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The Fitbit Encourage 2 is a feature-packed exercise tracker that provides the very best worth for cash of any Fitbit.
Whereas it’s the corporate’s entry-level tracker, it boasts almost all of the health options of the top-end Sense at 70% of the fee. It’s additionally almost a 3rd cheaper than the corporate’s different non-smartwatch tracker, the Cost 4.
It lacks the advanced well being capabilities of the smartwatches however gives nearly the whole lot you want when it comes to easy and even fairly superior health monitoring, from step depend to sleep high quality.
The Fitbit Encourage 2 replaces each the unique Encourage and Encourage HR, and joins Fitbit’s different non-smartwatch exercise tracker, the Cost 4; learn our comparability of the Encourage 2 and the Cost 4. Whereas the Encourage 2 lacks the built-in GPS and altimeter, we expect it is a more sensible choice for a lot of when it comes to options for the worth.
Design and construct
The Fitbit Encourage 2 look identical to the Encourage HR that it replaces. It’s a tracker moderately than a smartwatch, so it has a monochrome OLED touchscreen show moderately than a color display screen that may allow onscreen exercises and smarter apps.
There are a number of totally different clock faces to select from, and also you swipe up and right down to set and see your metrics.
It is undeniably simpler to see the stats on a bigger color smartwatch display screen of a Fitbit Sense or Fitbit Versa 3, however the slimmer design may higher fit your style.
The tracker itself is the central black half with the display screen. It’s waterproof as much as 50m, and comes with two sizes of silicone wristbands included, so you’ll be able to select which inserts you greatest. Fitbit helps you to print out a information to seek out your proper measurement.
At 37g, it’s light-weight and comfy.
It has a sturdy aluminium buckle that’s safe – certainly it feels safer than the brand new Infinity Band that ships with the top-end Sense and Versa Three Fitbits.
The Encourage 2 is out there with Black, Lunar White and Desert Rose Traditional bands, however you’ll be able to accessorise with different accessible choices.
Swapping the bands is fairly straightforward if you get the dangle of it, though I discovered it slightly extra fiddly than with the brand new smartwatches.
You too can accessorise the Encourage 2 with patterned, leather-based and chrome steel mesh bands, from £24.99 or US$29.95.
An alternative choice is a £19.99/$19.95 clip you can connect to a belt, pocket or bra. You want to set it to an On Clip mode, and naturally whereas within the clip it received’t be measuring your coronary heart fee, so that you’ll lose a bunch of options however maintain the health fundamentals (steps, distance, and so on).
Options and monitoring
The Fitbit Encourage 2 is an exercise tracker and it does that job very nicely, measuring steps, distance and energy burned.
The Reminders to Transfer function is a good motivator to rise up and begin shifting, and hitting the 250 steps per hour purpose. This has develop into considered one of my favorite targets to achieve every day.
It may mechanically recognise if you end up exercising: working, climbing, biking, swimming, yoga, dancing, kickboxing, understanding, and extra. Certainly, there are over 20 train modes you’ll be able to monitor with the Encourage 2.
You possibly can set your self targets for calorie burn, distance and time, and the Encourage 2 offers you real-time updates when every is reached.
Swim monitoring consists of lengths, period, distance and tempo. You want to add the pool size within the Train app first, however swim monitoring is in any other case automated.
The Encourage 2 begins its water lock if you start swimming to stop unintended faucets.
Importantly, it has an optical heart-rate monitor, identical to the Encourage HR earlier than it however higher than the heartless Encourage.
This 24/7 coronary heart monitoring provides you deeper perception into your train and exercises, in addition to the standard of your sleep.
Fitbit units heart-rate targets that it separates into zones: Fats Burn, Cardio, and Peak.
As you progress out and in of those zones, you earn Lively Zone Minutes which are a greater health metric than simply what number of steps you make. The tracker provides a buzz if you attain every goal coronary heart fee.
Realizing your resting coronary heart fee (RHR) can be a key health indicator. A decrease resting coronary heart fee can point out extra environment friendly coronary heart operate and cardiovascular health. Poor sleep, stress and weight acquire can increase your RHR. Strolling, biking and swimming are nice workout routines to decrease your general resting coronary heart fee.
In comparison with the top-end Fitbits, it lacks simply the altimeter to depend the variety of flooring you climb throughout that – an incredible stair motivator, however in all probability the exercise metric you are able to do with out – and a built-in GPS.
As an alternative, you join the Encourage 2 to your telephone’s GPS for tempo and distance stats. If you happen to run together with your telephone, you received’t miss the dearth of built-in GPS, and also you’ll save on the tracker’s battery life.
Sleep and mindfulness
As with all of at present’s Fitbits, the Encourage 2 gives sleep monitoring. You possibly can verify each sleep period and the standard of your sleep by checking your intervals of Mild, Deep and REM sleep.
You get a sleep rating so you’ll be able to inspire your self to go to mattress earlier, and in a greater state for correct relaxation: dropping the caffeine, and practising some mindfulness with Fitbit’s guided respiratory periods – personalised by your coronary heart fee.
It additionally consists of menstrual health-tracking options that look at your cycle and signs.
Spectacular battery life
The Encourage 2 gives the longest battery lifetime of any Fitbit: a large 10 days, double that of the Encourage HR it replaces and a number of other days longer than any of the opposite Fitbits accessible at present.
The charger is totally different from that of the older Encourage and Encourage HR however works in the identical means, clipping firmly to the again of the tracker.
Good options & app
The Fitbit Encourage 2 is a tracker moderately than smartwatch, so lacks a lot of the apps that you simply get by spending extra.
That stated, it offers you on-wrist app notifications together with Caller ID, texts, and alerts for different messaging apps (for instance, WhatsApp and Fb).
There’s additionally a helpful countdown timer and stopwatch. And you may set alarms, too.
What units the Fitbits aside from their rivals is the superb cellular app that teams collectively all of the stats you’ll be able to see on the tracker plus a lot extra – and extra once more when you subscribe to the Premium service.
There’s the aggressive Pals Leaderboard, the place you compete for essentially the most steps up to now seven days, accomplishment badges galore, and an incredible collection of digital challenges and “adventures”.
Further options with Fitbit Premium
The Encourage 2 comes with a full 12 months’s free subscription to Fitbit’s Premium service, which usually prices £79/$79 – virtually the identical worth because the tracker itself!
This can provide homeowners of even this entry-level Fitbit the superior Well being Metrics dashboard, with respiratory fee, resting coronary heart fee and coronary heart fee variability information. You additionally get exercise movies and guided packages on train, vitamin, well being and mindfulness.
The Fitbit Encourage 2 prices £89.99 within the UK, $99.95 within the US, €99.95 within the EU, $129.95 in Canada, and $179.95 in Australia. You should purchase it straight from Fitbit, or from Amazon or any of the same old tech shops wherever you might be.
If you happen to’d moderately spend much less, you’ll be able to nonetheless purchase the Encourage HR at a reduction – head to our greatest Fitbit offers roundup for the very newest costs. The HR’s battery life isn’t as nice, and also you don’t get the Lively Zone Minutes metrics, however you’ll doubtless save just a few quid.
The unique Encourage, with out a heart-rate monitor, could be discovered even cheaper. However we’d severely suggest the Encourage 2 for the guts stats and excellent battery life.
You may additionally need to take into account among the different health trackers we have reviewed – some, just like the Xiaomi Mi Band 5, provide a lot of the identical monitoring options because the Encourage 2 for lower than half the worth.
The Fitbit Encourage 2’s health function set covers the fundamentals very nicely – steps, energy burned, Lively Zone Minutes, distance travelled, coronary heart fee, sleep monitoring, swim monitoring, guided leisure respiratory, the flexibility to auto-detect exercises with cheap accuracy, and notifications.
A 3rd cheaper than the Cost 4, the Fitbit Encourage 2 gives unbelievable worth for cash for its in depth health monitoring options, smartphone notifications, and heart-rate well being insights.
It would lack a built-in GPS, however can hook up with your telephone’s GPS for larger sporting stats and maps. The whole lot else is constructed proper in.
This can be a nice worth for a light-weight, smart-looking gadget with a strong function set. Health fanatics will need one thing extra superior, such because the Versa Three or Sense, however for many of us the Encourage 2 shall be all we want.