The Fitbit Charge 4 is among the better fitness trackers out there, but it's placed awkwardly between the Inspire HR and the Versa 2, overlapping with both in a lot of areas. The lines between the Versa series and the Charge are about to get even blurrier, as the latest firmware update (1.96.29) gives the fitness tracker Smart Wake, dynamic GPS, and a customizable display timeout.
Dynamic GPS is meant to preserve the Charge 4's battery life. Previously, you could only choose between on-device GPS or phone GPS, so many people likely just stuck with the battery-sucking default on-device option, even if they carry their phone with them. The new dynamic mode automatically switches between the two modes depending on whether you have your phone on you. It's turned on by default after you update.
- Elevate your workouts with Dynamic GPS mode on Charge 4. If your phone is nearby, Charge 4 uses the GPS sensors on your phone to capture your route, pace, and other stats. If you don’t take your phone, Charge 4 uses built-in GPS.
- Manage new GPS settings on Charge 4 to preserve your device’s battery life or to enhance GPS performance.
- Set alarms with Smart Wake in the Alarms app.
- Adjust how long your screen stays on with the new Screen Time Out setting.
- See the date that you activated your device in the Settings app.
- This release includes bug fixes and improvements.
Smart wake has initially only been available on Fitbit's smartwatches, making the Charge 4 the company's first fitness tracker to receive it. The feature reserves an extra 30 minutes before your alarm goes off and intelligently chooses a moment of light sleep to wake you up more gently. If you don't enter a light sleep phase within these 30 minutes, the alarm will ring at the set time. You need to activate this mode manually when you set an alarm. I can personally only recommend this. I used a similar feature in Sleep as Android before and felt like I woke up better rested than usually.
Regarding display timeouts, you get a choice between default (~3 seconds), medium (~5 seconds), or long (~8 seconds). When you choose one of the latter options, a warning pops up, telling you that this might reduce battery life.
The firmware update is rolling out in stages, and you'll get an in-app notification in your Fitbit application when it's ready for your Charge 4.