Fitbit Charge 2 – A fitness tracker that teaches you breathe – Techno Polish

Fitbit Charge 2 – A fitness tracker that teaches you breathe – Techno Polish


It may have been released many moons ago,
but the Charge 2 remains one of the best fitness trackers you can get. If you follow any of my fitness tracker reviews,
you’ll notice I often make comparisons to the Fitbit Charge 2 as, more often than not,
I’m wearing it as a control against whatever new and shiny wearable I’m reviewing at
the time. That’s to say I’ve grown to trust the
numbers crunched by the Fitbit Charge 2, be that the number of steps in my day, the beats
of my heart or the zzz’s I catch at night. I say over and over that the numbers themselves
don’t necessarily matter – every tracker will use different algorithms or sensors – but
it’s the consistency that’s key, and that’s what I’ve been finding with the Fitbit Charge
2. I find the Fitbit Charge 2’s automatic exercise
tracking to be super handy, too. I recently went on a GoodGym-organised run,
admittedly for the launch of a rival sports watch, but the Fitbit Charge 2 was right there
with me. It did a stellar job of tracking the start-stop
nature of the day’s run without any interaction from me. Breathe mode has improved since the device
launched, adding haptic feedback akin to the Apple Watch‘s own Breathe mode. These slight vibrations let you know when
to inhale and exhale, meaning you’re not sat there staring at the screen and better
able to actually relax. I still don’t use the Breathe function that
often, but this tweak does mean that when I do, the experience is greatly improved. App notifications have also been made better,
with Fitbit expanding support to include the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger – far
more useful for someone such as myself, who abandoned SMS long ago. Other updates are continuously rolling out,
too, which is always commendable. Sleep Insights have been added for the Fitbit
Charge 2 – alongside all other sleep tracking Fitbit devices – which provides guidance
and coaching to get a better nights sleep. It’s literally only just become available,
so the level of insights I’ve received so far haven’t exactly been insightful, such
as just telling me I get more sleep than the average for my demographic. Supposedly the insights will get more personalised
over time, however. Sleep Stages has begun rolling out to Fitbit
Charge 2 users as a software update, but it’s not yet available to everyone. Considering it was one of the better functions
of the Fitbit Alta HR, it’s a useful addition. It’s a much better approach to sleep tracking
compared to what was offered previously, providing a much better breakdown of sleep phases as
well as providing a benchmark against other users in your demographic. Previously, it was difficult to know what
the numbers meant or if you were getting enough quality sleep. As for the physical condition of my Charge
2, it is beginning to look like it’s been put through one too many Tough Mudders as
the face is now rather scratched. A more robust material such as Gorilla Glass
wouldn’t go amiss here, instead of the hard-coated plastic. The fact that there are threads discussing
different screen protectors on Fitbit’s forum only serves to reinforce that it’s
prone to scratches. I didn’t even know Fitbit screen protectors
were a thing, and they really shouldn’t have to be. Battery life has held up, and I generally
only have to charge the device every five days – which isn’t a huge inconvenience. Having to take the Charge 2 off to shower
each night is still a hassle, though. All in all, I’ve actually grown more fond
of the Charge 2 since my initial review, which isn’t something that happens often. There have been some decent updates to both
the device and the app, making it a compelling fitness tracker for anyone who doesn’t need
dedicated GPS. The one thing that is lacking from the Charge
2 compared to Fitbit’s other recent devices, like the Flex 2 and Ionic, is water-resistance. Both of these devices, and many other rivals,
can survive being submerged and therefore also offer swim-tracking capabilities. Even if you’re not a swimmer, water-resistance
is useful as you don’t have to worry about taking off your device to just have a shower. I always say that every time you take a fitness
tracker off is another opportunity to not put it back on. Considering these are devices that you’re
meant to wear every day for motivation and a reminder of your activity levels, it’s
important you wear them consistently to get any benefit. I’ve since reviewed the Fitbit Alta HR and
Iconic and I’d give the Charge 2 the edge for anyone who doesn’t prioritise the slimmer
design of the Alta HR and hit and miss smart features of the Iconic.

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