Friday, 16 January 2015 16:27

VIDEOS: Fitbit Surge, Charge HR finally available in Australia!


Fitbit’s latest wearable fitness devices, are surging and charging into online sales and into retail stores at last, with quality features to set Fitbit apart from the rest.

When it comes to fitness wearables, Fitbit is seen as the market leader everyone else is trying to not just copy, but beat.

However, 2015 marks the start of Fitbit’s latest onslaught into both the advanced fitness wearables and smartwatch markets, starting off with the Fitbit Charge launched in late 2014 as we looked at here, and now the availability of two more new Fitbit models.

These are the Fitbit Charge HR, with HR standing for ‘heart rate’, and the even more advanced and heart rate capable Fitbit Surge.

A ‘limited quantity’ of both new models in black are available for pre-order online now, with shipping in approximately two weeks, with the regular Fitbit Charge now also available in blue and burgundy online.

When it comes to physical retail stores, Fitbit says its Charge HR will be available in major retailers at the end of January at $199.95, while the Surge will be available from early February 2015 for $349.95.

There’s also news on the ‘Tory Burch for Fitbit partnership’, which both companies say ‘revolutionised the wearables market by transforming the fitness tracker into a chic piece of jewellery fit for any occasion.’

The initial Tory Burch for Fitbit accessories collection, which included a gold metal bracelet and pendant as well as patterned silicone wristbands, sold out within hours of launching.

Now, Tory Burch and Fitbit are extending their partnership with the introduction of silver and rose gold metal accessories and new silicone wristband designs.

I’ve also been reviewing the Fitbit Charge since late 2014 and it is a genuine improvement on the Fitbit Flex, complete with that long-awaited clock face and the ability to see stats directly on the Charge’s screen without first needing to look at your smartphone.

It’s a very worthy successor and the ideal first Fitbit for anyone, but if you want those features and more, the Fitbit Charge HR and the Surge stand ready to give the people even more of what they want!

So, what else can we expect from the Fitbit Charge HR and the Fitbit Surge?

FitBit Charge HR

The new Fitbit Charge HR 'packs advanced technology and finely tuned algorithms into a stylish, comfortable design’.

It’s proprietary ‘PurePulse’ optical heart rate technology delivers ‘continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking all day (not just when you wake up) and during workouts to give a complete picture of your health and fitness’.

It ‘motivates users to maintain workout intensity and monitor calorie burn automatically with no uncomfortable chest strap’.

It lets you ‘more accurately track all-day calorie burn for exercises that aren’t step-based, like cycling, elliptical or group exercise classes’.

You can ‘hit fat burn, cardio and peak intensity with simplified heart rate zones and track resting heart rate over time to optimise overall health.’

It has a ‘bright OLED screen’ that displays ‘all day stats including continuous heart rate tracking with steps, distance, floors climbed, calories burned and time’.

An ‘exercise Mode records workouts with the press of a button and provides real-time exercise stats on the display, as well as detailed exercise summaries and heart rate insights on the Fitbit dashboard’.

More details below, here's the video:

The Caller ID function ‘keeps users connected by vibrating and showing the caller’s name or number when a smartphone is nearby’.

Finally, automatic sleep detection is available - no need to activate it yourself - and it ‘monitors sleep quality’ while also featuring Fitbit’s silent, vibrating alarm

It has five days of battery life, water-resistance (but not full water-proofing), a comfy textured design and an improved clasp.

There’s also the promise of ‘additional features coming soon, such as exercise summaries directly on the display, providing even quicker access to workout stats.’

Fitbit Surge

When it comes to the new Fitbit Surge, which is ‘Fitbit’s Fitness Super Watch’, it has all of the features of the Charge HR but also delivers:

- Built-in GPS delivers stats like pace, distance, elevation and split times. Fitbit Surge seamlessly syncs with mobile devices to show route history and workout summaries, leading to smarter training

- Multiple Sport Mode, to classify workouts and view detailed summaries of exercises completed—including heart rate and calories burned

- Smartest combination of desirable smartwatch features including customisable watch faces, Caller ID, text alerts and mobile music control

- Advanced eight-sensor technology – GPS, 3-axis accelerometers, 3-axis gyroscope, digital compass, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, ambient light sensor and a touchscreen

- Backlit LCD touchscreen display for easy viewing and navigation through real-time stats, workout apps and alarms

- Battery life up to 7 days, to track everything from the work week to a full marathon on one charge

So, Fitbit is surging and charging ahead at a rapid pace into making 2015 its and our fittest yet!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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