FitBit Surge Review

The self-proclaimed “fitness super watch” is the top-of-the-line fitness tracker from FitBit. It is now the #1 selling GPS watch in the USA.

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Product Description:

Train smarter and go farther with the FitBit Surge—a sleek, fitness super watch designed to help you reach your peak performance. With built-in GPS, multisport functionality, and automatic, continuous heart rate, Surge delivers the stats you need to measure your effort and maximize your training time. Add activity tracking, automatic sleep detection, music control, and text and call notifications, and you have everything you need to stay connected, motivated and in the zone—no matter what goal you’re working toward.

Feature Table:

Category Performance
Steps, Calories, Distance
Clock
Sleep Quality and Silent Alarm
Floors Climbed
Active Minutes
Caller ID
Continuous Heart Rate
Music control and notifications
GPS tracking
Wireless Syncing
Battery Lasts up to 7 days, uses lithium polymer batteries, charging takes up to 2 hours, bluetooth radio transceiver
Water Proofing Splash, rain, and sweat proof, but not for swimming
Display Monochrome LCD
Memory 7 days minute by minute, up to 30 days of totals, tracks heart rate at 1 sec intervals during workouts and 5 sec intervals the rest of the time
Syncing Sync range of 20 feet, can connect with USB dongle with Internet or Bluetooth with Internet
Compatibility Syncs with Windows Vista and later, Mac OS X 10.6 and up, iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3 gen. and later, and leading Android and Windows devices
Operating Temperature -4° to 113°F
Operating Altitude 30,000 feet

Common Questions:

What comes in the box with the FitBit Surge?

The fitness tracker, charging cable, and wireless syncing dongle.

What colors does the FitBit Surge come in?

The FitBit Surge currently is available in black, orange, and blue.

What is the difference between the FitBit Surge and the FitBit Charge HR?

The Surge has GPS tracking capability, it includes the ability to control music playlists on your phone, and the Surge itself is slightly larger and resembles a traditional watch a bit more than the Charge HR. Find out more in our FitBit Comparison.

How well does the heart rate tracking work?

The FitBit Surge heart rate tracker works best if you wear the fitness tracker slightly higher than normal, so that the device is snug against your skin/shirt. If it is loose, the readings can be a bit off.

What does the GPS do?

The FitBit Surge GPS capability allows you to track run and bike stats, map routes, and see a monthly exercise calendar. Some stats that are shown include distance, time, pace, and elevation. Please note that this device is not swim proof.

Is the FitBit Surge the best FitBit?

In terms of features, the FitBit Surge does have the most. It also is the most expensive FitBit device and is labelled as being in the “performance” category.  However, most review sites seem to give the Flex, Charge, and Charge HR higher review scores, probably because they cost less yet have similar functionality. Some people also think that those three devices are also more comfortable than the Surge. It really comes down to preference and intended use. If you want GPS and/or music controls, then the Surge is for you. If you just want a heart rate monitor, consider the Charge HR. If you just want to track daily activity and not workouts, then you might consider the Charge, Flex, One, or Zip.

What Others Are Saying:

Dan Graziano, CNET:  “All-day heart-rate tracking is a step in the right direction, but the smart features aren’t nearly smart enough and the fitness side of the Surge is too basic to justify the higher price.”

Matt Swider, TechRadar:  “Fitbit Surge is the most powerful Fitbit with GPS tracking, real-time workout stats and a heart rate monitor. But it’s stepped up specs and touchscreen LCD make it bigger in size and price. It’s also now pitted against more serious fitness trackers.”

Robert Nelson, Connectedly:  “if you are looking for one device that is able to track your daily activity as well as your workouts, and sleep — the Surge is one to consider. Summing things up, we found the Surge to be comfortable to wear, good looking, and perhaps equally important — accurate.”

Review:

If you go through every feature, the FitBit Surge does appear to be the best FitBit device. It is the top of the FitBit line. That also means it is the most expensive and it actually is priced similarly to what a lot of smartwatches are going for (at the time of writing, it was priced at $249.99 while the Apple Watch is $349). So, is it worth it? More importantly, should you purchase the FitBit Surge?

Let’s first look through the plethora of features that this device has. In terms of fitness tracking, the Surge not only has standard features like steps, distance, and calories, it also does floors climbed and has GPS. The continuous heart rate monitoring and active minutes monitoring means you’ll get even more detailed info about your workouts. The device also stores that info for 7 days minute by minute, and up to 30 days of totals. That means that you can be away from your syncing device for a week and just wear your band and still save your stats when you get back.

A lot of fitness trackers have sleep monitors, but the Surge takes it a step further and can wake you up at the optimal time with a silent alarm. The Surge shows the time on a clock, so you can use it as a watch. As a smartphone device, the Surge can sync with Android, iOS, and Windows (not every device does work with Windows). When used with a mobile devcice, you can control your music on your phone, get caller id, and notifications.

So are there any cons to this device? The one complaint that people have made is that the device is uncomfortable to wear.  I think this depends on your perspective. If you are used to wearing a watch, this device is similar feeling to a watch and it can replace your watch. If you are used to something like the FitBit Flex or other FitBit devices or fitness trackers, than this might not be as comfortable.

Back to our initial question of is the FitBit Surge worth it, I think it really comes down to asking yourself if it is worth it to you to spend the extra $100 to get the Apple Watch. Perhaps you already have tons of data in FitBit’s wonderfull app and want to continue using that. Or maybe you just don’t have the extra money. Either way, if that is the case than the Surge might be a good pick for you.

The FitBit Surge is a really good device that has a ton of functionality and works really well. I would recommend it to anyone as it is a good product, however, I hope that if you are considering a FitBit Surge that you will consider a full blown smartwatch like the Apple Watch. A full blown smartwatch would let you make calls and run apps. If you just want notifications, music controls, and caller id, then the Surge might be good for you. If you don’t need those things, than consider the excellent FitBit Charge HR.

FitBit Surge

FitBit Surge
8.5

Good

9/10

    Pros

    • GPS and music controls
    • Sleep and heart rate monitors

    Cons

    • Not as comfortable as some other FitBit devices
    • Priced like a smartwatch, yet not really a full smartwatch