Fitbit Charge 2: Everything you need to know about the next-gen tracker

The full specs and lowdown on Fitbit's Charge sequel

Fitbit's revamped its lineup with the Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 bringing along new tech to the fitness tracking party.

The Charge 2 ups the stakes in terms of workout tracking and finally offers new analytics for us to sink our teeth into.

Read our full verdict: Fitbit Charge 2 review

From new features to battery life, read on to find everything you need to know about the new Fitbit Charge 2...

Fitbit Charge 2: Design

The Charge 2 looks like an amalgamation of the original Charge and Fitbit Alta. It features a glossy and dominating black and white OLED screen that's four times bigger than the one on the old Charge HR.

Featuring a similar texturised finish to the original withe the strap made of a flexible, durable elastomer material; the Charge 2 comes in five colors as standard - black, blue, plum, teal and lavender. Two special editions are arriving soon after launch - black / gunmetal and lavender / rose gold.

Similar to the Alta, you can remove the body and place into various other straps. As well as the ones mentioned there are also luxury leather finishes - brown, indigo and pink.

The Charge 2 comes in three sizes - small, large and extra large.

Now there are a couple of downsides to the model. The Fitbit Charge 2 isn't waterproof like the updated Flex 2, just water resistant, so that's something to consider if you're looking to buy.

Fitbit Charge 2: Activity tracking

Fitbit Charge 2 guide

The Fitbit Charge 2 includes most of the standard Fitbit features including automatic sleep detection, SmartTrack automatic detection of activities and ConnectedGPS, which piggybacks location data from a smartphone for running and cycling (so, not really GPS at all).

It also features PurePulse heart rate tracking as standard, so there's no HR and standard variants this time around as per the previous Charge generation.

The optical sensor still monitors your pulse 24/7, keeping tabs on your resting heart rate as well as bpm during exercise, but it's now primed to offer new stats to the Fitbit ecosystem.

The first is Cardio Fitness Level, which is essentially a VO2 Max score. This is calculated using your age, height and weight, combined with heart rate and exercise data.

The next new feature are breathing workouts for mindfulness. By keeping tabs on your bpm, the Charge 2 displays a live visualisation of your heart rate during guided two or five minute exercises. Fitbit says that breathing exercises have a part to play in reducing stress and blood pressure.

In terms of sport tracking, the Charge 2 will track running, cycling, hiking, biking, weights, yoga and more - with that SmartTrack tech auto detecting if you've started a workout.

Fitbit Charge 2: Notifications

Fitbit Charge 2 guide

You get the usual gamut of notifications from calls, texts and calendar but that's about it. The messages also aren't stored on the device and simply vanish after raising your wrist to read them.

It's also a snippet of text rather than the whole message as well so you'll need a smartphone nearby to receive and read in full. There's also no third party support meaning all your Facebook Messenger pings will go un-buzzed when using the Charge 2.

Fitbit Charge 2: Battery life and tech

Depending on usage, Fitbit claims the lithium-polymer battery should last five days. Oddly, that lines up with the life of the older Charges despite the Charge 2's larger screen.

In comparison, Surge promises five to seven days but in our review, it only made it three days where Alta lasted a little over a week on the promise of a five day battery life.

In terms of hardware, the Charge has a 3-axis accelerometer, an altimeter, a vibration motor and connectivity is Bluetooth 4.0. The band can save a week's worth of motion data on a minute by minute basis and daily totals for 30 months before you need to sync with your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Fitbit Charge 2: Price and release date

Fitbit Charge 2 guide

The Fitbit Charge 2 is available to order now and shipping is expected before the end of September. It costs from $149.99.

Additional classic bands cost $29.95, while the special editions are pricier at $179.95.

The Charge 2's Luxe leather accessory band options cost $69.95.

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  • dustinhaley·

    I'd say the love child of the original Charge HR and the Alta, not Surge. It clearly has the same design language, interchangeable bands, etc. 

    That said, looks like a nice upgrade! Hoping we don't have to wait until November 27th... 

    • Rickhealthcoach·

      staples Canada has new charge hr posted on web site for preorder and delivery first week of October 

  • mmmfreegoo·

    After waiting 2 years for a successor to the Charge HR, I'm rather underwhelmed by this (albeit unofficial) leak. I've been holding off pulling the trigger on other fitness trackers, but not for much longer if this is the result of 2 years of R&D from arguably the biggest fitness tracker company. 

    I was hoping that after such a long wait, the new Charge HR would have evolved in atleast one of the following ways:

    1. Significantly slimmer (it seems to be the same thickness as the original) 

    2: Fully waterproof (so that it could be also used as a swimming tracker)

    3: Have independent GPS (so that it could be used to track when a phone isn't present)

    4: Have a small amount of storage and Bluetooth (to store and transmit audio while exercising) 

    ...any one of those above would have been great, but to me it just looks like (as the article states) a mix of the old Surge and Charge HR. 

    Fitbit had an opportunity to knock it out the park, but it doesn't look like there have been many significant changes which is a shame.. ofcourse, this is just a leak, so maybe some of the above is included, but as it stands, I'm not impressed. 

  • Noami·

    Does the Fitbit charge 2 include climbing stairs? I like the design of the Alta but doesn't have stairs. I have the flex now wanting to upgrade. When will this be on the market to buy and do you have any others similar to have the things I want? 

  • Gonzalo·

    the vo2max could make it to the current line of fitbit charge HR and Blaze or not? It's the same hardware as the new one

  • JDonk·

    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.

    • ErinK·

      Couldn't agree more. I think it's crazy that the warranty is based off the original purchase date too when they clearly have a faulty product. I had the same experience going through 4 fitbit charger hr in the first year of my warranty. They would be better off making these cost $25 each with no warranty... I had bought 3 others for family members as gifts and had several friends purchase one within weeks of getting my first one. Every single one of us has had to get 2 or more replacements due to the crappy manufacturing.  Only downfall to going to another company is the lack of sharing with friends and the competitions.  I also asked about upgrading to a better product and paying the difference or getting my money back with no luck.  

    • Lonk·

      Couldn't disagree more.  Fitbit has been great for my family and me.  Had a broken screen on my Surge and Fitbit sent me a new one.  Wasn't even their fault.  

      Will continue to purchase Fitbit gear.  We have had Charge HR, Blaze, Surge, and Aria.  All work great.