Many fitness trackers tend to be bulky, with a lackluster design that is lacking in elegance. Fitbit is one of the companies that has understood this problem and their latest generation of devices tends to be better looking than their competitors'. Fitbit Charge 2 is one of their most popular devices - a fitness wristband with heart rate monitoring, multi-sport modes, guided breathing sessions, and interchangeable bands. If you want to know whether it is a good fit for you, and how well it works, read this review:
Fitbit Charge 2: Who is it good for?
The Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker is an excellent choice for:
- People who want to improve their lifestyle, and become more active on a daily basis
- Users who have trouble with their sleep patterns, and want to understand more about what is going on and what they can do to fix things
- People who desire a fitness tracker that is well integrated with lots of health and fitness services
- Users who want a fitness tracker with solid build-quality and a pleasant design
Pros and cons
There are many things to love about the Fitbit Charge 2:
- It offers plenty of useful data for understanding your daily routine and what improvements you should make
- Excellent sleep tracking and analysis
- The bands can be replaced with ease. You do not have to buy a new Fitbit when they wear out
- The OLED display provides useful notifications when you are not near your smartphone
- It is more stylish and well built than the previous generation of the same device
- Integration with many fitness and health services, including MyFitnessPal
- Excellent mobile apps that look great and are easy to use
We identified only a few weaknesses for the Fitbit Charge 2:
- It is not waterproof
- The precision of the HR sensor varies more than that of other sensors, depending on what you do, where you are, and how you place the tracker on your wrist
- There is no GPS chip on it, but it can use your smartphone's GPS for more detailed tracking
The Fitbit Charge 2 is one of the best fitness trackers that you can buy. We used it for two months, and we also used the previous model, when it was released. The new version is an excellent upgrade from a generation earlier, that takes all the great things from the past, and improves almost all its former weaknesses. One aspect that we appreciated was the much improved build quality. While the Fitbit Charge 2 is not always 100% accurate, the data it provides tends to be consistent. The app ecosystem that Fitbit has created is one of the best in the industry, and it helps users become more fit, sleep better, improve their daily routine, and so on. The integration with many other health and fitness services, increases the usefulness of this device, especially for users who are also into food logging and other similar activities. If you are looking for an excellent fitness tracker, you should consider the Fitbit Charge 2.
Unboxing the Fitbit Charge 2
The Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker comes in a good looking white box with the picture of the device on the top.
Inside the white box, there is another black box that contains the Fitbit. This box has nothing written on it, and it opens like a book. Inside you find the Fitbit Charge 2, and the rest of the accessories, nicely tucked in.
When you unbox everything, you find the following items: the Fitbit Charge 2, the charging cable, the warranty, and the setup guide.
The unboxing experience offered by Fitbit Charge 2 is a pleasant one, worthy of a premium product. The package contains everything you need to set up and use the fitness tracker.
Design and hardware specifications
We had Fitbit devices in the past, and we like the fact that newer generation products tend to be more elegant and less geeky. Fitbit Charge 2 looks better than the first version of the same product, and it is more discreet and elegant. Also, the build quality has improved. The wristband is made of flexible, durable elastomer material.
It has a metallic snap-lock mechanism for removing the wristband from the device, that is made of stainless steel. The wristband can be replaced, and you can purchase several, in different colors, to match your outfit: black, plum, blue, and teal. Also, there are three different wrist sizes to choose from: small, large, and extra large. We used the large version, which should work for most average-sized men. You can find a wristband sizing tool, here.
There are also two more expensive versions of the device, which feature premium materials: gunmetal and rose gold. The gunmetal version features a gunmetal stainless steel buckle and frame made with a premium PVD plating process. The rose gold has a 22k rose gold plated stainless steel buckle and frame also made with a premium PVD plating process. To get them, you need to pay an additional 30 USD or 30 Euro.
Fitbit Charge 2 has the following sensors and components: an optical heart rate tracker, a 3-axis accelerometer, an altimeter, and a vibration motor for alerts and notifications. It uses them to provide the following features: continuous heart rate tracking, cardio fitness levels, guided breathing sessions, activity tracking (steps, distances, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes), auto exercise recognition (running, hiking, biking, and other sports), reminders to move, sleep tracking, alarms, alerts (call, text, and calendar).
Fitbit Charge 2 also features a large OLED touchscreen with customizable clock faces (through the Fitbit app). While does not feature a GPS chip, the Fitbit Charge 2 can use the GPS on your smartphone to collect stats.
Fitbit Charge 2 uses a Bluetooth 4.0 chip to connect to your smartphone, tablet, and other mobile devices. If you need to connect it to a desktop PC without Bluetooth, you need to purchase a wireless sync dongle, separately. The synchronizations can be done in a range of up to 30 feet or 9 meters.
This fitness tracker is sweat, rain and splash proof. However, it is not swimming proof or shower-proof, so you should take it off during such activities. It is a good idea to do the same while washing dishes.
Fitbit advertises a battery life of up to 5 days, and we can confirm that this estimate reflects reality, at least for the first two months of use. The charging time may vary between one and two hours, and it is performed with the proprietary charging cable that it is bundled in the package.
If you would like to read all the official specifications of this product, go to this page: Fitbit Charge 2 Features.
On the next page, you will find details about the Fitbit software and our experience using the Fitbit Charge 2.