Fitbit Surge in Wired
Fitbit, one of the dominant players in today’s increasingly saturated fitness tracking space, today announced a trio of wearables of the wrist-worn variety.
While the wearable space already has an overwhelming number of offerings, like theGarmin Vivosmart, the Misfit Flash, and Polar’s smart fitness watches, wearing something on your wrist is, as Apple emphasized in its Apple Watch hype, very personal. What works for one individual will not necessarily work for another. So, while the options for fitness-interested folks are intimidatingly limitless, it also means that you can find the device, and corresponding software platform, that does exactly what you want, fits the way you want, and looks the way you want. Fitbit, again, aims its particular offerings at those who have pretty basic fitness tracking and notification needs.
The new wristbands are the Fitbit Charge, the Charge HR, and the Surge. They will sell at prices ranging between $130 and $250, with the more expensive models having functions that will appeal to people who take fitness-tracking more seriously.
The Fitbit Charge ($130) is basically a next generation Fitbit Force (which, you may recall, got the axe in February for causing skin rashes). It tracks activity and sleep through popular metrics like steps, calories burned, floors climbed, and movement-based sleep quality. Unlike FitBit’s previous wrist offerings, the Charge is also able to show call notifications on its petite OLED display over Bluetooth LE. It also has a new exercise mode that provides onscreen workout summaries following an activity. It has a wider band than the Fitbit Flex, made of pleasantly textured plastic. The company claims it gets seven to ten days of battery life.
The Charge HR ($150) is a lot like the Charge, but it also offers continuous heart rate monitoring for better estimates of your daily caloric burn and workout intensity. It has a slightly different design with a more watch-like clasp. Fitbit claims a five day battery life on the Charge HR.
Fitbit’s third new piece of hardware is the $250 Surge, which the company dubs a “super watch”—something between a fitness tracker and a full-on smartwatch. I’d say it’s a basic sports watch with light smartwatch capabilities. The Surge includes GPS, heart rate monitoring, and Bluetooth LE-based call and text notifications, and also supports different workout modes like runs, weight training, or elliptical use. It’s bigger, so it gets a claimed seven days of battery life.
The Charge goes on sale in early November, while the Charge HR and Surge will go on sale early next year.
Fitbit also made a few updates its mobile app. It now includes challenges, so you can compete with other Fitbit users for extra motivation. The app gives you some simple fitness coaching, too. It can automatically calculate your heart rate zones and divide them into three basic areas (fat burn, cardio, and peak performance) rather than the more complex five to seven zones elite athletes tend to go by. For Windows Phone users, the app also gains Cortana integration. So if you’re using Fitbit’s app to track what you eat, you can now tell Cortana what you had for lunch, and it will be automatically added.
By Christina Bonnington, October 26, 2014 Fitbit, one of the dominant players in today’s increasingly saturated fitness tracking space, today announced a trio of wearables of the wrist-worn variety. While the wearable space already has an overwhelming number …