Fitbit is introducing two new fitness bands here in Malaysia, the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Fitbit Flex 2. As the names imply, the two are successors to existing devices; and bring a number of improvements over their predecessors. This includes several new watch band options, and – in the case of the Flex 2 – the ability to make a fashion statement.
The Fitbit Charge 2 only superficially resembles the original Charge fitness band. Users will quickly notice the increased size of the display, which now dominates the entire front of the wearable. This larger display allows the Charge 2 to display more information for the wearer, and allows Fitbit to squeeze a few new features in.
New to the Fitbit Charge 2 is the PurePulse heart rate tracking which allows the wearable to provide wearers with an estimate of their VO2 Max score. The VO2 max is a measurement of oxygen consumption during incremental exercise. Interestingly, Fitbit believes that it can estimate this based on the users heart rate and exercise data. Despite the fact that the Charge 2 does not have any method to measure actual oxygen consumption.
In addition to this new fitness tracking metric, the Charge 2 now includes the ability to automatically track a workout, without it being told to do so. Ideally, this is so people do not lose any training data in the event they forget to log the exercise session. A connected GPS feature allows the Charge 2 to ride on a smartphone’s GPS tracking to provide more accurate tracking for distance based exercise.
Motivating wearers to get fit is one of the goals of Fitbit, and it believes that the new reminders to move will help in that regard. These reminders will poke and remind wearers to walk at least 250 steps every hour, with an additional prompt if the goal is not met with 10 minutes to go. According to Fitbit, this feature was one of the most requested from its current users.
The Fitbit Charge 2 also brings with it interchangeable bands; allowing users to customise their fitness band to their personal style. New bands include the Luxe Leather collection, as well as a Special Edition series that brings with it a more premium finish for the Charge 2 chassis.
The Fitbit Charge 2 will be available locally in late September for RM730. Additional watch bands will be sold for RM130 for the classic accessory line, and RM360 for the Luxe Leather bands. The Special Edition series of Fitbit Charge 2 will be sold for RM820.
Accompanying this announcement is the Fitbit Flex 2; which also represents a massive change from its predecessor. The shape of the device has changed to accommodate a couple of new housings that aren’t limited to just fitness bands.
Jewelry and fashion seems to be the theme of the new housings for the Fitbit Flex 2; as the company has opted to give the device the option of looking like a bangle or a necklace. That being said, the Flex 2 loses its heart rate monitor while being worn as a necklace.
Aside from the fashion statements, the Flex 2 gains more notifications as the LED bar has been redesigned. This includes a couple of RGB LEDs, to allow for different notifications to show in the same place.
As far as features go, the Fitbit Flex 2 also has the same reminder to walk as the Fitbit Charge 2. Another common feature between the two smartbands is that they include water resistance to depths of 50m. Fitbit hasn’t had the bands IP certified just yet, but the company hopes to achieve at least IP67 certification.
The Fitbit Flex will be available in October for RM450. The classic band housings will be available in packs of three, with each costing RM130. Finally, the Luxe collection of bangle and necklace housings will be sold for RM420 (RM450 for the rose gold version) and RM390 (RM450 for the rose gold) respectively.