Fitbit Charge 2 vs Charge HR: Which One is in Charge?

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Compare Fitbit Charge 2 vs Charge HR

When the Fitbit Charge 2 was released last month, many were floored by its advanced features, calling it the best tracker ever. And I don’t blame them. With features like guided breathing mode (which teaches you how to control your breathing), and cardio mode, it’s hard to argue that there is a better tracker out there. But that’s exactly what some experts are doing.

You see, the Charge 2 is supposed to be the improved version of one of Fitbit’s best-sellers, the Charge HR, but fans of the HR are challenging that notion. And since what makes a tracker great for one person might make it so-so for another, I decided to do and in-depth comparison of the two, to settle the debate once and for all.

So, without further ado, here is the comparison of Fitbit Charge 2 and the Charge HR: And the winner is…

Fitbit Charge 2: The Future of Tracking is Here

The Charge 2 is an impressive new model, both in terms of design features and function. Fitted with an OLED display four times larger than the Charge HR, it is easy to read and use. It has the Fitbit standard polymer band, but there are bands in other colors and materials, like gunmetal, to dress it up when and if you need to.



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Plus, there are also customizable clock faces, giving it a distinctively high-end feel and look.

As far as what it can do, there is just as much to be excited about. Besides tracking calories, distance and sleep, there are some new modes that really elevate your fitness experience. Let’s take a look:

  • PurePulse Heart Rate Monitoring: PurePulse heart monitoring is one of the Charge 2’s biggest selling features, as it is the core component for many of the new features. With PurePulse you get 24/7 heart rate monitoring, allowing you to analyze and track calories burnt, along with active and resting stats.
  • Guided Breathing Mode: Guided breathing mode is one of the new features that has everyone talking. Using PurePulse, the Charge 2 can ascertain how you need to be breathing at any given time and helps you sync your breathing to your heart rate.

    Using visual and audio cues, there are two and five-minute breathing exercises, where you are taught how to properly inhale and exhale at the right rate. This allows you to control your breathing as you exercise, recover from a workout, or during times of stress.

  • Cardio Fitness Level: Another new feature, it also uses PurePulse heart rate stats to give you a cardio fitness score. Using your heart rate stats, age and gender, it will analyze your overall cardio fitness level, comparing it with others in your range. This is great because it can give you an accurate picture of where and how you need to improve.
  • Multisport Modes: Multisport mode is a great new addition, allowing your tracker to monitor and record specific exercises, such as cycling, weights running, and yoga. Tracking for specific sports and activities increases accuracy and improves your moves.
  • Connected GPS: With the help of your smartphone, you can access GPS for improved readings, like pace, and can also help runners and cyclists map new routes to explore without getting lost.
  • Smart Alerts: In addition to call alerts, you can also get text and calendar alerts, so you never need to worry about missing an appointment or being out of touch.

The Fitbit Charge HR: A Proven Winner

The Fitbit Charge HR has been around for quite a while and is a proven winner with users. Sweat and splash-proof, it has a sporty polymer band that comes in multiple colors (but they are not interchangeable), and a slim OLED display. In terms of its features, there is plenty to be impressed with. Let’s take a closer look:



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  • PurePulse heart rate monitoring: The Charge HR is the original in terms of PurePulse technology, tracking all-day exertion and movements. This is good because it can help you reach and maintain target exercise zones and also ensures you work out smart. Great for beginners and those unsure of what to do at what level.
  • SmartTrack: One of the Charge HR’s best features, SmartTrack automatically recognizes select activities, like running or biking, and records your stats accordingly. So no more having to stop and program your tracker before a certain activity, making it a hassle-free experience.
  • Exercise tracking: Using the Fitbit app, your Charge HR summarizes your activities for the day, so you can track progress and make improvements. Reports such as run stats, routes and split times allow you to see actual results and pinpoint where you need to do better.
  • Smart Notification: The Charge HR can alert you when you have a call, so you can exercise without worrying the kids or your boss can’t reach you.

The Charge 2 vs The Charge HR: Similarities



Definitly Fitbit Charge 2 is a Winner. Do you agree?

As you can see, each model has a lot to offer. However, we need to compare those offerings to see how they stack up and can work for you. First, let’s look at how they are similar. Each tracker has PurePulse, so you can track your heart rate continuously. That means beginners and pros can use either of these and get great results.

Bike Spinning with Fitbit Charge 2

In addition, they both have Smart Track, which automatically recognizes what exercises you are performing and tracks accordingly. This allows for hands-free recording of stats, so you can just get up and go.

Finally, they both are able to track stats and sleep, to give you an overall picture of your health, making either a great fit for anyone who wants to get in shape.

The Charge 2 vs The Charge HR: A Head-To-Head Comparison

Now that you see what each model has to offer, and what they have in common, it’s time to do a head-to-head comparison to understand how they differ in the major categories, and why.

  • Design: The Charge 2 has a more modern design, with interchangeable bands that come in black, teal, blue, plum, lavender/rose gold and gunmetal.

    It also sports a stylized OLED screen with customizable clock faces. This makes it stylish and fun, as you can change looks and colors daily.

    The Charge HR also has an OLED screen, and comes in 6 colors: black, teal, tangerine plum, blue and pink. However, the bands are not interchangeable, so you can only pick one color and the OLED screen is a bit bulkier,making the Charge 2 the clear winner here.

  • GPS: Neither the Charge 2 or the Charge HR has built-in GPS. However, you can use GPS with the Charge 2 through your smartphone. The Charge HR cannot link to your smartphone to enable GPS, so the Charge 2 wins here, especially if you are a runner.
  • Extras: With features like guided breathing and multisport mode, the Charge 2 gives a more balanced picture of your overall health. With cardio fitness scores, it can help you see your current and future potential. Ideal for serious minded athletes and those on a weight loss program.

    Plus, for those who have health issues or want to exercise more effectively, guided breathing is a big help. It can help regulate blood pressure, cool down safely and practice deep meditation.

    These extras make the Charge 2 the winner because it has more to offer. However, if you don’t need those features then the Charge HR is just as good.

  • Waterproof: Neither is waterproof, but both are splash resistant, making this a tie.
  • Battery: Both devices can go up to 5 days on a single charge, once again making this category a tie.
  • Price: These 2 trackers are surprisingly close in terms of cost: There is about $20 cost difference between two. However, the Charge 2 will run you more if you buy the different bands.

    Cost wise, either is a good choice, as each costs less than typical heart rate trackers.

Buying Considerations

Before buying either of these devices, there are some things you need to consider:

Cost: You need to be sure the device you buy fits your budget. Don’t buy more than you need, or less, or you will be not just unhappy, but frustrated because you won’t get the most from your workouts.

Lifestyle: If you go out a lot or dress up often for work, you want a device that can go from work to a social outing, like the Charge 2. Otherwise, you may not wear it all the time, limiting its effectiveness.
But for those who want a stylish, but subdued look, the Charge HR will fit the bill.

Need: Why you want a tracker, and how you want to use it, is important. For example, if you are beginner and need help getting started, you want a device that will show you what to do and how, like the Charge HR.

Or, if you are a professional athlete, you’ll want a device that is accurate and gives overall stats, like the Charge 2.

Make sure you get what you need or you won’t get the results you want.

Why a Heart Rate Monitor is Essential

Fibit has a lot of great trackers, as do many other brands, but the Charge 2 and Charge HR are tops for the one thing they have in common: PurePulse heart rate monitoring. Heart rate monitoring is a must for anyone buying a tracker, for several reasons.

Fitbit Charge 2 Tracks your Heart Rate

To start, continuous heart rate tracking allows anyone, young, old, or not in the best shape, safely exercise. It tells you if you are in your target zone, so you know if you are pushing too hard, too fast.

Which leads to my second point. Heart rate monitoring allows you to hit your target zones, so you maximize your workouts and get results. No more guessing if you are doing what you’re supposed to do, or how long/hard you need to do it.

And speaking of guessing, with heart rate monitoring you get more accurate statistics in real time. Heart monitoring lets your tracker calculate exactly how many calories you burn and tells you your precise resting and active hear rates. This is great for professionals and everyday users as it lets you streamline goals as you go.

Fitbit Charge 2 Versus Charge HR: And The Winner Is…

After careful consideration, we feel that when it comes to the Fitbit Charge 2 v the Fitbit Charge HR Head-to-Head Comparison, the Charge 2 is the winner, but not by much. The Charge 2 is the better value for your money and it’s newer, as it costs just $20 more, yet gives you so many extra features that truly improve how you exercise and live.

However, the Charge HR is a great everyday tracker, affordable and has the all-important heart rate monitoring, making it a solid choice as well. For those on a budget or looking for a no-nonsense tracker, it will get the job done and more. Bottom line is, both of these trackers will help you become more active, but the Charge 2 will help you do it just a bit better, and it will also look a bit prettier too!


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