The Best Fitness Tracker With Heart Rate Monitor
Why not turbocharge your health by getting the best fitness tracker with heart rate monitor. The Fitbit Charge 2 is currently the ultimate tracker to suit most people’s needs because it houses almost every feature you could ever need, it feels great around the wrist even when worn for a long time, and it is very affordable.
Similar to the trackers in the Fitbit range the Charge 2 records steps, calories, sleep and exercise but does this stylishly. It is a great improvement over the previous model and it sports a high-density OLED screen, which is not touchscreen for better control when sweaty or wet.
The heart-rate sensor is always on and gives precise readings but it doesn’t drain the battery and when tested, the battery actually lasted longer than the 5 days that the marketing states.
If you buy a Fitbit tracker you automatically get the benefit of becoming part of its large community and amazing app. Within the app, your data will sync seamlessly and you can log your daily meals, hydration and any other additional activities so can see the complete picture of your fitness.
The Charge 2 can also show incoming calls and message notifications from your phone. It is compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows devices. With this tracker, there is little room to make excuses why you can’t exercise and more motivation to live an active lifestyle and improve on your current fitness goals.
Initial Thoughts about Fitbit Charge 2
The Charge 2 is a midrange device from the Fitbit line-up. It substitutes the highly acclaimed Fitbit Charge and Charge HR. it will track everything including Heart rate, Calories Burned, Steps, Elevation (stairs) and uses your phone’s GPS to show a map of your route after your exercise is complete- you’ll need to have your phone with you for the map and text/ call notifications.
If you’ve never owned a Fitbit tracker then Charge 2 is a great way to immerse yourself in the world of activity tracking. What sets Fitbit apart from rival trackers is their extensive use of user-friendly software and social engagement. The Fitbit app is hard to beat and incredibly easy to use, plus you get access to the biggest community of fitness tracker users which makes it fun to find your friends and take on challenges.
Is it worth upgrading to Fitbit Charge 2?
From the onset, the original Charge has been the primary fitness tracker in the Fitbit range. The device received plenty of raving reviews and contributed to the success of the brand. So is it worth upgrading? Absolutely. It would be difficult for me to sum up the benefits of upgrading in one sentence, so I will split this into a few sections:
Quality of Material
The material used on the Fitbit Charge 2 is higher quality compared to the first model. From the moment you take it out of its packaging you will feel the sturdiness and thickness of the band. Its materials are built to stand the test of time.
It’s quite simple to swap the bands, all you need to do is press the band no both ends and it will come loose. Unlike the original Charge, which suffered from the band developing bubbles, the band on the Charge 2 feels vastly superior and gives a sense that it will last much longer when put to the test.
When I tested an alternative tracker (Fitbit Alta) it withstood demanding workouts and the outdoor elements. The material found on the Charge 2 feels similar or maybe even better than the Alta so I’m quite confident of the high level of quality.
Fitbit Charge 2 Sizing
The width of the Charge 2 is pretty much the same as the original Charge models. I like that the buttons feel sturdier and are more prominent. When you click the buttons they don’t wiggle or feel inferior.
The band is longer than its predecessors so you might need to get a smaller size for your wrist. I normally wear a medium size but noticed that I had to use the narrowest hole. This didn’t affect comfort or usability but it’s just something to keep a note of.
Fitbit Charge 2 Screen
The screen is crisp and about 4 times larger than earlier models. The display is pleasantly bright and the font is remarkably clear. The screen’s brightness helps to eliminate the sun’s glare when outdoors. The screen is black and white, with the font displayed just off-white, unlike the previous Charge which displayed a blueish font. Notifications scroll across the display when received.
Similar to the Apple watch, the Charge 2 has a relaxation/ breathing feature. The tracker will observe as you breathe in and out and notifies you when to take deep breaths. This is not a feature that I would use often but it’s good to know that its there.
Navigating the Interface
The Charge 2 interface is easy to navigate. When choosing a specific exercise just click the side button to access the workout section, then tap through the various exercises i.e cycling, running, rowing, weight training and so on. Once you get to the desired workout hold the button to begin. Whilst exercising you can select various stats to customisable that activity i.e. distance, calories burned, heart rate and so on.
The screen displays the clock face by default, when you press the side button you get access to the following options:
- Heart Rate
Fitbit Charge 2 Clock Faces
You can choose from 7 different clock faces. Some faces also show the date and day. Most of the faces allow you to tap the screen to access your stats to check things like heart rate, steps, activity progress, etc. Two of the clock faces are a digital clock and the rest are analogue clocks.
The tracker will display standard text without pictures. It will notify you of SMS and iMessages as well. If a call comes through, the tracker will show the name of the contact and/ or phone number, it will also display calendar alerts. Currently, the Charge 2 doesn’t send social media notifications but I’m sure this will be available in the near future.
If you stay sat down for long periods the Charge 2 will prompt you to get up. The minimum is 250 steps each hour.
- Superior build quality over previous models. The materials feel and look premium, the tracker doesn’t look like its encased in tacky rubber.
- You can style the Charge 2 for any occasion thanks to the interchangeable bands- choose from metal, leather or different coloured bands.
- Heart rate monitoring is extremely accurate and constantly reads your beats per minute without compromising the battery life.
- The earlier Charge tracker occasionally had a problem reading heart rate at more intense cardio levels. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the Charge 2.
- The charger is a big improvement and features a clip style design that fits around the sides of the device. The tracker comfortably clips in and there’s no risk of it dropping out given the clever design.
- The vibration on the Charge 2 could be a bit stronger. Personally I don’t have an issue with this but if I was using the tracker as an alarm to get out of bed then I’d maybe like the vibration to be stronger.
- Unlike the Fitbit Blaze notifications on the Charge 2 don’t show the full message at once. This is a minor issue because the message does stroll through the screen.
Fitbit Charge 2 Product Rating
Fitbit Charge is an affordable fitness tracker that has all the best technology to keep you active, monitor progress and it simplifies the presentation of your fitness metrics. It goes without saying that Fitbit designs some of the best trackers and the Charge 2 is no exception.
Product Rating: 8.5/10
Where Can You Buy The Fitbit Charge 2?
The Bottom Line
Is Fitbit Charge 2 the best fitness tracker with heart rate monitor? It certainly is and is worth upgrading to from the original Charge. If this is your first Fitbit then get ready to be wowed. The Charge 2 is a step better than the Alta, it’s stylish and built with long-lasting materials.
Why is Charge 2 the best activity tracker? Because it strikes a good balance between a great set of features (that aren’t overly complex) and affordability. You get the best sleep tracking, the best fitness app and access to the biggest community of Fitbit users. All of this for less than $120.
Are you considering buying the Fitbit Charge 2 or do you already own one? Please leave your comments in the section below. I’d love to see your opinions.