The Fitbit Charge 2 replaces the popular Charge HR, with interchangeable straps, new sports features, and larger display.
When it comes to Fitbit’s level of fitness trackers, there is no more powerful than the Fitbit Charge 2. Ready with a lot of new features like interchangeable bands, guided breathing, a larger screen and new data tracking with VO2 Max.
The Fitbit Charge 2 activity tracker is a neat, lightweight trackers that boast just about everything apart from a built-in GPS. It records all the major fitness stats and has a heart rate monitor, plus specialized sleep-quality measures.
PROS AND CONS
Pros (What We Like)
- Large display for at-a-glance information
- Continuous heart rate tracking
- Automatic workout detection
- Interchangeable band
- Accurate heart rate monitor
- Great app
- Comfortable strap
- Multi-sport tracking
- 5-day battery life
- Easy to use
- Interchangeable bands
- Consistent tracking
- Cardio Fitness score is a useful metric
- Updated with Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights
Cons (What We Didn’t Like)
- No built-in GPS (GPS Connected mode requires your smartphone)
- Gesture recognition is ropey
- Basic notifications
- No ANT+ support
- Limited phone notifications
- Expensive straps
- Not swim resistant
- Hard to see display in sunlight
Fitbit Charge 2 Review – Features
The Fitbit Charge 2 is pretty similar to the older and popular Charge HR in features and looks as well, but with some significant improvements.
Features at a Glance:
- Quick release, interchangeable straps
- 4x larger screen which shows more information
- Smartphone GPS syncing
- Cardio Fitness Level rating
- Reminders to Move
- Interval training
- Guided Breathing sessions
- Tap-sensitive navigation
Fitbit Charge 2: Design
The Fitbit Charge 2 takes elements from both the Alta and the Charge HR; it’s about as wide as the HR, but has the angular stylings of the Alta, making it a much more attractive tracker.
The Charge 2 adds some welcome refinements to the design of the first model. It comes with a markedly comfier rubber strap, and the display has been swapped out for a larger OLED panel which, by the way, appears to have been picked right out the Fitbit Alta.
The front has a large black square screen, with a button on the left.
To be sure, that the Charge 2 still has a definite “fitness tracker” vibe, but it looks more elegant than the Garmin vivosmart HR, which has a much plainer, plastic design. The Charge 2’s straps can also be removed, and the company plans to sell bands in different colors, as well as three in leather. There are also plenty of third-party straps available, but you need to check cause they vary in quality.
Probably the best decision Fitbit made was to give the Charge 2 a traditional watch band clasp. No more fiddling with rubber tabs.
The Charge 2 customisability is a sight for bored eyes, too. If you’re not taken by the stock strap, you can quickly and easily replace it with any color you fancy, simply by unhooking a couple of metal clips.
Display and controls
The most significant change is the much larger display on the Charge 2 in comparison with earlier models. Even though it is still a black-and-white screen, it shows much more data in no time. For instance, now you can see the time and date, together with your step count, simultaneously.
Is important to have in mind that you only get the one metric displayed at a single time, however the date and time now remain fixed to the top of the screen and tapping the display cycles through the number of steps taken, your heart rate, distance traveled, calorie burn, stairs climbed, active minutes and hourly activity. You can even receive text and call alerts direct to your wrist.
You can also now receive text and call alerts direct to your wrist.
Understanding the Charge 2 couldn’t be simpler. Thankfully, there’s still just the single button, simplicity is a big part of the Fitbit appeal, and this activates any one of the various activities on the Charge 2 such as starting a run, setting a stopwatch, or breathing exercises.
Similar to many other fitness trackers, the Charge 2’s display will not stay on indefinitely; you will need to move your wrist or tap the Charge 2 to get the screen to turn on.
Even with the larger screen, the Charge 2 still keeps jogging alongside for approximately 5 days prior to running empty. One great feature is that, in case you have not got the Charge 2 on your wrist, Fitbit will send you a reminder via e-mail. In case you tend to take off the Charge 2 throughout the working day, then it’s great to know that you will never get a dead wearable whenever you go for your lunchtime or post-work run.
If you’re wondering why the Charge 2 is so impressively long-lived, then here’s a reminder: it has no built-in GPS. If that’s a must-have then you will need to up your budget and look at something like the Fitbit Surge.
Like its older bands, the Charge 2 uses a proprietary USB cable, it also comes with a spring-loaded clip, which makes securing it to the band much easier.
Fitbit Charge 2: Conclusion
The Fitbit Charge 2 remains one of our favorite fitness trackers. It has just the right mix of features: heart-rate monitor, step counting, sleep tracking, and activity monitoring, and combines it with an easy-to-read OLED display and a reasonable price.
This tracker gets a lot right. Do you want a simple, hassle-free and long-lasting wearable? Then the Charge 2 ticks all the boxes. The lack of inbuilt GPS and compatibility with external ANT+ sensors might push some people towards pricier rivals such as Garmin Vivoactive HR, but otherwise, it’s the casual fitness fan’s perfect training partner.