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Fitbit Surge review: Fitbit’s first GPS watch is gone, but not forgotten

Fitbit Surge
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £148
inc VAT

Feature-packed but the Fitbit Surge doesn't quite gel together


Pedometer: Yes, Heart-rate monitor: Yes, Display: LCD, Battery life: 7 days

Fitbit Surge review: Fitbit App 

Note: Fitbit plans to bring its own wearables app store later in 2017. This might bring new life to the Fitbit Surge.

While the Fitbit app and web portal aren’t really geared towards training sessions, you can link your Fitbit account to other apps such as Strava or Runkeeper, allowing you to use the Surge to track your training sessions, while exporting the results to your platform of choice.

As far as fitness tracking goes, however, the Fitbit app is great – it’s easy to see all the key data and very simple to navigate. You can track your food intake from within the app, and although it has a UK food database, the better option would be to link to your MyFitnessPal account – if you want to keep a food diary, MyFitnessPal makes it very easy.

Fitbit Surge app

The web portal is just as impressive, and thanks to the wireless USB dongle that comes bundled with the Surge, you can sync your data wirelessly whenever you’re near your computer, as well as via your phone.

Fitbit Surge web portal

As well as adding sports watch functionality to the Surge, Fitbit has also thrown some smartwatch features into the mix. Like the Fitbit Charge, the Surge will display caller ID data when your phone rings, allowing you to decide whether the call is worth taking before retrieving your phone from your pocket.

The Surge will also alert you when a text message arrives on your phone, and allow you to read it. But that’s as far as the alerts go, which is a shame given Surge’s large screen. By contrast, the Garmin Vivosmart HR will display alerts and messages from pretty much every app on your phone, including, ironically enough, the Fitbit app.

Fitbit estimates that the Surge will last for around seven days on a single charge, and if all you’re using it for is activity tracking it might come close. However, if you’re running every day, or even every other day, you’ll be charging the Surge far more often than that.

You’ll probably choose to charge the Surge overnight, while you’re not active, but that means that you won’t be tracking your sleep patterns, assuming that’s of importance to you. We’re still somewhat dubious about the actionable benefits of the sleep tracking provided by any of these devices.

And then there’s the price. You can find it online for around £150 without much trouble, but it’s still pretty pricey compared to the competition. In fact, the Surge is more expensive than the excellent TomTom Spark – TomTom has added fitness-tracking functionality to a class-leading sports watch, which somehow seems more useful than adding sports-watch functionality to a fitness tracker.

Fitbit Surge review: Conclusion

There’s no doubt that the Fitbit Surge is a feature-packed fitness device, but all those features just don’t seem to gel in the package provided. The Surge is big and bulky for a fitness tracker, and arguably not good looking enough to be worn as your everyday watch, all of which means it struggles to make a case for itself.

Throw in the high price tag and there are clearly better fitness trackers and better sports watch options out there. It’s a shame, because on paper the Surge must have looked like an absolute winner. However, the execution just doesn’t quite live up to the promise. 

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