Welcome to our Fitbit Charge 2 review. At FitnessWithFlaws.com we absolutely love the latest upgrade to the Charge HR, the Fitbit Charge 2. As you know we have a strict policy where we will only recommend a product the we have first tried ourselves and we feel offers real value to the user. This is most definitely the case with the Fitbit Charge 2. I have been a long time user of Fitbit products starting first with the Charge HR, then Fitbit Surge and finally and more recently on to the Fitbit Charge 2. This watch is a clear and definite improvement on its predecessor with a more sleek design plus new functions and all at a comparatively reasonable price. Read on for our full Fitbit Charge 2 review.
Fitbit Charge 2 Review: Appearance
The Fitbit Charge 2 has a larger screen but is narrower and less bulky than its predecessor and is significantly smaller than the function heavy “superwatch” Fitbit Surge. You may be aware that trackers such as these are designed to be worn throughout the day. As a result this discreet size makes a massive difference when wearing this watch in a range of situations such as work and social events. Another fantastic improvement is that with the Fitbit Charge 2 you can now purchase replacement straps so if you’re unhappy with the standard colours at point of purchase you can change as you see fit.. In addition to choosing the band colour you can also choose the clock face through the app and there are a range of options depending on the type of information you would like readily available. The watch illuminates either by tapping the face, pushing the button on the side or you can enable the quick view function, meaning that the display will light up automatically if you tilt the watch towards you. Through this you can see your heart rate, steps, calories burnt, floors climbed and active minutes all at the flick of your wrist.
Fitbit Charge 2 Review: Features
To fully appreciate the range of features available with the Fitbit Charge 2 it should be noted that it operates across three platforms which are a mobile app, desktop computer and the watch itself. Each of these platforms offers a slightly different user experience and while the app and the watch itself are likely the most important and regularly used it’s also worth taking a look at the features offered through the website.
Motion Sensor & Purepulse Technology
Using motion sensing and Purepulse technology the Fitbit Charge 2 sends a whole range of data through to the app for you to use to stay active and on track with your health and lifestyle plan. This information is presented in a clear and user-friendly dashboard that you can arrange however you see fit allowing you have the information you feel is most important at the top of the app as soon as you open it.
As you would expect the watch has a step tracker, however it also comes equipped with intuitive technology that actually monitors your movement and starts recording if it notices a particular activity for more than 15 minutes. For instance if it notices you have walked for over 15 minutes it will begin tracking this as exercise and it will be automatically logged on your app. Alternatively you can manually track a training session by simply selecting the exercise on the watch and holding the button on the side to start. This is very useful for gym or stationary machine (elliptical or bike etc) workouts however if you wish to track a run you will need to carry your phone as the watch itself does not have inbuilt GPS. This lack of GPS is what makes the compact size of the Fitbit Charge 2 possible so we feel it’s a trade-off worth making particularly, as we tend to have our phones with us on long runs or walks anyway.
Using your heart rate and app the Fitbit Charge 2 tracks your daily calorie burn. This is particularly effective as it enables you to get a handle on whether that 1500 calorie a day diet is realistic if like me, you find yourself burning close to 3500 – 4000 per day. You can also track your food consumption with the app so you can see at any point throughout the day if you are in surplus or deficit with your intake. While the Fitbit food tracker is ok, I still prefer to use MyFitnessPal which synchs easily and seamlessly with the Fitbit app. Understanding my intake and calorie burn in this way has gone a long way to tackling some of the major issues I’ve had in the past with compliance with my food plans.
24hr Heart Rate Monitoring
The watch constantly monitors your heart rate. While you sit at work, shop exercise or chase the kids around the Fitbit Charge 2 is constantly keeping a track of what is going on. This gives great insight in the form of daily active minutes which are recorded when you are moving around and have an elevated heart rate. Additionally the information received is used to calculate your resting heart rate which is another great indicator of overall health. Over time, as you improve your lifestyle you can actually see your resting heart rate come down which is incredibly motivating.
As with the Fitbit Charge HR the Fitbit Charge 2 uses your heart rate and movement to track sleep patterns. I find this particularly useful as an appropriate amount of sleep is something I always seem to neglect. You can also set sleep targets with reminders, personally I’ve found this less useful as if I’ve got an early night the reminder to go to bed can on sometimes wake me up. You can easily switch these reminders off from the app if like me that option doesn’t suit.
Fitbit have established links with many other app services and trackers. While our personal preference is MyFitnessPal there are literally tons of other diet programs and training sites available. A full list of the can be found here.
We should all be moving more. As a result there is an option to set regular reminders to get up and move around. The default for this setting is 250 steps every hour however as with most of the things on the watch and app you can adjust this to suit your purpose.
Another new feature available with the Fitbit Charge 2 is the guided breathing and relaxation function. You can set a timed session for 2 or 5 minutes where small vibrations from the watch will help you regulate your breathing to slow your heart rate and put you in a state of relaxation.
On Screen Notifications
A much-needed upgrade from the Charge HR is the new notifications features. This enables you to receive text, calls and calendar notifications direct to your wrist and was sorely lacking from the previous version.
Fitbit Charge 2 Review: Premium Features
All of the features we have covered so far are included with a free Fitbit account and there are more than enough tolls included to enhance and support you fitness journey. If however you are looking for enhanced features and reports then it might be worth you taking a look at the premium account. When you sign up with Fitbit you will get an opportunity for a free trial and it’s definitely worth taking a look. While I do have a premium account myself it’s mostly to give me access to the various reports that I can use when writing progress reports.
Fitbit Charge 2 Review: Conclusion
To round-up this Fitbit Charge 2 review let me summarise by saying it is discreet in appearance, high in functionality and low in cost when compared with other fitness trackers. The information that you receive enables you to track the details of your progress and make intelligent decisions on your training and nutrition needs.
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