Comfort and wearability
To get the most out of what the Charge 2 has to offer you need to wear it continuously. If you’re used to wearing a watch, this isn’t much of an adjustment. The guidance is to wear it loosely for everyday tracking, and tighten it up when you’re working out to ensure accuracy. I wear it pretty tight all the time, and you can see where my wrist has atrophied as a result. The fact that the back isn’t flat detracts somewhat from the comfort, but I see it as a tradeoff for the data.
The Charge 2 is compatible with dozens of apps that, in addition to various types of activities, track everything from water consumption to brain training and how many purchase points you have at your local drug store. It’s up to you to find the best way to make all of these apps work together to keep you fit and healthy, but at least you’ll have many options.
Email, IM, and notifications
Although the Charge 2 doesn’t display email, it does display incoming calls and who they’re from, as well as the sender and content of incoming texts, which scroll across the screen. I really like seeing who is communicating so I can decide whether I need to get my phone or if it can wait. The band also displays calendar reminders, which can be very useful, especially if you’re like me and rely on your devices to keep you on schedule.
To access music through your Fitbit, you have to bring your phone. Before a workout, from the top of the exercise tracking screen you can select “all music” or various playlists you have on your phone. The one glitch I had was when I stopped tracking at the end of the workout the music played on. I had to go manually into the music app to turn it off.
There are many options for social sharing using the Fitbit app. You can join or create your own challenge group to stay motivated. I have joined the “Workweek Hustle” with a group of tennis buddies nearly every week for months and, although I rarely won, I found it an effective way to stay engaged with my tracker and focused on my activity level (or lack thereof).
There is also a community button where you can join groups depending on your interests (for example, sleeping, strength training, vegetarian), find existing friends connected on Fitbit, or make new ones.
I found the battery life to be more than adequate. I was able to go five to seven days before I needed to recharge. How long the charge lasts depends on how much you’re using the band. If you’re using it for an hour a day to track exercise, the specs indicate the charge should last five days, and that seems to be pretty accurate.
The design of the new charger is a huge improvement over the previous iteration. It looks similar to a binder clip and works the same way, securely grasping and holding the device while it charges using a standard USB port.
December 12, 2017