Reports of FitBit’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Sure, the Force may have suffered a manufacturing snafu at launch, but its replacements, the One and Flex, seemingly sold well enough to justify follow-ups. FitBit announced three new bands today: the Charge, Charge HR, and Surge.
The incipient wearable scene is becoming increasingly crowded, which is probably why FitBit’s new products share competitive pricing in common. All also tap into FitBit’s mobile app for activity, sleep, and workout recording. Otherwise, hardware and specific capabilities vary by model.
The Charge is the cheapest new FitBit of the three at $129.95. Like the Force before, it sports an OLED display for stats tracking and caller ID. Its frame is water resistant, and it features up to 7 day s of battery life.
The $149.95 Charge HR is slight step up. The acronym, as you might have guessed, stands for “heart rate” – the band features PurePulse, FitBit’s proprietary optical monitor. The Charge HR measures heart rate 24 hours a day and logs the stats alongside activity information on the FitBit app. Battery life takes a slight hit, though – the Charge HR lasts 5 days without a recharge.
The Surge is FitBit’s new flagship, and appropriately carries a flagship sticker price: $249.95. Quite a bit thicker than the Charge and Charge HR, it expands the functionality of the display (LCD) to include text alerts, music controls, and watch faces. The Surge also packs a lot more sensors for more accurate measurement: GPS, 3-axis accelerometers, a gyroscope, a compass, and an ambient light sensor. Most impressively, FitBit estimates its battery at 7 days.
The Charge launches this year in black and slate colors (blue and burgundy are on the way), but the Charge HR and Surge won’t be available until early 2015.
FitBit took the opportunity to announce expanded APIs. Developers interested in tapping into heart rate and GPS data from the devices can hop over to FitBit’s forum for more information.