As much as there is an inclination to gathering Fitness trackers and smartwatches into one classification, they offer rather distinctive encounters. The last have to a great extent neglected to persuade purchasers, while the previous – including Fitbit’s items – lead the market. Proceeded with achievement incited the organization to attempt and obscure the lines between the two with the Blaze, however the outcome wasn’t precisely great.
Thus with its most up to date dispatches, Fitbit has multiplied down on what it specializes in: wellness following. TheCharge 2 and Flex 2 stamp the first run through Fitbit has offered coordinate continuations for gadgets in its lineup. As indicated by the organization, the Charge has been its top of the line, so it was just characteristic that it would be iterated upon within the near future.
To the extent the plan is concerned, the Charge 2 appears to have advanced from the primary gen Charge while getting a few components from the as of late dispatched Alta. Being a successor, it has enhancements: a much bigger show, associated GPS (it joins with the GPS on your cell phone), guided breathing activities, and a cardio wellness metric that rates your wellness against other individuals of your age and sexual orientation. Some of these progressions are down to client criticism, Fitbit told Gadgets 360 in a late meeting.
The screen is the most clear change about the Charge 2. Rather than the single-line ticker show on more established Charge gadgets, the new one can fit four lines of content on its screen. You can see the time, date, number of steps taken, and your present heart rate – relying upon the clock confront you run with. Be that as it may, the screen’s perceivability endures outside, with content practically difficult to unravel under unforgiving daylight.
Touch affectability is on a par with what we’ve seen so far on other Fitbit items. You need to tap the screen hard to raise the show or go through different details – separate, calories blazed, floors climbed, dynamic minutes, and suggestions to move. Like with other Fitbit items, you can swing your arm up to turn the show on the off chance that you need a fast look on how you’re accomplishing for the day or amid a movement.
Similarly as with past Charge units, the Charge 2 has a physical catch that controls its menu interface. The principal press raises the clock face, and after that each ensuing press burns you through heart rate, work out, stopwatch, “unwind” i.e. breathing sessions, and cautions. Where the Alta demonstrated your alerts as a component of the details on the home screen, here it’s covered in the catch squeeze menu for two reasons. One, the preferred standpoint is that you can spin through every one of your alerts on the gadget itself as opposed to going into the Fitbit application. Two, you can turn any current alerts on or off by squeezing and holding the menu catch when the caution is shown.
This works for different things in the menu as well, the practice menu cycles between the exercises you’ve chosen in the application (be it run, weights, treadmill or about six different decisions), the unwind choice exchanges somewhere around 2-and 5-minute sessions, with the stopwatch work the main standalone choice and one we feel could have finished with a clock include too, which would have been incredible for setting fast updates.
The Charge 2 is a piece of Fitbit’s dynamic wellness sub-mark, the center of three levels; which makes it reasonable for individuals who think a great deal about their wellness regimen. It doesn’t have in-manufactured GPS, so proficient competitors may think that its unsuitable. Be that as it may, the organization wouldn’t like to cook just to runners. The Charge 2 has multi-wear bolster, Fitbit says, which implies it can help you with different exercises, for example, weightlifting, treadmill, workouts, curved, bicycle, yoga, turning, pilates, training camp, high-intensity exercise, tennis, golf, kickboxing, hand to hand fighting, stair climbing, and then some.
The most up to date Fitbit gadget has an altimeter like its first-gen partners, so it can consider stairs well. You can set your day by day go for floors and more in Account > Activity Goals in the Fitbit application, which has a default focus of 10,000 stages, 8 km separation, and 10 stories for every day. You can likewise pick the season of day you wish to check as dynamic hours, so Fitbit’s suggestions to move will just irritate you amid those set hours.
As usual, Fitbit proceeds with its lively messages to make them move, with the Charge 2 inciting you to “Sustain me steps!” or “Wanna walk?” like clockwork to the hour in case you’re being idle. Should you finish these errands, expect more consolation – “You won the hour!” being one such message – and an all out monochrome firecrackers show when you meet your day by day target.
Fitbit’s SmartTrack tech is available in the Charge 2 also, which means it will naturally identify exercises regardless of the possibility that you were to neglect to start following them from inside the application. It works incredible, but with a few provisos. On one event, a 18-minute bicycle ride showed up as a 25-minute bicycle ride on the application since we had strolled before getting on the bike. In any case, on different events, it was on point with a 20-minute run and a 30-minute walk.
Step following exactness is noteworthy on the Charge 2. Tried with its Connected GPS include off with mile-marker engravings on a way for reference, the wearable delivered a blunder rate of only 2 percent over different strolls (with a normal separation of 2.5 km). On one such walk, we secured a separation of 1.46km as indicated by the turning points, and the Charge 2’s recording was 1.45km.
Rest acknowledgment works whether you rest around evening time or amid the day, with awesome exactness. On 12 of 13 times we dozed while wearing the Charge 2, the wearable was to a great extent on point, missing one moment or two with its estimations. Just on one event did it goof up, recording 15 minutes longer than we had dozed, which we credited to the way that we had been sitting for 10 of those minutes.
The Charge 2 likewise has a quiet alert capacity which can wake you up by vibrating delicately – something that most wearables offer. It’s an awesome element, all the more so on the off chance that you despise being shocked conscious by uproarious sounds. Match it with the Sleep Goals work in the Fitbit application, and it will send you indications of the time and days of the week as you pick.
All the new things
Connected GPS, which we first saw on the much costlier Fitbit Blaze, is one of the upgrades to the second-gen Charge 2. It uses your paired phone’s data to tell where the watch is, and so you can have a map of your workout alongside the usual stats such as pace and heart-rate once you’re done.
The other new metric is what Fitbit calls Cardio Fitness Level. Exclusive to the Charge 2 for now, it ranks your fitness compared to the average for people of your age and gender. The company says it’s “an estimate of your VO2 Max (the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise)”.
That’s how it should be seen really, as an estimate, because evaluating VO2 Max properly requires running on a treadmill with an oxygen mask in a controlled lab environment. You can improve your score with “consistent exercise and high intensity training” and increase your VO2 Max by up to 20 percent, Fitbit says.
The third new – and exclusive – feature is the Relax mode. A similar feature, called Breathe, is available on the Apple Watch with the newest software update, watchOS 3. With Relax on the Charge 2, you can choose between 2 minutes and 5 minutes of guided breathing sessions, wherein the wearable will guide you through deep breathing routines customised using your real-time heart rate. It’s a pity that there are no vibrating prompts, which means you can’t close your eyes and focus completely on the breathing exercises.
While the new features are all well and good, the Charge 2 carries over some niggling issues from previous Fitbit devices. Though it handles alerts – for incoming calls, texts, and calendar – messages get cut off after less than 40 characters, just like with the Alta. As with other Fitbits that have a screen, you can’t reply to messages either, so the screen isn’t really useful except for knowing who a message or call is from. Alerts are different in the sense that there are two tickers. First the sender’s name scrolls and only when that’s done, does the message start scrolling.
The new Fitbit wearable also misses out on full waterproofing, which the company seems to have reserved for the upcoming Flex 2, scheduled for a release in October. The Charge 2 sticks to the standard “sweat, rain and splash proof” promise, meaning you shouldn’t take it into a shower or swimming pool.
The last of the niggling issues with the Charge 2 is that it requires yet another new charging cable, a gripe we share with every other Fitbit user. When we reviewed the Alta we reported that replacement cables weren’t available from Fitbit’s official partner, Amazon India, even months after release – and they still aren’t. The Charge 2 is now available for purchase, but there’s no sign of charging cables. Even if you manage to find one, you’ll need to pay around Rs. 1,500 for a replacement.
When you’re trying to improve upon your most popular product, you’d better have some good ideas. With the Charge 2, Fitbit has brought its A game – giving it a much-needed upgrade in the screen real estate department along with a couple of new features – Cardio Fitness and Guided Breathing – which are exclusive to the new device (for now, at least). For those who own a previous-gen Charge device, the screen size alone warrants the upgrade.
It may not be a colour screen like the Fitbit Blaze has, but that does mean longer battery life. Fitbit says up to five days, but we got six days out of it with moderate usage. Plus, it’s less bulky, looks better, and costs a full Rs. 5,000 less.
If waterproofing or GPS is a must, you’ll need to look at products like Garmin’s Vivosmart HR or Forerunner 230. But that’s an entirely different category, not to mention the extra money you’ll need to put down. For most people then, the Fitbit Charge 2 will be the best fitness tracker available.
Price: Rs. 14,999 (Available via Amazon India in black, blue, plum and teal)
Not as bulky as the Blaze
Step tracking accuracy is impressive
Commendable battery life
Reduced reliance on smartphone app
Still no waterproofing
Notifications are truncated
Proprietary charging cable
Ratings (out of 5)
Other features: 4
Value for money: 4