01 Dec 2014
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Fitbit takes fitness wearables to the next level with new products

By Catherine Knowles

Fitbit has announced the release of three new products, targeted at everyday, active and high performance users.

The Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge come with new features including continuous and automatic heart rate tracking, GPS, smartwatch functionalities, and automatic all day activity and sleep tracking.

Fitbit Charge is for people who want to increase their everyday activities and improve their overall health. It’s a high performance wristband with all-day tracking, real-time fitness statistics, and caller ID. A single charge will last seven days.

Fitbit Charge HR is for those who are already exercise regularly and want to push this further. It has an advanced tracker, heart rate monitor, caller ID and all-day activity tracking. Once charged, the HR model will run continuously for five days.

Finally, the Fitbit Surge is for high performance users and want to use Fitbit to reach their peak. The 'Fitness Super Watch' is equipped with GPS, continuous wrist based heart rate monitor, all day fitness tracking, as well as smartwatch functionalities. The Surge has a battery life of seven days.

“We understand that everyone’s approach to fitness is different. With the addition of these new products, Fitbit offers the widest variety of trackers—at affordable prices across all mobile platforms—ensuring that everyone can find the right fit for their lifestyle and their goals,” says James Park, Fitbit, CEO and co-founder.

Using the devices you can track steps, distance travelled, calories burned and floors climbed, and on the Fitbit dashboard, you can see summaries, real-time stats and a record of workouts.

The sleep detection feature uses motion analysis to monitor sleep quality and understand sleep and wake times. You can also use this feature to wake up with a silent, vibrating alarm on your wrist.

With the caller ID feature, the watch will vibrate and show the caller’s name or number when a smartphone is nearby. The watches are water-resistant so they will work with sweat, and can be worn in the shower and swimming pool.

The Fitbit Charge HR and Surge include the PurePulse optical heart rate technology, which uses safe LED lights to detect blood volume changes when your heart beats and applies Fitbit’s algorithms to deliver heart rate tracking around the clock.

The Charge HR enables you to track more activities for calorie burn; fat burning, cardio and peak heart rate zones; target heart rate, heart rate trends and resting heart rate - which indicates overall health and fitness.

Fitbit Surge has 8-sensor technology combines 3-axis accelerometers, 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, ambient light sensor, touchscreen, altimeter, GPS and heart rate. The GPS of this model delivers stats about pace, distance, elevation, split times, route history and workout summaries. Smartwatch features include caller ID, text alerts and mobile music control.

Along with the hardware, Fitbit offers interactive online and mobile features. Motivational features include the ability to set goals, see progress on charts and graphs, and earn badges.

MobileRun uses GPS to track, log and compare workouts. It comes with real-time updates, stats and encourages you to meet your goal.

Challenges is a new app feature with which you can compete with other people in competitions such as Daily Showdown, Workweek Hustle and Weekend Warrior.

The six activity trackers and the Aria Wi-Fi scale sync wirelessly to mobile platforms including more than 120 iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Fitbit Charge will be available on Fitbit.com and in retail stores nationwide from early December. Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge will be available early 2015.

The Charge starts at $179.95, Charge HR starts at $199.95 and the Surge model starts at $349.95. They will initially be available in black and will come in small, large and extra large sizes.

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