The next iteration of Fitbit's Charge fitness tracker might finally include something fans have long been clamoring for: a touchscreen. However, it apparently won't have a built-in GPS, just like last time.
That's according to new rumors about the Fitbit Charge 3, the company's upcoming fitness band. The above-mentioned features take inspiration from the Fitbit Ionic and Versa, the company's smartwatches and rivals to the Apple Watch.
Fitbit Charge 3 Leaks And Rumors
Android Authority has posted allegedly leaked images of the device in question, showing off the wearable line's new touchscreen display and redesign. The display, which used to be only tap-enabled, would be able to perform functions usually reserved for smartwatches, such as Quick Reply, which allows the wearer to send short messages when they are on the move and can't fish their smartphone out. This feature, already available on both the Ionic and Versa, would greatly expand the capabilities of the Charge lineup, though it'll most likely work only with Android devices.
Not much is known about the Fitbit Charge 3 at this point, but it's safe to speculate that it'll be swim-proof and water resistant, and Android Authority gives credence to such rumors.
Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition
The publication has also claimed that Fitbit will release a "special edition" Fitbit Charge 3 model that'll come with a built-in NFC chip. Several years ago, NFC used to be just a bonus, if a little unnecessary, add-on, but nowadays it's a must have as contactless payments slowly permeate the retail industry. As such, if this rumor ends up being true, that means the Charge 3 will support Fitbit Pay, the company's own payments platform.
The only downside is that, like the Fitbit Charge 2, the Fitbit Charge 3 won't have its own GPS baked in. Exercise tracking will still be possible, though: users just have to pair their smartphone to serve as GPS.
Fitbit has largely focused on developing its smartwatch line over the past year, causing its fitness band lineup to languish slightly — which is why it's nice to see it up the ante again on fitness-oriented devices.
Fitbit Is Changing
The Fitbit Charge 3 is proof that Fitbit is getting ready to upgrade its classic wearables. That makes sense: Fitbit's latest earnings report show that 55 percent of its revenue came from smartwatches. That being said, the company doesn't appear to be giving up what shot its name into popularity in the first place. What's more, CEO James Park believes the traditional trackers will still sell well because of their focus on health.