WEARABLES

Fitbit Charge 2

By Laura High @healthwriter61
 | 
December 12, 2017

The Fitbit Charge 2 offers sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, fitness coaching, guided breathing sessions, and alerts for calls, texts, and calendar items.

Overview

I recently graduated to Fitbit’s Charge 2, its top-of-the-line fitness tracker, and I really like it. The Charge 2 is the upgrade to the Charge HR, which I wore for nearly a year and, frankly, loved to death. The most obvious improvement is the inch-long screen, which is generous compared to the sliver of a screen on the HR.

There is also much more functionality on the band itself, making it easier to interact with independent of your phone. Now you can use the button to scroll between functions, and then tap to get different options within that function. The most useful example is the activity tracking screen. Get there by pushing the button, then scroll through your exercise shortcuts by tapping the screen and selecting one of the exercises you have set up in the app such as treadmill, elliptical training, weightlifting, or a number of other options.

Although there is some functionality to the band alone, to get the most out of the device you definitely need your phone or a computer. In my opinion, unless you have a high-end smartwatch, it’s the robustness of the associated app that makes or breaks most fitness trackers. A perfect case in point is the fact that, although you can take your Charge 2 for a run and it will track your heart rate and other data, if you take your phone you get live coaching while you’re working out, and a map of your route when you are done.

 

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Design

I find the design of the Charge 2 to be a huge improvement from its predecessor. The quality of the band is better in that it’s a softer rubber that’s more pliable and comfortable. It looks like a watch, and the glass face and stainless steel accents class it up. The larger screen makes it much easier to read, and the text is oriented in a way that’s most user friendly — you don’t have to hold your arm in a weird position to read it.

 

A really nice feature is the ease with which you can change bands and the many colors and options available. When I finally had to replace the band on my HR, there were some tiny screws and an itty-bitty screwdriver involved. On the Charge 2, you can easily snap bands on and off make it simple to customize the look for your fashion need du jour.

 

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Updated:  

December 12, 2017