Fitbit is a well known and respected brand when it comes to producing fitness tracking devices. They’ve had great success with their previous devices in the past and there’s no reason to expect that this will change with the new, smarter generation of fitness tracking devices coming into the market at the start of 2015 starting with the Charge HR and Surge.
The Charge HR which will be available through major retailers by the end of this month bringing with it an impressive list of features and specs. It’s not unreasonably priced either coming in under the $200.00 mark while still offering all the performance tracking capability you’d expect from a higher priced unit.
The Charge HR includes Fitbit’s proprietary PurePulse™ optical heart rate technology, offering constant heart rate tracking all day from your wrist, without the need to wear a HRM strap. This gives you a clearer picture of how effective your workouts are and can also offer extra motivation to push that 1 or 2 percent extra and get more out of your cardio time.
The fact that it is tracking your heart rate all day means the device also keeps a more accurate calorie count for activities that aren’t step based (activating the movement sensors) like cycling, elliptical or group exercise classes. When you’re done for the day it will track your sleep quality and gently wake you in the morning with a silent vibrating alarm.
The Charge HR is water-resistant and offers a comfortable strap for all day wear. It has a battery life of up to 5 days during which time you can have stats constantly displayed on the screen; everything from calories burned and time active for the day through to your steps, distance covered and if you’re in a building where it’s necessary – floors climbed. As a connected device, the Charge HR has caller ID which will link to your address book showing the callers name if available or number if it’s not a name in your address book.
The Fitbit Surge is the new flagship device of the Fitbit fleet, it’s stylish enough to wear with a suit for work or dress down for going to the pub on a Friday after work. As well as all the usual Fitbit fitness tracking, It’s also got Bluetooth connectivity to your device allowing you to customise watch faces, access Caller ID, view text alerts and mobile music control.
Where the Surge has an edge over other Fitbit devices is the built in GPS which for activities like running or cycling allow you to accurately measure and monitor important stats like pace, distance, split times and elevation (gain or loss) with its sync to your mobile device which will show route history and summaries of workouts. If that wasn’t enough of a selling point; adding a nice little backlit touchscreen to the device, GPS, 3-axis accelerometers, 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, optical heart rate monitor, ambient light sensor and battery life of up to 7 days all part of this impressive device.
Fitbit has done some hard yards and are taking on the one of the market leaders in exercise tracking in Garmin, but being a bit more versatile about it.
While it’s not quite here yet, the Fitbit Surge will set you back $349.95 either online (available to pre-order now) or in retailers by early to mid February it’s sure to get some money from those who’ve got some Christmas money sitting aside burning a hole in their pockets.
We’ve had contact with Fitbit and will have review devices of both the Charge and Surge devices online as soon as possible once the review devices become available to us.
What is that one feature that you need to make one of the new Fitbits a must have for you?