How to Use Your Fitbit Charge 2

There are loads of features to help you make the most of your Charge 2

Photograph of a woman checking her stats on the Fitbit Charge 2

Paul Morigi/Getty Images

You've got yourself a Fitbit Charge 2 activity tracker, set it up, added some Fitbit friends, and even enabled notifications. Now, though, you want to start using the Fitbit Charge 2's features. Here's how to use your Fitbit Charge 2 and some of its best features. 

Record Your Daily Activity

Fitbit made their name with some of the best smart pedometers on the market, so it's no surprise the Charge 2 keeps their most notable feature at the forefront. You can monitor your steps from the main screen on your Charge 2, with just the date, time, and step count shown.

Screenshots showing how to set a step goal in the Fitbit Android app.

By default, your step goal is set to 10,000 steps per day. When you reach your goal, your Charge 2 will vibrate, and a celebratory animation will be shown on the screen. You can adjust your step goal using the Fitbit app. 

  1. Open the Fitbit app, then tap the Account icon at the top right of the screen.

  2. Scroll down to Goals, tap Activity Goals, then tap Steps.

  3. Enter your desired step goal and tap OK

  4. To sync your new step goal to your Charge 2, go to Account > Devices > Charge 2 > Sync, then tap Sync Now.

Your Charge 2 uses its internal sensors to measure your other activity throughout the day, too. It tracks distance, calories burned, active minutes, hourly activity, and floors climbed. You can view your progress by activating the Charge 2's screen and tapping to cycle through all available stats.

View Your Heart Rate

Fitbit makes many activity trackers, all with slightly different features. The Charge 2 is one of the few in Fitbit's range to include always-on heart rate monitoring. The optical heart rate sensor on the bottom of the device observes your heart rate and the Charge 2 displays this in real-time. 

  1. To view your heart rate, activate the Charge 2's display. Once the main screen is shown, tap to see your current heart rate measured in beats per minute (BPM).

  2. To view your average and current heart rate, push the button on the side of your tracker to activate the display. Press again to open the heart rate screen where your current heart rate will be shown. Tap the screen to display your average heart rate for the day.

Record Your Workouts

Over the years, Fitbit devices have made the transition from simple pedometers to full activity trackers, and the Charge 2 is no exception. With just a few button presses, you can track your workouts directly from your wrist. The Charge 2 can record runs, weight sessions, treadmill workouts, elliptical sessions, bike rides, interval workouts, and the catch-all category, Workout. 

  1. Push the button on the side of your Charge 2 to activate the display. Push the button two more times to reach the exercise tracking screen. 

  2. The first exercise shown will be Run. Tap the screen to cycle through the available activities. 

  3. When the right exercise is shown, press and hold the button on the side of your Charge 2 to begin the workout. 

    Both Run and Bike exercises can also track your GPS location through your connected smartphone. If you want to use this feature, your phone must be within 5 meters and with Bluetooth enabled.

  4. To pause and resume an in-progress workout, press your Charge 2's button.

  5. When you're ready to end your workout, long press the Charge 2's button. A summary of your workout will be shown on the screen. 

Set Hourly Reminders to Move

While the main features of the Charge 2 are designed to track your activity, Fitbit also wants to help encourage you to be active throughout the day. Your Charge 2 can vibrate at 10 minutes before the hour to let you know if you haven't reached 250 steps in the preceding fifty minutes.

Screnshot showing the set up of Reminders to Move in the Fitbit Android app.

To view your current progress for the hour, activate the main screen on your Charge 2 and tap the screen five times. Reminders to Move is enabled by default, but you can disable or customize them from the Fitbit app. 

  1. Open the Fitbit app, then tap the Account icon at the top right of the screen.

  2. Under Devices, tap your Charge 2.

  3. Under General, tap Reminders to Move

  4. To enable or disable the feature, use the toggle at the top of the page. 

  5. Tap Start & End Time to customize the hours Reminders to Move will be active. You can also tap the days of the week at the bottom of the page to edit the active days.

Set an Alarm

As Fitbits have come to replace the wristwatch, you may find yourself missing some of those more traditional features like alarms. Fortunately, you can set a silent alarm to get a vibrating alert on your Charge 2 at any time you wish.

Screenshot showing the set up for a silent alarm in the Fitbit Android app.
  1. Open the Fitbit app and tap the Account icon on the top right of the screen.

  2. Under Devices, tap your Charge 2. 

  3. Under General, tap Silent Alarm

  4. To create an alarm, tap Add A New Alarm at the bottom of the page. 

  5. Set the time and whether the alarm should repeat. When you're finished, tap Save at the top right of the screen. 

  6. Tap Sync Tracker To Save Alarms to sync the new alarms to your Charge 2. 

  7. When the alarm goes off, your Charge 2 will light up and vibrate. You can dismiss the alarm by pressing the Charge 2's button, or by walking 50 steps. 

Use Relax for Guided Breathing Exercises

Modern life can be stressful, and while it can be helpful to use meditation apps, your Charge 2 has its own guided breathing feature called Relax. 

  1. Press the button on the side of your Charge 2 to activate the display.
  2. Press the button four more times to display the Relax screen. 
  3. Tap the screen to toggle between two and five-minute exercise lengths. 
  4. Once you've selected your desired time, press and hold the Charge 2's button to begin. 
  5. Relax uses your heart rate to determine your breathing, so ensure your Charge 2 is securely positioned on your wrist. 
  6. Once Relax has determined your breathing rate, you'll be instructed to inhale and exhale in time with an expanding and decreasing circle. If you don't want to look at the screen during the exercise, your Charge 2 will also vibrate to help you keep time.

Track Your Sleep

Previous Fitbit trackers required you to manually start sleep tracking, but not the Charge 2. Your device will automatically start tracking your sleep when you haven't moved for over an hour. It also uses your heart rate to assess whether you have fallen asleep. The Charge 2 will stop tracking your sleep when it detects movement in the morning. You can view your sleep data in the Fitbit app. 

Screenshot of Fitbit Sleep Stats from the Fitbit Android App
  1. Open the Fitbit app to display your Fitbit Dashboard. 
  2. Scroll down and tap the Sleep tile. Your total hours slept each day will be shown on a graph. 
  3. Swipe left on the graph to show the time you went to sleep against your target sleep schedule. 
  4. Swipe left again to show a graph of your sleep each day, broken down into the sleep stages REM, Light, and Deep. 

You can also modify sleep tracking settings from the Fitbit app. 

  1. Open the Fitbit app to display your Fitbit Dashboard.
  2. Scroll down and tap the Sleep tile.
  3. Tap the Settings cog at the top right of the screen.
  4. In the Sleep Goals settings, you can adjust your sleep goal, target bedtime, and wake up time. 
  5. Your Charge 2 can notify you when to start winding down for sleep. You can enable Bedtime Reminder using the toggle in the Sleep Goals settings. 

Customize Your Clock Display

Your Fitbit Charge 2's main screen is known as the Clock Display and you can customize your Charge 2 by changing the clock face using the Fitbit app.

Screenshot of the clock faces selection in the Fitbit Android app

The default clock face displays date, time, and step count. Alternative clock faces may display different data. 

  1. Open the Fitbit app and tap the Account icon on the top right of the screen.
  2. Under Devices, tap your Charge 2. 
  3. Under General, tap Clock Display
  4. Swipe left to scroll through the available clock faces.
  5. Once you have made your choice, tap Choose at the bottom of the screen. 
  6. Your new clock face should be automatically synced to your Charge 2. To start a manual sync, go to Account > Devices > Charge 2 > Sync, then tap Sync Now