From the makers of the popular Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR, the Fitbit Surge is claimed to be a multi functional and powerful fitness superwatch. It boasts an impressive array of functions from built in GPS tracking, automatic continuous heart rate monitoring, real-time workout stats, sleep detection, text and call notifications through to music control. This Fitbit Surge Review takes into account all the updates since its release. The Fitbit Surge claims it can do it all – the ultimate fitness super smartwatch. It has been called one of the must have devices of the year as a result of new technology which makes it more of a smartwatch than just an activity or fitness tracker.
No doubt, the Fitbit Surge outshines earlier models like the Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR.
There are of course reasons why it would warrant the superwatch label. It is an all in one watch, continuous heart rate monitor, real-time activity tracker, timer, stopwatch, sleep monitor and a GPS tracker with a large touchscreen to display all your notifications. It even has music control buttons for your music player.
Many of the features were requested by the fans of the Fitbit brand. The Fitbit Surge fitness superwatch is undoubtedly the most powerful out of all the Fitbit models, and gives its competitors a run for their money too.
With the Fitbit Surge GPS watch + heart rate monitor, your whole day’s activities are tracked, including sleep. The stats will reflect what you are doing right and what could be improved.
Fitbit Surge Fitness Watch Features:
• GPS Tracker – built-in GPS tracking shows distance, pace and elevation climbed, reviews routes and split times.
• PurePulse Heart Rate Monitor – all day automatic display of continuous, heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
• Workout Tracker – it tracks workouts and displays your workout summaries.
• Activity Tracker – It also tracks all day activities: counts steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes.
• Multi Sport and SmartTrack – Track your runs, rides and other workouts with the multi-sport modes or record them automatically with SmartTrack
• Sleep Monitor – the Fitbit sleep tracker provides automatic sleep monitoring and a silent alarm wake up
• Smart Notifications via Touchscreen Display – shows your text and call notifications
• Wireless Syncing: automatically syncs your stats to your computer
• Smartphone Compatible: works with Android, iOS and Windows smart phones.
• Lightweight – weighs 12.6 ounces
• Various Sizes – small, medium and large
• Long battery life – impressive 7 day battery life
• Music Control – control your music playlist and pause/play, skip
Design and display
The Fitbit Surge has a large square design with a thick rubber strap. As with other heart rate monitors, it needs to be worn fairly snugly on the wrist to pick up the readings.
It is a simple unisex design with clean lines, but it has a chunkier look than its Fitbit predecessors, like the Fitbit Charge HR. This is not the usual slim and narrow wrist bands that Fitbit brought out before. The bigger look accommodates the new technology and large touchscreen display.
This model has GPS tracking unlike previous models. Although it is not as slim as previous Fitbit offerings, it is still subtle, and wouldn’t look much out of place with a suit.
It has a 1.25 inch LCD screen which upgrades to a touchscreen which displays your data, a lot more data than the single line LED displays of other Fibit models. The backlight is always on and displays your call and text notifications and music controls. There are three buttons for navigation from workout timers to GPS tracking to music controls.
Battery life is pretty impressive. The manufacturer advertises 7 days on a single charge, but if you have the GPS on quite a bit and the heart monitoring on all the time, it will require charging more frequently. Many people find the battery goes on for only 4 to 5 days. But still, this is longer than several other heart rate trackers.
The 7 day duration must be with normal use covering various tracking and monitoring activities and minimal GPS activity. It is the GPS that is the power hog. Charging is via a USB cable which comes with the device. It takes 1-2 hours to charge.
If turned on all the time, how long does the GPS go on for?
The GPS tracking consumes the most battery life. One charge will track up to 10 hours with GPS functions switched on continuously.
Does Fitbit Surge work with iPhone, Android and Windows phones?
Yes. It is compatible with iOs, Android and Windows smartphones. It works with over 150 smart phone models. The Surge Fitbit connects to your computer via a Bluetooth USB or wirelessly to your smart phone and Fitbit app for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
What fitness apps is Fitbit Surge compatible with?
Fitbit Surge works with the popular fitness apps like Fitbit, MapMyRun , MyFitnessPal , Strava, RunKeeper, Endomondo, DriveBit, Walkadoo, Weight Watchers, FitStar Personal, Lose It, Matchup, and lots of others.
What size Fitbit Surge do I need?
Fitbit Surge sizing ranges from small to X Large. It is available in:
Small (5.5-6.3 inches)
Large (6.3-7.8 inches) and
X-Large (7.8-8.9 inches).
Fitbit Surge band replacement
Can you replace the strap on a Fitbit Surge? Sadly, that is not possible. The strap is part of the casing, so you are stuck with the color you buy. If the strap becomes damaged, it is not easy to repair it. But the warranty covers the strap and quite often Fitbit will just replace the whole watch. We highly recommend you buy the extended warranty which is priced very low and will give you peace of mind.
Fitbit Surge Warranty
The Surge fitness watch does come with a warranty. If you purchase through Amazon, they offer an option to purchase an extended warranty at a very reasonable price.
The extended warranty is highly recommended. It will extend the lifetime of your fitness watch considerably because over time, it is likely that the rubber strap will wear out or the notches will break, and unfortunately you cannot replace the strap with this model.
The Fitbit Surge runs rings around previous Fibit models and most of its competitors in terms of features and reliability. It packs a lot of features into one device and it is not called a superwatch for nothing, it will monitor all your activities and heart rate and sleep and it’s smart enough to know what you are doing.
The Fitbit Surge watch will categorize your activities. It automatically identifies an activity, you do not need to manually select your activity each time. It can tell for example if you are cycling, walking, or running . It will identify the activity and save it. Of course it is not perfect, and you may need to correct it on the odd occasion if it thinks you are on a bike, when you are really on your child’s little scooter, but it’s a smart and useful feature.
- All in one super fitness smart watch with heart rate monitor and fitness tracker which also doubles up as a regular watch
- Built-in GPS tracking of up to 10 hours. It uses Google Maps to map out your runs.
- Accurate continuous wrist based heart rate monitor to get the best out of your workouts in terms of intensity and training zones.
- All day tracker for accurate all day tracking of your heart rate, distance, number of steps, floors climbed, calories burned and all active minutes.
- Staying connected with texts and call notifications straight on the display screen.
- Long battery life so you can go for days on a single charge.
- It syncs and is compatible with over 150 iPhone, Android and Windows devices, including the newer Windows phones.
- Automatic wireless syncing of stats to your computer.
- You can track your fitness progress with real-time data with pop-up notices on the display.
- You can categorize your workouts right on the watch.
- You can link up to apps like Fitbit/MapMyRun/MyFitnessPal, and other leading fitness apps to track your workouts.
- The main drawback relates to the band, since you cannot buy replacement s, any damage like split notches cannot be easily repaired. An extended warranty is highly recommended for this reason.
- The heart rate sensors are of course not medically accurate but they do provide accurate enough data to be useful. However, some people have complained that the heart sensors can’t always pick up a steady reading during activities like heavy weight lifting.
- It is not suitable for water activities like swimming, diving or taking a bath or shower.
- The GPS works very well but it does take a minute or so to be picked up.
- Some people don’t like the chunky look.
Does the Fitbit Surge tell time?
Yes, it is a functioning watch, it does tell time and can be worn as a regular watch all day. The Surge replaces your watch and you can choose from 4 different displays. It has an LCD display which is lit at all times.
Does the Fitbit Surge have a stopwatch?
Yes, a timer and stopwatch have been added.
Is the Surge updated and supported?
Yes, Fitbit do release firmware updates for bug fixes and feature improvements. There is also a good customer support desk for any problems you may come across. You can call, email, tweet them or get answers from the community forum.
Who is the Fitbit Surge recommended for?
It is an excellent fitness tracker and heart rate monitor and can be used by most people for most indoor and outdoor activities, from gym work, sports, walking to jumping around to an exercise DVD in your lounge. The inclusion of GPS mapping makes it perfect for triathletes, runners and cyclists.
But note that it is not for swimmers. It is water resistant but not waterproof. Some people have encountered problems with the accuracy of the heart rate monitor as well when weight lifting.
Is Fitbit Surge waterproof?
The Surge HR fitness watch is water resistant to 5ATM or 50 meters. This means it is sweat proof, rain proof and splash proof. If you accidently drop it into water or forget to take it off in the shower, it will withstand the immersion, however, the manufacturer recommends that you remove it from water immediately.
They recommend not to wear it while swimming, diving or showering. It is not designed for swimming and water immersion. Always keep it dry for best results.
Does the Surge heart monitor work for weight lifting?
Many strapless wrist heart rate monitors sometimes have a little trouble measuring and maintaining accurate heart rate readings during intense weight lifting activities, and the Surge is no different. It does have a weight lifting mode which some people say works well, but other people have reported inaccuracies in the heart rate readings.
For hardcore weight training enthusiasts who are really into the accuracy of heart rate data during training sessions, it has to be said, chest straps are the only sure way to get that high level of accuracy. You may want to check out a couple of the good chest strap watches: the Polar V800 or the Garmin Forerunner 920XT.
Fitbit Charge HR vs Surge: Is the Fitbit Surge worth the money?
The Fitbit Charge HR is another very popular Fitbit heart rate monitor model. The design of the Surge is a little different with a much bigger display screen and a thicker design to incorporate the added technology. It has many common core features with the Fitbit Charge but the Surge has more going for it. Many of the improvements and additional features were requested by Fitbit fans.
The other significant difference is the Fitbit Surge has a GPS tracker while the Charge does not. This is a welcome and essential addition especially for activities like cycling, running, and hiking. GPS tracking using Google Maps shows a map of where you have been, splits for speed for each mile, and maps your heart rate and calorie burn for the entire route.
The Surge’s bigger display screen means more information is displayed. The Surge displays your call and text notifications and the actual message of the text, the Charge HR has limited display space, just one LED line, so it only shows caller ID notifications.
The Fitbit Surge fitness watch also has music controls to easily navigate the music player.
Battery life is excellent in the Surge, it has an impressive 7 day battery life versus only 3 days in the Charge.
The Fitbit Surge comes in the X-Large size but the Charge does not.
Both the Fitbit Charge HR and the Fitbit Surge are popular and are best selling in their respective categories. The former comes in a slim design, the latter is a chunkier looking design to reflect added features, and in reality, it looks nice on and isn’t noticeably large especially on men, it’s just not a slim watch.
In terms of heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking, they are both accurate, stable and consistent, but the Surge packs more features like a bigger display, GPS tracking, text and call notifications, sleep and music control. If you are more interested in a slimmer designed fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor, but without GPS and the extra features, then the Fitbit Charge HR may be to your liking and it is cheaper too.
Where to buy Fitbit Surge
If you have read this far and all you are wondering is ” Where can I buy a Fitbit Surge?”, then the watch is available in select retail and sports shops and online outlets. We find the best place to buy is Amazon because it is widely trusted, ships everywhere, delivers promptly, has a large stock and has good customer support if anything goes wrong.
Although by no means perfect, no model is yet, the Fitbit Surge certainly ticks a lot of boxes and is an impressive piece of kit. Does it deserve the name of fitness superwatch? It comes close enough, there could certainly be improvements for example, making it waterproof or making the bands replaceable and available in more colors. But it is definitely the most powerful Fitbit and it outdoes not just the previous Fitbits, but most of the leading fitness smart watches around.
It has all you need, as it is an all-in-one heart and fitness tracking device with added GPS and a long battery life which monitors everything you do during the day and night and provides real time workout stats, sleep tracking, accurate constant heart rate monitoring on a touch screen interface. It can track GPS mapped runs without the smart phone, and controls music on the run. Its impressive specs make it a one device solution for all your fitness tracking data as well as a solid watch in its own right. It is also backed by an innovative company who have previously brought us quality products.
This makes it a great choice for the professional or amateur alike whether you are training for strength and endurance or fat burning and weight loss. It certainly provides the encouragement and motivation to go that bit harder to outdo your last stats to not only reach your goals, but take you beyond.
The Surge is also great value for the price because the price point it’s being offered for doesn’t usually include GPS tracking. You can easily pay more for a GPS tracker on its own. So this product really offers the best value for money out of all its competitors. It definitely packs a punch for a strapless heart rate monitor watch which also includes fitness and GPS trackers.
It is no surprise then that the Fitbit Surge fitness superwatch is a best seller under the heart rate monitor and running GPS categories on Amazon. It has attracted over 3000 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and there are definitely a lot of glowing Fitbit Surge reviews. It’s certainly at the top of the tree and likely to remain there for a while, so it will be a great investment.