In our little series of reviews, we’ve taken a look at a bunch of fitness trackers and explored their strengths and weaknesses. However, these are all small fries, compared to what we have in store for you next. Most of the products we’ve reviewed before were older trackers, from a few years ago. However, it’s time we explored some of the more advanced, more contemporary options. And, the first one of those is Fitbit Surge.
Surge is dubbed by Fitbit a “smartwatch”, and, indeed, the tracker has many features that would dub it a smartwatch, but Surge is still a tracker, and we’ll look at it from that angle, and focus primarily on those aspects. So, without further ado, let’s see what Fitbit Surge has got for us.
The Fitbit Surge – A Surge of Information
One of the three next gen Fitbit trackers (next to Fitbit Charge 2 and Blaze), Surge is a large, bulky device. If you’re into the tracker for the looks, look away – Surge features a very dated, 80s design. The module is large and blocky, and much thicker than any other tracker you may come across. But, Surge is packed with features, so it needs to be this big, and, if you won’t buy it for the looks, then you’re going to be missing out on a lot of things.
However, there are things that Surge does right when it comes to the design. For starters, Surge features a standard, but very sturdy, watch clasp. This is a great addition, as many people reported that they struggled with Fitbit’s standard strap design. The old strap design made it hard for people to secure, and it would come undone quite often, causing you to drop or even lose your tracker.
Fitbit Surge Display
Another thing Surge does right is the display. It is quite large, compared to other Fitbit products, and can fit a decent amount of information on it. This being said, Surge is not, by all means, a standalone tracker, and you will have to use the app for a more in-depth analysis of your data. The display features touchscreen technology, and, by that, we mean real touchscreen technology, and not the hard-to-respond touch-sensitive technology featured on older Fitbit trackers. Not only that, but Surge also features three physical buttons that make navigation even easier.
But, enough about the design, let’s pop the hood of this beastie and take a look inside. Fitbit Surge is all you can ask for in a fitness tracker. It’s accurate, its feature pool is deep, and the data collected comprehensive. Naturally, you would have to use the product’s accompanying app, but the app is intuitive and easy to use, so much so that it almost runs on its own. The app is compatible with iOS, Apple and Windows devices, so don’t worry, if you own a modern device, the app should work for you.
But, what can Surge measure? Of course, there are the usual suspects – calories burned, distance travelled and steps taken. But, Surge goes beyond that. It will also count how many flights of stairs have you scaled, and also map out your route using GPS. Whether you’re running of walking, Surge will keep track on your movements, and use the GPS to plot your course, and it can do this on its own, without the phone being present in your pocket as you move about. The next time you pair up the tracker with the phone, the data will be automatically uploaded for you to examine it. However, it should be noted that the data isn’t the most accurate when you run, and the watch will often show you clipping through the buildings, and can even be off by a street, but it’s much more accurate when you’re walking.
Fitbit Surge Features
What about other things? Well, Surge features a heart rate monitor too. And a pretty accurate one too. It also features a sleep tracker that provides rudimentary information about your sleeping patterns. However, sleep tracking is now automatic, and the product starts the tracking the moment you daze off, so there is no need for you to set it up manually. Not only that, but the product features a silent alarm that should wake you up by gently vibrating, without rousing the person next to you.
However, the most impressive thing about Fitbit Surge is that it has a tracking mode for pretty much everything. Want to keep tabs on your calories during weightlifting? You got it. Running? Done. Yoga? Also done. Fitbit surge also has exercise modes for martial arts and, with the latest firmware update, the product can track you during cycling. Not only that, but the tracker will automatically recognize the exercise and start tracking immediately.
Fitbit Surge features other things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with exercise. As we said, Fitbit calls Surge a smartwatch, and, indeed, the product has options to take your notifications for you. Using Surge, you can also cycle through music on your phone, read your texts and will be notified of incoming calls complete with caller ID.
Another important thing to note is that the Surge is also waterproof, although we wouldn’t recommend diving or swimming with it.
But, how is the product’s battery? Well, considering a number of features the watch has, you shouldn’t expect too much of it. The product can keep running for about four, maybe four and a half days, at which point the batteries will die. Not too shabby, but it pales in comparison to the tracker that last a week at a time.
Fitbit Surge Review – Conclusion
In all, Fitbit Surge is a mighty device indeed. It has a great number of excellent features and it’s very versatile. Its battery life isn’t all that great, but, hey, it’s certainly better than your phone which requires daily charging. One final note, Surge costs some $250, making it a little expensive, but, considering what you’re getting, it’s a fair price.