Today, we have an app for everything. We can track our children through home surveillance, find the nearest cup of coffee, or get a ride without having to fight for a cab. Fitbit knows this well, and that’s why they have become one of the leaders in tracking our fitness progress.
Fitbit has several models of workout/exercise trackers that are designed to help you track your progress with your daily fitness progress and goals. We’re going to take a specific look today at the Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2. Each has their advantages and extra features, but we’re going to help you determine which is the better investment.
Product Name Fitbit Blaze & Fitbit Charge 2
Weight 1.44 ounces 1.12 ounces
Dimensions 10 X 1.7 X 0.4 inches 8.6 X 0.9 X 0.5 inches
Price $$ $$
Color Choices 6 6
Size Choices 3 4
What Is A Fitbit And How Will It Help Me?
The Fitbit line is a collection of products that are meant to help you track your exercising progress throughout the day. You might not think about it when getting up from your desk to refill your coffee, but your body is always active when moving. Even the couple of steps you take to the supply closet expend a little bit of energy.
With a Fitbit, you’re able to tell exactly how each of those steps add up. By the end of the day, you’ll get a readout of the total number of steps you have taken, how many calories you have learned, along with a number of other additions. Your extra features will vary depending if you’re working with the Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2.
How Do We Compare The Fitbit Blaze VS. Charge 2?
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much difference when comparing the Fitbit Blade vs. Charge 2. Both are watches that you’ll wear, and both of them perform much more than just simple step tracking.
Once you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that these are not as similar as they seem. In the matchup of the Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2, we took a close look at how they performed under different conditions. We decided to recommend one over the other at the end of our analysis, but we’ll save that for after we go over each individual factor.
- See simplified heart rate zones for quickly checking exercise intensity during workouts with PurePulse(TM) continuous,...
- Use multi-sport tracking to track runs, cardio, cross-training, biking and more. Effortlessly and automatically record...
- Enable connected GPS to map your routes and see run stats like pace and duration on display (when your phone is nearby)
Most of the time, our image of a Fitbit has taken on something like a companion device. We don’t tend to think of a Fitbit as a dedicated watch, but that’s exactly what they are trying to do with the Blaze. Gone is the concept of attaching it to your hip and ignoring the Fitbit until it alerts you to some new activity. The Fitbit Blaze definitely looks like a watch, but how you feel about its aesthetics is how you will ultimately feel about the Blaze itself.
If you’re a fan of retro fashion, you’ll enjoy the visual style of the Fitbit Blaze. The exaggerated shapes and simple approach to attaching to your wrist makes you think of Huey Lewis and the News as soon as you put it on for the day.
Along with a fashionable design, the Fitbit Blaze is comfortable to the arm. It’s especially noticeable if you have spent any time with the Apple Watch, which we now consider to be fully inferior both products we looked at for this Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2 comparison.
Unlike other products on the market, the Blaze’s screen isn’t always on. We see this as an advantage, not causing too many distractions throughout the day if you happen to catch a glimpse of the Blaze in the corner of your eye.
The touchscreen included on the Blaze will dim and turn off after a few seconds, but with a simple raise of your wrist, it knows to turn back on. This is excellent when you unconsciously move your arm but don’t intend to activate the Blaze – it has to recognize a specific motion without actually spamming you with screen activations.
Performance And Features
As expected, the Fitbit Blaze tracks your steps, number of stairs that you have taken, ho long you have been asleep, and how your heart is performing. You have access to a massive color touchscreen and buttons on the side of the device.
If you need to, you can get updates in the middle of your workout on your heartrate and the pace at which you’re exercising. You can use up to four different watch faces, and they are easy to read despite the relatively small size of the display. The Blaze includes a stopwatch and timer just in case you need access to them.
The Fitbit Blaze uses several multitasking functions to give you the sense that your whole world is attached to your wrist. You’ll see the number of incoming phone calls and you can read any text messages you receive while wearing the Fitbit Blaze. You can also control any music playing from your phone with the buttons on the watch, but that’s as far as the features reach. This is, after all, not a smart watch.
Although the absence of more features might turn off some previous owners of other smart watches, you need to remember that this model is not built for competition. In fact, if you actively dislike the idea of a smart watch, the Fitbit Blaze is exactly what you need. You can sync the Blaze’s display to the GPS on your phone, but it isn’t mandatory.
The Blaze can tell the difference between a passing workout and what it considers an “active” exercise. When you are at it for more than ten minutes, the Fitbit Blaze records your activity, and gives you a detailed readout that you can compare to every other session you’ve had.
The Fitbit Blaze will last you for four days on a full charge. That’s a good chunk of time for a watch that gives you fine details on your exercise patterns, but the charger itself is awkward and finicky. That sums up the entire experience with the Fitbit Blaze: a bit clunky and still finding itself. What can you say about the Fitbit Blaze that hasn’t already been said (and featured) in other watches? It’s an excellent device for those who may have never used a Fitbit before, but it also needs to figure out what it wants to be.
We liked our time with the Fitbit Blaze, but it’s going to take a bit more probing to figure out who is the winner in the debate of Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2.
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As you can tell from the name, the Fitbit Charge 2 is the second model in the Charge family. The original model remains the bestselling Fitbit model in company history, so it only makes sense that Fitbit wants to improve upon its success.
Have they managed to replicate what the first Blaze did? How does this sway the debate in the Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2 discussion? Let’s get into what makes the Charge 2 tick.
Unlike the Blaze, the Fitbit Charge 2 looks like a fitness tracker from the beginning. You won’t mistake this for a watch. The screen is four times the size of the original Charge, and it connects to your GPS signal to encourage you to move harder and faster than before.
The minimalist screen, despite its size, is excellent for focusing on your workout while you monitor some basic statistics about your movement. You’ll get readouts whether you are walking, using an elliptical machine, or hiking in the woods. The same alerts you have access to with the Blaze will show up on the Charge 2’s screen, such as incoming calls and calendar notifications.
Performance And Features
Here, we run into some unfortunate issues with the Charge 2. There is a fundamental flaw in the performance of this tracker related to distance. While we used the GPS sync feature to match up distance traveled with our phones, we noticed that the distance was not accurate on the Charge 2. Whether we used it during hiking in the wilderness or during a session with an indoor machine, there were severe inconsistencies with distance recording on the Fitbit Charge 2.
Forums continue to discuss the problems experienced with the Fitbit Charge 2, and it’s unfortunate that the company has yet to address them. They claim to have patched the system software. Unfortunately, during a further review, we still noticed that distances recorded in the Charge 2 did not measure the same as on a GPS device.
A basic feature like a pause function should be automatically added to every fitness tracker, wouldn’t you think? Not here. Fitbit did not consider this idea for the Charge 2, another confusing omission of something that would be considered standard issue by now. If you go into the Charge 2’s relax mode, you’re forced to hold still and concentrate on your breathing without any multitasking.
This isn’t to say that the Charge 2 is all doom and gloom. The Fitbit app works across all mobile device operating systems, so those of you that are clinging to a Windows phone for dear life are in luck. You’ll get statistics on floors climbed, how many calories you have spent throughout the day, and how many total minutes you have spent exercising. If you also want to keep track of how much water you’ve been drinking throughout the day, you can enter that yourself.
The Fitbit Charge 2 will last for nearly an entire week on a full charge. If you’re the type who doesn’t remember to charge anything other than your phone, this is wonderful news. Granted, there are other devices that hold charges for even longer periods, but when we’re comparing this to the 24 hours you get with an Apple Watch, the Charge 2 performs like a beast.
We hoped to see some improvement in the Charge 2, especially considering the popularity of its previous incarnation. The problem still remains in the most basic of problems: distance tracking, one of the reasons anyone wants to get a Fitbit in the first place. Without a straight answer on how they claim to have fixed this issue, we can’t give a full recommendation for the Fitbit Charge 2.
Conclusion: Who Wins In The Matchup Of Fitbit Blaze VS. Charge 2?
We started out this argument of the Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2 wondering how the Blaze or Charge 2 could surpass the original Charge, one of our gold standards for fitness trackers. We expected a good fight and to have to spend hours debating which to choose.
That did not happen. Our unanimous decision points to the Fitbit Blaze. Even if it didn’t look as cool as we think it does, the Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2 fight was over before it started. Thanks to inconsistent performance from the Charge 2, we would suggest you purchase the Blaze even if you feel like you’re on the set of Blade Runner while wearing it.
The Fitbit app works flawlessly across any device than can download and run the software. It’s a shame that we can’t say the same about the built-in program for the Fitbit Charge 2. We’re not sure if any real solution will happen, as we keep seeing comments on forums and social media regarding the inconsistent distance tracking in the Charge 2.
If you’re dead set on the Charge model, we would stick with the original incarnation, or wait until Fitbit decides to unveil the Charge 3. We’re already seeing rumors about the next model of the Charge, but for now, the Fitbit Blaze vs. Charge 2 match has a clear victor. We’re giving the edge to the Blaze, and we think you’ll be happy with your futuristic-looking Fitbit.
Don’t forget to sync up whatever model you choose for the best readouts possible!