Fitbit released the Charge and Flex 2 years ago, which helped them strengthen their hold on the fitness tracking market even more. But 2 years is a long time in the world of tech and we have seen many new products released since then, which apparently have caused a serious drop in market share for Fitbit.
From my own personal experience, the Charge has been plagued with poor build quality, which has no doubt affected their sales.
Fitbit hopes to boost their sales with the announcement of the 2 successors, the Charge 2 and the Flex 2. Both devices have had a major overhaul, but will be priced the same as their predecessor’s original release price of £130 and £80.
The Charge 2 now appears much larger, due to its significantly increased display size which is 4 times larger than the original and is now multiline. You can customise the display to various options at once, for example, time, steps and heart rate. So no clicking through to find your stats.
Probably the most important upgrade, in my opinion, is the interchangeable straps. I don’t really care about making it look pretty, but the old Charge was made shockingly and would generally fall apart in 6 months with the rubber disintegrating or bubbling up around the plastic device. Hopefully, being able to get new straps should reduce the issues of this.
The other major upgrade is being able to connect to your phone’s GPS, so you can have a more accurate sports style watch.
Other upgrades appear to be more app specific, and it will be interesting if this is rolled out to older devices, there is now cardio fitness level, a breathing guide, multi-sport modes, and improved smartphone notifications.
The Charge still isn’t fully waterproof, which seems to be a bug bearer for a lot of people.
Fitbit Flex 2
This is more of a design overhaul than functionality. The flex, in general, is now more stylised, rather than being just a boring ugly rubber strap. It is also now much slimmer and fully waterproof. You can also style it with different accessories rather than just a wristband.
Overall these seem to be decent upgrades to the devices, but I am not sure it is enough to fend off the growing competition. Especially in the smartwatch world. Garmin is also, in my opinion, churning out very competitive devices, and more importantly, a wider selection of devices to target a greater audience, many now offer full day activity tracking and HR tracking. Though these are less fashion and more sports orientated.
You can pre-order now for delivery in October at Fitbit.com