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I’ve had my Fitbit Charge HR for about six months now and I reviewed it for my blog a while ago. You can find my review on the Fitbit Charge HR here. Fitbit noticed how much I use my Fitbit from my excessive amount of social media posts and asked if I would like to give the Fitbit Surge a go and who am I to turn an offer like that down?
The Fitbit Surge is the next step up from the Charge HR in terms of the range and functionality and I was excited to see just how different the two were. While I liked my Charge HR because it did all the basic things I needed it to I was looking at upgrading at some point. I’m quite a tech focussed person and love having new and interesting toys to play with the more they do, the better, in my opinion.
The basic functionality that you get with the Fitbit Charge HR is all there in the Fitbit Surge but there’s a whole new range of things that the Surge can do. The Surge has the tagline, “Fitness Super Watch,” and I think Fitbit are right on the money with that description. The main differences between the Surge and Charge HR is that the Surge offers GPS tracking, SmartTrack and Multi-sport and the notifications and music features.
The first thing I noticed when I took the Fitbit Surge out of the box was the very obvious size difference between the two trackers. The Surge is huge but it needs to be so you have a decent screen to see everything this device can display for you. I was hoping it would have a lower profile on my wrist but it hasn’t. Because it is gigantic on my tiny wrist nobody misses it so it’s been really easy to show off and talk to people about. It can be annoying under clothes and I can’t do up long sleeved shirts over it so I just leave them undone.
When you compare the Charge HR and Surge on paper there doesn’t seem to be too greater difference between the functionality of the two. Using them however is a totally different experience. There’s all of the features in the Surge that I really enjoyed in the Charge HR for example the heart rate tracker, silent alarms, wireless syncing and tracking of exercise. The Fitbit Surge is so much more than this and has some really cool added features.
The display watch face is great and you can pick from four different looks. I went with the one it came preset to because as the hour goes on there’s little dots around the time which show you how active you have been for that hour. You can see at a glance if you have moved much or not and it’s a great feature. I love the touch screen aspect of it because to be honest I expect this from most devices these days.
Here’s the display when I’ve done lots of activity!
I love being able to track exercise and then see the stats displayed directly on the device afterwards. With the Charge HR I got most of the same stats but I had to refer to my phone to see them once they were tracked in the Fitbit app. Instead of having to control the tracking of exercise on my iPhone I can do it directly with the Fitbit Surge. You pick what kind of exercise you’re doing whether it’s running, walking, weights, yoga, etc and then tell it to start. You can see your stats and how you’re going throughout the workout just by glancing down. I think this added capability is due to the GPS Tracking that the Fitbit Surge does on it’s own instead of relying on the paired device for that.
I particularly like how it tracks when you’re running. It displays how far you have gone, your time and then at the bottom you can scroll through your pace, average pace, heartrate, calories, steps and the time. As you are running the device vibrates at every kilometre and displays a little summary including things like your average pace which I find really encouraging as I’m running. It also differentiates between running on the road and running on a treadmill which is a really useful feature for people who run on treadmills.
The only limitation I have found with the live measuring of workouts on the device is when I do my aerobic exercise it won’t let me edit the stats it keeps so I can’t edit the calories burned after the workout has finished. For things that I have another source telling me approximately how many calories I have burnt I track it live so I can see how I’m going throughout, then I go into the app and delete the workout after I’ve finished and just add it back in manually. That way I can adjust the calories burned if I log it that way. As far as I’ve noticed the other stats aren’t lost or affected by doing this.
The notifications capability have really been stepped up in a big way from the Charge HR as well. On the Surge you get notified if someone rings you or sends you a text message, you can then read the text message on the screen of the Fitbit Surge. The Charge HR vibrates and the name or number of the caller runs along the top of the screen. Having the added text message functionality on the Fitbit Surge is great and I’ve found this so useful if I’m busy and just want to have a quick look to see if I need to reply to a message straight away, I don’t need to get my phone out of my pocket and check it I can just push a button my my Fitbit Surge and there it is. I don’t miss phone calls now either because if my phone is on silent my Fitbit Surge vibrates on my wrist and alerts me.
Considering how much more the Fitbit Surge can do and how much bigger the screen is I am pretty impressed at how long the battery lasts compared to the Charge HR. I’m only needing to charge the Surge every 3-4 days (I am obsessive and have to do it before it gets too low for fear of it dying on me) I’m sure it would last the five days they state if I tried, and considering I’m tracking exercise everyday and wearing it 24/7 that’s really good. I had to charge my Charge HR every second day so this is definitely an improvement I didn’t expect.
The only feature I haven’t tried out is the music synching and controlling it from the Fitbit Surge. I don’t to listen to music when I exercise and having a three year old around I can’t listen to music anyway, my mummy spidey senses are largely based on sound cues.
Then comes price. The Fitbit Surge retails for $469.95 in New Zealand and if you buy it direct from the Fitbit website there’s free shipping. Considering I paid something around $259 for my Fitbit Charge HR I really don’t think it’s a bad price. If you’re looking at getting one of these two models I would save up that little but more and go for the Fitbit Surge to be honest.
If you haven’t guessed already I really, really like the Fitbit Surge. While I liked the Fitbit Charge HR I appreciate all of the extra stuff the Fitbit Surge can do. The Fitbit Surge is perfect for people who are serious about their fitness and activity levels and who like to keep an eye on your workouts as you’re doing them. The Fitbit Charge HR was a really good starting point for me but given the two side by side I’d pick the Fitbit Surge!
If I had to give the Fitbit Surge a rating I would give it a 4.75 out of 5. It loses a little bit from a perfect five stars because it’s just so big on my little wrist, that is my only bug bear with it though. Have you got a Fitbit? Which one do you have and would you think about upgrading to a Fitbit Surge? Comment below and let me know I’d love to know.
*I was sent my Fitbit Surge by the PR agency for Fitbit NZ. That aside, this is an honest review and my opinion of it hasn’t been influenced by that, if anything I was possibly a bit harder on it than I would have been had I purchased it myself.
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