The new and fresh Fitbit Charge 2 is For Everyone!
This all-day activity tracker has gotten a fresh facelift in form of new interchangeable bands and a larger black and white screen. I personally like the upgrade and how the new design is a bit smoother around the edges than the previous version, with the same chamfered sides as seen on for instance the Alta.
The Charge 2 is targeted to fit a large audience of users. It is simply a fitness tracker for all, even if you are at the beginning of your path towards better health or are a regular exerciser. I believe this activity tracker will last for many years to come and will help many people to get out and move.
Fitbit has long been the pioneer in the activity tracker industry, and that is in a way the purpose of the whole Charge 2 fitness tracker. It aims to keep you motivated and make health and fitness fun with tools like the complete visibility of your daily life of activity, sleep, progress charts, and move reminder.
If you like you can also compare yourself with others through social features and see if you a are leveled with other people of same sex and age fitness wise.
Compared with to two of Fitbit’s other best sellers, the Blaze and Alta, the Charge 2 is priced in the middle of these two – about the same price as Garmin VivoSmart HR. I have provided links for you further down the article so you can check the latest Amazon prices in both US and UK.
The somewhat curved tracker module itself is made of metal and plastic with its top face being the OLED display. At the left side is a tiny rectangular button used for interaction. On the backside is the optical heart rate sensor and charging pins. The unit is charged by placing the tracker in a USB charging clip, or cradle if you like. It usually takes around two hours.
The battery life is claimed by the manufacturer to be 5 days with normal use, but I have seen reports ranging from 4 to 6 days so it highly depends on usage.
It is slightly larger than the Fitbit Alta, smaller than the Blaze but about the same size as the previous Charge. The elasticity of the band feels similar to the Charge as well.
The black and white OLED display is one of the features that really differs the Charge 2 from its predecessor. It is larger and gives you a lot more information.
This fitness tracker is not waterproof, but handle splash, rain, and sweat ok. Some people claims that a shower once in a while doesn’t hurt, but it is not recommended and not a supported idea by the designers at Fitbit.
Another new design feature is that the bands are now much easier to remove. You don’t need and special tools to change them out, and since you get nicer bands like leather for formal use it makes it much easier to switch them out for different social settings for instance.
Lots of design choices
You have a ton of choices when it comes to bands and coloring! I’m really impressed with this, but it makes it difficult to chose.
The standard, or Classic, bands come in black, blue, Purple, Teal, and Lavender color. They have a texture with a pattern of small angled rectangles.
Then you have the luxurious leather bands, named Lux Leather, in the colors Brown, Indigo, and Blush Pink. They look awesome and makes your fitness tracker stand out in any formal situation. They are of course a little bit more expensive.
The Special Edition series is for people who really want something special. The texture of the bands are now with a beveled diamond pattern and even the tracker piece comes in different new colors – complete black/gunmetal and 22k rose gold-plated finish with a Lavender colored band.
Last but not least the Sport Collection which has bands perforated with small circular holes for better breathing. Colors Black, Cobalt, and Coral.
It’s a good thing the bands are so easy to change out…
The two main Fitbit Charge 2 features which stand out are the larger display and the accurate, and continuous PurePulse heart rate sensor. A wristband sensor is much more comfortable to wear than chest straps, but then again, if you want to use a chest strap with this fitness band it is not possible to pair the two.
It is also a fact that optical light based heart rate sensors don’t prove to be as accurate as chest straps, but if you are a regular exerciser, and no professional athlete, it is ok for running and walking.
Tracking heart rate is important for overall health and to better burn calories right. It all depends on correct heart rate and intensity levels during for instance running to maximize the training effort. The sensors typically take 1-second samples during workouts and 5 seconds samples during the rest of the day.
Back to the new OLED display…
You have seven different clock faces, so to speak, to chose from in the settings. They range from different size and lettering of the time and date but can also be set to mimic an analog watch. Of course, it can also be set up to show the automatic and continuous heart rate number if you are interested in that.
In bright sunlight, it is still possible to read the display, even if it is somewhat dim.
A built-in gyroscope makes sure that the screen is always off when it is upside down, apart from when you raising your arm and look at the display – a clever detail.
Guided Breathing Sessions and more
Relaxation is another new feature that Fitbit has implemented in this product. It is called Guided Breathing Sessions and is essentially a tool that will guide you to breathing properly. By looking at the display it tells you to inhale or exhale in a timely manner for a couple of minutes.
It doesn’t tell you that you need to do this, but it is more like a useful tool if you feel it can help you in certain situations.
The move reminder, or inactivity reminder, tells you if you haven’t moved for an hour. It also gives you a goal each hour you should try to hit to reach the daily goal. An hourly goal can be to walk 250 steps for instance.
The wristband can be set to wake you up in the morning, or whenever you like, with a silent vibrating alarm. With the Fitbit app, you set several alarms on different times and different days of the week. Simple, yet useful.
Notifications are also included now. The module vibrates if you get texts, calls, or calendar alerts. Some messages are a little bit difficult to read on the not-so-big display, and it also only shows a summary of long texts, but it works ok.
Are you wondering whether the tracker has GPS? Well.. sort of. Fitbit calls it connected GPS and is dependent on being connected to a phone with GPS. The advantage is that you get correct pace and distance information on the wristband display.
First I will explain how the interaction and functionality work on a daily basis.
By tapping the lower part of the OLED display you have full interactivity and can switch through the different activity statistics. They show you steps taken, estimated distance, estimated calories burned, floors climbed, heart rate, active minutes and active hours.
The side button is used to switch to other modes and information. For instance, you can tell the gadget which sport you are currently doing by changing the profile. The available sports profiles are running, weights, treadmill, workout, elliptical training, cycling and interval workout.
It can auto recognize some of the activities mentioned above.
All the data tracked from the wristband is synchronized to the Fitbit App on your smartphone for more detailed graphs and statistics. It does a good job breaking things down and gives you a complete picture of your active day. With the Cardio Fitness Level Score you get feedback of your progress and improvements.
It supports all major systems like iOs, Android, Windows 10, Mac, PC, and web, so you should be covered and get things to work.
Here is one of many product videos from Fitbit:
As mentioned above one of the cool things about the Charge 2 is the possibility to change bands quite easy. For easier charging, you can purchase charging stands like this one.
You can also buy screen protectors to extend the lifetime of your tracker and protect the screen.
What’s in the box?
- Fitbit Charge 2 tracker piece
- Classic wristband
- Charger clip/cradle with cable
Pros and Cons
|Pros +||Cons –|
The Fitbit Charge 2 is the perfect fitness tracker if you are a normal exerciser and need a gadget to monitor your whole day of activities. It is priced at the medium-high level of Fitbit’s products. The big plus with this one is the new and larger screen compared to its predecessor and the built-in heart rate sensor which accurately (enough) gives you important pulse information.
I like the sleek design that doesn’t stand out too much and the fact that you can easily replace the bands. Inactivity reminder, silent alarm, and the guided breathing feature also adds to the positive experience.
If you plan to take it to the pool and swim with it, I have to disappoint you – it is not waterproof. But several other fitness trackers are.
Where can I buy Fitbit Charge 2?
Buy directly from the Fitbit Shop an get FREE shipping on $50+.
You can purchase it at everyone’s favorite online store, both in Europe and US, Amazon. Notice that this is a popular product and a #1 Best Seller:
UK: Purchase on Amazon.co.uk.
Always click the button to check recently updated price and additional info and reviews.
More info & Questions
If you use this activity tracker on a daily basis, I would love to hear about it. Also, write a few words in the commenting section if you have questions, concerns or comments. Here are some examples of what other users on Amazon have to say about the Fitbit Charge 2:
“Fun, fitness and accountability” by AliKat
“Perfect and beautiful” by Tammy Morgan
“Solid Fitness Watch” by chellebelle
Here are the most important tech specs:
|Name||Fitbit Charge 2|
|Type||Fitness and sleep tracker wristband|
|Size||Wristsize Small: 5.5" – 6.7", Large 6.7" – 8.1", and XL 8.1" – 9.3"|
|Materials||Durable elastomer material and surgical-grade stainless steel|
|Interaction||Tap bottom of display, knob on the left side|
|Battery Type||Recharable Lithium-polymer|
|Battery Life||5 days (4-6)|
|Charge Time||1-2 hours|
|Colors||Black, Blue, Purple + Lux Leather, Special Editions, and Sports Collection|
|Water-Resistant||Yes – Splash, rain, sweat|
|Sensors||Optical Heart Rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Altimeter, Vibration Motor|
|GPS||Yes (if connected to phone)|
|Memory||7 days detailed, 30 days daily totals|
|Sleep Monitoring||Yes (auto)|
|Heart Rate||Yes, optical PurePule|
|24/7 (All day)||Yes|
|Silent Vibration Alarm||Yes|
|Find my device||-|
|Wireless or USB||Wireless|
|Sync Method||Bluetooth 4.0|
|Mobile App||Fitbit app|