The Fitbit Encourage 2 might have gone somewhat below the radar having been snuck into the announcement of Fitbit’s Versa 3 and Sense watches. It’s a small reminder that Fitbit isn’t leaving health trackers behind, regardless of making extra purposeful strikes into smartwatches.

So the Encourage 2 arrives because the substitute to the Encourage and Encourage HR trackers that Fitbit launched final 12 months to successfully substitute its Alta, Flex and Zip trackers. It is a fitness tracker that largely sticks to the identical components, including a handful of latest options.

It is nonetheless all about 24/7 exercise monitoring with a coronary heart fee monitor on board to supply richer sleep, exercise stats and insights. Fitbit says it is improved the show, which was one thing we had been essential of on the primary Encourage. It now additionally boasts the perfect battery life you will discover on any Fitbit proper now.

At £99.99, it’s £10 dearer than the Inspire HR at launch, which may now be purchased for round £70. Which means Fitbit’s least expensive tracker remains to be pricier than the likes of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5, Amazfit Band 5 in addition to Huawei and Samsung’s budget trackers.

So can Fitbit nonetheless justify spending greater than the competitors for its entry degree health tracker? We have been placing it to the take a look at to search out out. Here is our full verdict.

Fitbit Encourage 2: Design and display

Fitbit Inspire 2 bpm reading

Put the Encourage 2 alongside the Encourage HR and the 2 look very related. You are getting the identical band and tracker mixture that is out there with black, white or rose colour bands.

The tracker has barely slimmed down, however not in a extremely noticeable means when it is on. These bands are detachable, supplying you with entry to Fitbit’s array of band choices that embody metal mesh and Horween leather-based seems to be. You do nonetheless have the power to put on the tracker inside a clip for anybody that may’t or does not need to put on it on their wrist.

We had the usual extra sport-friendly band, which was snug to put on. As you may most likely see from our footage although, it does have a annoying behavior of very simply choosing up a variety of fluff.

The massive change on the design entrance right here is that Fitbit has determined to ditch the bodily button that was current on the primary Encourage. It is accomplished the identical on the Cost 4 and extra lately on its Versa and Sense watches. It is now letting you press or squeeze the perimeters of the tracker’s case to do issues like get up the show, skip again a display or open up the settings.

Fitbit Inspire 2 navigation

Evokes in contrast: Fitbit Encourage 2 (prime) and Fitbit Encourage HR (backside)

Thus far the transfer by Fitbit to ditch bodily buttons has been accomplished with various levels of success. We’d say it really works effectively on the Charge 4 and fewer so on the Versa and the Sense.

The Encourage is a greater instance of the way it can work to create a extra streamlined look, and nonetheless supply one thing that works like a regular button. It simply wants a mild faucet or squeeze and it is good and responsive.

Most of your interactions although lie with the touchscreen show that does not look all that completely different from the one on included on the primary Encourage. It is a greyscale show and whereas Fitbit hasn’t given any specifics on the decision, in comparison with its predecessor that textual content on display is somewhat sharper and does not look so washed out.

Our points with the Encourage and Encourage HR had been with outside visibility and Fitbit has added the power to brighten up the show to enhance issues. Out of the field, it is set to a dim mode, which you’ll flip off within the settings on the band.

This boosts brightness does enhance visibility in vivid outside mild and even regular daylight, however we might nonetheless hoped it will be higher.

Fitbit Inspire 2 display dimming

It is exhausting not to consider the type of shows on Xiaomi or Huawei’s trackers and really feel like Fitbit must be giving us one thing a bit extra spectacular within the show division.

One factor that hasn’t modified is the water resistance of the Encourage. With the Encourage 2, you are getting the power to submerge it in water as much as 50 metres depth making it appropriate for showering and going for a swim with it.

Display moans apart, it is a sill a health tracker that is mild, and slimmer to put on all-day and to mattress in comparison with different trackers. You have got loads of official and unofficial Encourage bands to combine up the look too and that is little doubt going to provide it extra attraction than different trackers.

Fitbit Encourage 2: Health monitoring

Fitbit Inspire 2 step counting

The primary cause for proudly owning the Encourage 2 is that you simply’re most excited about preserving tabs on issues like step counts, sleep high quality and possibly having some coronary heart fee metrics to look over too. That is to not say you may’t get some sports activities watch-like options right here as effectively if that is one thing you need to monitor.

The sensor array hasn’t modified so far as what you may monitor. There is a 3-axis accelerometer to trace indoor and outside exercise and the an optical coronary heart fee monitor for constantly monitoring coronary heart fee and letting you’re employed out in coronary heart fee zones.

You even have linked GPS help, which suggests you need to use your telephone’s GPS sign to extra precisely monitor outside actions. We’re dissatisfied to see that an altimeter misses the reduce as soon as once more, which suggests you continue to cannot monitor elevation like stairs climbed throughout your day.

The monitoring expertise on the band helps you to faucet on the underside of the principle watch display to scroll by means of your each day stats. It’s also possible to swipe as much as see particular person each day stats too, which does additionally embody some information you may solely manually enter on the Fitbit app. So issues like water consumption and meals monitoring.

From an accuracy viewpoint, we wore it alongside a Garmin health tracker and located step counts and distance inside 500-600 steps of the Garmin. The breakdown of the place these steps occurred in the course of the day was constant too.

Fitbit Inspire 2 versus garmin

Step monitoring in contrast: Fitbit Encourage 2 (left) and Garmin health tracker (proper)

What’s barely annoying is that it’s important to go to do completely different screens within the app to see issues like distance coated and calorie burn. It little doubt works for somebody that solely cares on monitoring metric, however it will be good to see them collectively too.

When it is time to break from smashing step targets, the Encourage 2 will monitor your sleep too letting you see sleep breakdown together with REM sleep, obtain a sleep rating whereas you may also set silent alarms to softly wake you up within the morning.

There are different insights out there like sleep coronary heart fee and restlessness in the course of the evening, although you may have to subscribe to Fitbit Premium to see it.

Fitbit Inspire 2 sleep tracking

Sleep monitoring in contrast: Fitbit Encourage 2 (left and centre) and Garmin health tracker (proper)

We have at all times discovered Fitbit’s trackers essentially the most dependable by way of the reliability and usefulness of its sleep monitoring. That does not actually change right here.

Other than being a really unobtrusive tracker to put on to mattress, it presents a pleasant breakdown of that point in mattress and recognising after we’ve gone to mattress and woken up within the morning. That is the type of characteristic you’d need to purchase the Encourage 2 for.

Fitbit Encourage 2: Sports activities monitoring and coronary heart fee accuracy

Fitbit Inspire 2 fitness tracker

If you need to change the main focus from steps and sleep to exercises, the Encourage 2 does have an train mode that ought to make it extra helpful in that state of affairs.

There’s 20 train modes out there and Fitbit’s SmartTrack tech to robotically acknowledge and monitor a few of these actions. You are additionally getting one thing that may monitor pool swims and may supply real-time distance and tempo stats for runs, rides and hikes when leaning in your telephone’s GPS.

We have discovered that its train monitoring skills are a combination bag and it isn’t someplace this tracker actually excels. Sure, it is mild and comfy to put on, however the measurement of the system and the standard of the show does not actually make it the perfect suited to issues like operating or swimming so far as supplying you with real-time information you may simply take up on the transfer.

For operating, we had points getting the linked GPS help to work. We launched the Fitbit app as prompted however a variety of the instances it struggled to discover a connection. Consequently on most events we needed to depend on the accelerometer to trace runs as an alternative and accuracy unsurprisingly was off.

Fitbit Inspire 2 running

Run monitoring in contrast with out GPS: Fitbit Encourage 2 (left) and Garmin Forerunner 945 (proper)

After we did handle to get a connection, it did not actually get a lot better. Beneath is one such run the place it did not seize the mapping and each distance and tempo information captured was wildly off.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

Run monitoring in contrast with GPS: Fitbit Encourage 2 (left and centre) and Garmin Forerunner 945 (proper)

Within the pool, it is extra of the identical so far as the expertise of checking your real-time information. You may solely view time with lengths and calorie burn viewable publish swim within the Fitbit app.

The display must be unlocked, which suggests you do not have real-time stats on view. Although you may solely see length, so not massively helpful to test in.

Curiously, there is a excessive depth interval coaching profile that creates a exercise the place you practice for thirty seconds and relaxation for ten seconds.

The usefulness of this mode in the end depends on the reliability of the guts fee monitor, which we’ll say is not actually match for train based mostly on our expertise.

Fitbit Inspire 2 app

HR comparability for prime depth: Fitbit Encourage 2 (left) and Garmin HRM chest strap (proper)

We had some vastly huge coronary heart fee spikes and better common readings in opposition to a chest strap monitor for many of runs, excessive depth interval exercises and regular paced indoor rowing classes we put it as much as the take a look at in opposition to.

Above is information from a excessive depth interval session and never solely do the the graphs not look fairly proper, the common BPM is a way off the chest strap monitor we in contrast it to.

Fitbit has added some coronary heart fee based mostly options it is rolled out on different units, like its Energetic Zone Minutes and Exercise Depth Maps.

Finally although, these options thrive on dependable coronary heart fee monitor information, which is one thing we did not actually expertise right here.

Fitbit Encourage 2: Well being monitoring

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

When you will not get the type of modern well being monitoring options you may discover on Fitbit’s new Sense watch, you do have the power to maintain nearer tabs on features like your psychological well being and entry some richer well being metrics.

You may frequently measure coronary heart fee day and evening, which we discovered supplied typically extra dependable and correct readings than monitoring coronary heart fee throughout train.

There’s additionally entry to guided respiration workout routines, which provide two or 5 minute classes to focus in your respiration with small vibrations indicating when to breathe out and in.

Fitbit Inspire 2 heart rate data

Resting coronary heart fee information from Fitbit Encourage 2

Fitbit additionally contains menstrual well being monitoring options, which stay off the tracker and inside the Fitbit companion telephone app.

Like Fitbit’s different units, you do additionally get entry to its Premium service and you will get a 12 months’s free trial to earlier than you may have to pay as much as be a member. So what do you get as an Encourage proprietor? You’ll see respiration fee information and coronary heart fee variability and resting coronary heart fee throughout sleep.

Fitbit Inspire 2 premium

Further Fitbit Encourage 2 well being metrics from Fitbit Premium subscription

It’s going to additionally unlock extra options within the new mindfulness part of the app the place you may take heed to classes to become familiar with the fundamentals of meditation.

One thing you do not appear to have entry is the guided packages and extra personalised insights that appear to be reserved for extra feature-rich Fitbit trackers and watches. Based mostly on our expertise, the extras you get with the Encourage do not feel large enough to warrant paying up.

Fitbit Encourage 2: Smartwatch options

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

Away from well being and health monitoring, Fitbit does handle to squeeze in some smartwatch extras right here too. You may view notifications from Android telephones and iPhones. There’s additionally round 20 completely different clock faces to select from.

You are not getting music controls, funds or app help, although that is hardly shocking given the dimensions of the tracker. It could’ve been good to see some music controls make the reduce this time although.

Fitbit Inspire 2 smartwatch notifications

To view notifications, you may have to swipe to the notifications menu the place you may discover them stocked up. You’ll have to swipe to learn everything of notifications and you may merely shut them after you are accomplished studying. It really works effective and feels effectively optimised to that slighter of a show.

There is a first rate mixture of watch faces right here too, and you will have to make your alternative within the app as there is not any solution to retailer multiple watch face at a time on the Encourage 2.

It’s totally a lot the fundamentals right here, however if you would like one thing to test notifications, then the Encourage 2 does a great job given what must be fairly a restrictive design.

Fitbit Encourage 2: Battery life

With the Encourage 2, Fitbit is promising the most important battery life it is ever supplied on one in every of its wearables. It claims you will get 10 days, which is 5 extra days than the Encourage HR and three extra days than the Cost 4.

So are you able to get ten days from the Encourage two? We would say you may. Nearly. You will have to be conservative with sports activities monitoring and switching off that dim display mode to do it.

We had notifications enabled and coronary heart fee monitoring turned and with half-hour to an hour of tracked train and noticed a each day drop off of round 10% p.c a day. When you have that vivid display mode enabled, you are going to see extra of a drop-off and it is more likely to be nearer to seven days.

These numbers are nonetheless in need of the 2 weeks you will get from a Xiaomi Mi Band 5, nevertheless it’s a tracker that may stay as much as the lofty battery declare with the complete gamut of its options in common use.

Fitbit Encourage 2

By Fitbit

The Fitbit Encourage 2 does not make wholesale adjustments to a health tracker that also presents a great mixture of these monitoring fundamentals backed up by an app that is still as user-friendly as ever. The issue is that the competitors is getting higher on the extras the Encourage presents. Like sports activities monitoring and smartwatch options. It appears like a tracker worthy of a greater display too. If you’d like the fundamentals in a slim design, it is nonetheless going to have attraction, however in the event you personal an Encourage HR, it does not really feel like an improve you desperately have to make. It’s also possible to get a greater mixture of {hardware} and sports activities monitoring for considerably much less from Xiaomi and Amazfit, which is price preserving in thoughts too.

  • Slim, mild and comfy
  • Nice for sleep monitoring
  • Improved battery life
  • Display visibility open air nonetheless not nice
  • Coronary heart fee efficiency
  • Premium extras underwhelming