Given Fitbit's recent acquisition of Pebble, it would only be logical for Fitbit owners to expect some new functions to come to their favorite fitness trackers. Since Pebble was one of the first smartwatch makers and set many of the trends for the industry before essentially going out with a whimper, it stands to reason that some of their products' features will be making their way to Fitbit's product lineup. That seems to be exactly what's happening, with the Fitbit Charge 2 seeing an absolutely colossal update that brings a whopping 11 new features to the tracker. Naturally, no small number of these features are things that most smartwatches have had for years, but have largely been a non-issue for fitness trackers.
One of the biggest, and of course most obvious features to hit the tracker is on-device battery life viewing, eliminating the need to pull out your smartphone to check how long you have until your Fitbit Charge 2 dies. You can now also pause your workout, in case you hit a snag during a run or have to interrupt your cardio session. In Relax Mode, you can now feel for a vibration as a cue to breathe, rather than having to look at the tracker. You can also activate your device's "Do Not Disturb" mode from the Fitbit Charge 2. The heart rate zone display has been improved as well, making it easier to see which zone you're in during a given session.
A new clock face is also on board, which goes down to the second with a new outer ring, the interval timer now features screen dimming and lighting, workout recaps stick around for viewing up to an hour after the workout, notifications with more than one instance will have a plus sign next to them, text messages now show the message before the sender name, and numbers not in your contacts will now pop up as "Unknown". The new features give the Fitbit Charge 2 most of the key function of a smartwatch, making it the first of what will likely be many hybrid devices from Fitbit, now that they've basically eliminated Pebble from the market.