Fitbit Charge 2 review

A great upgrade from the Charge HR, but still misses the mark for true fitness fiends
Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit's on a roll this year, which has already seen the release of both the Alta and Blaze. Now the company's offering up sequels to classic models with the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Fitbit Flex 2.

The Charge 2, priced at $149.99, is more expensive than the Alta but cheaper than the Blaze, and just about the same price as the old Fitbit Charge HR and Charge when they first launched. With the Charge 2, there's a host of new features including guided breathing, interchangeable bands, a larger screen and new data tracking with VO2 Max.

Update: The Fitbit Alta HR is now official, read our in-depth guide

While the Alta keeps things simple and the Blaze has its watch-like abilities, the Charge 2 is harder to categorise. It's definitely not a smartwatch, but it's not quite the most powerful fitness tracker you can get. Rather, it straddles the line and is closer to 'almost best', since it lacks things that Samsung Gear Fit2 and Microsoft Band 2 bring to the table.

We gave our initial verdict after a few weeks with the tracker, but now we've spent a bit more time with it, here's our long-term verdict of the Fitbit Charge 2.

Fitbit Charge 2: Design and comfort

Fitbit Charge 2 review

The Charge 2 retains a very Fitbit-esque look. Taking cues from its predecessor, as well as the Fitbit Alta and a little from Surge, it's actually much sleeker than the others, with a larger black and white OLED screen that's four times bigger than on the old Charge devices. It's also more fashionable looking with a polished silver body that's similar to the one on the Alta. It has the same clasp system as the Charge/Charge HR, but while this keeps it firmly in place, it's a bit fiddly and often requires a bit of extra force to slip the band through.

The display definitely feels big enough and sits better than the Surge does on the wrist. The overall design is pleasing, perhaps because the display is larger than Alta's but still smaller than the Surge (and even the Fitbit Blaze), which means you get to see a little more information without it being uncomfortably big.

Coming soon: The Fitbit smartwatch

For a device which requires so little user interaction, it's surprisingly complex to use. Metrics are scrolled by tapping on the touchscreen. You can then cycle through modes by pressing the side button, and then move through exercises by swiping down on the screen. To access a mode, you need to long-press the button. You can tell that Fitbit knows things are convoluted, as hints on how to use the device appear on the screen during the first few hours of use. It takes a little getting used to.

It is a little annoying that you can't scroll back, and instead must keep tapping to get back round to a previous screen that you might have missed. There aren't a lot of screens to go through but it's still a hassle if you're in a rush.

Fitbit Charge 2 review

The sensitivity of the display is also little questionable at times. It's as if you need to be in a certain position for an arm turn to register, and it doesn't always illuminate the screen when it should.


The heart rate monitor on the back protrudes a bit, but after using the Charge 2 for quite a while we haven't noticed it as much as we thought it would. It might need a bit of adjusting to find the sweet spot, but once it's there it's perfectly comfortable. Just behind the wrist bone is perfect for getting a read on the heart rate.

Read next: Fitbit Flex 2 review

Wearing it for more than just fitness is also definitely an option, as the band can be switched out for nicer materials if you feel so inclined. The $29.95 Classic band comes in black, plum, blue and teal, and there are special editions including black with gunmetal body, or lavender and rose gold, which are pricier at $179.95. Like the Alta, the Charge 2 will also get Luxe leather accessory band options, in brown, blush pink and indigo, which cost $69.95.

A gripe that's stood out over the longer term is the lack of waterproofing. In fact, we're still quite surprised Fitbit didn't include it on the Charge 2, with the Flex 2 offering a waterproof design. The Charge 2 is water resistant, meaning it's fine dealing with sweat and rain, but Fitbit doesn't recommend taking it in the shower, which is annoying. Given how much the Charge 2 does, we feel like we should be able to take it into the pool too.

Fitbit Charge 2: Activity tracking

Fitbit Charge 2 review

Long pressing the side button starts tracking specific workouts manually and you'll get a detailed summary in the app afterwards. The Charge 2 is also equipped with SmartTrack, which automatically recognises running, cycling and more. Sleep is also auto-detected along with floors climbed, active minutes and hourly activity.

Sleep tracking has proven quite accurate, though not always perfect. Put up against the Beddit 3, a dedicated tracker, we've found that the scores have often been similar within under five minutes. Occasionally Fitbit has struggled picking up the actual time we woke up – especially if we stayed in bed for a while - mistaking restless sleep for actually being awake. However it's been pretty good at recording bathroom breaks and the times we've fallen asleep, and is substantial enough for a basic overview of each night's sleep. Annoyingly, there are no settings you can adjust on the tracker itself for sleep mode or dimming the screen, so tossing around in bed leads to the screen lighting up the room.

As for step tracking, you certainly couldn't accuse the Charge 2 of being stingy. Testing the accuracy of step trackers isn't easy, but we've definitely noticed the Charge 2 overcounting. We first noticed this when testing it over long distances against the Garmin Fenix 3, but in our longer term testing we also found it has a tendency to over-estimate.

Fitbit Charge 2 review

The Charge 2 also misses some stair climbs. This is an ongoing problem with other wearables that claim to count stairs, and the Charge 2 also struggles sometimes.

As mentioned, the Charge 2 has heart-rate tracking built in, so you won't have to worry about choosing between two variants. The heart-rate tracking uses Fitbit's PurePulse tech for continuous monitoring whether you're exercising or not.

There's no onboard GPS, and the Charge 2 relies on connecting up with your phone using the ConnectedGPS feature to get pace and distance stats. All these features can be found on the other Fitbits in some form – but the VO2 Max and guided breathing training are new.

VO2 Max

Fitbit Charge 2 review

VO2 Max in the Fitbit app is labeled as Cardio Fitness Level. Wearing your Charge 2 to sleep to ensures the tracker measures your resting heart rate. Then it takes your user profile – age, height, weight and fitness data – to give you a score which is matched up against other people in your age group and gender. You also get bar charts of your fat burn, cardio and peak heart rate zones which makes for the most complete picture of your ticker's data of any Fitbit to date.

The data is slightly hidden, and can only be accessed via the heart rate tab on the Fitbit app dashboard. Unlike the resting heart rate, Cardio Fitness Level isn't tracked over time, and is displayed as a single figure which you should see rising over time. Why Fitbit didn't opt to plot Cardio Fitness Level we're not sure.

VO2 Max is properly calculated with a fairly hardcore test in a sports science lab, so the Fitbit Charge 2 is always going to offer something of an estimate. It clocked us at 49 – close to the Jabra Sport Pulse (47) and Garmin Fenix 3 (48), and while it does appear at the higher end of the scale, there are no complaints here. We also let someone else borrow our Fitbit for a day, which caused the score to change, which at least demonstrates a degree of sensitivity in the data.

The Cardio Fitness Level feature is one of our favourite additions to the Fitbit Charge 2. It's a proper fitness metric that's new to the company's ecosystem – and one that we hope to see evolve over time to become even more useful.

Guided breathing

Fitbit Charge 2 review

Breathing in deeply isn't a new concept for calming down. Thus Fitbit didn't invent the wheel – rather it's giving us a nice little tool to help us remember, which is why the guided breathing has been a surprising but welcome feature. At Wareable we've already noticed a growing trend of mindfulness apps and wearables solely dedicated to managing stress.

Read this: The science behind Fitbit and Apple's mindfulness push

Fitbit Charge 2 personalises its guided breathing exercise by taking your heart rate to find a good rhythm, making sure you're not inhaling too deeply or exhaling too quickly. This is actually the debut of some serious new tech for Fitbit, and is the first time heart rate variability has been used on its devices. You can also complete a two minute or five minute session for a moment of relaxation, or use it to cool down after a workout.

After taking your heart rate, the Charge 2 readies you to breathe in time with a pulsing circle that's animated on the screen.

When we first used it to wind down after a workout, we felt like we were doing it wrong – inhaling too deeply and practically holding our breath. The second time we used it was to 'relax' and de-stress. This worked better and were able to breathe in time with the animation.

We've used it many times since in our longer-term test both for post-workouts and we like it. The Charge 2 has been able to accurately find the correct rhythm, allowing us to follow the pattern on the little screen. It's oddly comforting watching the animations, and after continuously using it, two minutes flies by pretty quickly. We're also fans of the fact that there are no metrics making sure you're doing it correctly; it's there if you want it, but if you don't, that's ok.

Heart rate training

Fitbit Charge 2 review

All eyes will be on the accuracy of the PurePulse heart rate sensor, but disappointingly it's still somewhat of a mixed bag on the Charge 2.

The good news is resting heart rate, which was tracked with aplomb and matched up to our Garmin Vivosmart HR data. We found the Blaze often tracked RHR too high, so this is an improvement over previous versions.

Generally, we found data from long steady runs to be useable – but the sensor took around 10 minutes to lock onto our heart rate when compared to a chest strap.

We also found that while generally accurate during steady and prolonged periods, it had a tendency to under-report current heart rate, often up to 5bpm. And when it comes to HIIT, the Charge 2 is more miss than hit. We undertook a couple of high intensity sessions and ran into a few problems with the Charge 2.

Fitbit Charge 2 review

Interval woe: Fitbit Charge 2 and Garmin Fenix 3 with chest strap

Fitbit Charge 2 review

First is the lag time, which often meant that as we reached 180bpm on the first interval the Charge 2 was stuck at 115. This usually improved as the session got underway, but often the Charge 2 was almost an interval behind.

However heart rate discrepancies with a chest strap were more apparent on the screen read out than the summary – like the Fitbit algorithm made sense of the data after the event. Often long sessions ended up being only 3bpm out from a chest strap, despite a stream of nonsense displayed live on the device during the workout.

Since this, Fitbit has issued an update to improve some issues in the device, including the GPS, which was spitting out some clear discrepancies beforehand. In our longer term testing this has definitely improved, but as with the Blaze, it's still clear we have here is a device far better suited to everyday lifestyle use than for hardcore fitness fans. Despite the move to VO2 Max, the device isn't up to the rigours of hardcore training or high intensity sessions.

Fitbit Charge 2: Notifications

Fitbit Charge 2 review

The Charge 2 isn't a smartwatch and it's not trying to hide this fact. While you'll get notifications, you can't reply to them or review them on the fitness tracker – they simply disappear.

Call, text and calendar notifications can all be displayed on the Charge 2 but your phone must be connected. Since our initial review, WhatsApp notifications have started working with the Charge 2, but only with Android phones. While other third-party notifications are still MIA from both iOS and Android for now.

Read next: Which Fitbit should you buy?

When receiving a call or text, the Charge 2 buzzes briefly then shows the phone number (and/or name) of the person calling. Texts show a clipped version if the message is long, and emojis can't be seen at all. However a new update is changing the way notifications appear, with the message now showing ahead of the contact. You'll also now see a + sign indicating you have more than one notification. This update will be available for your Charge 2 in the coming weeks.

Other notifications you'll see include reminders to move, which debuted on the Fitbit Alta. It's the same concept where every hour you'll get a little message telling you to take 250 steps.

Fitbit Charge 2: App

Fitbit Charge 2 review

If you've used a Fitbit before than you should be familiar with the app, which hasn't changed much for the Charge 2. You get your usual graphs and dashboard items along with settings for each device that's paired and you can still view leaderboards.

What's new can be found in the Challenges. Fitbit released the 'Adventures' Challenge for its entire lineup so it's not specific to the Charge 2, but we tried it out anyway since it was announced at the same time.

The idea of Adventures is pretty creative and fun. There are different step goals for various Adventure locations – for example, it takes 15,000 steps to 'walk' on the Yosemite Vernal Falls hike. That means every step you're taking at home, work, wherever is then matched up to the hike Fitbit has set up in the app. You even get to see your steps mapped out with the app telling you how many more steps you need to go. You don't have to complete the whole thing immediately, though the app gives you a daily destination with points to meet based on your seven day step average.

The step goals you meet on the 'trail' unlock a new panorama image that Fitbit's taken in real life, called 'Landmarks.' The company noted that these are about the same amount of steps you'd need to take to actually reach the locations in real life. After reaching one, moving your phone out in front of you will let you pan around the image. There are also 'Treasures' to discover, which are just bits of trivia, little health quizzes and motivation.

Fitbit Charge 2
Wareable may get a commission
Amazon

Adventure has been enjoyable and really easy to get into since all you need to do is press start. Sometimes you'll forget you've even begun the challenge so it would be nice if you could get notifications on the Charge 2 screen letting you know you have goals to meet. But aside from that, we like seeing the map's route matching up to the usual steps you take each day. We'd definitely rather be hiking the actual steps in Yosemite, but this is fun too.

Fitbit Charge 2: Battery

Fitbit Charge 2 review

Fitbit says the Charge 2 battery will last up to five days depending on use. This was surprising, since it's the same battery life as the older Charges which had a much smaller screen. In comparison, Alta is supposed to last five days and in our testing it's lasted a little over a week.

With every notification it's able to receive turned on, for fitness, continuous heart rate, sleep tracking and general daily usage, we've managed to get about six days of life out of the Charge 2. After charging it up for 15-20 minutes, it lasted another six days. Like the Alta battery life, that's better than expected.

It's nice to know that we'll get almost a week's worth of use from the Charge 2, but it'd be even better if there was a battery life indicator on the device itself. The good news is that this is coming with a new update, currently rolling out. It's been annoying having to check the app when it feels like the information should be available directly on the screen, so we're pleased this is now changing.


Fitbit Charge 2
By Fitbit
The Charge 2 is definitely a decent upgrade. While it lacks the water resistance of the Fitbit Flex 2 and there's no dedicated GPS, its reasonable price tag and new feature set make it recommendable for most buyers. With the additions of VO2 Max, breathing training and the slick design (along with various band options), the Charge 2 is arguably Fitbit’s most complete fitness band yet. But it’s still a lifestyle device for the moderately active. Those looking to really get deep into their training are better served by specialist devices.

Hit
  • Good VO2 Max data
  • Sleek design
  • Guided breathing
  • Affordable price
Miss
  • No built-in GPS
  • Not waterproof
  • Fiddly user interface
  • Heart rate issues at high intensity


Shop for Fitbit trackers on Amazon

Fitbit Blaze
Fitbit Blaze
$149
Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2
$147.54
Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit Alta HR
$149.95
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2
$93.90

Wareable may get a commission


70 Comments

  • Noami says:

    I think it looks very nice the Fitbit charge 2. I have a couple of questions. Does it have stairs on this tracker and can you get different color bands for this tracker? I have the flex but I am wanting to upgrade. I like pink! 

    • GregGreg says:

      please read the article before you ask silly questions

    • AlexanderPD says:

      Yes on both your question! It can still count stairs (well.. floors!) and there is a dark-pink version, like the ChargeHR! You can find all those information on the official Fitbit Charge2 page :)

    • yankee says:

      yes it has stairs tracker and you do get options of different color bands

  • keebster says:

    Will this finally track and incorporate your heart rate while you are sleeping? This has seemed like a major blind spot with the others. If both your heart rate and your movements was both used to track your sleeping i believe this would make it a lot more accurate.

    • speister says:

      yes, the current Charge HR tracks your heart rate while you sleep already and how many times you wake up during the night and are actually sleeping. 

  • David999 says:

    looks pretty good. If you don't take your phone with you when you go for a run, can you still see distance you've run on the band display?

    • yankee says:

      yes, you can see how many steps you did and how many Kilometers or Miles you did on the band display, without the need of a phone. in fact you dont need the phone when you run for all key information

      • David999 says:

        Thanks yankee

      • 08ashton says:

        are you able to see the length of time youve been exercising for? I want to wear it for a marathon and be able to work out my pace without taking my phone with me!

        • bel70 says:

          I would like the answer to that questions as well as i would prefer not to have to take my phone every time i go for a run.

  • jangalang says:

    so how is this better than the blaze as your headline says besides being 20 dollars cheaper, smaller and slightly easier to charge? The breathing and cardio fitness might be added to the blaze with the new update but is there any other pros to get this over the blaze? For $20 more the blaze can do a lot more with better screen and a less scratch resistant surface.

    • ChicagoCTB says:

      Per the official Fitbit blog they have no plans to upgrade the Blaze firmware with the new features.

  • Retireland says:

    I'm not a fan of the bigger screen and let's hope it doesn't scratch as easily as other versions.

    • ThaBigJC says:

      Have you tried getting a smart phone screen protector, cutting it to size, and covering the screen?  I don't have a fitbit, yet, but that's what I would try doing.

    • yankee says:

      You can buy fitbit screen protectors available on ebay. quite cheap. they are specific to fitbit HR and other models.

  • sarahdd says:

    Does anyone know if the Charge 2 band is made of exactly the same material as the Charge HR? I get skin irritation from the HR but seriously love wearing it! And yes of course I wear it all the time - how else will I track my hr, use the silent alarms to wake up in the morning and use the sleep tracker? I regularly change wrists but I've had to add tape to the inside of the entire band.

    • Naaria says:

      The bands on the Charge 2 are silicone, vs the HR which was "elastomer material"... whatever that means.

      • Ilene says:

        I had such horrible rashes from the charge Hr. Then I bought the Alta. I didn't like it. I will check out the differences between the silicone  of the 2 to the Elastomer of the one.

  • toyabrown says:

    I'm looking forward for this one! I need to learn how to use the thing the right way.

  • Fullstop says:

    I have a nickel allergy so would be ok with the stainless steel clasp but does anyone know the composition of the rose gold option? 

  • JDonk says:

    Avoid fitbit! I bought a fitbit charge for my wife at dick smith. The first one did not work straight out of the box, would not charge at all. Dick smith replaced immediately, same day as purchase. A few months later the new one stopped charging. Again, Dick Smith replaced with a brand new item. Now, 9 months later, this 3rd fitbit charge will not charge, the battery will not charge.

    Subsequently, Dick Smith has closed down in my area so I can not return for a refund.

    I contacted Fitbit, who are saying the original purchase is out of warranty but they will replace with the same model, but will not refund. They don't have enough faith in their own product to give a warranty on the brand new replacement fitbit charge thats only 9 months old!! I asked if the replacement they are willing to send will have a warranty but they didi not reply.

    They also will not allow me to pay the difference to upgrade to a better model!!

    Well, if you ask me thats pretty poor, they should write a book on how to lose customers because thats what they've done in this situation. Not only me but everyone I know I tell how bad the product is and the lack of faith they have in their product. I strongly recommend buying a more reputable brand.

    Fitbit is a waste of money and you will more than likely be disappointed.

    • ThePilot says:

      are you kidding. It's a business look at how much you're asking for. Barely any company will give you a refund after 9 months. The warranty is that they will replace it, and they did. Why would they let you pay the difference for a newer one. If they allowed that everyone would do that. 

      • pkissel says:

        JDonk had to replace the same product on day of purchase, a few months later (2or3?) and only 9 months after that. This is a product that is supposed be worn every day to get the most benefit and its only lasting a max of 9 months?! On top of that, consider the time he's wasted having to get product replacements and dealing with FitBit's awful outsourced support. Getting good FitBit's customer service is a crap shoot at best. I think its reasonable to expect more from a product in this industry. It's not secret that FitBit is known for their shoddy build quality problems and poor after sales support when inevitably the product breaks. Like JDonk says "Avoid Fitbit!". His experience mirrors many other FitBit users, myself included, who have decided to move away from FitBit. I really miss many things about FitBit (I've owned 4 devices) but the overall experience didn't make it worth sticking around.

        • Demobstar says:

          I have just returned my second Fitbit to the store and moving on to another device. It really is not worth the hassle considering the price. Shame really as I did like the product but it is clearly not very well built and after sales service is beyond ridiculous. Needless to say I'm not the only person struggling with the device

  • mk-j says:

    When you review the Charge 2, please test outdoor readability in direct sunlight.  The Alta does a terrible job with that.  It's just not bright enough, and is Alta's biggest flaw.  Hopefully they fixed that with Charge 2.

  • MNWareable says:

    I'd like to focus on the battery life and band. I own a Fitbit Flex. I was really pleased with the performance and the interface/app. Seeing the degree of company customer support was also encouraging. However, the band quality became a problem. Due to the logistics of removing and replacing the unit for charging, cracks soon began to appear near the bend. This lead, naturally, to the eventual breaking of the band. A replacement band lasted about another year, then a third. Towards the beginning of the second year, the battery began to fail and will no longer retain a charge longer than about 2 hours. It seems a number of others have had similar problems.

    I would like to upgrade to the Fitbit Charge (2, now, it seems) but my biggest concern is that battery issues remain with these units. Has this been fixed in the latest iteration? Has the band quality issue been resolved? It's not a huge investment of money but my Flex still ended up costing me about $10/month averaged out over the two years it was working. A little pricey and has left my confidence shaken.

    Regards,
    MN

  • FitterGuineaPig says:

    My final verdict (received it a week ago & sent it back):

    -- Outdoor readability in direct sunlight is zero. You need to go into the shade to read the data. 

    -- The connected GPS status can only be checked AFTER starting a walk or run. Therefore the first waypoints are often far off the real track.

    -- There is no possibility to set the display to "always ON" during a walk or run.

  • milo says:

    I wonder how well the band material in the Charge 2  will hold up, compared to the band on the HR. 

    at the six month mark the band on my charge HR started to bubble and peel away from the display. within warranty, Fitbit authorized a new unit to be sent to me. the one they sent did not work at all so they dispatched another unit. 

    i have been wearing the replacement unit for seven months and the band started to bubble and peel away from the display a few weeks ago. I did not contact Fitbit as I was told my replacement would only be covered under the warranty time frame of my original unit, which would have been out of warranty at the end of June 2016. I am sure it will only be a few more weeks before the piece becomes unwearable due to the band falling apart. 

    does anyone know if this is a product flaw that was taken care of with the release of the new product line? 

    thanks. 

  • Jessi says:

    Do not waste your money and time! 

    I bought it today and it won't even work to set it up. I already spent one hour on the phone with costumer service and they have to send me a dongle to make this work. 

    I am so disappointed with the new Fitbit charge 2. 

    Best Buy didn't even have it out yet, but got it from the back. I will let them know how shitty this product is before they sell it to anyone else. 

  • johnandrewriley says:

    In Summary - absolute rubbish... I put up with one for a week and here's why...

    It serves three functions...

    1. Measure your activity .... for me it over measured, for example it clocked up 3.8 km one morning and I hadn't even left the house!!

    2. Measure your heart rate.... It worked fine when I wasn't doing anything, but really thats not the point is it? when i was going a work out my chest belt (which I was using as a comparison) would return 140+bpm. The useless piece of black plastic was happily returning 60bpm at which I shouldn't have even been breaking sweat. I can assure you I was a mess!

    3. Monitor sleep.... well no way of telling if its working or not really, but one evening whilst watching telly, it said I had gone to bed at 9:30... I was pretty motionless but not that

    So in my view an absolute epic fail! and I haven't even mentioned how uncomfortable it is to wear - it would be better if I shaved my arms, but as i don't it kept pulling my arm hair. Oh and before I forget, its supposed to turn the display on when you tilt your arm to look at it.... it only works if you use a D'artagnon like flourish to wake the bloody thing up.... good for your exercise but you look pretty daft! I won't comment on the quality of the interface.... oh... I've done it!

    Any way, this would have all been fine if when I contacted fit bit to talk them through the problems they had responded in a positive way. Two things really riled me! Firstly the agent tried to tell me that i shouldn't be making comparisons between different devices.... I'm sorry how else would you work out if its actually working? secondly after agreeing finally that it wasn't working properly, they made me pay for the return so I could get a refund (£10 because I had to return it to the netherlands - which probably also points to some dodgy tax planning also!!!!!

    Useless Black plastic.... don't buy

    • wythnosau says:

      My Fitbit Charge HR has just fallen apart after 3 years use. It was OK but ridiculous looking and very hard to check time when working outdoors on the farm. It seemed to run out of battery every 36 hours then take ages to recharge. I though it was really ridiculous that if I waved my arm around while driving in our mountainous area it thought I was Super Granny.

      Good for a laugh, but less amusing was the tackiness. The little plastic strip and button across the back and sides fell off due to poor design and the need for constant recharging i.e. pulling the charger lead in and out. For my replacement I will be researching carefully before updating to another fitness tracker to fit my wish list: 

      1. waterproof for pool swimming - my favourite activity 

      2. longer battery life 

      3. some basic notifications so I can respond to messages instantly

      4. a smart attractive watch I can wear everywhere and check the time day and night

      5. easy access to a great app for accountability/monitoring of my health and fitness - ability to add in and track BP, BSL, weight and body comp etc. The Withings steel or Apple 2 look good options. 

      6 I would love GPS

      Such a pity the Garmin just looks so bad as I just love our Garmin satnav.

      Please - Can anyone please provide me with some feedback on longer term use and effectiveness of waterproof smart watches. 

  • Unknown21 says:

    i love my new Fitbit Charge 2!! So amazing. Not much i can fault, only thing is it can get a little bit uncomfortable at times due to the tracker on the back of the device. It tends to dig in and make marks on my skin. However, a slight adjustment now and then helps.

    But i do love it! 

  • GetWellable says:

    It doesn't sound like this device or the other new devices will help Fitbit break the 30% market share globally.  They are currently at 25% market share in Q2 2016. http://blog.wellable.co/2016/09/12/q2-2016-wearable-shipments-fitbit-25-xiaomi-14-and-applegarmin-7-lead-pack/

  • Fr8Broker says:

    I just returned mine after trying it for a week!

    • Very difficult to read outside in the bright sun
    • Not responsive to "taps" to change displays
    • Not response of "quickview" unless you turn/raise your arm just right
    • I use the alarm function on my Charge HR to wake me up in the AM and for medication reminders throughout the day.  Even though I set 5 alarms 1 minute apart, the Charge 2 still won't wake me up because the vibration is so weak!  And I miss about 1/2 of my daily notifications if I'm distracted!  Given that this is a larger device I can't figure out why they would decrease the intensity of the vibration.
    • Even though I got a great deal on the price due to a pricing error on Amazon, I still don't think it's worth the upgrade from a Charge HR if you have one that's still functional.
    • Squared buckle instead of rounded catches on shirt sleeves, covers, etc.
    • Charging clamp is cumbersome
    • As with every other wrist based Fitbit, it still records steps while driving but none of my Vivosmarts have...no idea why.
    • The metal sides of the unit to not extend to the top, so even with a screen protector I can guarantee that within weeks I will have chipped the angular exposed edge of the screen.  All the screen protectors I've seen to date to not extend/fold over the edge!  I think this will be a major issue long term.
    • The alarm is very important feature to me, and since the Basis Peak has gone the way of the Dinosaur I guess I'll wait and see how the new Pebble Time 2 HR works out!
  • Chrissy36 says:

    does it fit the same way as a fitbit hr charger, wondering if I needed the same size. 

  • Chrissy36 says:

    I plan to purchase one but does the band fit the same way as a HR Charger, wondering if I need to go up on the size 

  • JR_Smtith says:

    Just putting this question out to you guys.

    Has Fitbit a mayor problem with the Charge 2? It's a nice device, and my wife loves it.

    For a week now, it can't be synced, and paired to neither App or PC/Mac.

    Fitbit support keep promising us that an expert will contact us - this was 3 days ago, and nothing comes back even with daily reminder.

    This kind of behaviour is bit suspicious to me and might be part of a bigger problem.

  • parker says:

    The same thing happens with my Charge HR. I have to reset the FitBit and phone for it to re-sync. It seems that any time I connect my phone to any Bluetooth speaker (which is every day) that the Charge is from that point on locked out. I can connect to any other Bluetooth device, just not the Charge. So I reset the Charge and reset the phone and then they pair back up. Quite a hassle. 

  • AML says:

    I purchased a Charge 2 and spent a bunch of hours trying to pair it with my pc.. checked the support pages, tried numerous resets, reboots, etc., talked to their phone support a couple of times. My pc Bluetooth showed the Charge 2 as being paired, but the app would not sync, which tells me that this is a problem of the Charge 2 software. I was asked if I had an iPhone or iPad to sync it with. I don't. Perhaps folks with iOS devices have a better experience with the Charge 2 than I did, although I see a lot of comments that syncing is very poor on any platform. I was so irritated that I returned the Charge 2, and will not purchase any Fitbit product in the future.

  • mtz39 says:

    I never write reviews. I bought this product without looking at the reviews and regret it. The steps are counting in my sleep, while driving, and while watching TV, I get up in the morning and have 500 steps.  Support basically told me to everything in the instructions like wearing it loose and turning it off and on. Then they stopped responding when the issues were not fixed. I do crossfit and after my workouts we are typically on the floor gasping for air. The heart beat monitor registers my heart rate the same as if I'm just lifting weights. That can't be possible. In short this product is defective. Its not worth the money I am sending it back.  

  • Sebk says:

    I was given the charger2 as a gift and was excited to try it out. After reading the reviews, I am having the opposite issue w the steps counter. It only counts steps if I am really stepping out. When I go for a walk, those steps get counted, but not my other steps. It's tilt and quick read only works some of the time. And, sleep tracking is not at all accurate. I know my sleep patterns are weird and I don't sleep well, so I was hoping this feature would more accurately report my sleep hours. I regularly reports 8-9 hrs of sleep!

  • jpru says:

    There is one major flaw in this "fitness tracker" they make it almost impossible to read the screen when you are working out.  you have to tap the screen 2-3 times or they boast about the fact that it will go on when you flick your wrist.  Sometimes you just cant flick your wrist and you have to do it multiple times to get it to turn on.  in both scenarios it only turns o for 3 seconds.  not very usefull

  • tahale says:

    in the review it was said "Annoyingly, there are no settings you can adjust on the tracker itself for sleep mode or dimming the screen, so tossing around in bed leads to the screen lighting up the room." 

    You can indeed adjust that in settings in the app.  Switch off the 'quick view' mode and it won't light up when you toss and turn....just thought that I should mention.

  • Chuck-E-Cheese says:

    I replaced my 5th Charge HR with Charge 2. Too many issues to list with Charge HR but average length of time before each one needed to be replaced was 3-4 months.

    So disappointed that it's still not swim / water proof.

    There is no pause during a workout.

    There is a Stopwatch but no Countdown Timer

    There are no 3rd party notifications

    There are no music controls

    Interval Training is only for time not also distance

    There are no alarms when you are training outside HR Zones 

    There is no way to track laps  either manual or automatic

    There is still no onscreen battery meter (other than when about to die)

    Maybe I should have gotten a Garmin Vivosmart HR/+ instead!

  • sam6596 says:

    So it says this version doesn't have a GPS. What does the GPS do that makes it a bad thing to not have it.

  • Demobstar says:

    I just returned my second Fitbit and I'm moving on to another device. The first lasted less that four months and the second lasted less than three months before they simply both stopped working. The first stopped charging and the second displayed a flat line that would not go away. Fortunately they are still under warranty and I can get my money back. Very sad as I did like the device when it worked. It however is a very badly constructed product.

  • Elio says:

    was very disappointed with the Fitbit charge 2 I'm a truck driver and it added 57 floors climbed while I was driving for two and a half hours never got out of the truck and supposedly I climbed 57 floors it adds thousands of steps when not moving while you're driving would not recommend this product to anyone 1 who has a car or drives for a living because it will not track you good at all I returned it after 2 days very disappointed in this product would definitely not recommend it to anybody to buy this product it's a big waste of money

  • HimanshuRaj says:

    does battery can change or replace after damage/destroy

  • Dupmaronew says:

    I just got mine Thursday. Fully charged it. It's now midday Sunday and I'm already reading low battery. 

    I don't see how you got a whole 6 days out of it with everything turned on. 

  • mac10 says:

    1. Are the sensors on the back metal , Or plastic ?  I am  asking because  of the sensitivity to nickle. 

    Thanks

  • Mkimberlykay says:

    I have the Fitbit HR and returned it twice because it just stopped working. I loved the the Fitbit while it worked so I and decided to buy a Fitbit blaze. This was in hope if I bought a better one it might last longer. While the other lasted a year this one only worked for 3 months. What the heck? Yes I took It back and while I was unable to get a refund they gave me a new one. I'm pretty unhappy that a $200.00 dollar watch only lasted 3 months. Also just to add, no i'm not a construction worker. I work in an office.

  • dawndalla says:

    I just bought the Fitbit Charge 2 recently, and I have not been able to receive text notifications at all to my Iphone 7.  I have trouble shooted with customer service and Fitbit techs, and noone can figure it out.  2 weeks later and it still doesn't work.   Mine is faulty, and instead of sending out a replacement, the keep dragging it out, saying that my issue has been forwarded to a higher up technical dept.   I can't understand why they don't see the unit has an issue.  

  • yuriryzhenkov says:

    Material looks like shit. I remember it from failed Nike Fueldband SE

  • cdanderson says:

    Where can I buy the authentic bands for fitbit charge 2 at discounted price besides ebay or amazon.

  • umt_ycl says:

    Not satisfied with the quality. At the first time charging, it stopped working and does not turn on. The return is a hassle, and Fitbit does not cover for the return shipping.

    • umt_ycl says:

      ... for Fitbit Charge 2

  • OldDuffer says:

    My family purchased the Fitbit Charger 2 as a Christmas present for me to track my heart rate/distance walked as I have Afib. I sweat at the drop of a hat and the rubberized wrist band is VERY uncomfortable! If it's uncomfortable in December hate to think of what it will be like in July!!!  I understand that it maybe needed because of people exercising that the band will last longer. I use to go thru allot of wrist watches until I switched to a pocket watch and now use my cell phone for checking what time it is.

    I looked for other alternative bands and only see colors of the same material. Also the sensor that protrudes off the back leaves an indentation on my wrist after wearing it and the sweat adds to the discomfort. I've tried to adjust the tightness of the wrist band but to no avail.

    Shame it does a nice job and connected to my iphone and the readouts are helpful.

    As they say back to the Drawing Board.

  • ALLY says:

    DONT BUY - the heartrate tracking does not work on the dashboard app. Known fault for well over 6 months even before the rollout of the Charge2. Lots of unhappy users on their Fitbit Forum. The support team has not fix in sight!

  • george1952 says:

    You need to do reveiw again. This charge 2 is a piece of junk.

    This from their forum

    This thread should NOT be marked as solved. I have just finished a live chat with support and they have admitted that there is a problem with the Charge 2, that the engineering team are working on it and there is no forseeable date for a fix. While this problem is occuring, the Charge 2 is not useful as a training tool and as such is not fit for purpose. The connect gps is very poor. does not record distance correctly on treadmill,running,biking or walking

  • MissKCLynn says:

    So how much did they pay you not to say anything about the fact that it doesn't sync with certain Huawai devices, Huawei P9 and P9 Lite in particular, and nothing has been done about this for over a year despite hundreds of thousands of complaints and etremely unsatisfied customers?

  • kbh says:

    Is the device in the band the same way it was in the original HR?  My band lasted 5 months before the plastic split  and no longer charging.  It was replaced by the company with what I think is a refurbished model.  The battery only 1 1/2 days.  That was replaced with another refurbished, and that was replaced with a new HR.  That one went 8  months, then the small charger band fell off.  

    This device looks like a big improvement, but, it is worthless if the band was never improved.

  • yenpham says:

    I'm having a fitbit charge 2 at the moment and I quite unhappy with it.

    The first one did not remind me to move after 10 minutes. I claim to the shop and they changed for me another one.

    When I sit down to watch TV or woking with my computer the steps still count the movement on my wrist-hand even when I'm not walking.

    For example, I went to the cinema it was 9975 steps when I sat down and while half movie was played the watch show notification to congratulation I reached 10000 steps.

    Both watches I used and have being using have this problem. 

    Does anyone have this problem like me?

  • Peta1 says:

    I used the Charge2 for 3 weeks.  Reasonably happy with the features, except the ultra bright LEDs used to disturb my sleep even with Notifications turned off.  I had to stop using it because the band size and shape caused it to bear down on the outer bone on my wrist.  It became so agonisingly sore that I could not wear it, even when I padded the band with felt.  My wrist is no longer painful after not wearing it for a week.  I think I will use a phone app instead.

  • DEMull says:

    I've gone through two FitBit Charge HR's and had issues where after a several months it falls apart where you connect it to charge.  The first one they said I needed to return it in the original packaging and with the receipt.  Of course after 3 months I threw them both away and this happened at the 6 month mark. So my husband bought me another one.  That one only lasted 5 months.  Don't feel like going through that again...  It's too bad too because otherwise, I loved it.  Anyone else with this issue? 

  • BobM2 says:

    My experience with the charge2 is very different that Wareables. And there are page after page of complaints on the Fitbit website regarding inaccurate step counting and poor HR monitoring.

    It is so inaccurate, and so erratic, it is worse than useless. Take the heart rate sensor. During interval training on an elliptical, its readout varies pretty much randomly from 30 bpm above to 20 bpm below my actual, measured heart rate. Sometimes it’s spot on, but I’m reminded that a stopped clock is right twice a day. On a treadmill, at a fast walking pace, it consistently reads 20 to 30 bpm below actual. I do weight training 5 to 6 days a week, and during a 60 to 80-minute workout it will routinely vary as much as 20 bpm too high, and 30 too low. Intermittently, it shows an HR as much as 40, 50 and more bpm below actual. The largest discrepancy had the Charge 2 displaying 80 bpm when my actual was 149. Sixty-nine bpm to low! I've also seen it go from 15 bpm too high to 30 bpm too low in less than a minute. And jump from 97 to 117 bpm while I'm looking at the display. Today, in the middle of weight training, it showed my HR as 62 bpm. That’s lower than my resting HR! Oh, and some days I apparently die multiple times during a workout, because the display repeatedly shows "--". The Fitbit community forum is filled with complaints about the HR sensor.

    The Charge 2's step counter isn't much better. In controlled testing, walking the indoor track at my gym, it's wildly inaccurate. I did 12 tests, 4 each of 30, 50 and 100 steps. In two tests it was with about 5 percent. In one, it undercounted by 10% (that means if you walk 10,000 steps, it'll only credit you with 9,000). And in the remaining 9, it undercounted by 30 to 35%! That means that for a 10,000 step day, you'll only be credited with 6500 to 7000! It’s not consistent, though. Sometimes it overcounts by about 5%. It also give me credit for steps while I’m sitting on the couch folding laundry, and when I’m scratching my head. And this is under the best conditions: walking a moderate pace, nothing in my hands, my arm swinging freely. If you’re carrying something that interferes with arm movement, it’s even worse. Push a shopping cart or baby stroller, and it won’t count steps at all because your arm isn’t moving. And again, the forums are filled with complaints about the inaccurate step count.

    On a typical day, I climb between 10 and 15 flights of stairs. And the Charge 2 fails to count 2 to 4 of them. If you hold on to the handrail while climbing, it won’t count the climb. But it also randomly misses other flights of steps, even when I’m don’t hold the rail. Occasionally, though, it’s wildly optimistic. It counted 18 flights while I took a 30-minute motorcycle ride, and 2 flights while I drove home from the gym.

    I wouldn't put much stock in its sleep analysis, either, since it gives me credit for 50 to 150 steps every night while I'm sleeping. No, I don't walk in my sleep. And since the inputs are inaccurate, none of the calculated values can be trusted. Calories burned is estimated from heart rate and activity. If those numbers are off, it’s likely calories burned is off, too. Heart health is calculated from resting and peak heart rates. How can one trust those numbers? Even minutes of activity is questionable. If the Fitbit thinks my HR was only 62 during exercise, it’s probably not counting that as activity. But its "automatic activity detection" did credit me with 20 minutes of aerobic activity while I was dozing in bed the other morning.

    It might as well be a random number generator for all the actual value it provides. And Fitbit's customer support is worse than useless. They're more likely to argue with you than to help you. If they don’t argue, they just keep repeating the same worthless suggestions.

  • redtree says:

    I've had the charge 2 for about three month, and now I'm starting to notice more issues with it. The main features I use are the step counter, heart rate monitor and sleep log. I had the opposite problems with steps. I don't know if it was undercounting before but it definitely does now. I walk the same route every day and it's about 6,200 steps. Now I'm lucky if this thing counts 5,000. The heart rate monitor typically doesnt work when I'm active, just when I'm sedentary, which is somewhat useless. I can't say anything about the sleep log, I don't know how accurate it is.

  • doc_jim says:

    Redtree is talking about a problem that is becoming huge for many Fitbit Charge 2 users.  I have the device primarily for sleep monitoring and stages has never worked on the device.  Even worse, the features that used to be present (sleep efficiency, for example) are no longer available.  The company is providing only the vaguest response to the many complaints posted on their community pages and the helpdesk seems to not have a clue about what is going on.  I'm among many unhappy Charge 2 users.

  • Merrilee says:

    This is my second FitBit Charge. It is the Fitbit Charge 2. I am very disappointed in it. I do not remember having this problem with my first one,  all it does is measure how many times I wave my arm around (I spoke to a rep on the phone and he confirmed that is what it does), so when I go to the grocery store and have my hand on the cart, no measurement. When I walk upstairs and have items in my hand, no measurement. But if I am driving in my car or laying on my bed and move my arm wildly in the air, wall, I am getting credit for steps. Even on the treadmill, if I speed up and want to hold onto the armrails, no measurement. This sucks!! I like getting texts on it, but I want a tracker, not a device that measures my arm movements!! Also, many of my reports have been inaccurate. I know which days I had more activity, like when I was on vacation and walked a lot and the report showed a day i hardly moved.

  • Dezza says:

    I was given a Charge 2 for Christmas. At first I was impressed. However now that I have done some homework and looked more closely at the "data' it provides I have come to the conclusion that it is deeply flawed. If you want accurate data then look elsewhere. If, on the other hand you are happy to use it as a general guide then the Charge 2 is easy to wear and inexpensive. Just don't look too closely at the data. Forget any information based on resting heart rate. It is miles off the mark. RHR is supposed to be measured first thing in the morning, after a good night sleep. Today, for example the Charge 2 App shows 81 BPM RHR. It was 58 BMP this morning as displayed on the Charge 2 unit. However the app shows that my lowest BPM today was 62 BPM. Fitbit try to explain away these issues as "averaging/rounding". Today my cycling "exercise" was, yet again incorrectly recorded, dropping off the last 15 minutes. When I am peddling I can't keep looking at the wrist unit so I can't tell you why this 15 minutes has blended into the background. But I can say as a software developer of 30 years experience that "averaging / rounding" is simply smoothing over data that does not exist. In other words the device failed. Good luck if you are moving your arms a lot, running perhaps.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.