Fitbit Surge Review

Fitbit app

Workouts are dissected to deliver a deeper understanding of your activities.

We’re not going to go into detail about the Fitbit app, which is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, since we’ve covered it extensively in our previous Fitbit reviews. It’s no different, obviously, but there’s one new category that’s of particular interest in this review – the section in the app pertaining to heart rate.

With the Fitbit Surge and its PurePulse heart rate sensor, it’s constantly flickering to monitor our heart rate. Any hardened fitness buff will surely know and appreciate this new feature, seeing that it’s able to provide better accuracy with the amount of calories we burn throughout the day – both from workouts and through normal activity. Using the app, we can visually track the progress of our resting heart rate (BPM), which in turn can indicate improvements to our health. Of course, the lower the number, it means that the heart muscle is in better condition and doesn’t have to work as hard.

Connectivity


Pairing it with an iPhone 6 Plus via Bluetooth, the Surge is able to synchronize data on a timely basis, which is done as a background process – to minimize the impact to its battery. In addition, we can even have the Surge to allow Caller ID notifications to pop up on our wrist.

One particular feature that separates the Surge from Fitbit’s other models, is the fact that it has built-in GPS for fitness tracking. This, of course, is valuable because it enables the Surge to track your route, which can be accessed later on through the app – whereas with other fitness trackers, they receive GPS information from your smartphone’s GPS. Therefore, you can say that the Surge is independent.

Performance

You wear it, and then you forget about it. It’s just that simple!

The beauty of the Surge is found in the various exercise modes it has to offer. Navigating through the interface, we can set the Surge to a specific exercise prior to starting, so that it can adapt and best deliver the correct workout measurements. For example, running outside is obviously different from running on a treadmill – so that’s why the two have their own separate modes. With the multi-sport functionality of the Surge, it meticulously tracks our specific routine to best deliver comprehensive workout summaries, and from there, we can use the app to gauge our progress over time.

Tracking steps and elevation is pretty spot-on too with the Surge. From the looks of it all, it doesn’t fall victim to those phantom hand wave movements that plagued other Fitbits. Sleep tracking is available as well with the Surge, and just like the Charge and Charge HR before it, tracking is done automatically. Frankly, this is a special treat, since we’re no longer needed to place it into sleeping mode. In general, it’s pretty accurate in determining when we’re asleep – and when we wake up.

The best thing about the Surge is its set it, and forget it operation. It’s worn for long periods of time, but it’s only necessary to tinker around it when we have to specify a workout routine. Beyond that, we don’t have to worry about anything else. To tell you the truth, we’re astounded by the comprehensive data the Surge is able to accumulate, which is them organized in a meaningful way through the mobile app.

Battery

At 5 days of battery life, it’s better than the best smartwatches out there.

Fitbit claims that the Surge is able to achieve up to 7 days of usage with its rechargeable lithium polymer battery. In our experience, it’s able to last 5 days before it’s completely tapped out. On few occasions, however, it manages to reach 6 days, but still a day short of its specification. Now, that can be due to the fact that it’s constantly paired with our iPhone 6 Plus for call notifications, which can inadvertently lessen its tally. Nonetheless, we’re not too bummed out by the results – mainly because it’s still better than pretty much all smartwatches.

Conclusion


Okay, we’ll admit that the Fitbit Surge kind of lives up to its claim of being a “fitness super watch.” Hardcore fitness buffs will absolutely fall in love with the comprehensive offering of the Surge, allowing them to specify workout routines for complete accuracy. Add to that, the built-in GPS helps to give the Surge independence from smartphones when it comes to gathering GPS data.

However, its $250 calls for attention because it’s just ungodly expensive – so much so that it falls into the same pricing as many smartwatches. In comparison to them, the Surge can’t compete because it’s almost non-existent with its “smart” functions. Sure, we can receive text and call notifications, but that’s really the extent of what it can deliver, which reduces its value.

In all fairness, the better option to go with is probably the Fitbit Charge HR, as it’s sleeker in design, and carries pretty much the same feature set as the Surge – at a significantly lower cost, too. We applaud Fitbit’s effort in trying to make this so-called fitness super watch, but the exorbitant pricing just limits its reach.

Pros

  • Multi-sport functionality
  • Built-in GPS
  • Automatic sleep tracking
  • Display grants us access to data directly on the unit
  • Fitbit app delivers comprehensive & meaningful data

Cons

  • Design is a bit clunky looking
  • $250 cost is just insanely expensive
  • Not entirely water proof

PhoneArena Rating:

7.0

FEATURED VIDEO

2 Comments

1. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

i get 7 days on a charge but then again I never touch GPS and seems to only sync like twice a day......maybe thats why

2. deacz

Posts: 162; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

"At 5 days of battery life, it’s better than the best smartwatches out there." noob, what about the pebble? imo the best smartWATCH out there

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.