The Fitbit Charge 2 has a band-like form factor with rubberized, interchangeable straps flanking a core that holds its hardware and display. It uses an OLED screen that’s four times larger than the Charge HR’s. Having a larger display makes it comfortable to read, and it now shows both the current time and some cursory fitness data. A slimmer strap width than the Charge HR helps the Charge 2 look sleeker, so it’s less of an eyesore.
The wearable has a raise-to-wake function that makes the information available at a glance, although it’s nowhere as colorful or easily readable as the Gear Fit2 by Samsung. This is noticeable when you’re flitting through the various options within both bands, and when you need to view stats while under sunlight.
The new Charge 2 not only packs an optical heart rate monitor, but also the ability to track multiple sports like biking and hiking (no swimming for this sweatproof device, though). It doesn’t have its own GPS despite all its tracking features, but there’s Connected GPS that allows the Charge 2 to pull GPS data from your smartphone.
If you’re familiar with Fitbit’s app, you’ll be pleased to know that they kept the friendly and easy-to-understand interface. One new feel-good tool they have is a Cardio Fitness Score. By taking a combination of numbers from the resting heart rate measurement, existing exercise data, and profile information, Fitbit will assign a heart-health ‘score’ that tells the user if they are healthy for their age. It’s based off the VO2 Max measurement that runners use to check their cardiovascular fitness in a snapshot.
We consider Fitbit’s features wellrounded, accessible, and sensible because of how it’s presented. This helps to appeal to a broader range of fitness behaviors and it eases people into adopting a healthier outlook, beyond the gamification of personal high-scores. It also has a simple, effective design, good enough accuracy, and a UI that communicated the metrics in a digestible manner.