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article imageFitbit unveils new slimmer fitness trackers with more features

By James Walker     Aug 30, 2016 in Technology
Fitbit has unveiled two new fitness trackers that update its existing product line-up. The Flex 2 is the first Fitbit device to offer swim tracking features while the Charge 2 has a large easy-to-read display. Fitbit has recently been hit with lawsuits.
The new Flex and Charge devices are the first product updates from Fitbit in a while. The company introduced the two new fitness trackers yesterday. They're designed to be more comfortable to wear and easier to use.
The Flex 2 is an update to one of Fitbit's most popular products. It is now slimmer and more comfortable on the wrist. Fitbit says it's 30 percent smaller than the original Flex. The tracker within can be removed and integrated into any band, bracelet or pendant, allowing Flex to integrate into your style wherever you are.
As a pure fitness device, it has no display or smartwatch functionality. Instead, a solitary row of LEDs indicate your progress in activities. They can also flash to indicate an incoming call or message when your phone is nearby. The advantage of this limited interaction is a long 5-day battery life.
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit
The Flex 2 is the first Fitbit device to be swim-proof. To take advantage of this extra waterproofing, Fitbit has added swimming as a new activity within its app. The Flex 2 can automatically track your pool swims, monitoring how far you swim, the duration of your session and the number of laps completed.
The second new device from Fitbit is the Charge 2, an update to the Charge HR. It aims to merge smartwatch and fitness tracker functionality, including a display inside a slim design. The display is four times larger than on the previous model which has allowed Fitbit to put more activity statistics and goal progress meters on each screen.
The Charge 2 includes activity tracking for steps, distance, heart rate, floors climbed, hourly activity, calories burned and sleep. It can also pair with your smartphone to notify you of call, text and calendar alerts. It can display notifications from your phone on its display, keeping you aware of incoming messages and social updates without having to take your phone out of your pocket.
Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit
Alongside these features, the updated wearable comes with improved heart rate features and GPS integration with your smartphone. The latter allows the Charge 2 to use your smartphone's GPS signal to determine its exact location. It saves battery compared with integrating GPS into the Charge itself, providing the same 5-day runtime as the Flex 2 offers.
Initial reviews of the Flex 2 and Charge 2 are positive. Fitbit is the world leader in wearables, with almost 80 percent of the U.S. market share. It has weathered launches of rival products such as the Apple Watch well. However, there is continued user discontent about its software, notably the lack of integration with services such as Apple Health and Google Fit.
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit
More significantly, the company has recently been hit by a lawsuit concerning the accuracy of its heart rate trackers. Controversy persists but some scientists have warned the data produced by the trackers is "dangerous" and could pose a risk to consumers. Fitbit is using the same optical heart rate tracker in the new Charge 2 so it too could be implicated in the lawsuit.
Both the Flex 2 and Charge 2 are able to pre-order today from Fitbit's website. The Flex 2 comes in a variety of styles and designs. Classic bands are available in seven different colours. The Charge 2 is offered with either water-resistant fitness bands or genuine leather premium bands. A selection of styles and colours are available for each.
More about Fitbit, wearables, fitness trackers, Fitness, Health
 
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