Due to a motivational health kick, and a very stereotypical new years resolution, I purchased a Fitbit Charge 2 in January of this year in order to get myself “fit and skinny” for summer. Of course that didn’t happen, but I did end up with a rather swanky watch that makes me feel lazy every day.
This was my first ever purchase of any Fitbit product (or any activity tracking device for that matter) that I had made, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
I purchased mine from Argos for £119.99, and I chose plum in size small, which I will say, was very generous in size. My other half has large wrists and he also fits a small, so I am not sure who exactly would ever need a large, unless maybe you were going to put it round your ankle, which I know some people do.
One of the main selling points of the Charge 2 was the heart rate monitor which you can see on screen. You can also monitor it whilst doing exercises to reach your peak heart rate, resulting in a higher calorific burn. The HR monitor is useful when you can get it to work, but sometimes wrist placement can cause a few problems. Again, they do advise you of the best place to sit your device when setting it up, but I have found that it doesn’t really make much difference as it can be temperamental wherever you place it.
This is actually my second device due to the heart rate monitor itself. My first device was absolutely brilliant until about 3 months in. It had never gotten wet, I cleaned it regularly, did everything they advise you do, and then suddenly my stats were all over the place. I realised pretty quickly that my heart rate was always set at 130-150bpm, so as a result it always thought I was working out, and my calorie burn would be through the roof. I am quite unfit, not gonna lie, but if my heart rate was that high when sitting down, it’d be a cause for concern.
This also happened immediately following an update that was forced to the device, so I am assuming that whatever they did had accidentally plagued peoples trackers and completely ruined them. I did see quite a few people enquiring about the same thing on the FAQ section of the dashboard around the time mine went wrong, meaning it didn’t just happen to me.
On the plus side, the customer service was fantastic and I was quite surprised at how willing they were to immediately send me a replacement. The replacement came within about 5 days. The one they sent me had a dent in the screen (which you can see in some of these photos) but I wasn’t particularly bothered because it worked.
Left: Calorie Burn | Right: Activity Trackers
One thing I didn’t know is that they track your basic metabolic rate with your calorific burn, which can be a bit of a faff on when it comes to figuring out what calories you have burned that day due to extra activity. This is all explained to you when you set up your Fitbit though. As a matter of fact, it is the best way to track what calories you have burned, because it is more accurate than just the ones you have burned through exercising. In case you didn’t know, your basic metabolic rate is the calories you burn by simply existing (breathing, etc).
I also like that you can log and monitor specific activities from the device, all of which you set yourself via the app. I have walking and spinning set as my favourites as they are the exercises I tend to do the most, and some exercises like walking/ running are automatically recognised if you are in a rush and forget to set your device to track them. The step count has always been very accurate for me when wandering around and they are also counted when pushing the pram, which is very important to me as it is what I spend 90% of my walks doing.
I have noticed the wear and tear on the strap is becoming noticeable, and the strap is gradually starting to detach itself from the device. This wasn’t a problem before I swapped my tracker, so I am not sure if this is my fault, however when I was requesting my replacement I seen quite a few people mention this problem too. Just something to note. The straps usually sell for around £20 – £50 but I do know you can buy cheap ones on ebay. I think Fitbit actually replace these too.
And here are some screen grabs from the app:
Top: Fitbit Dashboard | Middle: Sleep Tracking | Bottom: Heart Rate Tracking
My favourite part of the app, and definitely the most insightful, is the sleep tracking section. It makes me realise why I am so knackered every day, despite not doing anything to fix it. The Fitbit can be quite uncomfortable to wear overnight though, so I don’t always sleep with it on. I have occasionally woke up with no feeling in my arm, and that is quite a scary process to go through at 3am.
Overall, I do think it is worth the money if you are someone who frequently exercises or who wants to get fitter, but for me I lost interest pretty quickly and it just became a fancy way to tell the time. I will utilise it again at some point, hopefully, but unless you’re dedicated I honestly wouldn’t bother. I find myself keeping it charged now as I would feel horrendously guilty for spending the money if I didn’t use it.
Again, I did buy this device myself so this is not in any way a sponsored review. If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment below and I will reply as soon as I can.