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Fitbit’s Blaze and Alta have some notable software updates bringing notifications, clock faces and move reminders. Nothing earth shattering there.
Their accompanying 2 new products are the CHARGE 2 and FLEX 2. the former is a fitness watch and the latter a tracker. Both are modest updates to the original versions.
The CHARGE 2 is more interesting. It still remains a FITNESS WATCH in my eyes as it does not have inbuilt GPS, rather it can get GPS from your phone. Great for battery life, less so for convenience. In theory it is able to track a few different sports automatically as well as give you 247 heart rate.
It’s not Earth-shattering.
BUT. And it’s a big but. Fitbit’s online data platform is good. So if you already like your original CHARGE and FLEX then this upgrade is approaching the realms of non-brainer. It would be fine as a present for a first-time gadgeteer. For the rest of you, there are plenty more octopi in the ocean.
Despite being a sports-watch person with an inherent bias towards fitness products I have to say that I actually like the Fitbit offerings for what they are. Fitbit are the market leader for a reason.
We knew that Fitbit were about to release these, or similar, products based on various patent/FCC filing a while back. We also know that analysts are getting jittery about Fitbit’s market position. So perhaps we had expected a little more from them?
Some may have expected higher-end gadgets with fancier features. Unfortunately that would be for a smaller market. the CHARGE 2 and FLEX 2 target a BIG market. They target an UPGRADE market for Christmas 2016. Perhaps not the best LONGterm strategy in the world but I reckon it’ll see them good for a few more months yet.
Maybe too these relatively simple devices are partial test beds for new bits of hardware? Get it sorted on a more simple device before upgrading and extending the SURGE and BLAZE? Perhaps.
Summary: Probably a nice move. Still waiting for more.
—– Excerpt from Press Release Below —————-
Make Every Beat Count with Charge 2
Fitbit, the world’s leading wearables company1, has reimagined Fitbit Charge HR™, its most popular fitness wristband that was the first to bring continuous, automatic heart rate to your wrist. With a new, sleek look and an easy-to-read display that is four times larger than its predecessor, Charge 2 brings an experience that is more engaging, motivating and personal to help you reach your goals.
Top features include:
- Innovations from PurePulse: Continuous heart rate tracking makes it easier to maximize workouts, better track calorie burn and get a picture of your overall health. Charge 2 advances health and fitness tracking with two new impactful features that are powered by your personal heart rate:
- Get a snapshot of your cardio fitness level: Automatically find out how fit you are with a personalized cardio fitness level and score, based on your estimated VO2 Max, that are calculated using your user profile, heart rate and exercise data. Plus, get guidance to take action and improve your score over time by increasing exercise frequency, intensity, or by reaching a healthier weight.
- Relax with guided breathing sessions: Charge 2 offers a relaxing mindfulness experience that calms your body and mind through personalized deep-breathing sessions called “Relax”. The beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate determine your personalized breathing rate for each experience. Two- and five-minute sessions display real-time heart rate visualizations, animations and vibrational cues to help you align each inhale and exhale with the guide, and find moments of calm throughout your day. Research has shown that developing a long-term guided breathing practice can have health benefits that include reducing stress3 and anxiety4, and lowering blood pressure5.
- Enhanced fitness experience: Get real-time, actionable exercise stats right on the display so you can make instant adjustments during your workouts and improve over time.
- Multi-sport modes: Track specific workouts like runs, bike rides, weights, yoga and more, plus get post-exercise summaries and a detailed report of your activity in the Fitbit® app.
- Connected GPS: Links your fitness wristband with the GPS in your smartphone to provide even more precise and actionable real-time stats, like pace and distance when you’re running, while recording a map of your route in the app.
- Interval workout mode: Guides you in alternating periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery to maximize workouts like circuit training so you can stay focused on your workout.
- Smarter, easier all-day tracking: Advanced sensors make tracking your whole day effortless by automatically capturing all-day activity and sleep. SmartTrack™ automatic exercise recognition records everyday activities like walking, running, elliptical, and more with ease. Reminders to Move motivate you to stay active throughout the day.
- Sleek, new design: The modular design and easy-to-read tap-sensitive display is four times larger than Charge HR, letting you personalize a look that fits your style with interchangeable bands and clock faces – while keeping you connected with the smart notifications you need most.
Image Source: CNET