“Waterproof” is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days.
All kinds of electronic devices – including fitness trackers like the Fitbit Charge 4 – seem to have some sort of ability to keep water out.
But are they actually waterproof?
There are some significant differences between being waterproof and water-resistant. Before you go splurging on a Fitbit Charge 4, you should familiarize yourself with its capabilities, including its WR50 rating and just what that means.
That “WR” in the rating’s name? It stands for “water-resistant”.
And the 50? That refers to the fact that you can submerge the Charge 4 in up to 50 meters (that’s about 164 feet for those of you living in the United States) of water.
Does that mean the Fitbit Charge 4 can do anything in any body of water?
The Fitbit Versa 2 and Versa Lite both have the same rating.
And people do wear them in the water.
So does that make any of them waterproof? Well, no. None of them are actually waterproof.
I wanted to learn this before buying my very first Fitbit, so I set out to research what a WR50 rating meant and why it did not mean that I could do absolutely any water activity I wanted with the Fitbit strapped to my wrist.
Allow me to explain what I learned.
Is Fitbit Charge 4 Waterproof?
The Fitbit Charge 4 is not waterproof. No Fitbit is actually waterproof. Instead, the Charge 4 is rated WR50 for water-resistance in depths of up to 50 meters.
What is the difference between being waterproof and water-resistant? What kinds of water-based activities can you do in the Charge 4, and which ones should you avoid?
Also, what should you do if the Charge 4 gets wet and, dare I say it, actually sustains water damage?
Read on to learn more about the Fitbit Charge 4’s water-resistance capabilities and why it isn’t actually waterproof.
Waterproof vs Water-Resistant: What’s The Difference?
Sorry if I am bursting your water bubble, but no Fitbit is waterproof. Water-resistant? Yes.
And the Charge 4 is one of those Fitbits thanks to its WR50 rating.
If something is waterproof, its materials are manufactured in such a way that they are completely impervious to water. Rubber, for example, is waterproof.
That is why you can buy dishwashing gloves that are waterproof.
No water will get through them.
Fitbits and other fitness trackers, on the other hand, are not waterproof.
Instead, they have some water-resistance.
Due to their electronic interior components, their surfaces have to be protective enough, but you do still run the risk of water seeping in if a seal is broken or worn down.
Is the Charge 4 waterproof?
As I stated already, the Charge 4 is not waterproof.
It is water-resistant in up to 50 meters of water, but it can be damaged by the increased water pressure you face below 50 meters.
It is also vulnerable to hard impacts, which makes it a bad idea to wear the Fitbit while riding a jet ski or while being pulled on an innertube behind a speedboat.
Hard impacts can crack the seals that are meant to keep the water out.
Can I swim in my Fitbit Charge 4?
You can swim with your Fitbit Charge 4 strapped to your wrist.
It is made to be safe to take in chemically treated pools, as well as in fresh and salt water bodies.
But you should still rinse it with fresh tap water and dry it off after every use to keep the Charge 4 in good working condition for years to come.
Can I shower in my Fitbit Charge 4?
While you can shower with the Charge 4 on, you might want to avoid exposing it to any of the chemicals in your toiletries.
Those chemicals can cause damage to the internal electronic components, especially if there is even a tiny crack in one of the seals.
While water can be dried out, it is a lot harder to undo damage done by these chemicals.
In all honesty, it is best to just leave your Fitbit sitting on the bathroom counter while you shower.
What if my Fitbit Charge 4 gets wet?
Your Fitbit Charge 4 can get wet, but every exposure to moisture demands a good, thorough cleaning and drying afterward.
Gently rinse it off with clean tap water, dry it off with a lint-free cloth, and allow it to air dry.
Don’t use it again until the Charge 4 is all dried off.
What if my Fitbit Charge 4 sustains water damage?
Here is the rundown of things that can wreak havoc on the Charge 4:
- Dropping it onto a hard surface.
- Using the Charge 4 during high impact, high velocity water sports.
- Exposing it to chemicals in things like perfume, body wash, and lotion.
- Taking it into the water when there is damage to the seal.
That last one? It will destroy the internal components. If your Charge 4 happens to sustain water damage, you will need to do what Fitbit recommends, which is:
- Put your Charge 4 into a bowl of dry rice for 24 hours (although I recommend 48 hours for maximum dryness). The rice should absorb the moisture.
- Once the 24 (or 48) hours is up, remove your Fitbit and attempt to start it up again.
- Connect the charging cable to your Fitbit, then connect it to your computer. You will need to ensure that the gold dots on the Fitbit line up with the gold contacts lining the inside of the charging cable.
- Hold the power button on your Fitbit down for about 10-12 seconds, then release.
- Take your Fitbit off of the charging cable, then press on the button until the screen lights up. If the screen comes on, you should be all in the clear.
If the screen does not come back on, it is time that you contact Fitbit’s customer support and ask for help.
You might be able to get a replacement from the company, but that is quite the process.
The Fitbit Charge 4 isn’t waterproof, but it can resist water – to a degree.
Be careful with what you expose the device to and how you handle it, and it should work well enough for a few good years.