If You’re a Fan of the Fitbit Brand, Meet the New Kid on the Block
Will it take your dog for a walk when Singapore's rainy season is underway? Not exactly. But the Fitbit Surge does other things once you leash your pup and grab an umbrella. Fitbit's newest iteration of trackers from its existing collection of the Fitbit Flex and Fitbit Charge, offers updated features deserving your inspection, so whether you already own the brand or are thinking of buying, keep reading!
Let me say up front that I'm a fan of the brand so I was predisposed to like the GPS tracking feature (1 Hz) and I love getting a perpetual report on my distance, pace and elevation plus route reviews and split times at a glance. My heartbeat is monitored courtesy of the PurePulse™ Heart Rate feature and this Fitbit has simplified heart rate zones, too. No matter where I go or what I do, my activities are accurately monitored: active minutes, flights of stairs, burned calories, distance and step tracking. Wireless syncing plus call and text notification features keep me apprised of my busy schedule and I control my mobile playlist thanks to a friendly touch screen that's readable in low light. A wireless synch dongle and charging cable facilitate interface with iOS, Android and Windows devices, and what can I add about how much I adore the Bluetooth 4.0 radio transceiver?
Since Fitbit has started making the sorts of improvements consumers demand, I must say that this iteration is the best one yet. The Surge offers longer power periods: the lithium-polymer battery keeps going for a week or more! That stated, it's wise to charge every few days to be on the safe side since the process only takes an hour or two. My Fitbit tracks sleepless nights by automatically monitoring my slumber, and the silent alarm awakens me on time without jarring bells and whistles. I receive as much valuable data from the Surge when I'm cross training, cycling and working out as I do when I run and exercise summaries recorded by this unit are very helpful. My wrist is slim, but since I was able to choose from three band sizes (S, L, XL), I don't have to put up with a tracker that slips and slides when I'm trying to focus on my run.
Curious about what's inside the Fitbit Surge? There are both 3-axis accelerometers and gyroscopes, a digital compass, altimeter, ambient light sensor and vibration motor. The tracker's heart monitor is on par with competitors' models, thus accuracy will always depend upon my location, movements and physiology. Concerned about altitudes? The Surge functions up to 9,144 metres and keeps seven days' worth of detailed motion information, storing heart rate data at one second intervals when I exercise and five seconds when I don't. This Fitbit has been tested for myriad water-related issues and declared “sweat, rain and splash proof”, but there's a huge debate going on about how much water is too much. The care and feeding of my Surge is a snap: I use soap-free cleaner and dry the band's interior thoroughly so it keeps on performing efficiently.
- Fitbit Surge is the most powerful Fitbit till date with GPS tracking, real-time workout stats and a heart rate monitor. I feel that this Fitbit can now better compete with “more serious fitness trackers".
- I have nothing but praise for the perpetually-lit display, silent, vibrating alarm and accurate sleep- and heart-tracking features.
- From a security standpoint, the handsome metal watch clasp keeps the tracker secured, no matter how much I exert myself.
- The Surge works with so many phone models, the list is endless.
- If you prefer a lithe, slim tracker, look elsewhere, because the Fitbit Surge has been called bulky, big and uncomfortable to wear with some claiming the design harkens back to the 1980s, and not in a good way!
- If you need a tracker that will be exposed to water and you swim frequently or just forget to take off your tracker device when you shower, don't take the chance.
- The Surge may not be sophisticated enough for the price, despite improvements, the smart features aren't that terribly smart.
- If you require the XL, you can only get it online since retailers don't stock this size band.
Assuming that you're already enamoured with the Fitbit brand – as am I – you might not care about negative remarks made by others, but if this is your first foray into trackers, apply due diligence. The Fitbit literally polarises wearers: you either love it or you don't. Since I belong to the former class and tend to be brand loyal, I may be more forgiving. That said, I would skip this tracker if you'll be playing in the water quite a bit!
How brand loyal are you? When you have a favourite brand in mind, are you more forgiving than not when critics say negative things, or does your loyalty come to an abrupt halt when evidence presented convinces you that it's wise to consider another brand instead?