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Fitbit Charge 5 rumor suggests activity trackers are evolving into more robust health monitors

Fitbit Charge 5
(Image credit: Evan Blass)

The Fitbit Charge 5 is coming, or so we hear, so what sort of features is it going to have? According to one new rumor, we can expect quite a bit to be added to this year’s model. 

Twitter leaker @_snoopytech_ posted an official-looking Fitbit Charge 5 commercial, alongside some information on what features to expect. Features like on-board GPS, ECG monitoring and even more personalization. 

GPS isn’t exactly new, since that feature was included on the Fitbit Charge 4, but it’s good to hear that it might be returning once again. The big change this time round is the inclusion of ECG tracking, though it’s not a huge surprise given the amount of focus it’s had from other wearable makers over the past few years.

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Electrocardiogram, or ECG because acronyms are much easier to remember, is a system that monitors your heart rhythm and makes sure that everything is functioning as normal. It’s a feature the Apple Watch Series 4 popularized, and it’s now available on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Watch 4, Withings ScanWatch, and the Fitbit Sense smartwatch.

The fact ECG monitoring is apparently coming to the Fitbit Charge 5 is just the latest example of how wearables are becoming less about the arbitrary tracking of activity and more about making sure you’re kept healthy. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if ECG monitoring launched on even more fitness-based wearables in the future, along with other features like body composition and blood glucose monitoring.

In fact, the Fitbit Sense already includes features that measure blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, and electrodermal activity — the latter of which is also apparently coming to the Fitbit Charge 5.

Of course, all these features are subject to regulatory approval before they can be used, and they’re not as accurate as professional medical tools. Though the same is also true for heart rate sensors, calorie burn counters and other fitness tracking features we’ve been using for years.

It's not all about the hardware

But that’s not all that seems to be coming to the Fitbit Charge 5, and the video Snoopy posted really seems to emphasise the service part of Fitbit’s platform. So it could apparently feature a ‘Daily Readiness Score’ to offer more recommendations on what level of activity you should be doing that day, a Daily Stress Management score, and a health metrics dashboard for you to keep tabs on everything.

Naturally some of those features are likely to be exclusive to Fitbit Premium members, and the Fitbit Charge 5 looks to be coming with a free six month membership to the service. The tracker itself, according to Snoopy, may set you back $179 — $50 more than the Fitbit Charge 4.

Snoopy’s video also seems to corroborate previous leaks showing off an alleged Fitbit Charge 5 design, including a smooth and more curved design, and the very first color screen on a Fitbit Charge device. As for when we can expect it to arrive, the video features the date October 23 pretty prominently. So if this official-looking video is legit, we can presumably expect the Fitbit Charge 5 to arrive in about two months time.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.