Fitbit released a new blog post today showing off three new fitness and sleep trackers, the Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR, and Fitbit Surge. The Charge is available to purchase now, with the other two following in early 2015.
As far as fitness tracers go, Fitbit is one of the most popular on the market for a reason. The brand has offered several features that others do not, such as the Flex being waterproof. But it has been awhile since they had a really solid product release, and with smartwatches now being manufactured by several companies, they have some catching up to do.
The Fitbit charge is the first attempt to close that gap. It tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and floors climbed. It tracks all activity through the day, rather than just what you choose. It also has a standard clock, so it doubles as a watch and alarm clock, using a silent vibration to wake you up gently. Through tracking your sleep patterns it can assist you in improving the quality of that sleep.
Most interestingly, and showing their desperate desire to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung now encroaching on their market share, the Fitbit Charge is the first to offer caller ID for your nearby smartphone. All of this is on top of auto sync through WiFi, so it is clearly trying to automate and combine things better than in the past.
Fitbit Charge HR
This is pretty much the same thing, with a couple of additional features. It tracks all activity through the day based on heartbeat. So it is giving you an accurate look at all calories burned through the day. It creates a trend report for resting heart rate and increases, too, so you can monitor overall health and strength.
The main difference here is that is uses GPS to give you more thorough information, like split, route, pace, elevation, ect. But apps like MapMyRun do that for multiple activities, as well. So that isn’t quite the plus they might be making it out to be. There is text alerts and mobile music control, which is interesting, and they use more sensors for a more accurate tracking experience.
Prices start at $129.95 for the standard Charge, with no word yet on the price tag for the other two. All in all, it looks like a food fitness tracker, and aimed at that one task rather than the more broad focus on smartwatches.