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Fitbit finally reveals Charge, Charge HR and Surge activity trackers

Tom Morgan
27 Oct 2014
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Fitbit's extensively leaked new wearables are finally official, and there's something for everyone

Fitbit has officially announced the Charge, Charge HR and Surge wearable fitness trackers, finally confirming their existence after months of leaks and rumours. All three new models take design inspiration from the much simpler Fitbit Flex, but gain smartwatch functionality, heart rate tracking and GPS as you step up the range.

The entry-level Charge does everything we’ve come to expect from a basic fitness tracker, including counting steps taken, distance traveled, floors climbed and calories burned. Using the free app and a paired smartphone, you can use it to track exercise workouts and get real-time statistics on your fitness levels.

The Charge gains an OLED display showing the time, real-time exercise statistics and caller ID when a paired handset gets a call. Like previous Fitbit wearables, the Charge is water resistant, includes a silent, vibrating alarm and should last up to seven days on a single charge.

Stepping up the new range, the Charge HR gains an optical heart rate sensor for continuous 24.7 pulse tracking and more accurate  fitness metrics like calories burnt. Fitbit says that despite the always-on heart sensor, the Charge HR will still manage five days of battery life on a single charge.

The flagship Fitbit Surge is more of a smart watch than an activity tracker; it has eight separate sensors, including a 3-axis accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, GPS location tracking, optical heart rate sensor and an ambient light sensor. The display is much larger than the two other new models, swapping OLED technology for backlit LCD and touch sensitivity. The watch face can be customised to put real-time workout statistics at a glance, or get smartwatch features like caller ID, text alerts and music playback control on your wrist.

The Surge can track multi-sport workouts like cross-training and strength training, yet should still last up to seven days on a single charge - putting it at the top end of smartwatch longevity alongside the Pebble eInk watch, and way ahead of the likes of LG's G Watch and the Motorola Moto 360.

“Our mission has always been to deliver innovation through exceptional, wearable design in a way that empowers consumers with greater knowledge of their overall health,” James Park, Fitbit CEO, said of the launch. “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.”

According to Fitbit, the basic Charge fitness tracker will be going on sale from the 17th of November here in the UK, directly from FitBit and major retailers. The Charge HR and Surge will follow in early 2015. Expect to pay £100 for the Charge in black, slade, blue and burgundy colours, £120 for the Charge HR in black, plum, blue and tangerine, or £200 for the Surge in either black, blue or tangerine.

We'll be sure to take a look at all three new models a little closer to launch.

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