Replace: Since we first reviewed, Fitbit has up to date its companion app to supply extra sturdy sleep administration instruments by way of Sleep Schedule. It has additionally launched a brand new Fitbit Coach app, providing customized teaching for working and normal health. Plus the corporate has the Fitbit Ionic as its newer high finish watch that replaces the Surge.
There’s good purpose for that label. The ultimate model I examined has built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor and real-time exercise knowledge, all fan-requested capabilities that increase the worth.
It is definitely a step up from the Fitbit Force that was recalled for inflicting pores and skin allergic reactions and by no means noticed its promised smartwatch performance, although just a few more rashes have been reported.
At launch the Fitbit Surge was priced at $250 (£200, AU$350), although now it’s potential to seek out it for much less. You’ll be able to’t purchase it instantly from Fitbit because the launch of the Ionic, however yow will discover it from third-party retailers.
Its specs make it one of the highly effective Fitbits, however is it nonetheless compelling towards a raft of latest competitors or has it been left behind? Time to place it via its paces.
Design and show
Designed for exercise efficiency, the Fitbit Surge fastens a noticeably bigger LCD show to your wrist, and it is in a position to simply cycle via a number of stats. Gone is the single-line OLED.
This backlit, always-on interface lets you hold tabs in your steps, miles, lively minutes and coronary heart charge on a black-and-white, 1.25-inch display screen.
Fitbit Surge upgrades to a touchscreen, and places three bodily buttons at your fingertips, offering extra management to set every little thing from exercise timers to GPS monitoring to music controls.
The show just isn’t in coloration and would not match as a lot info on one display screen just like the Garmin Forerunner 920XT, however now there is not any have to cycle via by urgent a single, tiny button.
I do want that the Fitbit Surge included an choice to cycle again to the present time after some time – and got here with extra faces moreover the 4 preinstalled watch faces to make the watch portion extra related. An replace might simply repair these oversights.
Tucked beneath the watch band is an optical heart-rate monitor and on the finish of the straps is a powerful wristwatch clasp that’s simpler to lock than Fitbit’s regular two-pronged method.
I almost misplaced my Fitbit Pressure in a parking storage earlier than driving 30 minutes away after which 30 minutes again to fetch it – all due to that earlier ill-conceived design.
The brand new watch clasp is 2 Fitbit-sized steps in the appropriate path. It is also out there on the Fitbit Cost HR, however not the Fitbit Cost, so keep away from that model in case you are likely to lose issues.
Whereas the Fitbit Surge performance is extra superior, the sq. look and greater dimension is akin to a dated, ’80s digital watch. It is not trendy, but stands out greater than earlier Fitbits. It would not assist that it is available in solely black, with blue and tangerine “coming quickly.”
At its thickest level, the watch case is half an inch thick off the wrist and its strap is an inch extensive. That is about 1.5 instances wider than the Fitbit Cost HR band and hard to cover.
The big, rubber-coated lugs on the high and backside of the Fitbit Surge make tucking it right into a shirt sleeve an additional exercise Fitbit didn’t promote.
Fitbit Surge now has a complete of eight sensors crammed into its massive body, which, together with the LCD touchscreen, accounts for its expanded dimension.
This implies it will possibly monitor all form of actions past a health devices’ routine metrics of steps, distance traveled and energy burned.
An altimeter, for instance, is right here to watch what number of flooring you’ve got climb in a day. That is a stat that is not out there in all Fitbits, together with the favored Fitbit Flex.
GPS is a totally new sensor to the Fitbit household. It may possibly map your runs utilizing Google Maps whereas producing step-by-step graphs for elevation, tempo, coronary heart charge and energy burned.
The very best half is that Fitbit Surge’s satellite tv for pc monitoring works with out your telephone. You’ll be able to go away that at dwelling, although that is customary function for many working watches and now additionally potential with Apple Watch.
There’s one thing motivating about reviewing your whole run laid out on a well-recognized overhead map and attempting to finest it the subsequent time. You understand you could push it at sure landmarks.
Fitbit Surge’s GPS monitoring is not essentially the most correct I’ve examined, with noticeable smoothing round corners and, at instances, off-track routes which are a road and a half over.
All just isn’t misplaced, nonetheless, as these GPS errors are few and much between. Extra typically, I discovered Fitbit’s always-inflated step counts to push me to my 1,000 steps aim quicker than anticipated.
My higher-than-normal step rely did keep constant. That made day-to-day goal-beating simply as vital and at the very least stored me in step with my family and friends sporting older Fitbits.
Run monitoring, with out or with out GPS, may be initiated proper from the watch, so there is not any have to go to the app display screen or press a secret sample of buttons to get began.
The complete checklist of train shortcuts are weights, elliptical, spinning, yoga, exercise, stair climber, circuit coaching, bootcamp, kickboxing, tennis golf, strolling and, sure, even martial arts.
A post-launch Fitbit Surge firmware update additionally added biking monitoring to that checklist. The brand new software program may even carry Multi-Tracker Help so you may put on as many Fitbits as you need.
Evidently, I by no means felt robbed of health monitoring modes with the Fitbit Surge. The app additionally has a menu for meals planning, however it stays cumbersome to trace and is nugatory.
All the collected knowledge syncs to the Fitbit app in addition to an easier-to-study net interface, a bonus that the mobile-only Jawbone Up merchandise do not provide.