The wrist-wearable market is hotting up. So far, we’ve seen two main types of device. On one wrist, we have the smartwatch, typically a chunky looking wristwatch with what I’m going to call full blown smartwatch functionality. That means notifications, perhaps voice operation and the ability to control the smartphone that it’s connected to. On the other wrist, we have the band-style unit, typically a fitness or activity logger. We’ve already seen some devices attempt to combine the two – a smartband with limited smartwatch offerings being the usual result. I don’t see anything Apple have produced is going to shake up the market one bit, instead I think it more likely that some of Intel’s products will cause more of a stir such as their smart bracelet. But I am intrigued by some of the cross-pollenation we’re seeing and today I’m going to discuss the Fitbit Surge, which is another hybrid product that’s somewhere between a full blown smartwatch and an activity band unit.
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The Brookstone website briefly posted up the pre-order page for this device, although at the time of writing it’s since been removed. It looks as though Fitbit Surge is primarily for the fitness crowd, a more premium product compared with Fitbit’s Flex activity tracker perhaps and it has an expected price tag of $249. It will have some limited smartwatch functionality; call and text notifications being the main areas, plus a means of controlling your device’s music. But most of the Surge’s features are biased towards activity monitoring. It’ll include built-in GPS tracking and the software will provide you with pace, routes, distance and elevation climbed without needing your smartphone with you. The Surge has a built-in heart rate monitor and eight sensors designed to measure activity. As with Fitbit’s other products, the device can monitor sleep and includes statistical analysis to help you set and achieve goals using different types of exercise. That’s a touchscreen you can see on the device. Fitbit state that the device is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, plus “all leading Android devices.” It’ll work with their Aria WiFi scale and it’s going to be water resistant, too. There’s no word on battery life or availability, but given that the pre-order page was up, we can expect the Surge to be out very soon.
Like I’ve said, the Fitbit Surge slots in between a full blown smartwatch and an activity logger, but it’s closer to a smartwatch. It’s priced alongside Android Wear devices, so it’ll be interesting to see how well the Surge sells (and how long the battery lasts, because surely GPS will chew battery quickly?). What do you think? Do you like the look of it, or do you think it’s too much for too little a product? Hit us up in the comments below.