Fitbit Charge 6 reviewon November 10, 2023 at 14:30 Tech Advisor

At a glance

Expert’s Rating


Quick access to Google Maps and PayBest heart rate sensor yetSide button for navigationSyncs with gym equipment


Limited to YouTube MusicFitbit Premium restrictionsSpotty GPSUnexplained hardware issues

Our Verdict

This time around, Fitbit has added extra Google, and upped its heart-rate sensor smarts by 60%. It’s still as comfortable as ever, and looks good on the wrist, so if you were a fan of the Charge 5, you’ll find a lot to like here.

Best Prices Today: Fitbit Charge 6


With Google now firmly taking the reins, how does the Fitbit Charge 6 build on the reputation of its previous-gen wearable?

We put the Charge 6 to task over a number of weeks and delved into its performance during workouts, how it fared day-to-day, and what it revealed when sleeping.

Design & Display

Bright 1.04-inch AMOLED screen

Comfortable and lightweight with a bevy of bands to complement

Button for swift navigation returns

If you loved the look of the Fitbit Charge 5, you’ll be happy to know that the Charge 6 is almost identical in appearance. It has the same sleek aluminum case in three color options and a comfortable silicone band in two sizes. Good news, as this means you can use your existing bands and charger with this new iteration.

Having spent a week on my wrist I loved how light and easy the Charge 6 was to wear. Come bedtime, you’ll almost forget you’re even wearing it thanks to the smooth edges and lightweight design

I also need to call out one major improvement that makes the Charge 6 much more user-friendly than its predecessor: namely, the physical button on the side.

Matt Farrington-Smith / Foundry

The Charge 5’s button-less design was frustrating and unreliable, so I’m glad to see the button make a welcome return on the Charge 6. Navigation is still mostly achieved through a series of taps and swipes, but the pleasing haptic button aids the experience in the main.

The Charge 6 is also waterproof up to 50 meters (that’s a 5ATM rating) so you can safely wear it in the shower or for a dip in your local lido. The only downside is that it doesn’t track open-water swims, so that’s bad news for the triathletes or sea-faring swimmers among you.

On the front, you’ll find the same 1.04-inch full-color AMOLED panel that was introduced last time around. Due to the small stature, it’s best suited to displaying the time, your metrics, and notifications – as long as you don’t go expecting a smartwatch-like experience this shouldn’t come as a disappointment.

You can still utilise the tilt-to-wake gesture to turn the screen on, but unfortunately, responsiveness remains somewhat unreliable in practice.

Fitness & Health

Syncs with most gym equipment

ECG and EDA provide added insight

Now with support for 40 exercise modes

The inclusion of a new AI-powered heart-rate sensor makes it the most advanced Fitbit tracker to-date. This tricked-out sensor is capable of syncing with compatible gym equipment and provides you with personalized feedback on the fly.

It can measure how calm or tense you are by checking your heart rate variability, and it also keeps track of your heart rate, breathing rate, changes in skin temperature, plus support for monitoring menstrual cycles via the app. It’s a bit like having a personal wellness coach on your wrist.

Happily, the ECG (electrocardiogram) makes a welcome return, so you’re still able to assess your heart rhythm for signs of atrial fibrillation. As I’ve always been fascinated by my heart health, when compared to Apple’s ECG app, the results from the Charge 6 compare favourably.

Matt Farrington-Smith / Foundry

The EDA Scan also makes a reappearance – this tracks changes in your heart rate and tiny electrical changes on your skin, to give you an idea of how your body reacts under stress.

In terms of fitness, this time around there are more than 40 exercise modes to choose from. These include 20 new options like HIIT (high-intensity interval training), strength training and even snowboarding, though sadly my schedule didn’t allow for testing on the slopes.

Sleep tracking also makes a welcome return. The Charge 6’s SpO2 pulse oximeter sensor tracks your REM, light, and deep sleep stages which help shine a light on your nocturnal habits.

If you want to dig into more in-depth stuff like sleeping heart rate, and restlessness, you’ll need to cough up for Fitbit Premium, which is a shame. You get six months of the subscription included but then have you pay a fee – more on this below.

Matt Farrington-Smith / Foundry

At least, that’s how it should work in theory… in my experience, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. At approximately 12:54am my Charge 6 died, and come morning I struggled to breathe life back into it.

I was only able to bring it back to life using the tried and tested soft reset procedure (locate and hold the button on the charger three times for one-second intervals within a ten-second period). Looking at the limited sleep data it managed to record, I could see it drained from 97% – 2% in 1hr 52 minutes. On my next attempt the Charge 6 gave up after 1hr 18 minutes of recording.

I concede we must have a faulty unit, as this isn’t the usual high standard we’ve come to expect from Google. All the same, if it happened to me, it could happen to you too.

We are invtestigating this issue with Google and will update the review accordingly.

Features & Performance

Added Google Pay and Maps

Subpar GPS experience

No Spotify support, tied to YouTube Music

Fitbit wants you to leave your phone at home – the built-in GPS should allow you to easily track your distance. Now, Fitbit has somewhat of a spotty reputation in this area so it came as little surprise that once again the global positioning service frustratingly let me down in reality.

The built-in GPS proved painfully slow to connect, and sometimes it didn’t even work at all.

Matt Farrington-Smith / Foundry

When taking the new dynamic GPS mode for a spin, it disconnected during my outdoor workout and switched to the less precise tracking based on the accelerometer. Taken together, both infer that Fitbit hasn’t really learned from its mistakes on the Charge 5.

Since the Charge 6 signals total assimilation into the Google ecosystem, you’ll also find Google Maps integration built in. Obviously, the small stature of the screen limits this experience somewhat – it only provides you with turn-by-turn navigation but it could prove useful when exploring an unfamiliar area and not having to reach for your phone.

On that same Google note, if you were hoping to crank out your jams during your excursions you’d better have an active YouTube Music subscription as Spotify has been usurped as lord of the dance this time around.

The support for Google Pay scores higher on the usefulness front, however, so my opinion is divided when it comes to Google’s tighter leash around app support.

Battery Life & Charging

Seven-day battery life is not unrealistic

Fully charge inside of two hours

Sleep tracking bug aside, with moderate daily use I eked out a full 5 days before I got jittery and thoughts turned to recharging. That amounts to a rough 20% drain per day – but it should be noted when attempting GPS use this peaked in the 30% region.

Obviously, enabling the always-on display will put an added strain on things too (but it is very eye-catching!) If you’re thinking about picking up the Fitbit and have similar designs on usage then this is certainly something to bear in mind.

I found it took just under two hours to restore the Charge 6 to 100% charge following full depletion.

Matt Farrington-Smith / Foundry

Price & Availability

The Fitbit Charge 6 arrives in three stylish colors — black, champagne gold/coral, and silver/white. To mark the release, Fitbit has announced an abundance of new bands that include the premium Horween Leather, Hook & Loop, and Woven designs.

The Fitbit Charge 6 comes with a higher price tag than its predecessor. It costs $159.95/£139.99, while the Charge 5 is still available for £129.99 on Fitbit’s own website.

You can buy it from Fitbit and Google stores as well as retailers such as Currys, Amazon and Argos in the UK while Best Buy, Lenovo and Amazon have it in the US.

One thing to also keep in mind is that you’ll need a Fitbit Premium subscription to access some of the best features of the Charge 6. This includes Daily Readiness, advanced sleep tracking and long-term health and data trends. Fitbit Premium costs $9.99 / £7.99 per month or $79.99 / £79.99 per year.

In terms of competition, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 comes in at $40/£30 cheaper, sports a similar AMOLED display, and boasts blood oxygen monitoring which the Charge 6 lacks.

Check out our chart of the best fitness trackers, best Fitbit and best smartwatches for more options.

Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 6?

I found the Charge 6 does a lot of things right.

The build quality is excellent, strong heart-sensor smarts, and added Google services should surely appeal to both the Fitbit faithful and newcomers alike.

It’s just a shame that, even at this price, the GPS is flaky.


Full-colour 1.04in AMOLED always-on display, 450 nits brightness

Stainless steel body

Interchangeable straps

40 exercise modes + Smarttrack

EDA sensor + Scan app for stress management

High and low heart rate notifications

ECG app for AFib (irregular heartbeat) detection

SpO2 (bloody oxygen saturation) monitoring

Built-in GPS

PurePulse 2.0 continuous heart rate tracking

Water resistant up to 50m

Active Zone Minutes

Up to seven-day battery life

Paired phone notifications

Google Pay support (via NFC)

Google Maps navigation

YouTube Music controls

Sleep tracking

37.64 grams

Colours: Steel Obsidian/Black Aluminum, Porcelain/Silver Aluminum, Coral/Champagne Gold Aluminum

Wearable Fitness Devices, Wearables

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