The Fitbit Charge 2 is the successor to the Charge band, and comes with significant changes. And popular watch brand Fossil has added the Shine 2 band to its MISFIT line-up of fitness trackers.
The most visible design change is the bigger display—it is four times larger, in fact. The bigger screen means that the Charge 2 can also double up as a competent watch and share notifications from your smartphone. The OLED screen’s visibility, even in bright sunlight, is excellent. The elastomer strap withstands humidity, and does not feel itchy even if it’s worn for long durations.
The other big upgrade is the inclusion of the heart-rate monitor feature. So there is just one variant, making the choice simpler for buyers.
Secondly, the Charge 2 can also match your heart-rate data with steps walked, distance run and other calculations such as calories consumed. This makes it more accurate than the Charge. Like most other bands, it also tracks active minutes, calories burnt, distance covered, steps taken, even sleep if you are comfortable wearing a wristband to bed. It can also be configured to prompt the user with periodical reminders to get up and walk around for a bit. There are a bunch of pre-configured exercise routines.
Fitbit’s excellent app (Fitbit app; free for Android and iOS) is also why its wearables are a notch above those of rivals. Activity data is synced from the Charge 2 to the app via Bluetooth, and you get detailed statistics and graphs to better understand how your exercise routine is panning out.
The Fitbit Charge 2’s battery lasts five days on a single charge, and can stretch to a week if the heart-rate monitor is not kept on all the time.
The Charge 2 packs in significantly better hardware, but misses out on a built-in GPS. That, however, shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. It’s not exactly affordable, but enthusiasts will appreciate this very competent tracker.