Fitbit was a pioneer in the development of activity trackers. What started as tiny clips that attached to your pants morphed into wristbands that measured steps taken, calories burned, and other data. Today the activity tracker category is crowded, and with Apple Watch arriving early next year, competition is only going to get more intense. Hoping to gain an edge, Fitbit announced its newest line of devices, including one which edges into the smartwatch category.
The Charge, Charge HR, and Surge (left to right, above) are new wearables that Fitbit hopes will help users monitor their fitness as well as the rest of their busy lives. All the models can display caller ID info from a connected smartphone. The Charge HR and Surge also feature heart rate monitors to provide users with a fuller picture of their overall fitness.
The Surge is certainly the most interesting of the three since its Fitbit’s first entry into the smartwatch category. In addition to a heart rate monitor, it also has GPS so users can track distance, elevation, and pace. Clearly, this is a device built for users who are serious about their fitness and not just people that want to know how many steps they’ve walked. Additionally, the Surge can display text alerts and media controls on its customizable face, making it useful even when you aren’t training.
The Charge and Charge HR will cost $129.5 and $149.95, respectively, while the Surge will sell for $249.95. The Charge is the only device available now. The rest can be pre-ordered and will ship in early 2015.
Watch this video from Fitbit showing what the Surge can do: