Don’t worry, this isn’t the usual January health kick blog post. Well, kinda. A few years ago, you might remember that I picked up the Jawbone Up 2 in a bid to motivate me to live a healthier lifestyle. Whilst the Up 2 did everything I wanted it to do and I enjoyed using it, I never completely loved it. The band always felt flimsy on my wrist, and I often found it fell off randomly. I actually had an issue with the band and had the whole thing replaced, but even then I still had issues. After hearing a lot of rave reviews from friends about Fitbit, I decided an upgrade was on the cards. With all this said, let me introduce my new toy, the Fitbit Charge 2.
What is the Fitbit Charge 2?
Fitbit’s best-selling fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 2 is the second generation of a tried and tested favourite. The main features it has are:
- Activity Tracking through steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and hourly activity;
- Multi-Sport Modes allowing you to track exercises such as running, weights and yoga;
- SmartTrack which is an auto excercise recognition programme including activities such as biking, hiking etc;
- Auto Sleep Tracking & Sleep Stages showing time spend in light, deep and REM sleep;
- PurePulse Heart Rate which tracks your heart rate continuously to get a more accurate picture of your health;
- Connected to GPS allowing you to see stats like pace and distance as well as a map of your route post-workout;
- Call, Text & Calendar Alerts so you can keep your phone away;
- Cardio Fitness Level to help you improve your overall fitness;
- Guided Breathing Sessions guided by your heart rate to help you find moments of calm;
- Reminders to move so you stay on track to reach your goals, and;
- Up to 5 days battery life.
It retails for around £99.99, although I got mine for £89.99 from Amazon.
The appearance of the Fitbit Charge 2 is pretty standard. It’s a wrist-based tracker not dissimilar in style to your standard wrist watch. It features a large OLED Screen, but is still no bigger than a normal watch. It’s worth noting that the screen isn’t touch screen, although it does have a tap display through the button at the side. The display is completely customisable so you can choose what stats you see and how they are displayed.
When you purchase the Charge 2, you have a variety of colour choices, (mines in Plum & Stainless Steel) with some special edition options also available. What I love about Fitbit is the accessories. The straps are interchangeable, with leather, sport and metal versions offered so you can really make this fit your style. They also offer straps in three sizes (S, L, XL), with XL only being available online.
Wirelessly syncing your Fitbit Charget 2 to the Fitbit App allows you to see all of your stats and the progress you’ve made toward reaching your goals. Apart from your stats, you can also track weight, nutrition, and hydration to give a detailed picture of your health. In addition you can get major motivation boots thanks to being able to share your fitness journey with friends and family, and even challenge them. Whenever you hit a milestone you collect badges and trophies to keep you going when the novelty wears off. There’s even a community section where you can join groups to get tips and advice to reach your personal goal.
If you don’t have a Fitbit, you can still access the app and track basic stats like steps, distance and calories burned. Oh, and all this information can also be accessed from a desktop.
On opening the box, I feel like the Fitbit Charge 2 is much more substantial than the Jawbone Up 2. As I said, I had issues with the jawbone strap, but this one looks better and much more secure. It’s smaller than I thought and it’s not bulky at all. I also absolutely love the screen and being able to customise it. Excuse my awful stats in the above photo, I’d literally just got my band when I took it but wanted to show you how clear it is. Whilst the screen isn’t displayed all the time, simply pressing the button on the side makes it visable.
Setting up my Fitbit was really easy. Once I’d opened the box, I was directed to the Fitbit app where I signed up easily enough. After charging (via USB lead) and updating my tracker, I was ready to go. Already, the stats that are available are much more comprehensive than the Up 2, and the App is 100% more user-friendly.
1 Week with the Fitbit Charge 2
Now that I’ve had a play around with it what do I think?
Well, firstly, I’ll say that it does everything it promises to do. I know that the fitbit is marketed as a fitness tracker, but for me I feel like it’s pretty close to a fitness watch. Whilst you might not have a touch-screen or some of the additional features of a fitness watch, it’s really not that far off. One feature I’ve found so helpful is the Guided Breathing sessions. It’s not widely advertised, but all you do is press the button on the side, and you have a 2 minute session aiming lower your heart rate. As you all know, I suffer with anxiety quite badly, and having something on my wrist when I’m out and about that can help calm me down has been incredible. I mean, I don’t know why anyone hasn’t thought of this before! If you suffer I’d strongly recommend looking into picking a Charge 2 up.
In comparison to my Jawbone Up 2, the Fitbit Charge 2 is 100% better. That’s not to say that my Jawbone didn’t do what it said it would, I just find this much more user-friendly. For starters, the strap is much more secure and I feel 100% confident that it will stay on my wrist. I also love being able to see how many steps I’ve done on my screen as it’s a great prompt without having to go on to the app. Speaking of the app, the Fitbit version is clearer. Personally, I find it much more visual and I really love the sense of community it builds. Earning badges and getting motivational messages has also made me think about my habits, so it’s definitely helping me achieve my goals. Another small improvement is the charger. Whilst both models charge via a USB lead, the Fitbit one is much easier to attach, and I’ve found that it also charges a lot quicker (around 1 hour 30 mins). However, it’s worth noting the Jawbone Up 2 has a longer battery life of 9 days, whereas the Fitbit Charge 2’s battery life is 5 days. But, for the additional benefits I’ve gained, it’s not a big thing.
I don’t think it will come as much surprise to you when I say I absolutely love my Fitbit Charge 2 and think it’s a great upgrade from my Jawbone. Fingers crossed I continue to have good results with it and will achieve my fitness goals. Do you have a fitness tracker? Has it helped you reach any goals? Let me know in the comments below!