Fitbit is going upscale with its latest fitness trackers. The company has announced the new Fitbit Charge ($130), Charge HR ($150), and Surge ($250) fitness trackers.
With new competition from more capable smartwatches, many fitness band makers have responded with cheaper models, or have shifted away from hardware to focus more on software and services. Oddly enough, this leaves Fitbit in a unique position as a company focused on premium fitness wearables.
The new Charge tracker sports an OLED readout, which shows the time of day, steps taken, and Caller ID when paired to a smartphone.
The Charge HR adds a continuous heart rate monitor to provide feedback during exercise and also offers a more accurate estimate of calories burned.
The Fitbit Surge could be considered Fitbit’s answer to the recent deluge of smartwatches, as it boasts a square LCD screen that shows the time of day, steps taken, your heart rate, Caller ID, and incoming text messages. It also allows users to control their playlist on a connected smartphone.
The Surge is also the first Fitbit tracker to include built-in GPS, to allow users to track their workout route, distance, pace and elevation, even if they’ve left their smartphone at home.
The Fitbit Charge is the only device of the three that is launching today. Fitbit says the Charge HR and Surge will hit store shelves sometime early next year, but didn’t supply a definite release date. All three Fitbit models will pair with an iPhone, Android phone, or Windows Phone.