Fitbit Charge HR, Surge activity trackers can now detect workouts, better track your heart rate

The update can automatically detect what kind of sport or activity you're engaged in, from aerobics to Zumba.

Dan Graziano Associate Editor / How To
Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.
Dan Graziano
2 min read
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Fitbit is making its Charge HR and Surge fitness trackers smarter, with a new software update available now.

A new feature, known as SmartTrack, will be able to automatically recognize activities when wearing either tracker and upload your workout information to the Fitbit app. By default, activities are recorded when you've been active for at least 15 minutes, but that time can be manually adjusted to activate sooner or later depending on your preference.

Activities that can be detected by SmartTrack include elliptical, outdoor biking, running, walking and general aerobic workouts, which includes Zumba, cardio-kickboxing and sports like soccer, tennis or basketball. You also have the option to exclude certain activities from being recognized.


Fitbit has also updated its PurePulse heart rate technology to provide a better tracking experience during high-intensity workouts, such as Zumba or workout boot camps. It's unclear what exactly has changed, though. We previously found heart-rate tracking to be relatively accurate when static, but results tended to fluctuate during workouts. The company notes that the update is activated when using Exercise Mode on the Charge HR and Multi-Sport Modes on the Fitbit Surge.

Lastly, Fitbit has updated its mobile app to include weekly exercise goals. Owners of all Fitbit devices will be able to take advantage of the new feature, which the company said it hopes to "encourage people to embrace a more consistent workout routine in order to achieve their fitness goals." You can choose how many days per week you hope to exercise and the type of activities you want to count towards your goals.


The SmartTrack and PurePulse software update is available globally to all Charge HR and Surge devices starting today. Both the iOS and Windows app have also been updated to include the new exercise goals feature. Fitbit has said an Android update is coming soon.

The company also announced that both the Charge HR and Surge will be available in new blue and tangerine colors, with the Charge HR also available in teal.