Since its been a year since I got my first fitness tracker, which just happened to be the FitBit Surge…I figured now would be a good time to write a review about it!
Last February I decided to get the FitBit Surge for a few reasons:
- Heartrate monitor
- Steps/Stairs count
- GPS tracking (could replace my Garmin watch)
- Activity tracker
- Sleep tracker
I debated between the surge and the charge HR but ultimately decided to go for the surge since it was basically an all in one. I didn’t want to wear the Garmin for running and the FitBit for heartrate at the same time, that looks silly 🙂 Although I did that once to see how the GPS matched up and it was almost spot on between the Garmin and the FitBit. The below pic I had already turned my garmin off but it was 13.31 so pretty dang close…oh and fun fact…this is also the day I got my stress fracture. Good times 😛
Ok so from the website, here is what FitBit says about the surge:
See distance, pace, split times and elevation climbed & review routes
PurePulse™ Heart Rate
Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate & simplified heart rate zones.
Track steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed & active minutes
Record running, cycling, cross training and other workouts & view exercise summaries
Automatically recognizes select activities and records it in the exercise section of the Fitbit app
Long Battery Life
Lasts longer than competing trackers with a battery life up to 7 days and GPS battery life up to 10 hours
Notifications + Music
See call & text notifications on display and control songs from your mobile playlist
Auto Sleep Tracking & Silent Alarms
Monitor your sleep automatically & set a silent alarm
Sync stats wirelessly & automatically to leading smartphones and computers
(backlight function…dang I was slow lol)
That’s a lot of stuff right! I don’t use the silent alarm, notifications, music or all-day synching features but the rest I have to say worked really well. Lets break-down each component bullet point style!
- GPS tracking—as with most satellite watches its not as accurate when its foggy/stormy but for the most part it matched 99% to what my Garmin would read out. As the updates came along for the surge the watch would even beep at each mile (originally it didn’t) with your pace, heartrate and mile number. This became especially important when I started with my coach. Love this feature
- Heartrate Monitoring—I noticed this doesn’t work as well on extra cold skin (hello winter) but overall was pretty accurate and helped me get a better gauge of calories burned. Don’t love the constant flashing green light that was part of the heartrate monitor, this would wake me up sometimes at night.
- All-Day Activity—This did a great job at tracking my steps, but I think sometimes it gave me more credit than I actually did especially when it came to stairs. Sometimes it would show I climbed 50 flights of stairs when I had maybe climbed one.
- Multi-Sport—this was great because I do running, sometimes spin class, yoga, and cardio classes. I could track each separately and get a heartrate and calories burned for each activity. I know the feature evolved so you could track your outdoor bike ride with the GPS but I never tried it.
- SmartTrack—I never set this up so I cant say how it works, this was an upgrade feature that was not available on the original software version.
- Long Battery Life—debatable. Originally the battery would last 5 days but the more I used it and the longer I had it the shorter the battery life got. I actually had to get a replacement recently because the battery wouldn’t hold a charge. FitBit customer service is amazing though and I got the new one in 3 days.
- Notifications+Music & Silent Alarms—I didn’t use this feature, I don’t have wireless headphones and I just didn’t want to mess with that so I cant speak to this feature
- Auto-Sleep tracking—another big part of why I wanted this FitBit was for the sleep tracking. I wanted to see how my sleep affected my energy levels the next day. I could definitely see a difference when I slept horribly to when I got a good long sleep. Love this feature.
- Fitbit Dashboard—so this is a pretty cool feature. If you use the GPS tracking for your runs you can see a map of where you can, the elevation, your per mile paces, which mile was your fastest, your heartrate, all these cools stats. I really like seeing the times I ran in a different place.
- Wireless Synching—recently I’ve been having a lot of trouble with this, I think it doesn’t like that I have a Jawbone, but originally it would synch throughout the day. This actually drained my phone battery so I changed it to manual-synch and enjoyed that.
- Material of the FitBit–ok TMI time here…the instructions for this band do tell you not to wear the band too tight…lesson learned the hard way…I got a bad rash on my wrist that took about 3 weeks to fully go away and its all because I was sweating and wearing the band too tight. The material of the band itsnt really breathable but its pretty durable and easy to clean so that’s a plus
- Waterproof—the FitBit Surge is NOT waterproof so don’t even think about getting it wet. I never did but some people I know have had to get replacements because they sweat so much it actually ruined the screen. Crazy right!
- Smart-Screen, Touch Screen, Back Light—so I like the big display of the Surge, the fact that its a touch screen (for the most part, you still select things with buttons) and it has a back-light when its dark…but that back-light will also light up when you move in the middle of the night and sometimes wake me up because I am that sensitive when sleeping. So its great to have but was a drawback at times as well.
Overall I really did enjoy the surge, and still do for runs…but I have to say I missed my fossil watch. While the fitbit is a great piece of technology, I just love a good looking watch and decided to switch to the Jawbone Up3 for daily activity tracking (looks more like a bracelet) and now use the Surge for runs only. This is in no way to say I don’t love the surge because I do. I just love my pretty watch more. Below is me wearing the Surge at Disney, then me…again at Disney with my pretty watch (and actually the Jawbone as well). Its totally a vanity thing but I like the look of the actual watch better. At the end of the day its 100% personal preference. I didn’t realize until I started wearing the surge that I prefer a nice timepiece over a tech-piece. Some people are the exact opposite. I’m just glad the surge is a better run tracker than the Garmin or I would feel really bad about wasting that money lol.
CHIME IN!!! Do you use a fitness tracker? Timepiece or tech-piece? How was your weekend?