Following a series of leaked promotional materials, Fitbit has formally announced its latest and smartest entries into the wearables market.
Fitbit has unveiled a $129.95 Charge smart band, the $149.95 Charge HR with a heart rate monitor, and the $249.95 smart watch-like Surge. The Charge will be available in November, while the Charge HR and Surge will be released a some point in 2015.
The Charge line of devices is a "reinvention" of the Fitbit Force, which was hampered by its use of nickel and user's allergic reactions that arose from wearing the smart bands. The Charge and Charge HR are siblings, distinguished only by the latter's built-in heart rate monitor.
"It's designed for more active users who are dedicated to staying fit and want a full picture of their health - in and out of the gym," says Fitbit. "Charge HR features Fitbit's proprietary PurePulse optical heart rate technology, which provides continuous and automatic wrist-based heart rate monitoring, without an uncomfortable chest strap."
The Charge line includes LED screens that deliver real-time biometric stats as well as caller ID information relayed from a connected smartphone. The wristbands will vibrate to alert wearers of incoming calls.
Both the Charge and Charge HR cover all of the basic fitness metrics in tracking steps, distance traveled and calories burned. Both deliver up to seven days on a single charge, and the Charge and Charge HR are all-day smart bands capable of quantifying the quality of sleep.
Fitbit's Surge builds on the features offered by the Charge line. The Surge has a built-in GPS receiver that offers refinements in tracking distance, detailing the wearer's pace and piecing together split times. Along with Caller ID delivery, the Surge also serves up text alerts and can be used to control music on a smartphone.
"Surge is Fitbit's most advanced tracker to date: a sleek 'Fitness Super Watch,' designed for those looking for peak performance," says Fitbit. "Featuring 8-sensor technology that combines all-day fitness tracking with GPS, heart rate monitoring and smart watch functionality, Surge is ideal for users committed to training, dedicated to health and consistently looking to improve progress."
Like the Charge series, the Surge is said to deliver up to seven days of battery life. With its 2015 release date, the Surge may have competition from a rival product from Microsoft.
Microsoft is rumored to be finalizing an entry into the wearable market. There have been reports the product will be a smart watch, though the majority of evidence for the device's existence suggest that it'll be a robust smart band much like Fitbit's Surge.