The Surge is the new Fitbit offering which integrates GPS, smart-watch and Heart rate capabilities into one unit.
I’ll be honest, I’m going to put my hand up and say that when the Fitbit craze first hit, I thought it was a bit poxy. In my opinion it just catered to the soccer mums out there and it really didn’t offer anything to the serious fitness enthusiast. Nothing has really changed my opinion overly much about their initial releases.
But now there is a reason to get excited – The Fitbit surge. The Surge has been released just after the Apple watch which apple fanboys have gobbled up like a dog eating hot chips. But this product shoots at a slightly different market than the Apple watch, which is more an every day consumer device. The Fitbit is for the more serious fitness enthusiast, which really excites us.
First up, its a great looker. There are a variety of colours to choose from, but the black band and integrated body give it a very sleek, stealthy and modern appearance. Keeping in line with other Fitbit releases, they’ve done their homework to make a nice product that will look good on your arm. Top marks for the appearance.
As it hasn’t yet been released, we can only speculate on the UI – which could be the kicker. There is nothing worse than a buggy, annoying UI when you’re trying to do some exercise. Time will need to be the judge on that one. There is no reason to think it will be an issue though.
As far as features go, the Surge does pack a punch. It isn’t going to hit the features out of the park like the Suunto Ambit range or Garmin Forerunner, but that’s ok, most people don’t want that level of functionality anyway.
Make no mistake though, this product delivers a wholesome set of features that will keep most of us more than happy. The addition of functionality such as call & text notification is somewhat controversial. Some people hate it. But there probably isn’t any getting away from that in a lot of these products. When you sync to your computer you can turn off most of these notifications anyway – as we haven’t seen the Surge yet, we can’t say for sure if you can with this or not.
The smartwatch capabilities keep you on top of who has called or messaged you, although you cant respond in kind on the Surge. We think this is really a good thing. You dont want this to become a watch that wants to be a phone. A phone is a phone, and this is a fitness watch. Being able to message on a Fitness watch would be counter intuitive to reaching fitness goals.
According to Fitbit, the Surge “Features 8-sensor technology that combines all-day fitness tracking with GPS, heart rate monitoring and smartwatch functionality.
‘Surge is ideal for users committed to training, dedicated to health and consistently looking to improve progress.”
The GPS system delivers metrics such as distance, split times, elevation, decent, pace and route tracking. Eight-sensor technology – 3-axis accelerometers, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor, GPS and heart rate – measures steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. The effectiveness of the integrated heat rate monitor remains to be seen. If it works as described, it will be great.
The Surge’s stats sync wirelessly to you your mobile device so you dont need to plug into a PC to sync the data which is great. Fitbit premium is available for free or a paid version for those wanting more features. The free version is fine for a large percentage of people.
The Surge is compadible with the iPhone 4S and above, as well as most leading Android phones on the market right now.
This looks like a great product, no question. There was a patent application filed earlier in the year that involved a Fitbit product which included all you see here as well as Altimeter, Pedometer, weather info, and navigation info. If that beast comes to life, then the likes of Suunto, Garmin and Polar should be very worried indeed. Fitbit look like the awakening giant right now.
The RRP on the Fitbit Surge is only $250 which is a cracking price for such a high quality product. The release date is early next year. Although I am an avid Suunto Ambit user, If someone gave me this as a gift I would be torn!! Check out the quick intro vid below