Fitbit unveils new Charge, Charge HR & Surge digital fitness trackers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
Fitbit on Monday gave fitness buffs three new options for wrist-worn activity trackers, introducing the Charge and Charge HR --?spiritual successors to the Fitbit Force -- alongside the Fitbit Surge, which the company is calling a "fitness super watch."




The Fitbit Charge and Charge HR sport a nearly identical form factor to the Force, and continue to track activity metrics including steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and floors climbed. They include the same small, slightly-angled OLED display that shows the current time as well as the wearer's daily statistics.

Other previous Force features --?including sleep tracking, vibration alarms, Caller ID display, and exercise tracking --?also continue in the new incarnations.

The Charge HR does the Charge one better with a more standard watch-like band closure, and adds continuous heart rate monitoring via built-in optical pulse tracking technology similar to that found in the Apple Watch. The two fitness bands are rated for seven and five days of battery life, respectively.

The Surge, meanwhile, is an all-new "fitness super watch" that comes with a larger touch-screen LCD panel. It includes a built-in GPS receiver to track larger movement statistics like pace, distance, elevation, split times, route history.

Fitbit has packed eight sensors into the Surge, including 3-axis accelerometers, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor, GPS and heart rate sensors.

In an effort to compete against more fully-featured smartwatches that also include fitness functionality, Surge users can receive text alerts on the device, and gain the ability to control music on their mobile phone. Fitbit says the Surge is good for seven days of battery life.

The Fitbit Charge is available now from Fitbit.com for $129.95 in black or slate, with blue and burgundy coming soon. The Charge HR and Surge will be available in "early 2015" for $149.95 and $249.95, respectively.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    No HealthKit support though.. so kind of Meh..
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Wait, the Surge is $249, for a plastic device, with a non-replaceable plastic wristband, and about 5% of the functionality of Apple Watch? And they can't even ship til next year?

    Sorry, Fitbit, but you have really missed the boat here. Took you way, way too long to get back in the market after the Force turned out to give users massive allergic reactions.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    The "low end" of this evolving market will served by all kinds of competitors... but we really don't even know if there is a sustainable market for these products.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    adrayven wrote: »
    No HealthKit support though.. so kind of Meh..

    That does suck, but that's certainly not a deal breaker for me at this point and I wonder how many iOS 8 users really even know what the Health app is for.

    Wait, the Surge is $249, for a plastic device, with a non-replaceable plastic wristband, and about 5% of the functionality of Apple Watch? And they can't even ship til next year?

    Sorry, Fitbit, but you have really missed the boat here. Took you way, way too long to get back in the market after the Force turned out to give users massive allergic reactions.

    On the one hand I would certainly pay an extra $100-$220 for ?Watch but FitBit's new products do have some features that aren't yet advertised for ?Watch.

    For me, one major feature is a stated battery life of 5 to 7 days, and from having a FitBit Force that battery life isn't an exaggeration. Furthermore, that length allows for more than enough charging time when I take a shower each day without having to worry if I remember to charged it the day or couple days before. With more power comes more responsible (on the user to remember to charge).

    Other aspect that may make it appealing to users are not having an iPhone or don't care about tethering (i.e.: being completely usable without needing another device), lighter, smaller, cheaper, and don't care about beating it up unlike when it comes to Apple's jewelry-quality design.

    The only reason I wouldn't buy another FitBit is that crappy latch, but even their cheapest model which uses the same horrible mechanism might be fine now that it's doubled up on the crappy latching mechanism.


    TL;DR: If the Charge HR was available today I would have already purchased it.

    The "low end" of this evolving market will served by all kinds of competitors... but we really don't even know if there is a sustainable market for these products.

    I think there is in the same way there is a market for dumb phones, and I'd say even more so than with the advent of the iPhone changing the handset market. I simply don't see fitness tracking going away and expect these devices to get much better and cheaper in the proceeding years.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Love the promise but too little too late....

    - No Healthkit support so what happens when I have data from other places that I want to integrate? No, I don't want to pay for their premium service which provides some pretty graphs but still doesn't allow me to customise the reporting to what I want for my lifestyle. There is a growing list of apps that can pull data from HealthKit and innovation is going to happen here rather than some proprietary backwater dictated by FitBit. This is a dealbreaker.

    - by the time these are available, others will also be on the market with compatible feature/function.

    - Surge is being sold at above what I would pay for the components listed. Per other comments, being locked into a single plastic wristband is poor design and business on their part. They need to look at what their competitors are doing and offer consumer choice and upsell accessory options if they want to survive.
  • Reply 6 of 16

    The HealthKit app is mundane, to put it mildly.

     

    You can't export or import data, and it’s incredibly basic and limited in functionality. Pulling data from different sources is good, but when only a small part of the data is extracted from apps, it seems pretty pointless. No iPad version, no iCloud syncing, no ability to define, edit or add categories, no ability to change units, and that's only scratching the surface.

  • Reply 7 of 16

    Does anyone know if these new Fitbits can display seconds with the time?  My wife is an NP and needs that for calculating heart rates for patients.

  • Reply 8 of 16
    So many Fitbit models...it's like Pokemon: gotta catch them all!
  • Reply 9 of 16
    bighypebighype Posts: 148member
    Quality of Fitbit products has been crap so far. Not only did 3 devices fail on me so far but the software itself has been buggy as well.

    I do not recommend Fitbit and I would not buy another of their products.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    anomeanome Posts: 1,486member
    While I like Fitbit's own app and web service in terms of monitoring, logging, and so on, the lack of HealthKit integration does kind of put me off investing further in their eco-system. That and the irritation I'm getting from the new wristband for my Flex. (Hmmm, no adhesives, no nickel. Must be the lowgrade silicon used.) US$250 (I'm guessing about A$300 when/if it gets here) is way too much. Undoubtedly, they'll sell to people who like the eco-system and haven't had any problems with their old trackers. Me, I'm looking for something cheaper preferably with HealthKit integration to tide me over until at least the Apple Watch launches so I can decide if I really want one.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    tleviertlevier Posts: 104member
    I would consider a FitBit - but I do want HealthKit integration for anything I buy. I also want HealthKit to get way way way better than it currently is.

    I would like a "buyer's guide" to lay out the best or most effective way to populate the most data in Health Kit using the fewest # of devices.

    Also - how long before we get a "smart toilet" to analyze our waste? Dibs on the trademark for iPoop!
  • Reply 12 of 16
    gtbuzzgtbuzz Posts: 129member
    Hopefully a manufacturer will be able to add O2 Blood Saturation to a digital watch with an alarm, message or alert.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tlevier View Post



    I would consider a FitBit - but I do want HealthKit integration for anything I buy. I also want HealthKit to get way way way better than it currently is.



    I would like a "buyer's guide" to lay out the best or most effective way to populate the most data in Health Kit using the fewest # of devices.



    Also - how long before we get a "smart toilet" to analyze our waste? Dibs on the trademark for iPoop!

    Michio Kaku predicted one by 2030 I think, which could analyze waste for cancer. (He's a populist theoretical physicist)

  • Reply 14 of 16
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    These designs have a good spec for the price and they look good too - I like'em.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    The HealthKit app is mundane, to put it mildly.

    You can't export or import data, and it’s incredibly basic and limited in functionality. Pulling data from different sources is good, but when only a small part of the data is extracted from apps, it seems pretty pointless. No iPad version, no iCloud syncing, no ability to define, edit or add categories, no ability to change units, and that's only scratching the surface.

    IF ONLY SOFTWARE COULD IMPROVE OVER TIME! we could call it "soft" because--oh shit, that's exactly what software does.

    durrrrr durrr

    anyway idiocy aside, HK is leagues better than any third-party's data silo for the fact that it's a data aggregation framework. think about that for a while.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    thewbthewb Posts: 79member

    I'm not interested in anything from Fitbit until they add HealthKit integration.

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