Fitbit Surge Review 2016
Today I’d like to review the Fitbit Surge which I tested for a few weeks and incorporated it into my fitness routine which comprised of running in different weather conditions, cycling, home aerobics (stepper and light weights) and circuit training.
Product Review: Fitbit Surge
Colours Available: Black, Blue, Orange
Guarantee: 1-year Limited Warranty
Product Rating: 8 out of 10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Firstly the material on Fitbit Surge is made from durable elastomer, in other words, high-quality rubber that you’ll find in a lot of premium sports watches and fitness trackers, and the buckle is made from stainless steel.
The watch has built-in GPS which tracked the distance and routes that I ran or cycled. The device also monitored my heart rate continuously via the HR sensor and provided the results on the large screen along with calories burnt and workout duration.
The Fitbit Surge also monitored my sleep patterns, allowed me to control music playback, and showed call/text notifications on its display.
I enjoyed using the Surge and really got used to having it as my main fitness gadget for the few weeks that I tested it.
The display interface needs a bit of work, and there isn’t a way to get rid of notifications after reading them. Notifications still occasionally appear on the watch even when the notifications option is turned off.
In my opinion, these issues were very minor and didn’t distract or hinder me during my workouts. Okay! now that we’ve got the bad bits out of the way lets get to the good stuff.
The HR (heart rate) monitor very is accurate. I’ve compared the Surge’s HR sensor against the Polar H7 heart rate sensor which was strapped around my chest (and sent data to my iPhone via Bluetooth).
The Fitbit Surge was within a couple of beats of the Polar H7 whilst I was running fast, jogging and during rest. This was an acceptable measure.
The watch strap felt smooth and very supple even when moved into awkward positions. The Surge never lost my HR reading except when the strap needed tightening up during a rigorous circuit training session.
I had loosened the strap earlier and this was purely a fault of my own. Once tightened, the strap quickly returned the HR signal.
The battery life last between 3-4 days and the charging time was impressively fast. The watch isn’t water-proof so can’t be used for swimming or other water sports but it’s been tested up to 5 ATM which means that it’s rain, sweat, and splash-proof.
I advise that you remove the watch before you take a shower because it’s kinder to your skin if the watch strap stays dry.
The video below shows the Fitbit Surge in its Full Glory:
One of the key features on the Fitbit Surge is that no additional chest monitor is required! As mentioned above, I use the Polar H7 heart rate sensor regularly and although I highly rate the H7, it was much more convenient not having to worry about strapping a monitor to my chest.
I was able to export and link the Fitbit Surge’s data, through the Fitbit interface, to other popular apps such as MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, MapMyRun and many more.
This was very useful as I was able to link MyFitnesspal account that I already use and sync my exercise data against my food log to easily calculate my daily calorie allowances.
Fitbit has its own web and phone app, which is very user-friendly and, when used, it spurred me on to regularly check my movement and water intake. The app made what most people would consider a chore into a fun experience (thumbs up Fitbit!).
The display also lights up when touched in dimly-light conditions, this made it a lot easier for me to read my heart rate, distance, etc during my evening training sessions.
The Fitbit Surge was able to automatically wirelessly sync to my iPad and PC via Bluetooth. It can also sync to other tablets, iOS, Windows and Android smartphones.
Watch Onboard Memory
- The watch records and sores the heart rate data at 1-second intervals whilst exercising and at 5-second intervals at any other time.
- The watch can track up to 7 days of motion data and daily totals for the past 30 days.
Sensors and Components
- Optical HR (heart rate) monitor.
- Built-in GPS.
- Ambient light sensor.
- 3-axis accelerometers and gyroscope.
- Digital compass (in case you lose your bearings)
- Altimeter (for determining altitude).
- Vibration motor.
Word of advice
Make sure that you clean your band and wrist regularly, particularly after exercising to get rid of sweat. This task was easy enough as I simply rinsed the band with some water and dried it thoroughly with a clean hand towel which took a matter of seconds.
I never used any cleaning agents like soap, household cleaners or washing up liquid as the instructions advised against this. I also used a soft-bristled toothbrush to get rid of tough spots and stains.
To avoid irritation on the skin, try not to keep a wet band on your skin for extended periods. If the band gets wet from sweat follow the above steps to ensure the band is rinsed and dried thoroughly before putting it back on.
Try not to fasten the strap too tight around your wrist. It’s best to wear the band loosely and give it a bit of room for movement on your wrist.
To improve heart rate readings whilst exercising, I wore the band so that it was secure, but not too tight, and wore the band further up my wrist.
I lowered the band further down my wrist and loosen it after my training session. I also removed the Fitbit surge, for roughly an hour, after wearing it for long periods of time to give my wrist a bit of breathing space.
- Separate heart rate monitor not required.
- Good choice of colours.
- Plenty features to cater for beginners right up to experienced athletes.
- The large display makes it easier to navigate.
- The interface looks a bit dated and needs upgrading.
- Notifications showing even when turned off.
- GPS feature uses up more battery.
My Final note
The Fitbit Surge is an all-round performance tracker and has plenty of features to cater for a range of sporting activities. The main benefit of using the watch was the convenience of not having to constantly root for my phone, during a workout, to check my performance.
I would even consider purchasing one once my Polar H7 gives up on me one day (if that day ever comes!). The Surge looks attractive and is a durable piece of fitness tech that should see you through plenty of workouts and deliver every time.
Where Can I Buy The Fitbit Surge?
Do you own a Fitbit Surge or are considering buying one?? Feel free to leave your comments below. I would love to hear you from you!