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The new Fitbit Charge 2 is here: is it Fitbit's best fitness band?
Charge 2 replaces the Charge HR, our favorite Fitbit. It costs the same: $150, or £130/AU$250.
The Charge 2 has a larger display to fit multiple readings at once: steps and heart rate, for instance, plus time.
Its new design is a lot like Fitbit Alta released earlier this year, but a bit bigger.
Always-on heart rate works the way it did before.
Charge 2 now comes in different designs and has swappable straps.
The main display is tap-controlled, and the side button activates workouts and changes modes.
Fitbit Flex 2 and Charge 2, side by side. Flex 2, also just announced, is smaller and waterproof but lacks a display or heart rate.
Just like before, Charge 2 tracks steps, sleep, stairs climbed, estimated calorie burn, heart rate, and distance. It also automatically tracks activities, and has a stopwatch mode included.
The strap has a standard watch buckle, which makes it easier to attach. It comes in two sizes.
Charge 2 isn't waterproof. And it doesn't have onboard GPS. Battery life lasts for 5 days.
Now, you can also see resting heart rate.
There are several exercise modes to pick, or you can tag an activity later on.
Introducing, Relax mode: Charge 2 has a 2 or 5-minute timed breathing mode to encourage mindful meditation and breathing control.
Inhaling and exhaling in Relax, which shows your estimated respiration based on heart rate.
If you time your breathing well, it sparkles.
Cardio Fitness is a new wrinkle to the Fitbit app's heart rate calculations. It estimates fitness based on VO2 Max-based measurements.
To increase the Cardio Fitness measurement accuracy, Fitbit recommends running for 10 minutes with connected phone GPS assistance. Charge 2 maps runs when paired with a phone, just like the Blaze does.
Fitbit's also updated its app with some features, too: Adventures, which tracks your steps against a map of Yosemite National Park trails, aims to make your step goals more exciting.
Adventures will get NYC Marathon trails later this year.
The virtual map I followed as I did my daily walking.
Charge 2 has yet another new Fitbit charge dongle. It clips on like a chip clip.
At least it stays in place.
Swapping bands is easy. Fitbit will sell rubber and leather bands for Charge 2.
Charge 2 feels good, and less bulky than the Blaze. And it does most of the same things.
Raising my wrist shows the time automatically, and it's helpful to see more at-a-glance info.
So far, so good.