The fitness tracker options available right now are as good as they’ve ever been. If you want a mix of fitness tracking and smartwatch features in a band-style design, the Amazfit Band 5 and the Fitbit Charge 4 are two of the strongest options to consider.
The Band 5 comes in below $50 while Fitbit’s flagship tracker sits a little closer to $100 price mark. So could you actually save yourself some money by paying less and going for Amazfit’s tracker?
We’ve comprehensively tested both of these top fitness trackers to help answer that question.
From design to how they’ll monitor your health, we break down how the Fitbit Charge 4 compares to the Amazfit Band 5.
Amazfit Band 5 v Fitbit Charge 4: Price
We’ve already alluded to the price difference, so how much will you have to pay for the Charge 4 and the Amazfit Band 5?
- The Band 5 costs $49.99, which makes it cheaper than Fitbit’s cheapest wearable, the Inspire 2.
- The Charge 4 comes in at $149.95, making it around $100 more than the Band 5.
Let’s get into what that money gets you in terms of a fitness tracker.
Amazfit Band 5 v Fitbit Charge 4: Design and screen
It’s fair to say these fitness trackers offer very different looks on your wrist. With the Band 5, you’re getting a TPU strap matched up with a 1.1-inch AMOLED display.
On the Charge 4, you’re getting an interchangeable elastomer band and a 1-inch, monochrome display. Fitbit’s tracker offers cleaner, straighter lines, while Amazfit opts for a design with a softer, more curved look.
There’s no physical buttons on show on either tracker with Fitbit opting to build its button into the case. Amazfit uses a capacitive one that sits below the screen.
Our preference is with Amazfit on this one and find it more responsive to use than Fitbit’s setup.
The Band 5 isn’t cheap or tacky, but it’s very much a sport fitness band. The Charge 4 meanwhile offers a range of high quality bands that let you dress up or down the look.
You don’t get quite the same luxury with Amazfit’s tracker, though you can pop the tracker out of the band and pair up with one of the other few TPU bands on offer.
With the displays, for us there’s only one winner and that’s the cheaper Amazfit. Its brighter, more colourful AMOLED screen is a significant step up from what you get on the Charge 4.
While you might get a screen that appears bigger in comparison on the Charge, it’s pretty drab looking and hard to see in bright outdoor conditions.
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If you’re hoping for something that’s always-on, you don’t have that on either tracker. You do have the raise to wake gesture support, which we’d say is more responsive on the Amazfit.
In terms of water resistance, it’s level pegged. You’re getting the ability to submerge them in water up to 50 metres depth and both let you track your activity in the pool.
Amazfit Band 5 v Fitbit Charge 4: Health and fitness tracking features
So lets get into the nitty gritty of what these trackers are capable of and we’ll start with the sensors, which unlock that unlocks that tracking.
With the Charge 4, you’re getting an accelerometer to track indoor activity and things like step counts. It’s also used to enable automatic sleep monitoring.
There’s an optical heart rate monitor that can be used to provide data during exercise and in workout intensity maps for outdoor workouts. It’s also used for continuous monitoring to help you monitor your current state of fitness and will also offer richer sleep metrics.
You’re also getting an altimeter to track elevation like stairs climbed and you’re also getting built-in GPS on a Charge tracker for the first time.
With the Amazfit, you’re getting similar motion sensors to unlock similar features like step tracking and sleep monitoring.
There’s an optical sensor that’s used for continuous and workout-based heart rate tracking and enables SpO2 readings to measure blood oxygen levels. It also has connected GPS, so unlike the Charge 4, you need your phone nearby to track outdoor activities. It’s also missing an altimeter, which means you can’t track elevation with the Band 5 either.
In terms of fitness tracking performance, we’d say this is where the Charge 4 just about edges it from an accuracy point of view.
You do have, what we think, is a more reliable heart rate monitor for all-day tracking and step counts were generally reliable too. It also offers more accurate sleep tracking too.
While the Amazfit wasn’t a terrible performer, we just think as a package, you’re getting a bit more on the accuracy front. Particularly for heart rate and sleep.
For sports tracking, we think it’s just about with the Charge 4 on this one as well, but the Band 5 is a decent performer for things like pool swimming and tracking indoor activities like indoor rowing.
Outdoor tracking is where it let itself down for us with its connected GPS support proving to be mostly unreliable for accurately tracking distance and other metrics. T
he Charge 4’s GPS tracking isn’t perfect, but if you’re a casual runner and place less emphasis on streams of metrics, then it does a good job. Pool swimming is reliable too, though does stick to the data basics.
If you care about heart rate performance, we’d say the Charge 4 again offers more solid results compared to the Band 5. Whether that’s all-day tracking or exercise tracking.
Both struggle with high intensity workouts where heart rate spikes and drops rapidly, but the Charge 4 performed better for us. You don’t have the ability to pair up with external heart rate sensors here, so you reliant on those optical heart rate sensors built in doing the job.
In terms of health tracking, both offer women’s health tracking features, guided breathing exercises and insights like resting heart rate. If you look at the hardware and the platform as a whole, We think Fitbit’s package will offer you more on this front currently.
Amazfit Band 5 v Fitbit Charge 4: Smartwatch features
When you’re not our cycling or sweating it out in the gym, both trackers offer the ability to be used like smartwatches.
They both work with Android and iOS and we generally didn’t experience any noticeable issues on the pairing and syncing front with either devices.
With the Charge 4, you’re getting the ability to view notifications and send quick replies when paired to an Android phone.
You’ve got NFC to unlock Fitbit Pay contactless payments, the ability to customise clock faces and you can control music playing on your phone. Annoyingly though, you can’t control music during workout tracking.
With the Band 5, you’re getting notifications too, though no ability to respond to them. You can check the weather, set up event reminders and music controls that you can access during exercise.
Notifications on the Band 5 can feel a little more cramped, though things like weather forecasts and clock faces look great on that AMOLED display.
Alexa support works well too, though the responses are read out to you as opposed to piped out through a speaker. That’s because you’re only getting a microphone on board here.
So they offer different things from a smartwatch point of view. We’d say Fitbit does a better job with notifications, but we like the fact that the Band 5 lets you access music during workouts and its collection of clock faces are much nicer to look at.
Amazfit Band 5 v Fitbit Charge 4: Battery life
So what kind of battery life can you expect from these trackers? With the Charge 4, Fitbit claims up to 7 days and 5 hours when using GPS. With the Amazfit Band 5, there’s the promise of 15 days in typical mode, 25 days in power saving mode and 90 days in standby mode.
Based on our testing, we’d say these trackers are good for a week’s worth of use if you don’t want to start thinking about having to disable features to push things further.
The Band 5 is certainly capable of more if you turn off features like continuous heart rate and stress monitoring. If you can live without those, then you can certainly get closer to those 15 days.
With the Charge 4, it’s stuck to the same battery life it offered on the Charge 3. If you factor in regular use of the GPS, that will have a noticeable impact on battery life.
Bottom line, they’re going to be good for a week, but the Amazfit Band 5 is certainly capable of giving you more.
Amazfit Band 5 v Fitbit Charge 4: Which should you buy?
Should you buy the Amazfit Band 5 or the Charge 4? As we’ve mentioned already, these two fitness trackers come in at different price points. Though they both do offer a solid performance overall. Here’s our take:
Buy the Amazfit Band 5 if… you want a fitness tracker with a great display, bigger battery life and does a good job of the fitness tracking basics. The Alexa support is a nice bonus, but only if you’re going to make regular use of it.
Buy the Fitbit Charge 4 if… you want a fitness tracker that offers more reliable accuracy for fitness and sports tracking and heart rate monitoring. It’s got more of those key sensors that make a better job of it than the Amazfit Band. It’s arguably a nicer looking device even though it lacks the great screen you get on the Band 5.