Fitbit Charge 2 release date, news and features

A refresh to a classic

Fitbit Charge 2

Update: It's now official: the Fitbit Charge 2 offers up a refreshed look and some features that will make you want to leave the original Charge behind.

We thought we'd have to wait until IFA 2016 to see what Fitbit has under its sleeves, but alas, the Fitbit Charge 2 is now official.

As the successor to one of the wearables that helped to put Fitbit on the map, the Charge 2 looks to be an improvement in every way.

Its refined design brings it up to speed with Fitbit's fashionable Fitbit Alta, but the bigger screen here can feed you more info. Additionally, the PurePulse heart rate tracking technology will surely motivate fitness enthusiasts to keep going on their workouts.

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Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The follow-up to one of Fitbit's most popular wearables
  • When is it out? Pre-sale begins today. Available globally in September
  • What will it cost? $149 (£129, AU$249)

Fitbit Charge 2 release date

Fitbit is going to be present at IFA 2016, but it has spoiled its own surprised a bit early with the formal announcement of the Charge 2 and the Fitbit Flex 2.

Initial leaks hinted toward a November 27 release, but Fitbit's official word puts the global release happening throughout September, with some retailers getting stock in October - perfect if you're looking to pick one up before the holidays.

Fitbit Charge 2 design

The new Fitbit Charge 2 takes the look of the original and expands on it in just about every way imaginable.

First off, it's wider set than the Fitbit Charge and its heart-monitoring next of kin, the Fitbit Charge HR. The biggest gain with this move is, obviously, the larger screen, which can display more information at once.

Fitbit Charge 2

It also allows for more guts to be packed inside, including the heart-rate monitor that now comes standard with the Charge 2.

We're still waiting on a review sample to give the full tour of the wearable, but it will most likely follow suit with Fitbit's other products in having a proprietary charging port.

The original Fitbit Charge sparked some controversy when it launched, as it was causing skin irritation for some users. That was solved in future Fitbit Charge releases, so we'd expect it not to be a problem here.

Fitbit Charge 2 features

The marquee feature of the Fitbit Charge 2 is the heart-rate monitor, which with its PurePulse tech, continuously tracks your heart-rate trends to give you more informed feedback on your cardio health.

Marketing material that was previously leaked suggested that the Charge 2 will come with all-day activity tracking, sleep monitoring, interchangeable bands and phone notifications, and it all came true in the official announcement.

One feature not included is support for mobile payments. Fitbit bought mobile payments company Coin earlier in 2016, which had previously created a prototype device that allowed you to make payments from your wrist.

Fitbit Charge 2

Some had speculated that Fitbit may be bringing Coin's technology to the next Fitbit range. However, when Fitbit announced it was buying Coin it said the technology wouldn't be coming to any devices launched in 2016, so it's hard to feel too let down.

Fitbit Charge 2 competition

Fitbit now has a lot of competition in the fitness tracker space. There are devices from Garmin, Microsoft, Jawbone, Withings and many more.

Then you'll have to decide if any of the other Fitbit devices suit you better. You'll likely be able to buy both the Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR for a bit cheaper when the Charge 2 is announced.

There's also the Fitbit Alta, Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip to choose from too.

Fitbit Charge 2 price

The Fitbit Charge 2 will launch for $150 (£130, AU$250), which is roughly the same price that the older Fitbit Charge HR is currently going for. Even though you can purchase the original Fitbit Charge for $129.99 (£119.99, AU$229.95), we suggest that you hold off to see if the newer model is better suited to your needs.

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