Fitbit Charge 7 needs slightly larger, more premium hardware | Phones

Fitbit Charge 6 5.jpg

While Google apps help make the Fitbit Charge 6 more like a smartwatch, everything is ultimately running on and constrained by fitness tracker hardware.

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If Google-owned Fitbit wants to keep investing in this form factor – and I think it should – the hardware needs to evolve, starting with a bigger screen. The YouTube Music controller on the Charge 6 is quite functional. However, play/pause, next/back, and volume are split across three screens. A good Now Playing experience would house those buttons on a single page rather than requiring multiple swipes.

Every single UI would benefit from the additional screen real estate, while making possible more types of apps. Google Weather on Wear OS is excellent, and a simplified version should come to the next Charge with an hourly forecast and week-long outlook. There should also be a basic calendar experience that shows upcoming events. Both these applications would help people throughout the day and would certainly be less intensive than today’s Google Maps experience.

I think the screen should remain rectangular but go slightly wider and taller. A starting point would be making the entire face of the Charge 6 a screen. Today’s black bezels are getting very dated, and I don’t see it surviving another generation. Meanwhile, a slightly curved display to match your wrist would be interesting. I don’t think the next Charge should go square because that inherently makes people think smartwatch, which brings a lot of connotations.

A bigger screen would also allow for richer watch faces. What I particularly care about is a richer always-on display experience that…

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