New Fitbit fitness trackers: what’s the difference between the Fitbit Charge, Charge HR, and Surge?

Fitbit has unveiled its new range of trackers. Find out what each one does and which one is right for you

Fitbit is somewhat of a pioneer in the fitness tracking business, with its Fitbit Ultra being one of the first great fitness trackers that many Aussies made an effort to import from Amazon until it became available locally.

Since the Fitbit Ultra, many new models of Fitbit have been released, including the little charm-shaped Fitbit Zip, the Fitbit One (replacing the Ultra), and the Fitbit Flex, which was the company’s first tracker with a full-time wristband form factor (the Ultra and the One have a wristband accessory so you can wear it to track your sleep). Briefly, there was the Fitbit Force wristband tracker, but that wasn't without its problems and it was recalled.

Now Fitbit has introduced some more new models, which also take the form of wristbands. They are called Fitbit Charge, Charge HR, and Surge. They will be available in Australia from mid-November in retail stores and online. We’ve prepared this article to let you know what the differences are between all of these Fitbit trackers so that you can decide which one suits your fitness needs best and how much it will set you back.

We’ll start off with the Fitbit Charge. This is a wristband tracker that’s at the entry level of the three new products. It costs $149.95.

Fitbit Charge.
Fitbit Charge.

Get this one if all you want is a device that can track your steps, distance, the calories you’ve burned, and the floors you’ve climbed. It’s basically, for those of you who want to track your everyday activity, but who aren’t actually fitness junkies.

It features a small OLED display that can show you these stats, as well as the time, and it can even hook up to your smartphone and display caller ID right there on your wrist. In addition, you can use it for sleep tracking, and set up a silent, vibrating alarm. It’s water resistant, and its battery is said to last seven days.

Meanwhile, the Fitbit Charge HR costs $179.95 and is a step up from the Charge in that it offers everything the Charge offers, with the addition of a heart rate monitor.

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Update: Here's our full review of the Fitbit Charge.

Fitbit Charge HR.
Fitbit Charge HR.

Fitbit describes the heart rate tracker as using LED lights to detect changes in your blood volume as your heart beats. The band on the Charge HR has a buckle to keep it securely in place on your wrist, while the Charge’s band lacks a buckle.

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Get the Charge HR if you are serious about your fitness and want a fitness tracker that can also give you statistics for your heart rate. Its battery life is slightly less at five days.

Finally, the Fitbit Surge costs $299.95 and is the cream of Fitbit’s new crop of trackers. It’s everything that the Charge HR is, so it can do all your step, distance, elevation, sleep, and heart tracking, but it also incorporates a GPS and a whole host of other features.

Fitbit Surge.
Fitbit Surge.
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The GPS allows you to show route history, and other stats specific to training runs. Meanwhile, it also has a larger screen that is touch enabled, there is a digital compass, and it’s more of a smartwatch than the other devices. It can be used not only for caller ID, but also for text alerts, and also music control.

Put simply, this is the Fitbit to go for if you are a competitor and want a fitness smartwatch with all the trimmings. The battery life is stated as being seven days.

All of these wristband trackers are available in the sizes of small, large and extra large, though extra large is only be available from Fitbit.com.

Update: Here's our full review of the Fitbit Surge.

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Elias Plastiras
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