Google has launched a new version of its smallest GPS fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 6, with lots of new fitness and everyday features. Google finalized its purchase of Fitbit in January 2021, and although it remains a separate unit within the larger company, Fitbit devices are now fully integrated into Google's ecosystem.
With the Charge 5, that means you get Google Music controls on your wrist, allowing you to play, pause, and skip tracks on your phone. There's accurate turn-by-turn navigation for outdoor activities via Google Maps, too, which should prove useful for finding your way in new areas where you don't want to hold your phone out in public.
The Fitbit Charge 6 also supports Google Pay, which is a big upgrade from the Fitbit Pay app featured on older devices. Fitbit Pay isn't widely supported by banks outside the US (I was never able to try it when testing devices for Advnture's sister site TechRadar), but Google Pay is nearly universal.
The Charge 6 has a new heart rate sensor, which Google says is up to 60% more precise during intense activities like indoor cycling and HIIT classes. This in turn makes the watch's other health metrics (such as Active Zone Minutes and Daily Readiness) more accurate and useful.
HIIT is just one of 20 new supported workout types, bringing the total number of trackable activities up to 40.
It's also possible to connect the Charge 6 to compatible gym equipment, such as NordicTrack and Peloton treadmills and indoor bikes. This provides the wearable with data like speed and incline, which can be used to calculate calories burned more accurately.
The Charge 6 is available to preorder now direct from Fitbit for $159.95 / £139.99, with delivery expected in mid-October.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. 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), usually wearing at least two sports watches.