So I’ve been reviewing Android gear and gadgets intensely this month, and got a Fitbit Charge 2 in from the company to check out its Android connectivity. Now I’m not the most active guy and my Fitbit results would be quite abysmal, so I gave it to my roommate, who’s a marathon runner, gym junkie, and yogi to put through the ringer.
She recently bought a Fitbit Blaze and had been using it to track her runs. It’s great for tracking runs, but things got a little more difficult when trying to use it to track her sleep.
Presented with the same basic functionality (minus GPS, which required a phone connection) in a smaller form factor, she was excited to take it for a spin. While we originally intended to compare the two, what we found was they actually supplemented each other quite well.
The Problem with 24/7 Tracking
While the Fitbit is fully capable of monitoring biometrics 24/7, you’re limited by the battery life available in these tiny devices. Sooner or later they’ll need to charge, and you’ll be without monitoring.
Now you can technically go out of your way to sit and not do anything while it charges, but life doesn’t really work that way. It’s especially problematic when you’re the type of active person who wants a Fitbit.
Having two Fitbits, we were able to sync the devices to the phone’s app and provide the type of 24/7 monitoring necessary. While one’s on, the other can charge. Not only does it enable both day and night tracking, but you also get a choice of styles.
While running, the larger face of the Fitbit Blaze is easy to see in the daylight, and you don’t need to bring your phone with you. However, it can get in the way of strenuous workouts, yoga poses, and the like. It’s also rather clunky to wear at night, especially if you’re a woman with a smaller wrist.
In these cases, the smaller Charge 2 is perfect to stay out of the way while still monitoring your vitals. The changeable bands allow for personalization as well.
Although these two particular models aren’t necessary, I’d definitely recommend a second Fitbit to get the most out of the device’s capabilities. We’re still working on getting a hold of some Pebble, Motorola, Samsung, and other smartwatches to see if it’s as easy as FitBit’s and compare them better.
Two Levels of Competition
This pits Fitbit against a wide array of competition – not only are these fitness trackers competing against other wrist wearables, but they’re competing with connected clothing from Nike, Under Armour, etc. along with sleep monitoring solutions.
Sleep Number now has a Sleep Tracker smart mattress available, and a startup called Eight has a smart mattress cover. Both are capable of tracking sleep patterns, and I’m working on getting some review samples to see how they fare compared to the Fitbit system.
Until then, know that Fitbit is a well-rounded device, and there’s a reason it’s the name you think of in fitness trackers. But to fully reap the benefits of it, you’ll want more than one.