The Google-Player Charge 6: Getting Fitbit and Playing on Google Devices with the Google-Google App Store and a Mobile Health App
If that seems a bit like shepherding people into the Google-verse… It is. Buying a Charge 6 also means you’ll have to migrate your Fitbit data over to a Google account to use the device. New users won’t have a choice so this affects existing users. The only exception is that those with Guardian accounts are allowed to control devices for their children. If you aren’t looking to upgrade and you haven’t yet, migration may be mandatory sooner than expected.
Otherwise, the sensors remain unchanged from its predecessor and include an optical heart rate monitor, accelerometer, built-in GPS and GLONASS, SpO2, temperature sensor, and “multipurpose electrical sensors” for electrodermal activity (EDA) and EKG readings for stress tracking and advanced heart health alerts.
As for apps, the Charge 6 gets both Google Maps and Google Wallet. The Charge 6 now allows you to view turn-by-turn directions from the wrist. The tracker will allow you to control music on your phone. That said, this functions more like a remote control than onboard music because it doesn’t support offline playlists. Plus, you’ll need a YouTube Music Premium subscription. This fills part of the gap left by Fitbit’s decision last year to remove access to Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer, as well as the ability to transfer music from your computer, but it doesn’t exactly make up for the fact that there used to be multiple music options and now there’s just YouTube Music.
You can continue to track health metrics on Fitbit OS, however, the most important change is that you’ll need to sign in with your Google account for new Fitbit devices. You can see all your figures in the new redesign of the Fitbit app. However, that doesn’t include the $10-per-month Fitbit Premium service, which hides some of Fitbit’s best features behind a paywall.
The company claims that the heart rate tracker is the most accurate yet. That’s because it’s utilizing many of the on-device learning models Google introduced in the original Pixel Watch to deliver precise heart rate results. Fitbit claims these algorithms have been optimized to maintain a seven-day battery life, despite the higher processing power.
The Charge 6 can be connected to popular exercise machines, such as the Tonal Home Gym and the Peloton bike. There are also new workout activities like surfing, skiing, and CrossFit, adding up to a total list of over 40 different exercise modes.