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Only yesterday I met the nice people at Fitbit to check out their new fitness watch, the $250 Fitbit Surge. I tried it on. I punched some buttons. I liked that the screen tilts up at me from my wrist.
I liked that it had a GPS radio inside (more room was created for that by the tilted screen — good job). I liked that the fitness watch deftly steals some features away from the smartwatch category, and that it has new heart monitor sensors on the back.
But it was all a secret.
Well, one of Fitbit’s partners — Brookstone — blew that idea out of the water earlier today by previewing the watch on its website, notes the Verge. I’d share the link with you, but Brookstone has already taken the page down.
Fitbit calls the Surge a “super watch.” That may be going a little far, but I suppose you could call it a super fitness watch. More and more fitness watches are landing in the $200-$300 price range, and new entrants into the category are piling on new features (like GPS and notifications) to better compete.
The GPS bit is cool because it allows runners and bikers to map their routes without having to carry a smartphone. Heartbeats can also by counted, and reported to an app at the end of a run. The watch carries no barometer, but it does use an altimeter to detect when you are running or biking up hill. I want credit for that.
It also adds some cool features that are commonly seen in full-blown smartwatches like the Apple Watch or the Samsung Gear. Using a Bluetooth connection with your phone, it displays caller ID and text messages, and can control the music player in the phone.
The “super watch” is said to last for seven days without needing a charge.
Fitbit says the Surge integrates with 120 Apple, Android, and Windows mobile devices. It will finally become available in 2015.
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