Health Tech: Fitbit Announce Charge, Charge HR & Surge

Following a number of leaks over recent weeks, today Fitbit formally announced the Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge. The official specification for the three new devices appears to be aligned to our articles on the recent leaks with the Fitbit Charge positioned above the Fitbit Flex and Fitbit One, but at the base end of the new devices and the Surge being the premium device. More specifically, Fitbit describe the new devices as follows:

  • Fitbit Charge – a high-performance wristband that delivers all-day activity tracking, real-time fitness stats and Caller ID right on the wrist for people who want to step up their everyday activities to improve their overall health
  • Fitbit Charge HR – an advanced tracker that delivers continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate, Caller ID and all-day activity tracking for active users: regular exercisers looking to push their fitness further
  • Fitbit Surge – a sleek Fitness Super Watch that offers the best of GPS, continuous wrist-based heart rate, all-day fitness tracking, and smartwatch functionality in one device, for people dedicated to reaching their peak performance

The important words in the above are underlined, defining the target audience. This is clarified further in the descriptions of the three devices below.

Fitbit Charge

Fitbit Charge is aimed at people looking to track everyday activity and take their fitness to the next level. This wristband displays all the most important stats right on the wrist.

Fitbit Charge features include:

  • Tracking of steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and floors climbed
  • Exercise tracking to easily record workouts, see real-time exercise stats and have summaries appear automatically on the Fitbit dashboard
  • Bright, OLED display showing time of day and real-time stats
  • New automatic sleep detection monitors sleep quality using motion analysis to understand sleep and wake times; also features a silent, vibrating alarm
  • New Caller ID helps users stay connected to incoming calls; wristband vibrates and shows caller’s name or number when a smartphone is nearby
  • High-quality, water-resistant, comfortable new textured wristband design with an improved clasp
  • Up to 7 days of battery life so you can track an entire week with just one charge

Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit Charge HR is designed for more active users who are dedicated to staying fit and want a full picture of their health – in and out of the gym. Fitbit Charge HR features Fitbit’s proprietary PurePulse™ optical heart rate technology, which provides continuous and automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking, without the need for a chest strap. PurePulse uses LED lights to detect blood volume changes when your heart beats, right on your wrist and applies Fitbit’s proprietary algorithms to deliver heart rate tracking 24/7.

PurePulse™ helps users:

  • Get accurate calorie burn for more activities– heart rate monitoring enables calorie burn calculation for activities which do not trigger a step counter (walking, running etc.) so gym workouts, cycling etc can now be tracked
  • Maximise training with fat burning, cardio and peak heart rate zones enabling you to get the best out of your exercise regime
  • Maintain workout intensity by reaching your target heart rate improving overall fitness
  • Optimise health through heart rate trends and resting heart rate, an important measure of overall heart health and cardiovascular fitness enabling progress to better fitness to be monitored

In addition to the functionality of the Fitbit Charge, the Fitbit Charge HR adds:

  • 24/7 wrist based continuous heart rate monitoring to get more accurate all-day calorie burn, reach target workout intensity and maximise training
  • All-day insights into overall heart health including resting heart rate and heart rate trends, alongside stats like steps, distance, floors climbed, calories and active minutes
  • Up to 5 days of battery life – Charge HR is specially designed with battery efficient technology, so you can spend more time tracking and less time charging

Fitbit Surge

The Fitbit Surge is Fitbit’s most advanced tracker to date, a sleek ‘Fitness Super Watch,’ designed for peak performance. Featuring 8-sensor technology that combines the power of all-day fitness tracking with GPS, heart rate tracking and smartwatch functionality.

The Fitbit Surge is aimed at users committed to training, dedicated to health and consistently looking to maximise progress.

The Fitbit Surge includes all the features of Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR, with the addition of:

  • Built-in GPS providing pace, distance, elevation, split times, route history and workout summaries for smarter training
  • Records multi-sport activities like running, cross-training and strength workouts; see comprehensive summaries with tailored metrics, workout intensity based on heart rate and calories burned
  • Smartwatch features including Caller ID, text alerts and mobile music control let users train smarter and stay focused right from the wrist
  • Eight sensors –3-axis accelerometers, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor, GPS and heart rate—working harmoniously to give users the most advanced tracking in the thinnest, lightest design on the market
  • Backlit LCD touch screen display with customisable watch faces, makes it easy to navigate through real-time stats, workout apps and alarms
  • Up to 7 days of battery life – Surge is specially designed with battery efficient technology, so you can track a work week or a marathon on just one charge


Pricing & Availability

The Fitbit Charge will be available from 17th November 2014 on and in leading retailers nationwide. If you want the Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surge you will need to wait a little longer as they will not be available until early 2015.

Pricing of the three new devices places the Fitbit Charge at £10 more expensive than the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex at £99.99 available in black and slate with blue and burgundy releasing later.

The cost of adding heart rate monitoring adds a further £20, bringing the Fitbit Charge HR in at £119.99, available in black and plum with blue and tangerine releasing later.

Finally, if you have slightly deeper pockets and want a high end fitness tracking device for all land based forms of exercise the Fitbit Surge comes in at £199.99, undercutting Adidas competing device. At initial release the Fitbit Surge will only be available in black, but blue and tangerine options will release later.

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