I like the new look, and I also appreciate the feel of the haptic feedback, which is a slight, subtle vibration that radiates throughout the device. Like the Charge 2, you can easily swap in bands made of different materials to switch up your look. The band pieces attach easily — it takes just seconds to remove one piece and slide in another. Now you can read entire messages and notifications without having to follow side-scrolling text, and view multiple apps on the screen at the same time.
The Charge 2 was more of a tap-screen — you had to jab at the display with your finger to view stats such as mileage covered and calories burned. Now you can simply swipe up on the home screen to view all of those metrics and quickly scroll through them. Color would be a nice touch, especially when running outside. The reflective screen can be tough to see in the morning light, even without a direct glare. Red or yellow text would be easier to glance at. Another minor complaint: Fitbit should minimize the bezels on its fitness band displays.
The Charge 3 can now withstand water submersion, so swimmers can track their laps with the new band by activating the new Swim workout. The band also tracked one 3. The Charge also lagged behind the Polar by more than a minute in the beginning of my run when my heart rate jumped up to But as Fitbit prepares to move into health diagnostics more on that later , accuracy will become essential.
The Charge 3 didn't automatically track runs at launch, but Fitbit fixed that with an update in December. With that information, Fitbit can tell if you experience breathing disruptions while you sleep. Or it will soon. Fitbit will soon let Charge 3 users leverage the SpO2 and heart rate sensors to assess your sleep quality and rate it out of Fitbit could also use the SpO2 sensor to diagnose sleep apnea with clearance from the U.
The other is a watchOS feature, not exclusive to the Series 4, that alerts users if they experience five instances of irregular heart rhythm. The potential is huge. There are perhaps good and bad, but nothing perfect that will give you exactly the number of steps you took and not one step more or less. So with that in mind, if you end up having a couple hundred i. Problem solved. The Fitbit Surge will track your daily sleep data automatically without any additional button pressing.
This is worthwhile noting because some of the activity trackers out there i. So I rather like that the Surge just does it automatically without any additional work on my part. And from my testing it works fairly well for me. From a basic sleep tracker standpoint, the Surge is definitely one of the better ones out there — on par with the sleep accuracy I see with the Basis watch and better than many other units on the market. They do this through the optical sensor seen on the back of the unit.
This sensor measures your heart rate by emitting a green light that shines through your skin to your capillaries, where it then measures the blood flow using the optical receptor within the sensor also on the back of the unit. Next, on your phone you can see the trending for resting heart rate which is essentially what this is , as well as see the daily trends of your heart rate:.
So what about accuracy? Overall, it appears like they got the resting HR aspects pretty well nailed down. About my only complaint in this area would be ease of exporting the data which is impossible best I know. I learned this lesson the hard way after standing outside in the freezing cold for five minutes waiting for it. There appears to be almost no satellite caching, with only the slightest of speed increases if I start exactly in the same spot as my previous run — but even that was often questionable.
The metrics along the top distance and middle time are not configurable, whereas the button simply scrolls through pre-configured options such as pace and heart rate:. Lap 1. Meanwhile, the bottom then will give you total total time and distance in the scroll options. When it comes to running with it from a pacing standpoint, the Fitbit Surge is pretty stable. The pace on straight road is on par with most other GPS devices today.
It has a little bit of lag required for smoothing, but nothing out of the ordinary. As you can see, it quickly found my pace and stabilized on it to the best of my pacing ability, and then stopped relatively quickly once it noticed I had stopped. Now of course the unit will display your heart rate while you run as seen above.
Finally, if you want to pause your run you can do that at any time by pressing the lower right button. To then end it, just press the little finishers flag, which shows you a super basic summary page:. Afterwards, you can crack open the mobile app to look at stats from the run, including an overview map. The interface is rather clean, and I like that I can see both my manual splits as well as mile splits for every run :.
Or really anything that you can easily re-purpose into a cycling mode. When you look at the available modes as of this writing, only running and hiking actually allow you to enable the GPS. The others just track HR. What was somewhat interesting though is that despite this significant disagreement, the map that the Fitbit Surge created was actually accurate. So it appears that despite having a GPS signal the entire time and tracking it correctly, it still looks to use some other algorithm for the distance shown perhaps basing it on steps via the vibrations of the road.
I have no doubt that Fitbit will eventually get there, though I do find it funny they included a cyclist so prominently in their marketing and advertising…despite it not actually working there or even having a mode for such. Oh, which reminds me — about the HR accuracy during the outdoor ride — it was all over the map, about half the actual value…but I cover that in the HR accuracy section. This mode directly uses step totals to determine distance. This is a bit different than most other accelerometer based treadmill modes in watches on the market today which tend to more closely measure and track cadence shifts along with stride length dynamically.
So just go run around the track once or twice and call it done. In my testing of it, I can get really solid results when configured for a given pace. My challenge though is that my stride length does appear to shift a bit at different paces. For example I found for an easy warm-up pace my stride length is about 3.
These modes are basically just ways to track your activities not so much within the device, but more on the app itself afterwards. This is because there is no method of changing the activity type afterwards on the Fitbit app. Now you can configure a few other activity types to show up on the device, via configuration of the app. These modes are more focused on defining activity types that give you much more flexibility:. And additionally to allow you to change the activity types of completed workouts afterwards using the site.
One of the big reasons to buy the Fitbit Surge is for the optical heart rate sensor on the bottom. As I discussed in an earlier section, I find the day to day measurement of heart rate outside of activities fairly accurate. So the next question is how does heart rate accuracy look within a workout? Similarly, optical HR sensors on your wrist can struggle the same first few minutes in cold weather until you warm up. Though they fail for entirely different reasons, the result is ironically the same. Now, before we get into things, I should note that as of this writing — Fitbit makes it incredibly difficult to get data out of the platform even when paid.
First up is my most recent run from Saturday. This was a mile loop around Paris. Now we can see that both units took a minute or two to catch on, with the Fitbit Surge taking a few minutes longer. But what you see after that is most typical of the Fitbit Surge — it wobbles. As most readers know, I can hit a HR and then hold it near perfectly for hours on end. What you see above is that outside of a single drop, my HR is very consistent.
Whereas with the Fitbit Surge you see a ton more variability, often swinging bpm every seconds. Again, both units seemed to struggle a bit in the beginning, the chest strap a tiny bit longer until I licked it a few more times to give it moisture in the dry morning Vegas air. After that though, they both tracked quite well together actually. The little bump at the end was a short sprint.
Not too shabby. And then the chest HR. In this I had stopped to walk for about 90 seconds between each interval set. Speaking of which, why did it give me a distance of. And last up we have cycling outdoors. This was pretty much a total failure. Whereas with the chest strap, it was mostly between bpm and bpm during steady state riding the middle , with the beginning and end a bit lower as I was crossing the city in stop and go type scenarios. The chest strap numbers were routine and normal, the Fitbit Surge numbers simply incorrect. It tends to kinda get the averages in the ballpark, but not the exacts.
Some optical sensor companies can address these issues, but in most cases likely not. In general if I look at past optical sensor products there is very little progress made when it comes to workout accuracy after a product is released. That tends to be limited to the design of the sensor. But, perhaps Fitbit will be first. Any one of these pieces can make or break the accuracy.
And sometimes companies will update the firmware to solve issues that people have claimed to be hardware. For GPS accuracy it falls into two basic categories: Is the distance correct, and does the track look right? So that leaves GPS distance accuracy. Hence why I use multiple watches at the same time. For this the watch tends to struggle a little bit.
Take for example a run in Newfoundland Canada in the woods. The unit tended to wander a little bit and not quite track the exact same paths each time. Where I have seen it a little bit off is within the city near larger building. In looking at the maps some, I can see the Fitbit track was a bit more wobbly and cut a number of corners.
On the one run that was.
Most were actually quite close. Ahh yes, the Fitbit Surge and waterproofing and swimming. Up until last week, their page stated 5ATM waterproofing, which is equivalent to meters of depth — a fairly solid rating. Now the statement shows this:. Be it swimming or falling off a jet ski at high speed. First up, is my friendly little waterproof testing chamber.
I plopped the Fitbit Surge in there and then went through a normal cycle of the unit. According to their specs, it should last just fine. No cracking, no water ingestion in the unit. Still, I tried it:. The optical HR sensor actually worked somewhat well. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. And it did seem to generally capture the gist of the swim from a HR standpoint:.
So in their case that statement is just a cover their ass CYA thing. The Fitbit Surge includes basic text and call notifications.
It does not support other notification types such as Twitter notifications or any other standard notification center component. Just texts and missed calls. This only takes a moment to setup through the settings on the Surge, as well as your Bluetooth Control panel. From there you can control music, but only within a workout. From there you can pause, as well as skip to the next track.
For a workout though, it works fairly well. To begin, as a day to day watch, the Fitbit Surge is more or less perfectly functional. Well, at least for me anyway. You can create multiple alarms though here, and configure the days. Also, these are all silent alarms using only vibration. When it comes to other settings, much of it is generally set via the app itself — or also sometimes requiring the desktop website such as stride length. First is the period when GPS is not enabled, such as in daily activity tracking mode. For this mode Fitbit claims about days.
In my case I consistently saw about 3 days of battery, assuming 1hr of GPS activity each day. This is a bit under the norm for activity trackers, but only slightly less than the Basis activity trackers with optical HR as well. This is also mirrored on the app. The second mode is with GPS enabled, such as when running outdoors. For this mode this assumes both GPS and the optical HR sensor enabled, as well as the accelerometer used in various algorithms.
In this configuration, Fitbit advertises 5 hours of battery life. However, I just did one better — skiing. For that I simply wore the watch in running mode with GPS enabled. I did this two days in a row. The first day, I got about 4 hours and change before I found the watch at an activity summary screen. So I tried it again the second day. This time, it went the distance! As you can see below, it actually exceeded my time skiing the chairlifts closed.
So I wore it around the house afterwards with GPS still enabled until it died, which was about 7hr 45mins I think, perhaps more. Either way, nearly 8 hours is quite solid. In reality it turned off well before then unless it somehow turns off the display before then but still keeps recording. So in the running mode it uses the accelerometer a bit for calculations. Thus, my mileages were all wonky, though the map was correct.
Good luck on that. Still, between all these notifications I have managed to only have it completely die on me once when I was nowhere near the charging cable outside of my ski test. Which, as an aside is actually a different cable for every one of the new Fitbit products. This scale will report your weight and body fat levels to you on the small display, but also transmit it wirelessly via WiFi to the Fitbit service.
The use of the scale is silly simple. All you need to do is step on it:. The value is in the daily logging. Most folks myself included seem to have selective memory when it comes to weight. By simply taking that out of my hands, I have a more realistic history of my weight — and my trending. So in this case, I step on the scale and it broadcasts it. No fudging. The data is also broadcast to Fitbit partners, such as MyFitnessPal. Along with tons more partners. Heck, you can even send it to Garmin Connect via some tricks.
Ultimately, I continue to use it as a scale that I often use myself I have one Fitbit and one Withings, in different locations. Now a few will be curious on how the Fitbit Aria scale competes with Withings Wifi scale. My advice here has always been to chose whichever scale you have a device on. So, if you have a Fitbit device — get the Fitbit scale.
And if you have the Withings device, go that way. Failing anything else…just get whatever is cheaper that week. This means you can easily mix and match and compare it to other devices. Fear not, you can easily customize which watches to compare it against by building your own chart here. The above tables update dynamically based on the newest features. So if Fitbit or someone else updates something, I usually update it within a few days at most.
Go forth and compare! There is one little tool you can use to somewhat export out your runs, but only the GPS portion and not the HR portion. While Fitbit might have been able to get away with the walled garden approach in past years, the market is simply too competitive these days for that plan of action. Then, expect about Speaking of other reviews, I know a handful of you have asked about the Epson Pulsense In general I prioritize reviews based on interest level from you readers , hence why the Surge got fast tracked a bit.
Just waiting for my order to ship like everyone else. The Fitbit Surge has actually grown on me more than I expected. We had a bit of a rocky start to things, mostly because my first few runs were in more challenging conditions with it — so it suffered a bit. On top of that, the clean and simple user interface of the app has also been appealing. For example the way it tracks my resting heart rate over time is super easy to understand. Which, btw, generally seems quite accurate for just day to day activities.
For me, this watch comes down to expectations. It simply has far too many shortcomings there. Hopefully you found this review useful. By doing so, you not only support the site and all the work I do here — but you also get a sweet discount. Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit all colors shown after clicking through to the left or accessories though, no discount on Amazon. Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well socks, laundry detergent, cowbells.
Thanks for reading! And lastly, if you felt this review was useful — I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked. If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar , which works here on DCR and across the web. Subscribe me to the newsletter.
Show more. It combines the best Fitbit goal-tracking software with all of the major features of a smartwatch, and it's a little cheaper than an Apple Watch. Competing against Garmin's high-end trackers, the Surge is Fitbit's most robust offering, packing in a long 7-day battery inside, along with a GPS sensor that can track your run or walk for up to 10 consecutive hours. Delivery Options see all. Postal Code:. Product images are for representation only. Related Products View All.
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can click here to Subscribe without commenting. Stumbled upon your site and to be honest the reviews are immense and with your help i have narrowed my choice to 2 devices so basically i am now torn between an M and Surge? I did have the Sony SWR50 but Android wear has let the platform down significantly and as a result ver 5. I have the Basis Peak and am about to return it. The Peak splits everything off; for example I did a 5 minute warm up walk and then 20 minutes of running and a 6 minute cool down walk all on the treadmill with a consistent pace and the Peak split it into 3 separate sections, Walking for 10 minutes, running for 9 minutes and running for 7 minutes.
Really frustrating. I just want to know how many calories I burned in that 31 minute workout. Will the fitbit Surge give me what I want? If you want to record it as a specific activity you just need to put it into treadmill mode and start the timer when you begin the treadmill and stop it when you finish on the treadmill.
Then it will record a specific activity for you with the amount of time and calories burned for that activity. I find the Fitbit Surge totally inaccurate in most of the HR….. It breaks my heart because I love everything else about the surge! Didnt see this anywhere maybe i missed it though, i use my Jaybird X2 bluetooth headphones while i run and workout at the gym. OR can i just retrieve the more dat heavy info through my computer or phone after im done? I want to be able to use my bluetooth ear buds without having to switch back and forth between the fitbit and this, it would create a head ache honestly.
I still use my Galaxy S4, if that matters any. Thanks in advance. You can have your earbuds connected and the Fitbit will still synch to your phone. Unlike with the earphones, synching to the phone is done periodically in the background unless you have the app open at the same time to see the live data come through which you can also do while still using the earphones. Thanks for the response, i pulled the trigger and bought a Surge.
Used it today at the gym did, 45 minutes eliptical and 60 minutes of weights. Tracked everything really good, matched Heartrate with the eliptical, but the calories were off a bit, eliptical said i burned and fitbit said But not a big deal, logged food for the whole day and steps, and all pretty neat. Worked great with my Jaybird X2 bluetooth earbuds, displayed last text msg from my phone when my gym partner finally responded with a excuse for not coming lol.
All in all i like it, will check out the sleep function tonight, and see how i did calorie deficiency wise after i eat dinner. Got everything setup in a few minutes was pretty easy. Thanks for the info. I am trying to add calories burned based on my laps into my fit bit surge. Do you know the go around. Injust want to add calories burned for proper output. Please email me with any advice. It all works fine except for discovering resting heart rate. A chest strap HRM with iPhone readout is really cludgy, and eats disposable batteries like candy. Would you agree? Anyone else have a favorite device?
What do you recommend for someone who just wants to keep track of calories burned?
I cycle and have found the that the Surge is very inaccurate with HR Hd me at ave of today for a 46 mile ride Garmin was at Calories burned were also way off—like by The app uses HR, app algorithm and your stats to get pretty close — maybe as close as you can get without professional medical equipment. Thanks for your comprehensive reviews, they are fantastic and helpful. However I remain confused on which watch to go for. I picked up the Surge a few days ago. I like this fitness smart watch. The only negative thing I can say about this watch is the steps. I noticed while sitting down if I move my arm with the surge on that wrist it counts steps which will make it inaccurate.
Does anyone else have this issue? HI DC, I would like to commend you on how informative your website is!
Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Large in Activity Trackers. Levi's Canada. Explore New What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?. Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Small: Fitbit: skysup.tk: Health & Personal Care. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?.
Optical HR is a compromise that the user has to pay for not lugging around a chest strap. At the end of the day, the data that FItbit spits out is your data. Make small changes, test and adjust. What I find fascinating is resting heart rate. I upgraded to the Surge because of the second hand market — thanks to the apple I-watch, there seems to be a few flooding the market as users switch over to the dark side. In Australia, we are still waiting for colours for the surge….
Fantastic review!!!! I am a fiber surge Usher and techie interested but do not get it always. Therefore you clear explanation was extremely useful! Btw did you kearn About their bug in the premium Program with Kcal goal unable to reset manually? GPS caching may be present now -see this Feature Request: link to community. In the last few updates there have been significant upgrades, auto detect for walking, running, bike, elliptical, and a generalized workout.
So no access to hear rate, but the steps calories and sleep are downloadable for all, not just premium users. It would be interesting to see if the new updates they have talked about link to blog. This device cannot pair with blue tooth head phones? Absolutely useless to me. Thank you for your in-depth reviews. I have learned to come here first before I purchase my equipment and i truly appreciate the time and dedication you put into your reviews.
During normal daily activities the HR was spot on but during activities that involved wrist flexion it lost HR data completely Xbike, certain weight lifting activities. Do you think the Surge has improved on that at all? I got annoyed with my Charge HR and returned it and still use my Garmin for all my running and non-running workouts. Thank you! Does that sound ridiculous? So i already owned the fitbit surge before i stubbled across this article. After reading this article and learning more about how the hr moniter works i desided to do an expeirement of my own to see if there was a way to get a more reliable reading.
I went to the gym with my fitbit and a hr band to do a run. I started off wearing my fitbit like I normally do any pther watch with the face on the outside of my wrist. Then I flipped the face to the inside of my wrist were your capillaries and blood vessels are alot closer to the serface since that is what the hr monitor on the fitbit is reading. Then i got back at it and was pleased to see that when my hr band war reading my fit bit was bouncing around the same number only being at most 5 BPM off.
Looking at it mapped ojt is still choppy however the over all reading is drastically more accurate. In conclusion for those who already own the fit bit and are considering getting something else or are just slightly annoyed by the miscalculated hr i suggest wearing it on the inside. Microsoft clarifies for Band 2 its rated for charge cycles — The batteries have limited recharge cycles 1, complete recharge cycles and cannot be replaced.
Which means it may last as little as 3 years. Keep in mind charge cycles is for full charges. Great review as usual. I have read your Garmin FR review as well. I am leaning toward the Garmin, but not fully sold. What are your thoughts between the two? Thanks DC! I love the new Smart Track from Fitbit, which is another nice addition to the many charts, stats Fitbit gives daily. My question is, how will the FR stack up to the Surge in terms of these features? And all of that data is store on my Nike App.
Is there a way to sync or dump all of that data into my Fitbit Surge?