5 thoughts on “Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Large

  1. Katrina
    512 of 526 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Mostly Satisified, Works Well, January 5, 2015
    By 
    Katrina (California) –

    I have had my Surge since mid-Dec and I am happy to say it is a huge step up from the Flex! I am so excited that I don’t have a collection of stuff on my wrist anymore (and that is what it felt like to have a watch and another device on my wrist).

    So far, things have been overall great!

    The Size
    It is a bit more bulky than my beloved watch, so it does catch on long sleeves. It is a little annoying to try and view it when I am wearing a jacket, but it is a small annoyance that I can live with. I don’t find it bothersome to wear while I am sitting at my computer (which I did have a problem with when I wore my watch). I bought a size small, which fits well, but I probably could have gotten away with a large (despite the fact that I have tiny wrists and it is a fraction of an inch smaller than the recommended size for large).

    Style
    It is by no-means femenine, but as far as fitness watches go, it is generally unisex. I also don’t have the gap that I usually have with fitness devices where my wrist curves but my watch face doesn’t, so I end up with gaps under the top and bottom of the face, so that is a definite plus (there is a small gap, but not annoyingly bad).

    Function
    As a watch, it is one of the best executions of a watch on a fitness device that I have seen. I would love to see the screen have the option to default back to the time screen. It currently stays on whichever screen you last viewed, so sometimes that is frustrating, but nothing insurmountable.

    The backlight is spot on. The sensitivity seems to be perfect so I have yet to look at my watch and not see what it is trying to tell me.

    Notifications are good, but it only does calls and texts. I am not sure I really need more notifications, personally. I get a lot of notifications through the day and would get annoyed if I got notifications for each facebook post or email.

    Tracking seems to be fairly accurate. Heart rate has been within reason (ie, not really far from what my heart rate should me). Some people need to move the tracker higher up on their wrists, but I haven’t had that issue yet. Of course, you can spoof steps if you are determined or animated, you can certainly spoof steps, but then again, I know that sometimes my steps aren’t counted right, so I figure it all evens out at the end of the day.

    Food tracking is decent, but there are better food trackers out there. Luckily, fitbit does work with other services to provide 2 way integration of food tracking (and other stats).

    The exercise settings do allow a lot of options for how you would like to work out. Biking is not currently available, which doesn’t bother me, but there are plenty of people out there who want it back. Of course, there is nothing keeping you from using another workout type to at least consolidate your statistics. The GPS is ok. I have noticed that GPS can be inaccurate when you are around a lot of buildings.

    Music control works. Not much to see there.

    Apps and web dashboard are great. There is a lot of information that is usually presented in an understandable way. There are a couple logs like heart rate that do not populate with your data, but you can see the information on the dashboard with a decent degree of granularity, so it isn’t a huge deal. Presumably, this should be corrected by the time this device is officially released.

    The battery is supposed to last up to 7 days. I haven’t made it more than 4, but I recently changed settings like bluetooth for music (which I don’t use) and made sure to turn off my alarms that I don’t use and don’t wake up to.

    I would urge you not to purchase this until it is released unless you can find it from a retailer (ie Target, Best Buy, or REI) since people are selling them for more than twice their retail cost.

    I definitely recommend it! Even at this point, I am very satisified with it!

    UPDATE – The Surge is officially available today (1/6) – Check with retailers, but if you can’t find it, it is definitely on the Fitbit site!
    Also, I added pictured to the review to show the fit. My wrist is about 6.1 inches and this is a size small. The small is supposed to fit 5.5-6.7 inches. The large is supposed to fit 6.3-7.9 inches. I think I would have been able to get away with the large (there is at least an inch of strap holes left on mine), but happy with my decision on the small!

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  2. Otter
    850 of 882 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    FitBit Surge, December 12, 2014
    By 
    Otter

    This review is from: Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Large (Electronics)

    I received the FitBit Surge as part of FitBit’s early limited release. I purchased it directly from FitBit on December 5, and received it on December 8th. UPDATE: My original review was made after one week of use with the Surge. I’ve gone through and updated every section of this review after over a month of use.

    The FitBit Surge is FitBit’s flagship fitness “superwatch”. It integrates a few capabilities of a smart watch, like text/call notifications and music control, into a GPS/heart rate fitness tracker. It tracks your sleep as well.

    ————————————————-

    The Good:
    Heart Rate Tracking:
    This is probably the most important feature of this tracker, so I’ll go into a bit of detail here. It is accurate, if it is worn snugly. When exercising, it’s best to wear it a notch tighter than you normally would so that it stays in place, and a few inches up from your wrist so that it can get an accurate reading. It takes a few minutes for the reading to stabilize. I noticed that if it’s loose, the results are all over the place. For everyday use, you can’t wear it too tight because your skin won’t be able to breathe (in my case wearing any watch made out of non-breathable material too tightly for too long results in a rash). When loose, the reading is 20BPM higher that it should read until I put it higher up my arm and tighten it, which is quite disappointing. But when it is just tight enough that it won’t move around and further up the arm, it works great, and was accurate within 5BPM compared to my elliptical. So for exercise it seems to work well, but for everyday use is inaccurate. Unfortunately, any wrist-based heart rate tracker would have this same issue because they use a light sensor and blinking LED’s, and having the band loose lets external light in, and light from the LEDs out.
    FitBit: In the future, add something that lets you choose a target heart rate, then gives you a buzz on the wrist if you go outside it. This would tell you to work harder or slow down and pace yourself without having to look down at the watch, and would be an awesome feature.

    Altimeter/Stairs Tracking:
    Counts going up every flight of stairs (going down stairs does not count). Accurate and no complaints here.

    Telling Time:
    Several different watch faces available from the FitBit app. Digital, or analog, or some are a combination of both. They are easy to read, and if you just touch the screen in the dark, a backlight will illuminate the screen. However, since you can swipe on the screen to show different stats (Flights of stairs, heart rate, distance, calories burned, steps), that makes it very easy to inadvertently swipe it to a different screen. So it might be on a different screen than time at a moment’s glance, and you then need to swipe left or right to get back to the clock.

    Notifications:
    It’s nice to get a buzz on your wrist for a notification, when you’re forgotten your phone across the room and left it on silent. I have even had the Surge go off when my phone was on the other side of the house! So great range, and sometimes the Surge actually goes off before my phone does.

    Battery Life/Charging:
    When I originally received my FitBit Surge, it seemed to be fully charged – I did not charge it out of the box. The first week it lasted from Monday morning until Thursday afternoon (battery was low, but not dead). After leaving it on the charger for about an hour, it was fully charged and ready to go again! Fast charging time, and much, much less downtime that something such as a phone. After a month, it seems battery life is about 4-5 days, and it still charges crazy fast. However, it does not reach its advertised seven day battery life. I was sick for about a week, and didn’t work out at all – Surge still only lasted five days.

    Motivation:
    The FitBit App lets you set a main goal for the day: Steps, Distance, Calories Burned, or Floors Climbed. I set mine to calories burned. When you’re reached your daily goal, the Surge gives a series of buzzes and shows that you’re reached your goal on the screen. If you use the app for logging food, you can see a nice ratio of how many calories you’ve burned vs how many you’ve consumed. If you’re trying to lose weight, approx. 3500 calories = 1lb fat, so do the math on you calorie deficit for the day, and that’s how much you should have lost (in theory).

    Fit:
    I ordered a size Large. After ordering I reconsidered and tried to get FitBit to change it to a size small (my wrist is barely large enough for a large, but not too large for a small). After receiving it, I’m glad that they couldn’t change the size from large to small since it was about to be shipped. My wrist measures at about 6.00-6.25 inches, and I am at the 4th notch in for normal use, or the 3rd notch during exercise with the…

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  3. Anonymous
    The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
    1,224 of 1,317 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Enormous disappointment for something I was very excited about, December 16, 2014
    By 

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch, Black, Large (Electronics)

    I apologize for the following novel, but some detail’s required to explain a two-star rating on this. I wrote this in segments over the course of two days.

    I’ve been looking forward to the Surge for months. I hate chest-strap HR monitors, and this seemed perfect. That, and having a 24/7 means of tracking my heart rate, and thus having a more accurate picture of daily calorie burn, was a perfect solution for my needs. So, when my Surge arrived yesterday morning, I couldn’t wait to try it out.

    The initial impression is great. Yeah, it looks a little clunky. But, it’s very comfortable, easy to set up, works flawlessly with the Dashboard, and is highly responsive. The provided watch faces are underwhelming, but it’s a fitness watch, not a fashion watch. So far, this is mostly great!

    …Until I had two days’ experience with the heart rate tracking. But it needs to said that this was actually also a pretty good first impression. I started wearing it shortly before heading to work, and it seemed to be doing quite well. I’m a paramedic, so had access to highly accurate devices with which to compare the Surge’s readings to those from medical-grade equipment. It wasn’t exact, but generally it was within 5 beats per minute. Really, pretty impressive for a wrist-based device. Throughout the rest of the day and night, I didn’t notice any major issues. The Surge seemed to track my sleep well, and it determined a reasonable resting heart rate. It’s really important to stress that I was actually very happy with the device at this point.

    Fast forward to actual exercise. I finally had a chance to use it during an intense workout. And here’s where the entire experience completely falls apart. During a 12 minute warmup routine, while in workout mode, the Surge’s readings became increasingly erratic and did not improve. This despite numerous attempts to adjust its positioning and tightness, as recommended by FitBit. The final calorie burn calculation was roughly 50% of what I expect from the same routine while using a Polar HR monitor with chest strap in the recent past.

    Shortly after that was a 30 minute, intense cardiovascular routine that involved full-body movement. I had cleaned the watch and my wrist, and when I put it back on, the non-workout reading was correlated with what I was manually obtaining through counting it myself. Workout starts, and within five minutes in the workout mode, the readings aren’t even in the ballpark. To be clear, this is a routine I’m very familiar with, and my heart rate tends to stay above 130-140 (generally even in the 150-165) for a substantial portion. The Surge seemed to max out with a reading of roughly 141 or so. More often than not, it liked to hang out somewhere between 110-120 bpm during periods where I manually measured my actual rate at about 150 or greater. This, again, despite countless attempts to adjust positioning and tightness. It’s also worth noting that the heart rate tracking outright cut out on several occasions until I adjusted again. After 30 minutes, the Surge estimated that workout’s calorie burn at roughly 40% or so of what I’d expect it to be. I don’t know what else to say about the experience. I’m not oblivious, I did try every conceivable means of adjusting the thing that FitBit recommended, to no avail. I am wondering if arm movement is actually screwing with it. It doesn’t work well if it’s too tight. And if it’s sufficiently loose, then when you start any kind of rapid movement, especially while sweating, the Surge just isn’t going to stay put. Its tendency is to slide closer to your wrist bone, where it’s not supposed to be. All in all, my first crack at using the Surge as the fitness super watch it’s supposed to be has been a bit underwhelming.

    Day 2: The normal, background heart rate monitoring still seems to be doing quite well. This is what makes the actual workout experience that much more frustrating. Today, I did the same 12 minute warmup routine (p90x3 Cold Start, if you’re familiar), which involves some light cardiovascular warmup moves and some yoga-based stretching sequences. This time, however, I was also wearing my Polar HR monitor with chest strap. During relatively static periods, the two devices were fairly close. As soon I started moving my arms to any significant degree, problems began. The issue really seems to be the fact that for accurate readings, there’s a threshold for how loose the band has to be. But when that happens, the movement of the device that occurs during reasonable arm movement destroys accuracy.

    The warmup was followed up by what I considered to be a much more mellow routine (pilates) as opposed to yesterday’s intense cardiovascular workout (that one involved a great deal of jumping/running around and thus exaggerated arm movements). And while the end results were slightly closer after 30 minutes than I found yesterday (160 calorie burn on the…

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  4. Anonymous





    stem
    The manufacturer commented on this review(What’s this?)
    Posted on

    Dec 17, 2014 1:42:19 PM PST

    Hi Brandon,

    We’re sorry to hear that your Surge’s heart rate monitor is not as accurate as expected during higher intensity workouts. This feedback is valuable for our team. To help us take a closer look at your tracker’s data, kindly start a support case with us at http://contact.fitbit.com (including a link to this review). Hope to hear from you soon.

    Best wishes,
    Fitbit Support

     

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