Is Fitbit Charge 2 The Best Fitbit Yet?


Fitbit has created their own name as one of the biggest fitness trackers. See what are the thing you need to consider when buying their Charge 2.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Fitbit Charge 2

Already one of the biggest names in the fitness tracker world, Fitbit has been absolutely on fire lately with a flurry of new releases.

One of these is the Fitbit Charge 2. As the name implies, it’s an updated version of the already powerful Fitbit Charge, one of the company’s classic fitness trackers.

What’s so great about the all-new Charge 2? For starters, there’s an abundance of new features all aimed towards improving the device’s activity tracking capabilities.

The Charge 2 also boasts a much larger screen than the original Charge as well as updated data tracking. Interchangeable bands are another nice new feature.

At $150, this Fitbit fitness tracker is very reasonably priced. It’s not the most affordable around, but you get your money’s worth in terms of features and performance.

The Fitbit Charge 2 is a great choice for anyone interested in a dedicated fitness tracker that doesn’t foray into smartwatch territory. It might not be quite accurate enough for top-level athletes, but it gets the job done for everyday gym goers and weekend warriors.

However, those, like me, that prefer a combination fitness tracker smartwatch will probably want to look at alternatives.

My smartwatch reviews are a great place to start your research into fitness smartwatches.

Presenting the Product

The Fitbit Charge 2 is an updated take on the classic Charge fitness tracker.

Like its predecessor, the Charge 2’s top priority is accurate tracking and ease of use. A simple interface means that even those that aren’t tech savvy will be able to easily use the device.

A sleek design is another highpoint of the Charge 2. It definitely looks like a fitness tracker, but that’s not a bad thing – because, well, it is a fitness tracker.

What I’m saying is that this Fitbit device is sporty looking. It looks like a gym watch. Luckily though, Fitbit slimmed it down and included a large screen to give it a very stylish look.

My favorite aspect of the Charge 2? It’s price! You can’t go wrong with a high-performing fitness tracker from a well-respected brand like Fitbit for only $150.

That’s a steal, even for those in the market for their very first fitness tracker. This device won’t break the bank and is a great choice for beginners looking to track their daily activity and take their fitness training to a new level.

Sure, there’s more powerful fitness trackers available. There are also smartwatches that masquerade as a fitness tracker.

But as far as dedicated budget fitness trackers go, the Fitbit Charge 2 is very difficult to beat!

Fitbit Charge 2 Pros

  • Sleek, appealing design
  • Affordable price
  • Accurate data tracking
  • Host of new features (including guided breathing)
  • Long battery life

Fitbit Charge 2 Cons

  • No built-in GPS
  • Not waterproof
  • So-so accuracy on heart rate monitor

Features & Benefits

Design/Display

The Fitbit Charge 2 looks like a Fitbit. That’s a good thing in my opinion. I love that classic Fitbit look.

With that said, the Charge 2 is sleeker than most other Fitbits (including the Charge). It also features a much larger screen (but not too large!).

Both of those factors combined with the device’s polished silver body mean that the Charge 2 is more stylish than ever before.

The good looks of this fitness tracker are further complemented with a comfortable band. The band is adjustable (and interchangeable) and has a simple, firm clasp.

Perhaps the only real negative regarding the Charge 2’s design is the heart rate monitor. It protrudes slightly from the back of the screen area.

It’s visually noticeable when the fitness tracker is off. Yet it didn’t really bug me while wearing the device during daily activities or exercise. It could pose a problem for some people though.

Because it looks like a Fitbit, the Charge 2 is definitely more at home in the gym. Still though, it’s not a bad option for daily use.

The interchangeable band means you can swap it out for a special version made out of a nicer material. Fitbit also sells special editions of the Charge 2. My favorite is the black with the gunmetal body.

Performance

The Fitbit Charge 2 always works as it should. It scores very highly in the performance department.

Activity tracking and other functions never lag. The Charge 2 is a fast device that quickly navigates to the section you want.

My main gripe is the device’s complexity. It’s weirdly difficult to figure out how to use. So prepare for a reasonable learning curve.

After a day or two, however, you’ll be using the device with ease. It’s just not very intuitive the first time you use it.

Probably the most frustrating aspect of navigation is the inability to scroll back. Rather than clicking back to a previous screen, you have to click around to get back to the screen naturally.

Another big letdown regarding the Charge 2’s performance is lack of waterproofing. It’s water resistant so you can take it out in the rain (or sweat in it), but you must make sure to take it off before hitting the showers.

The lack of waterproofing isn’t that big of a deal, but in an age where most new fitness trackers and smartwatches are waterproof, it’s definitely a mark against the Charge 2.

Key Features

The Fitbit Charge 2 is packed with features. It takes the already great features of the original Charge and expands on them.

Chief among the device’s key features is activity tracking. It automatically detects activity and starts tracking it. This is a big benefit for those that are just trying to be more active during the day by walking more.

The activity tracker, known as SmartTrack, not just only recognizes activity – it also differentiates between type of activity. It’s very accurate at detecting whether you’re running, walking, cycling, and more.

The Charge 2 also features a sleep tracker. Though it’s very accurate, its data should be taken with a grain of salt if you have a sleep disorder. Of course, it’s a decent way to track the average amount of sleep you get in a night.

Unfortunately, the Charge 2 doesn’t have a built-in GPS. This is a big no-no in my opinion. The best fitness trackers do have built-in GPS, so you might not want to buy this device if extremely accurate distance tracking is important to you.

One way around the lack of GPS is to link the Charge 2 with your smartphone. It’s compatible with a number of apps.

Another key feature of the Charge 2 is its built-in heart rate monitor. Heart rate training has massive fitness benefits so it’s a much-appreciated addition for those serious about fitness.

Unfortunately, the accuracy of the built-in heart rate monitor is only so-so. It’s most accurate during prolonged periods of use, but isn’t so accurate during daily activities.

One feature that helps the Charge 2 stick out from the competition is guided breathing. This tool helps promote mindlessness to reduce stress.

The device uses your heart rate as a baseline for breathing. It then encourages you to breath in time with a pulse on the screen.

It’s an interesting tool to use post workout. Or as a meditation aid. I also like turning guided breathing on if I notice I’m overly stressed during the day.

Finally, the Charge 2’s notifications are worth a mention. While it isn’t trying to be a smartwatch in any way, the ability to receive notifications is a nice addition to the fitness tracker.

Notifications work like this: you receive a notification that you got a call, email, or text on your smartphone. You can’t reply to them. Weirdly, you can’t even review them in full.

WhatsApp is an effective solution to that. You still can’t reply to notifications, but at least the app lets you see the entire message.

Want to be able to respond to notifications? Then a smartwatch with fitness tracking features might be a better option for you.

Battery Life

Like all Fitbits, the Charge 2 has great battery life.

It would last around a week when I was using it normally. That means 24/7 activity tracking but only using fitness tracking for about an hour a day.

It’s nice knowing you only have to charge your fitness tracker once a week.

Social Proof

I always look around online to see what other people are saying about experiences with the same fitness trackers I’m using.

For the Fitbit Charge 2, I found that most people like the same things as me. Namely, all the great features, the long battery life, and the stylish design.

One user said, “Great device, build quality way better than original Charge.”

Another user said, “The app is so user friendly, so streamlined, so generally fun to play around with.”

The handful of negative comments about the Charge 2 also were similar to mine. The ones that stick out are about the lack of a built-in GPS as well as lack of waterproofing.

Alternatives

Fitbit Surge

Dubbed a “fitness super watch,” the Fitbit Surge has most of the same features as the Charge 2. The big difference? It has a built-in GPS.

Fitbit Surge vs Fitbit Charge 2

  • Surge is $100 more expensive
  • Similar design and interface
  • Both are very easy to use
  • Both have long battery life
  • Surge has built-in GPS

$100 is a lot of extra money to pay for a fitness tracker. If a built-in GPS is on your “must have” list, it’s more than worth it though.

Polar M600

Let me be clear: the Polar M600 is a smartwatch not a fitness tracker. With that said, it does include most of the same fitness tracking capabilities as the Charge 2 in a smartwatch body.

Polar M600 vs Fitbit Charge 2

  • M600 is a smartwatch
  • M600 is $200 more expensive
  • Both are very accurate at activity tracking
  • Both have built-in heart rate monitors
  • M600 has built-in GPS

I always opt for a fitness smartwatch in favor of a fitness tracker. Unless you’re looking for a dedicated fitness tracker, I’d recommend looking into smartwatches, like the Polar M600, that double as both.

Fitbit Blaze

The Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Charge 2 are very similar. They both are designed to target the same audience.

Fitbit Blaze vs Fitbit Charge 2

  • Comparable pricing
  • Blaze is more intuitive and user friendly
  • Blaze is best for all-around exercise
  • Neither has GPS
  • Charge 2 has more features

The best of these two Fitbits hinges on your personal preferences. The Blaze is more beginner friendly but lacks the insane number of features of the Charge 2.