The Apple Watch 2 could be announced as soon as next week at Apple’s expected iPhone 7 event, and today Fitbit is getting a head start by unpacking its latest updates to its fitness tracking lineup. The popular Flex 2 is being updated with swim-proof capabilities while the Charge 2 is getting cardio-focused enhancements. Fitbit also seems to be trying to match Apple Watch almost feature-for-feature with its new lineup…
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The Flex has been the de facto Fitbit that you probably see the most, and the new version includes swim tracking and a focus on a much slimmer design:
- Ultra-slim, minimalist design: Now 30% smaller6, Flex 2 features a removable tracker and interchangeable slim, classic fitness bands in seven colors that are perfect for every day, hitting the gym or going for a swim.
- Premium accessory options: Transform and customize Flex 2 in a variety of Fitbit-designed bracelets and pendants to best suit your style or activity. Choose from a range of luxe, premium mirror-finish bangles in silver stainless steel, and 22k-plated gold or rose gold stainless steel, or elegant lariat-style necklaces in silver stainless steel or 22k-plated gold stainless steel for an elevated look that fits seamlessly into your everyday life – from the office to a night out7.
- Swim-proof and automatic swim tracking: As Fitbit’s first swim-proof wristband, Flex 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters, whether you’re in the shower, pool or ocean, and it automatically tracks your pool swims including laps, duration and calories burned in the Fitbit App.
- Effortless and automatic: Track your most important health and fitness stats, plus:
- SmartTrack automatic exercise tracking recognizes select workouts (walks, runs, rides, elliptical, sports, aerobic workouts, and now swims).
- Reminders to Move help you stay active with friendly reminders to reach mini hourly step goals and reduce stationary time.
- Personalized weekly exercise goals to help you embrace a consistent routine and stay motivated.
- Smarter: A simple LED display uses color-coded lights to show progress toward your daily goal, and keeps you connected with call and text notifications.
Apple Watch has been known to hold up well in a pool, but the software isn’t tuned for swim tracking yet.
The more capable (and pricier) Charge 2 is closer to the Apple Watch in functionality like call, text, and calendar alerts and heart rate tracking. You’ll even see reminders to breathe and relax, something coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 3:
- Innovations from PurePulse: Continuous heart rate tracking makes it easier to maximize workouts, better track calorie burn and get a picture of your overall health. Charge 2 advances health and fitness tracking with two new impactful features that are powered by your personal heart rate:
- Get a snapshot of your cardio fitness level: Automatically find out how fit you are with a personalized cardio fitness level and score, based on your estimated VO2 Max, that are calculated using your user profile, heart rate and exercise data. Plus, get guidance to take action and improve your score over time by increasing exercise frequency, intensity, or by reaching a healthier weight.
- Relax with guided breathing sessions: Charge 2 offers a relaxing mindfulness experience that calms your body and mind through personalized deep-breathing sessions called “Relax”. The beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate determine your personalized breathing rate for each experience. Two- and five-minute sessions display real-time heart rate visualizations, animations and vibrational cues to help you align each inhale and exhale with the guide, and find moments of calm throughout your day. Research has shown that developing a long-term guided breathing practice can have health benefits that include reducing stress3 and anxiety4, and lowering blood pressure5.
- Enhanced fitness experience: Get real-time, actionable exercise stats right on the display so you can make instant adjustments during your workouts and improve over time.
- Multi-sport modes: Track specific workouts like runs, bike rides, weights, yoga and more, plus get post-exercise summaries and a detailed report of your activity in the Fitbit® app.
- Connected GPS: Links your fitness wristband with the GPS in your smartphone to provide even more precise and actionable real-time stats, like pace and distance when you’re running, while recording a map of your route in the app.
- Interval workout mode: Guides you in alternating periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery to maximize workouts like circuit training so you can stay focused on your workout.
- Smarter, easier all-day tracking: Advanced sensors make tracking your whole day effortless by automatically capturing all-day activity and sleep. SmartTrack™ automatic exercise recognition records everyday activities like walking, running, elliptical, and more with ease. Reminders to Move motivate you to stay active throughout the day.
- Sleek, new design: The modular design and easy-to-read tap-sensitive display is four times larger than Charge HR, letting you personalize a look that fits your style with interchangeable bands and clock faces – while keeping you connected with the smart notifications you need most.
Apple Watch 2 is widely expected to add an embedded GPS for iPhone-free route tracking during workouts. With Apple Watch 2 rumored to also launch with a cheaper (and speed-bumped) Apple Watch 1, I’d recommend waiting to see what Apple introduces if you’re on the fence about which to purchase.
Fitbit’s new fitness start at $99.95 (Flex 2) and $149.95 (Charge 2) with pre-orders starting today and retail availability in September and October so you’ll be stuck with the old models for just a bit longer.