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Fitbit Charge 2

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I bought myself a Valentine’s/late birthday present: a Fitbit Charge 2.

I had been thinking about upgrading my Fitbit Flex for a while. I have had my Flex for just over two years and have loved it. The Charge 2 has everything I love about the Flex and more, with one notable exception: the Flex is waterproof, so I can wear it in the shower. I never took my Flex off except to charge it. I chose the Charge 2 because it doubles as a watch. I have been wearing a watch and my Flex stacked on my left wrist, and now I can wear just one device. I now need to remember to remove it to shower and to put it back on afterward. That typically should not be a problem, because I feel naked without a watch and the reason why I insist on wearing one long after the need for one has passed (my phone, which is always with me, tells me the time, so I tried going a whole summer a few years ago without a watch...I was lost without it…).

I charged and set up the Charge 2 on Valentine’s night. All my steps recorded by my Flex immediately showed up on my Charge 2. I chose the watch face that shows me the time, number of steps, and heart rate, all with the raising of my wrist. Otherwise, the display sleeps.

I also love that the band of the Charge 2 has a buckle. That feels more secure to me than the clips that are pushed into holes of the band of the Flex. I always had trouble putting on the original bands of the Flex and preferred some other brand of band I purchased at Target. I didn’t struggle with the “aftermarket” bands, but there were a few times when I caught the band on something and it popped off my wrist. I’d have lost my Flex in an elevator that first summer had someone I was with not noticed it lying on the floor. Fortunately, I noticed it had popped off the other times it happened.

My first night with the Charge 2, it credited me with 9 hours of sleep and 40 steps. I did not really sleep 9 hours, but I read quietly for about an hour or so, which the device mistook for sleep. I don’t know how to account for the steps - it must have counted when I rolled over in my sleep. Or maybe I dreamed I was running a marathon. I didn’t get up in the night, at least not that I remember.

After purchasing the Charge 2, I learned of another cool feature: biofeedback. They call it Relax. What you do, is scroll through the options until you get to Relax. You can pick 2 minutes or 5 minutes. The idea is to breath slowly and deeply in time with the circle on the device and the display will “sparkle” if you do it correctly. Who doesn’t need to take 5 to relax during a stressful day?

I have the Charge 2 set up to buzz if I haven’t met my goal of at least 250 steps in an hour (I have had my account set up for a while to walk at least 250 steps each hour between 8 am and 8 pm). Yesterday, it reminded me a couple of times, 10 minutes before the hour, that I needed to start moving to reach my goal. Therefore, I met my 12-hour movement goal.

I danced yesterday evening, at the end of the first full day with the Charge 2, to reach my step goal for the day. I happened to be looking at the display when I reached my goal. The device not only buzzed, it showed fireworks on the display.

So far, the Charge 2 has met my expectations and more. It is keeping me motivated, though I assume the novelty will soon wear off. I’ll have to come up with new ways to keep myself motivated. When the weather gets warmer, I will be able to set the Charge 2 up to record bike rides, so that will be new. I have yet to use the stopwatch feature, which I can use to time myself as I walk around the block on nice days. And eventually, I’ll go back to taking photos as I walk around town (alas, the Charge 2 cannot take photos, but I didn’t expect it to do EVERYTHING).
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