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What Is The Fitbit Charge 2? – Is It Worthy Of All The Hype?

Fitbit Charge 2 fitbit charge 2

Best Price: $148.95

Best Place to Buy: Amazon

Average Review Online: 4.3/5

1Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

 

I’m sure you’ve seen commercials on tv for this thing. Or heard people discussing how many steps they’ve taken over coffee. You may be curious why the Fitbit Charge 2 has become so popular.  What is the Fitbit Charge 2 anyway? Short answer: a pedometer. Long answer: the most sophisticated fitness tracker in it’s price range.

My mom has had a Fitbit for a couple of years now. She has loved it from day one. I remember a few years ago she actually wanted to get me one for Christmas. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very interested. Why did I need a pedometer. I was a young guy. At the time, I was going to the gym 4-5x/week. I didn’t feel like I needed a pedometer to tell me how many steps I had taken all day. I was active and going to the gym regularly anyway. I didn’t see what the Fitbit had to offer, I told my mom I wasn’t interested.

Long story short, I ended up getting a Fitbit for Christmas (sometimes moms make executive decisions, turned out I was wrong, I DID need a Fitbit…what can ya do, a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do). Anyway, so I had a Fitbit. I don’t remember what model it was, it was one of the earlier versions, this was several years ago. About a month after Christmas, I finally took it out of the package, I played with it for a day or so, then I forgot about it. I actually think there was a recall on it for some reason, I vaguely remember sending it back and getting the money back.

That was the extend of my experience with the Fitbits….until recently. I continued to see the commercials everywhere. My mom is still using hers (she has the newer Charge 2 now, more on that in a few) and telling me how great it is. But it really caught my attention 2 weeks ago. Allow me to explain…

For those of you who don’t know, for my day job I am a physical therapist. I started seeing a new patient recently who just had open heart surgery. Not to bore you with details, but a big part of our rehab will consist of walking and progressively increasing the amount of time spent walking each day. This patient happens to have and use the Fitbit Charge 2. This device allows us to keep a very detailed account of her walking each day, down to the number of steps. It also allows us to keep a close look on her heart rate while we are walking. When I ask her how she slept last night, she can look at her sleeping data from the night before and tell me exactly how many hours she slept and how restful they were.

I quickly realized how useful this piece of equipment can be. I wanted to dig a little deeper and see what else the Fitbit Charge 2 could do. I did some research and decided to share with a new post. Spoiler alert: the Fitbit Charge 2 is awesome!

Not Just A Pedometer Any More

It’s mean to call Fitbit “just a pedometer”. A pedometer is a device that counts steps. Even Fitbit’s earliest trackers had a clock and monitored some qualities of your sleep I believe. The first trackers weren’t wristband models, that were clipped to your clothing. A base station was included to collect data from the tracker. It could be connected to your computer to see all the data it collected. Easy to say, the Fitbits have come a long way in 6 years.

You can still get a clip on model if you don’t want to wear a wristband. The Fitbit Zip is the only clip-on model they offer now, every thing else is a wristband. The Zip is their cheapest product, but it’s pretty cool that is runs on a watch battery, so there is no charging. Just replace the battery every 6 months or so.

fitbit charge 2 features

Ok, back to the Charge 2. That’s what I’m here to talk about in the first place. So if it’s not just a pedometer, what else does it do? Allow me to share:

  • It tracks steps, floors, distance, and calories burned
  • It tracks your sleeping: including light, deep, and REM stages (does so by monitoring pulse)
  • It’s a heart rate monitor!
  • It keeps track of your personal fitness level (it estimates your VO2Max based on your heart rate, age, and running ability)
  • It gives your reminders to move throughout day
  • It provides call, text, and calendar alerts so your phone doesn’t have to be right in front of you during exercise
  • It has guided breathing sessions to help you relax throughout day
  • It has interchangeable wrist bands and accessories to make it as stylish as you want
  • It comes in several different colors, has a nice large screen
  • All fitness data is tracked wirelessly through the Fitbit app

As you can see from the list above, the Fitbit is not just a pedometer. It is a fitness tracker. It’s designed to help you monitor your activity and rest throughout the day. It’s aim is to make you a healthier, more fit version of yourself.

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of the Fitbit Charge 2 and see what we think.

Pros

  • It is also a heart rate monitor– this is a big one if you ask me, you will easily drop at least $30-$50 or more for a decent heart rate monitor online…plus it definitely beats having to wear one of those chest straps
  • Keeps track of all the fitness info mentioned above in one nice and convenient location…the app. Accessible from your smart phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Use the app to share stats or compete with friends- a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, good way to stay motivated as well
  • It tries to make you walk at least 250 steps/hour by giving you reminders throughout day
  • The app can be used to track weights and calories consumed daily to help reach weight loss goals
  • Customizable clock faces- always a nice touch
  • Powerful battery lasts 5 days before needing a charge
  • Price: only $148.95 on Amazon

Cons

  • “Water resistant”, not “water proof”- don’t go swimming with the Charge 2, you’ll be disappointed
  • No built-in GPS- have to connect with phone to see map of your run/walk
  • Some complaints about call and text notifications working accurately

Verdict

handI’m in! Fitbit’s Charge 2 is a great product from a trusted manufacturer. It provides a ton of fitness and health information to the user through a very user friendly app. It comes highly reviewed with an average rating of 4.3/5 on Amazon with almost 12,000 reviews…pretty impressive.

If you are new to exercise, or a seasoned athlete, the Charge 2 will have something to offer. I know it comes in handy in the rehab setting, great way to keep track of a patient’s progress.

If you are a swimmer and looking for a product to track your calories burned in the water, the Charge 2 is not for you. Although Fitbit has a new product coming out soon that is waterproof, the Fitbit Ionic…supposed to come out in October I think, will cost about $300.

Overall, the Fibit Charge 2 is definitely worth the hype. It’s a great product, you won’t be disappointed!

If you own a Charge 2 or have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to ya soon.

Will

4 Comments

  1. These are so nifty! the heart rate moniter could be so useful for those with heart conditions who are trying to stay in shape. i have a friends with stage 2 diabetes and a pace maker. she needs one of these!

    • yeah, I agree. It’s a great tool to keep an eye on that heart rate while exercising or at rest. It has been very helpful for my patient that has it.

  2. Fitbit has developed from a simple tool to a device that will soon probably do your dishes, clean your house and cook you dinner… in addition to helping you stay active. It’s hard to believe how many features are present in the new version! I bought one as a gift for my stepfather recently and it was definitely worth it.

    • ha, yeah no kidding. hard to imagine what they will come up with next. good products though, thanks for sharing.

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