New additions to the Fitbit family

New Fitbit range

Fitbit started out with some basic devices. The Fitbit Tracker was a tiny device with only a single button. It tracked your movements with a three-dimensional accelerometer and measured steps taken. This, combined with data from you would calculate the distance walked, calories burned, floors climbed and the duration of your activity.

Fitbit’s newest devices – the “charge”, “charge HR” and “surge” are the newest additions to the family.  They track your movement and sleep as some of their predecessors have in the past.  Now, you also have the added functionality of Caller ID for your phone with vibration to alert you of incoming calls.  They are water-resistant and has 7 days of battery life.

The “charge HR” records your wrist-based heart rate. It uses Fitbit’s proprietary PurePulse optical heart rate technology and is great for the gym.  LED lights detect blood volume changes to record your heart rate.  The battery lasts 5 days so it can stay on your wrist 24/7 and keep your statistics up to date.

The Fitbit surge supports all the above features of its lesser siblings, but also adds a GPS to give pace, distance, elevation, split times, route history and workout summaries. It can therefore track running, cross-training and strength workouts.  The screen shows Caller ID, text alerts and has a music control for your phone.  It has 8 sensors for recording activity – which should be enough for anyone.  There is a backlit LCD touch screen display and you can customise your watch faces a’la Android Wear, Pebble and others.  You can even add other apps and set an alarm to wake you in the morning.  Surprisingly, the surge’s battery lasts up to 7 days.

This is a big step for Fitbit and they certainly have some great contenders to take on the popular Smart Watch market with some features the others are unable to (or have yet to) offer.  The sleek design and clear screen are big pluses and I expect them to quickly become quite popular

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