There's a lot to like about the Fitbit Force, but this best-in-class activity tracker is about to get even better later this year thanks to call notifications that TechRadar was able to test out.
The once-vaguely detailed caller ID feature was demoed to us using an iPhone 5 and the Fitbit Force running a beta version of the software that enables the feature.
With Bluetooth turned on, the iOS 7-only call notification functionality automatically displayed the name of the caller as it scrolled right to left on the Force's OLED.
When the caller's contact information wasn't in the smartphone, it just displayed his or her phone number.
Call notifications will only work with Apple hardware at first, even though the tracker can constantly sync with some Android devices. The team, however, told TechRadar it is interested in bringing the feature to more platforms in the future.
Call notification uses
Call notifications can be handy in all sorts of situations. One that was brought up during our demo involved cooking dinner in the kitchen and having your phone, charging in a bedroom, ring.
Is the call important enough to rush over there, or is it a random number that's best left going to voicemail?
Because this svelte activity and sleep tracking device is worn day and night, Fitbit Force is always on hand so you can screen your phone call by gazing at your wrist.
Fitbit Force firmware update
Fitbit Force has been scheduled to receive call notifications with its first firmware update for iOS 7 handsets, iPhone 4S and up.
That release date, however, is unknown. The good news is that the team is now said to have the feature on track for the first firmware update "before the end of the year," a PR representative for Fitbit told us informed us.
"Unfortunately, don't have exact timing on that, but still should be before the end of the year."
Previously, we were told that the call notifications patch would miss the first activity tracker's first update and Force owners can expect the wristband's software to be refreshed between now and then.
Fitbit Force availability
The first Fitbit Force orders are going out this week, we were told, while new orders are four to six weeks out.
Additionally, it should roll out to US stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Apple Stores starting on November 7.
That's the same week Nike is supposed to deliver the first batch of FuelBand SE bracelets to fitness tracking pre-orderers.
While the release date for the Fitbit Force's call notification feature is still a myserty, we found its comfortable wristband material and support of Android to make it worthy of anyone into quantified self.
You'll just have to hold the phone on knowing who is calling until the firmware arrives later this year.
- Read our Fitbit Force review for the final verdict on this tracker.