An upgraded version of the classic activity-tracking band is reportedly around the corner with fresh features lifted straight from Fitbit’s latest smartwatches. But there is one huge downside.
Leaked images and specs obtained by Android Authority appear to show a touchscreen Charge 3. Fans of past Charge models will remember that the Charge has sported a tap screen, which requires forceful taps to navigate around and isn’t quite as intuitive as swiping around a touchscreen device. The Charge 3 could change that.
Like older models, the overhauled Charge will also have a heart rate monitor, but is also getting upgraded water-resistance to 50 meters, making it swim-proof for tracking pool workouts.
Unfortunately, the Charge lineup will still lack built-in GPS, if Android Authority’s intel proves accurate. In Fitbit’s current lineup, only the Ionic smartwatch has on-board GPS; Fitbit’s other devices use your smartphone’s GPS to learn your regular routes.
There could also be a Charge 3 Special Edition with an NFC chip for using Fitbit’s mobile payment system, Fitbit Pay, but it’s unclear how much either the base model or NFC-equipped version will cost.
But smartwatches are competing with activity bands by adding more sophisticated health and fitness features, in addition to LTE connectivity, useful apps, mobile payments and an emphasis on fashion, Fitbit will have to prove that lower-priced fitness-tracking bands are still worth buying.