Fitbit has quietly added a major feature to its Charge 5 activity trackers and it’s all about tracking your phone, not you.
The latest firmware, version 57.20001.171.50, which arrived Tuesday, adds the ability to ping your paired smartphone and make a loud noise to find it. After using the “find phone” button, pressing the “cancel” prompt on the Fitbit Charge 5 will stop the sound.
The feature isn’t new to Fitbit, but was previously exclusive to the company’s smartwatches such as the Versa and Sense ranges. Of course, using the feature requires a phone to be paired via Bluetooth, within close range of the watch, and the Fitbit app running in the background. The phone search feature should work on any phone that supports the Fitbit app.
Add Quiet Utility
While it’s odd that Fitbit, now owned by Google, hasn’t bothered with the Charge 5’s newfound ability to find phones, it’s the only standout feature in this firmware update. Fitbit’s own Versa smartwatch lineup is similarly priced on sale, so it’s possible the company didn’t announce the feature loudly because it doesn’t want to cannibalize Versa sales.
Nevertheless, the feature adds more usability (nothing beats finding that misplaced iPhone) to the already value-oriented fitness tracker and gives those who don’t want a full-fledged smartwatch another way to find a misplaced smartphone. Fitbit also has the advantage of not being locked into a specific ecosystem. Samsung and Apple watches have similar features, but they are only for Samsung and Apple phones respectively.
If you’re thinking about these or other new smart wearables, you should check out Slice Mag’s latest collection of fitness trackers.