The Fitbit Surge, Fitbit's new “fitness super watch" and its attempt at taking on the likes Microsoft Band and the Apple Watch, was unleashed recently and will go on sale in 2015.
Wareable verdict: Fitbit Surge review
Fitbit also released the Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR fitness tracking bands, in a major update to the company's line up, but it's the Fitbit Surge that's the real head-turner and we can't wait to get our hands on one to bring you a full review.
In the meantime, here's everything you need to know about the Fitbit Surge...
Fitbit Surge: Design, build and display
The Fitbit Surge is a world apart from the likes of the Fitbit Zip and the Fitbit Flex and is definitely more smartwatch than fitness tracker.
The Fitbit Surge will come in three sizes; small, large and x-large – with the smallest of which suitable for wrists sized 5.5 to 6.7 inches, the largest 7.8 to 9.1 inches.
Wareable verdict: Fitbit Charge review
The rubber strap, which comes in black, blue and tangerine measures 34mm. It is made of a flexible, durable elastomer material similar to that used in sports watches and it also has a surgical-grade stainless steel buckle.
The screen, unlike the OLED-touting Fitbit Charge, is a pretty standard looking touchscreen monochrome 1.25-inch LCD number; so don't expect the beauty of the Samsung Gear Fit here. However, it does boast a backlight for low light visibility, although Fitbit is keeping schtum on the display resolution of the Surge.
But while the screen tech might be a little dated, the rest of the Fitbit Surge is bang up-to-date.
Fitbit Surge: Hardware, GPS and sensors
There are two killer hardware inclusions for the Fitbit Surge: GPS and a 24/7 optical heart rate monitor that the company is calling PurePulse.
Built in GPS is essential for accurate run tracking, and the continuous heart rate monitoring puts it head-to-head with the Basis Peak and the Microsoft Band.
Continuous heart rate monitoring technology is still in its infancy, but it enables users to track a wider range of sports, as well as gym work much more accurately.
The Fitbit Surge tracks days of detailed motion data – minute by minute – and keeps tabs on daily totals for a month. It can store heart rate data at 1 second intervals during exercise tracking and at 5 second intervals all other times.
The addition of GPS means stats like pace, distance, elevation, split times, route history and workout summaries will be available to Surge wearers.
As well as the GPS and heart rate sensors, the Surge also packs in a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, a digital compass, an altimeter, an ambient light sensor and a vibration motor.
Fitbit Surge: Activity tracking and apps
The Fitbit Surge is a multi-sport watch that supports running, cross-training, biking, strength and cardio workouts.
It also offers the regular activity tracking functions, so it will record your number of steps, distance travelled, floors climbed, calories burned and sleep quality.
The sleep function is automatic, you don't need to tell the Surge that you're going to bed, and the sleep features also extend to a silent alarm.
The Fitbit Surge syncs to your smartphone or tablet app using Bluetooth, or your PC or Mac using the wireless dongle.
The app is available across Windows Phone, iOS and Android and the data will also sync with the info from your Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Scale.
The app lets you see progress, record workouts, map routes, share and compete with your friends, log your food intake (with an easy barcode scanner) and earn badges based on your activity achievements.
Fitbit Surge: Smartwatch notifications
Aside from fitness tracking, the Fitbit Surge will display smartwatch notifications such as incoming calls and texts, and it also has the ability to control your music – although there's no mention of onboard storage for listening to tunes, or syncing headphones, which could put the Surge at a disadvantage, behind new Android Wear 2.0 watches like the Sony SmartWatch 3.
There's also no word on whether third party app notifications will be shown on the Fitbit Surge – although we'd expect the likes of Facebook and Twitter updates to present once the Surge goes on sale.
The Surge uses Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with over 120 different smartphones and it has a connectivity range of 20 feet.
Fitbit Surge: Battery life
The Fitbit Surge press material suggested a seven day battery life from the Lithium-polymer battery although we've managed to grab a cached version of the official product website that states a five day life.
Once we've fully tested the Fitbit Surge for our full review, we'll confirm just how many days use you'll get from a charge. What we do know is that you'll get a full charge in one to two hours and the Fitbit Surge will ship with a charging cable and a wireless sync dongle in the box.
It is IP68 certified and carries a water resistant rating of 5ATM, which should mean you'd have no problems wearing it in the pool - although Fitbit advises against it.
Fitbit Surge: Release date and price
The Fitbit Surge is available from the company's website and selected retailers. It comes in black, slate, blue and tangerine colours.
The Fitbit Surge will set you back £200 or $249 Stateside.
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