Unveiled a few weeks ago, the Fitbit Charge 2 is a big release for the company, a much anticipated update to their most successful product: Charge HR. Simplicity is the beauty of Fitbits and the reason why I prefer activity trackers over complicated, feature-packed smartwatches. A smartphone is already in our hands 99% of our waking life so why do I need a second product to buzz me when someone calls, texts or give me news alerts? Basic step-tracker bands lack in features plus you can count steps using your smartphones anyway. I lost my previous tracker and was devastated. Having worn the Fitbit Charge 2 for the last 2 weeks, it’s starting to grow on me and here’s a review of what I like about it.
The $248 fitness tracker channels athleisure vibes all round; counts steps, checks your heart-rate and even lets you choose “Weights” as a workout option to track, something not available in the Charge HR. This is great for people like me who does strength training sessions. The back of the device is the heart rate monitor, which continuously tracks your heart rate by beaming a LED light onto your skin to detect capillaries expansion and contraction. Even though people have warned me that this method of tracking isn’t entirely accurate but unless you need exact heart rate for scientific studies or you’re a pro athlete, it’s not really a big deal. Also, I wear a heart rate monitor strapped under my chest during my training and so far, the accuracy hasn’t been too far off comparing the 2 devices.
And when it vibrates during the hourly reminders if you have been idle for too long, it’s kind of cute. My previous tracker simply said “Move” or something harsh like that, the Charge 2 shows different messages like “Step O’clock“, “Today’s the Day” and “Solid Stepping” with a human leaping across the screen. With a larger screen than its predecessor, you get your daily activity data such as number of steps, current heart rate in 1 tap, and mileage covered and calories burnt with another tap. It also measures your resting heart rate and mine is actually 44 (average is 60-80), lower resting heart rate is supposedly an indicator of fitness but it’s still way out of the normal range. Back to the Fitbit Charge 2, even though it’s not waterproof, I have actually worn it to the shower a few times because I forgot to take it off and it is still working fine. 1 full charge lasts about 4-5 days which is fairly reasonable.
In a nutshell, the Fitbit Charge 2 is a pretty good all-rounder, considering smartwatches that do a bit more cost so much more, and cheaper bands lack the build quality and heart rate monitor. In the saturated market of activity trackers, Fitbit’s customer support is top notch and their products offer bang-for-your-buck.