Recently I was asked to trial the Fitbit Charge 2 to find out what my thoughts were on one of Fitbit’s latest fitness trackers. Having already worked with the Surge and had very successful results with it, I was more than happy to see how the Charge would also be of benefit to me.
How It Looks
The Charge 2 is thinner than the Surge. It feels lighter and more like how you’d expect a fitness tracker to look. In fact it was so light that whilst I wore it I completely forgot I even had it on me!
There’s a long digital display at the front of the tracker with a single button to the side, a hidden sensor above the display, as well as a heart-rate sensor underneath.
What It Does
The Charge 2 covers pretty much everything you’d need from the world of fitness, including the following:-
- Various Exercise Tracking
- Sleep Tracking
- Heart-Rate Monitoring
- Breathing Exercises
As a real fitness lover I cover a range of exercises and it’s important to get a true reflection of my performance and stats. The fact that this tracker can cover my running, weight-lifting, my work on the treadmill, as well as on the bike and even for intervals, makes it one of the most extensive trackers I’ve ever used.
Navigation & Design
You can tell that a great deal of care and attention was paid when designing the Charge 2.
Despite the screen on the tracker being small, it’s still just as easy to utilise the various functions, depending on whether you long press the side button (to select) or short press to navigate around the menus.
There’s also the tapping above the screen itself which has a hidden sensor and allows you to go through the various stats during a workout.
What I also love about this tracker is just how good the battery life is. I think I charged it once every 7 days which is perfect considering I used it pretty much every day. That really helps in terms of convenience because these days I’m charging pretty much everything every other day!
It probably comes down to the fact that the display only appears when you turn your wrist towards you as the tracker knows you want to view the screen and then lights up.
I wanted to talk specifically about one of the newer modes that I hadn’t come across yet but one that I really got a lot out of and that’s ‘Relax’ mode.
This encourages you to take a few minutes out of your day to calm yourself down through slow and controlled breathing and allows your heart-rate to decrease as a result, calming the rest of your body.
Once you select this feature you can choose between a 2 minute and 5 minute session. The display on the tracker turns into a circle and asks you to follow it along with additional onscreen instructions.
Taking just two minutes out of a busy day really made all the difference for me. I felt more relaxed and I only needed the tracker to help me, which was already on my wrist. The breathing exercises can be done anywhere and there’s no need to close your eyes!
Sleep is so important to allow your mind and body to recover and Fitbit understand the true benefits of a good night’s sleep, which is why one of the main features of the app itself is to view, monitor and compare your sleeping stats.
The Charge 2 will automatically detect and track when you begin to wind down for the night, when you’re in a light, deep or in REM type of sleep. There’s no need to activate a mode on your tracker, just go to bed with it!
The app partners up so well with this tracker. It reveals so much more information than you’d ever expect to find but it shows just how much tracking the Charge 2 actually does.
For instance it tells you the exact amount of time you were awake during the night for and in which stages of sleep you entered. It gives you the average time you’d expect to be in that particular sleep mode and why certain times in each mode are vital to help the mind & body.
You can compare weekly averages of your sleep and even set yourself a sleep schedule as part one of your overall goals.
Knowing your stats, whatever they might be for, is knowing more about yourself f and your habits. Only once you have identified them can you then make the right changes to your lifestyle.
A Balanced View
This tracker has helped me to do just that which is why I’m such a fan. It does pretty much everything that I need a fitness tracker to do, especially with my busy fitness lifestyle. There were only one or two drawbacks.
The first being that although there was a Stopwatch feature, there was no Timer like there is on the Fitbit Surge. I use the timer function at the gym and set it for 30 seconds in-between sets to limit the amount of rest time I give myself. Without this I had to keep an eye on the stopwatch for when it got up to 30 seconds.
The other is the lack of GPS. For me this wasn’t so much an issue. When I go running I know where I’ve ran to. It’s much more important for me to know exactly what distance, time, heart-rate, burnt calories I achieved, however I guess for some this might be an issue.
You can use your phone’s GPS as long as you bring it with you as this will automatically pair with the Charge 2. This is a good compromise for how lightweight the device really is!
I’m so glad that I was given the opportunity to really test out the Charge 2. For such a lightweight device it covers such an extensive range of stats which will help you achieve your lifestyle goals.
In my opinion it’s a great all-round fitness tracker. Perhaps the only fitness tracker you’ll ever need to buy and in terms of value for money, I don’t think there’s anything as good out there at the same price.
If you’d like to know more about the Fitbit Charge 2 click here!