage. This should be enough GPS juice for most enthusiasts, while more serious athletes will want a longer lifespan. While the Charge 6 does do GPS recording just fine, it isn't its strong suit; the model should be more viewed as a fitness tracker with the ability of short GPS tracking.


We tested this model on some serious hikes, but we'd be hesitant to use it in more off-trail scenarios or technical terrain. If this doesn't sound like an area where you'd want to use the model, then this is a great option for more daily use.

The Charge 6 has a low battery life, but it should still last several days, even with some GPS tracking here and there. For serious athletes, you may want a unit with some more juice.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Should You Buy the Fitbit Charge 6?


The Fitbit Charge 6 is for people who just need basic, easy activity tracking, and daily health tracking. Many of the more premium options charge so much for the extensive battery life and durable rugged designs. The Fitbits' small screen and shorter battery life make the option cost far less. This doesn't lead to poor performance; we appreciated the good HR accuracy, and the Fitbit app also works great. If you're looking for something small and unassuming with lots of packed-in data for your sleep, HR, and steps, this is the model for you.

Our tests took place in SW Colorado which offered a varying landscape to test many different styles of watches. Thanks for reading!
Credit: Matthew Richardson

What Other GPS Watches Should You Consider?


The Fitbit Charge 6 is one of the most minimal watches in our test lineup. If you want that next step up and want easier visualization on the watch, check out the Garmin Forerunner 165. If you are most focused on daily health metrics and want loads of smartwatch features, we'd recommend the Garmin Vivoactive 5.

fitbit charge 6 - the fitbit charge 6 was a pleasant surprise, we liked it for its...
The Fitbit Charge 6 was a pleasant surprise, we liked it for its unassuming nature and slim design. Great for those that want a tracker but don't need a big watch face on their wrist.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson