Fitbit Charge 2 release date, news and rumors

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A refresh to a classic.

It’s confirmed there are brand new Fitbit devices coming later this year and the rumors point toward a new version of the Fitbit Charge in amongst the pack.

Since it first launched in 2014, the Fitbit Charge has been one of the most popular devices in the Fitbit range. But it’s due a refresh and it would make sense for the company to do it in the tail end of 2016.

This year we have already seen the release of the Fitbit Blaze and the Fitbit Alta, but the company will be showing off some devices at IFA 2016. That’s in September in Berlin so we can expect to see some updates then and there.

Cut to the chase

What is it? A brand new wrist-based tracker from Fitbit
When is it out? Expect an early September announcement, released in time for Christmas
What will it cost? Expect US$129.99 (£99.99, around AU$173)

Fitbit Charge 2 design

We don’t expect the design of the Fitbit Charge 2 to be anything revolutionary, it’s likely to be another wristband device that won’t be fashion focused.

Instead it will probably focus on being as comfortable as possible on your wrist so you can wear it continuously.

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The original Fitbit Charge underwent some controversy when it first launched as it was giving some skin irritation. That was solved in future Fitbit Charge releases and we’d expect that not to be a problem here.

Fitbit Charge 2 features

Fitbit may choose to install a heart rate sensor in the Fitbit Charge 2. The Fitbit Charge HR is a slightly more expensive version of the Charge that can give you a heart rate reading – but we’d expect that may come into the normal Charge for the next release.

We may also see the Charge 2 get into payments, as in May 2016, Fitbit bought mobile payments company Coin. The company had previously created a prototype device that allowed you to make payments from your wrist.

Some had speculated Fitbit may be bringing this technology to the next Fitbit range. However, when the company announced it was buying Coin it did stipulate that the technology won’t be coming to any devices launched in 2016, so we wouldn’t count on it.

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Apart from those two things, it’s quite uncertain what features will be added to the Fitbit Charge 2.

Fitbit Charge 2 competition

Fitbit now has a lot of competition in the fitness tracker space. There are devices from Garmin, Microsoft, Jawbone, Withings and many more.

Then you’ll have to decide if any of the other Fitbit devices suit you better. You’ll likely be able to buy both the Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR for a bit cheaper when the Charge 2 is announced.

There’s also the Fitbit Alta, Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One andFitbit Zip to choose from too.

Fitbit Charge 2 price

You can buy the Fitbit Charge HR for US$150 (£120, AU$200) or maybe a little bit cheaper if you go for a deal from somewhere else that isn’t the Fitbit website. The Fitbit Charge however, costs US$129.99 (£99.99, around AU$173).

We’d predict a similar price for the Charge 2 when it’s officially released, although it may be a little less if there’s no heart rate tracker.

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Our Verdict:

Fitbit Charge replaces the Fitbit Force that was recalled last New Year’s, and it adds features like caller ID and automatic sleep tracking to remain among the best all-around fitness trackers.

FOR

  • OLED displays stats
  • iOS, Android, WP
  • Auto-tracks sleep
  • Caller ID works

AGAINST

  • Similar to last year
  • Price unchanged
  • Poor sleep accuracy
  • Faulty clasp

(techradar.com, http://goo.gl/SvBuLs)

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