Not everyone is a sports enthusiast, doing hardcore workouts and wearing a sport-oriented smartwatch that counts every second and every move. We have often been approached by some people, who just do “light” walks and basic movements but need a tracker to keep them motivated. For them, having a tracker that detects different sports modes is not a requirement, and it could be a huge jump that might need some bank investments. However, their basic requirement is to have a tracker that gives simple insight into the movements and tells them whether or not they moved enough to burn that glazed doughnut they had early in the morning. If your requirement of a trackers matches the scenario above, then we recommend nothing but the Fitbit Charge 2. The Fitbit Charge 2 is the tracker that matches all the special requirements listed above. It tracks your all-day activities like steps, distance, AND calorie. It also monitors heart rate and helps you find calmness via guided breathing sessions.
Fitbit Charge 2 – The Review
Just like its predecessor the Fitbit charge hr, the Charge 2 comes with a very comfortable interchangeable rubber band. The tracker rests securely on your wrist, due to the clasp straps that keep the tracker in its place. The charge 2 has a very sleek and subtle look, and it has a large black and white OLED touchscreen display that is 4 times bigger than the old Fitbit charge device. It also has a very stylish look with a polished silver body that adds to its overall fine looking design.
On the back, there is the heart rate sensor placed as the charge 2 keeps track and monitors the heart rate readings.
On the left side, there is a button that helps you navigate through the menu options. You can also hold this button down to activate other features, or to activate the tracker. However, by tapping the touchscreen you will get to view other information such as the calorie burned, stairs climbed and distance walked.
The Fitbit charge 2 is very comfortable to wear for 24/7. If you don’t like the rubber band, you can customize it to another nicer material.
The Fitbit charge 2 has an automatic exercise tracking feature, it can easily detect the start and stop point when running, without any user interaction. The charge 2 has a SmartTrack features, that enables the tracker to automatically recognizes running, cycling and other activities, which makes it easier than logging manually. However, If you want to start tracking a specific workout manually you can still do that, just give the only button there a long press to activate the session.
Movement is not the only thing that is automatically detected, as the other Fitbit’s products the charge 2 also detects sleep. It could be a hassle to manually log in your sleep and wake time. The Fitbit charge 2 make that easier by automatically detecting sleep/wake time, sleep duration and sleep pattern. Regarding sleep, the charge 2 provides more in-depth information related to Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights. Not only that, the Fitbit charge 2 will wake you up gently with a silent alarm vibration.
As for steps tracking, the charge 2 has a basic steps counting along with distance and elevation. Charge 2 uses a barometric sensor to calculate its steps by tracking changes in pressure. Keep in mind that the charge 2 does not have a built-in GPS, so it depends on connecting to your phone using the ConnectedGPS feature.
The vo2 score or the “Cardio Fitness” score, is a measure of the body’s maximal oxygen uptake ability. It tests how much oxygen your body can take in when you are giving your maximum during cardio exercise. So basically, your vo2 score will be an indicator of your cardiovascular endurance and overall performance. Why is it needed you might wonder, it can be a useful indicator to track your progress and fitness over the time. As your body improves and becomes fitter, your VO2 Max score should improve as well. So, what does that have to do with Fitbit charge?
In the Fitbit app, there is a VO2 Max or Cardio fitness level as Fitbit calls it. If you wear your charge 2 over the night, the tracker will measure your resting heart rate. Along the side with other data that you need to log such as; age, height, and weight, the app eventually will give you a score. This score will match you up with other people in your age range and gender. You will get an overall data related to your fitness level, your fat burn, cardio and peak heart rate zones.
The VO2 Max score is one of the greatest addition that the charge 2 has over other products.
Fitbit added a nice feature to the Charge 2, a guided breathing that allows you to remember to have a moment, breath in and relax. With the growing needs of ways and wearables that helps in becoming calmer, the Fitbit Charge 2 manages to provide you with personalized breathing exercises. By taking your heart rate readings into account, the tracker will guide you through a two or five minutes session of breathing to achieve a good heart beating rhythm and relax.
Moving to notifications, you need to know that the Fitbit charge 2 is not a smartwatch and this means you will have basic and limited notifications.
You will not be able to reply or review your notification just like you might do on a smartwatch. On the Charge 2, you will receive notifications related to Call, text, and calendar. It will be displayed on your charge 2 screens, but your phone needs to be connected to the tracker to do so. It seems like WhatsApp notification works with the charge 2, but no other third party notification.
When you receive a text or a call, the charge 2 will have a gentle buzz on your wrist and it will display the id of the caller. With text messages, it will show a clipped version of the text with the contact id.
During the day, you will receive other notification from the charge 2 especially if you have been slacking and sitting around for a long time. The charge 2 will gently remind you to move your body.
Is the Fitbit Charge 2 waterproof
The Fitbit charge 2 is not waterproof, however, it is a water-resistant tracker. Which means it can take sweat and rain. It is not recommended to take the charge 2 for a shower and definitely not a pool dive.
What about the battery life of the Charge 2
As in the battery life of the charge 2, Fitbit says the battery of Charge 2 will last up to five days depending on the use.
Charging the Fitbit charge 2 is easy and does not take a lot of time, you will need 15-20 minutes for it to be fully charged.
If you have used one of Fitbit’s products before, then you should be familiar with the application. All activity and sleep data collected via the Charge 2 tracker will be stored and displayed in the application. The application has a very clear interface, which makes it easy to follow and navigate around.
The data will be represented in graphs and charts to make it easier to understand at a glance. In the application, you can set personalized goals to challenge yourself and keep your spirit high. You can also join group challenges with other Fitbit community users. The application will provide you with guidance regarding your health and fitness, so you will receive recommendations and insights based on your activity.
In the dashboard, you will find a lot of information displayed related to your activity such as; steps taken, distance covered, floor climbed, sleep duration and sleep pattern. You can get more details when you switch to the submenu. As we already mentioned, Fitbit app covers the feature of Cardio fitness level which will be found under heart rate readings.
In the app, you can log your personal information, log and keep track of your food and water intake.
A new update to the app is the Adventures, which can be found under challenges. The “Adventures” are visual tours of famous locations, where you can unlock the route and content by passing a certain number of steps. It is a nice feature that keeps you motivated especially if you like to be challenged.
Also, using the Fitbit application you can edit the notification and silent alarm settings.
Fitbit Charge 2 Feature Summary
- Automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking
- Tracking basic activity; Steps, Distance, and floor climbed
- Automatic detection for running and cycling.
- OLED display and touchscreen
- Call, texts and calendar notification
- Sleep tracking
- Cardio Fitness score ( VO2 Max)
- Help you to reach moments of calmness via breathing sessions.
Pros and Cons of the Charge 2
- Sleek Design
- Guided breathing sessions
- VO2 Max ( Cardio fitness level)
- Reasonable price
- Interchangeable bands
- No built-in GPS
- Not waterproof
- Basic notification ( No third party apps notification, except for WhatsApp; it seems to work)