Sunday 17 December 2017

Tech Review: Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2

Sasha Brady

Our reviewer tests out the Fitbit Charge 2.

Fitbit Charge 2

Price: €129.46 from Amazon

Rating: 4 Stars

I'm not a gym bunny but I do enjoy regular walks and the odd run and fitness class. Although this year I'm pushing myself to make more of an effort when it comes to fitness. I rely heavily on the use of a fitness tracker to encourage me to move around a fair bit. I like seeing numbers on my way to my goal.

I upgraded my original Fitbit to the Fitbit Charge 2 - the successor of the Charge HR activity-tracking wristband, which, to be honest, had started to feel a bit dated since competitors have saturated the market with improved versions.

But Fitbit fought back with the Charge 2 and it offers the necessary upgrades to make it one of the better options in the mid-range vertical.

So what's improved?

It has a larger screen which makes it easier to see stats. Swappable bands (for versatility). Always-on heart rate. Five-day battery life. Easy-to-use companion app.

When it comes to design, it's more streamlined than its predecessor. Although it's not exactly snug, it doesn’t feel as bulky on the wrist and isn’t a distraction while sleeping.

The Charge 2 also offers a guided breathing exercise, making sure you're breathing properly (something that I struggle with when exercising). It's definitely a welcome addition. A nice little feature to encourage the user to take some time out and be more mindful, which is just as important as exercising.

But one of the best additions if the Cardio Fitness Level feature, a proper fitness metric which allows users to move through different levels by tapping the screen and pressing a button on the band’s side. It works by collecting information like your age, gender, and weight, along with your heart rate levels and your running speed during exercise, to assign you a cardio "score."

So far so good. You're definitely buying into some great features with the Charge 2.

On the flip side, the Charge 2 doesn’t have a built-in GPS but users can get around that by syncing it with their smartphone GPS. It’s also not waterproof but that's only a minor complaint. Just don't swim with it.

Finally, at €129.46 it's one of the best personalised fitness and health trackers on the market and, safe to say, the best for the moderately active. Trust me, the stats between 9 and 5 will encourage you to get away from your desk. Compare prices.

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