Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) unveiled the new Charge 2 activity tracker today, the successor to the popular Charge HR, its best-selling wearable to date. The Charge 2 is the same price as the Charge HR at $149. However, the display on the Charge 2 is four times larger. The heart rate sensors in the Charge 2 are the same sensors used for the Charge HR. Continuous heart rate tracking using Fitbit’s PurePulse makes it easier to maximize workouts and track calorie burn.
The Charge 2 introduces a metric called Cardio Fitness to assign you a cardio “score” during activities. You can improve your score over time by increasing exercise frequency, intensity, or by reaching a healthier weight. A breathing feature called Relax guides you through a short breathing exercise. Animations on the display and vibrations cue the user when to inhale and exhale. The Charge 2 also has “connected GPS,” which adds GPS tracking to your workout for more accurate distances.
There are several other noticeable differences between the Charge 2 and its predecessor. A thinner, stylish new band is now interchangeable. To cycle through all of the top-level menu options, you press a single physical button. To go through sub-menus, you have to tap on the display. The Charge HR didn’t offer sub-menus.
Fitbit also announced the Flex 2, a waterproof version of its original Flex tracker. The Flex 2 is Fitbit’s first-ever swim-proof fitness wristband. It can track pool swims including laps, duration, and calories burned. The ultra-slim, minimalist design is 30 percent smaller than its predecessor. It also features a removable tracker that can be used with interchangeable plastic, stainless steel, and gold bands. The Flex 2 will cost consumers $99. Preorders for both models start today, and Fitbit says they should ship by this fall.
Fitbit sells more than half a dozen different activity trackers in 54,000 retail stores and in 64 countries around the globe. The company claims nearly 80 percent of the wearables market in the US and around a quarter of the global market. Fitbit CEO James Park said on a recent earnings call that more devices would be released before the end of the year. The company just started shipping two new ones this spring.