Fitbit Fitness Tracker

The Surge is the Fitbit companies flagship fitness tracking product. This is the only product you will need, to track, record and analysis all of your fitness related needs(or so they claim). But with these claims  come’s a heavy price tag. At almost $250 dollars the Surge isn’t a cheap item, and is priced significantly more than Fitbit’s other products, but is it worth the hefty price tag bestowed upon it?? We will take an in-depth look at the fitbit surge, and put it through its paces.


 

 

Over recent time i have become lucky enough to use and review some of the biggest names in activity trackers. Having the chance and opportunity to use these devices, has left with me with lots of experience and also, more importuntly a list of features that these trackers should come with: a fitness tracker must be able to count steps accurately, do stair climbs and be able to display heart rate info. Of course most activity bands are able to track calories burned, sleep and distance travelled. But what sets each tracker apart is the way it displays the information it has collected. The Fitbit surge is one of the best in this regard on the market.

 


 

Design 

The first thing that is apparent with the surge is that it’s mush larger than other Fitbit trackers, it looks more like a smart watch than a band and could be described as being large and a bit bulky. But personally i haven’t found the surge to be to big on my wrist and is fairly comfortable on a day to day basis.

activity tracker by fitbit review 2015

The tracker comes with a wedge shape, and has two buttons on the right side of the display and one on the right side. The nice design makes the buttons easy to find because they extend past the casting. It has a wide band with a flexible material and a watch buckle to attach to your wrist and to remove.Surge review 2015

The underside of the Surge has the heart rate monitor and power port. One of the biggest flaws of the Surge is that it’s not waterproof. They say its splash proof and sweat proof but its advisable to wipe down if you are an excessive sweater. For a tracker thats supposed to be worn at all time’s i found it hard to remember to take it off before i showered, i hope this is something that they will fix in the future.


 

Features and SetUp

The Surge fitness tracker has a 7 day battery life which is a very decent length of time. This is taking into consideration that it is continuously tracking your heart rate and other activities.

Like most technical gadgets these days, you first need to charge the Fitbit Surge, by using the included USB cable. Once this is done you then need to connect the USB dongle to your PC or Mac computer and install the desktop software.

See what others are saying about the Fitbit Surge HERE 

Once the watch is fully charged and the installation on your computer is complete, the tracker will then start to automatically sync your data when you visit the dashboard web page. It is also possible to sync the data to your Fitbit account using an Android device or iOS. By utilising the apps available (web,phone), you can customize your settings like alarms, dominant hand and watch face style. The trackers display is a grey color on black, which has a low backlight that isn’t noticeable in the day, but comes in handy at night time and in dark areas. When in sunlight the display is easy to see and read. The display screen is made from a glass/plastic material and is responsive to touch and holds up against any touch screen smart phone or tablet. Once you have chosen a display on the activity tracker it stays on that screen and won’t go back to the clock view.

Fitbit surge activity tracker

The Surge allows you to choose different workouts by pressing buttons on the left side of the device. Session include running,hiking,yoga, lifting weights and more. The device has built in GPS functionality, so you are able to track your running or hiking routes and see how far you have travelled. The GPS seems to work pretty well. The GPS connected quickly and seemed to hold the signal for the duration of the workout.

surge fitness tracker review 2015

While you are doing the workout the display will show time elapsed and towards the bottom of the screen you are able to swipe between different stats: which include steps taken, heart rate and average pace. (this is something that can’t be easily done while out running but its a nice feature for hiking and walking). Once the workout is finished you are able to see a review of the session and all relevant information.

See our review of the Fitbit Flex Activity Tracker

Once you have the stats you can sync the information to your smart phone or computer. I tend to use the iOS app more than the computer one. Every time you open the app it will attempt to connect and sync the new data it finds. If you have used the GPS function it will display the route undertaken on a map, also stats on, heart rate and calories that have been burnt during the workout. Also the Fitbit dashboard will display all the workouts that have been recorded for that day. Its possible to click on individual items with the display and inspect certain stats more closely, and you can swipe back to see stats and data from previous days and previous workouts.

fitbit surge 2015 review

The stats display on the device and dashboard are very easy to read although the sleep information is a little harder, it shows different color lines to represent times when you are awake and or restless and times when you are in sleep. It would be much better if it was shown in a more coherant timeline. To drill down into each sector you have to press the individual line, and this can be tricky to do accurately. A nice aspect is: that you don’t need to tell the device when you are actually going to sleep.

 

The Fitbit Surge app has a very nice barcode scanner feature, where you can scan foods you’ve consumed and then analyse the data against calories burnt during workouts. This gives you great data for tailoring your diet to specific needs.

I compared the Surge’s step tracker against other leading products and it stacked up very well on accuracy. And it also does excellent on counting flights of stairs traversed.


 

 

 

In addition to all of the above mentioned features the Fitbit surge fitness tracker also has a smart notification feature. This allows incoming calls, text messages and music control. – On the device i had the music control was not yet active. The problem many people have had with the incoming calls and text messaging feature is that they seem to only work on certain phone models. Mine worked relatively well on an iPhone but i have read that other phones are temperamental. This is something that need to be kept in mind if this is a feature you will use on the device.

Fitbit buy now

 

Pros of the Surge

nunmark tt usb  Accurate heart rate tracking

nunmark tt usb  Steps and stairs counting

nunmark tt usb  Time display

nunmark tt usb  Good battery life

nunmark tt usb  Smart Notifications

nunmark tt usb  Goal setting in app (great for motivation)

 

Cons of the Surge

Nunmark review  Not waterproof.

Nunmark review  Complicated sleep tracking data.

Nunmark review  Too expensive.

Nunmark review  Smart notifications don’t work on all phones/devices

Conclusion

My favourite aspect of the surge is the touch screen state display, that always stays on the screen you want it to and not flick back to the time like so many other devices. Walks and runs are very easy to track and record and the built in GPS feature and heart rate monitor work like a dream.

One of the big problems for me with the Surge is that it’s not waterproof, and i found it hard to remember to take it off every time i had a shower. The device is a little expensive at nearly $250 and i feel it still has some teething problems to iron out: Such as the smart notifications don’t work with every device/ phone and the music control doesn’t work at all. These factors could demand a drop to around $200 which would make it much more reasonable.

Fitbits other products like the charge are priced at a more reasonable price, even though they don’t come with some features that the Surge has.

I believe the Fitbit Surge is the best fitness/activity tracker on the market to date. If you have the money to splash out then i would recommend this. If you are more frugal with your money then possible get the Fitbit charge.

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