Thursday, June 18, 2015

Surge?

Ah, the Fitbit Surge. One of the latest superwatches to hit the market. It you follow this blog at all, you are probably aware, that we are a Fitbit Family. Even though the price tag of the Fitbit Surge is $250, when Hubs expressed an interest, I encouraged him to give it a try. I consider myself something of a Fitbit connoisseur, so I do like to have some experience with all the different styles. We had yet to add a Surge to the Family.

Hubs was still a little hesitant ... he hasn't worn a watch in a while, and wasn't sure how he'd feel about something on his wrist. Of course, he was sure I wouldn't be able to adapt to the ChargeHR for the same reason, and I've been fine. The Surge is bigger than the Charge though. He really wanted to just try it one somewhere, but no place seemed to have that option. He finally purchased one at Target, they said he could return it within 14 days if it didn't work out.

I told Hubs I wanted to post a review on my blog, and he was SO good in writing up a little list of pros and cons from his experience with the device.



Likes:
  • FitBit familiarity. Having used a FitBit for a few months there was no getting used to a new app and its navigation.
  • Fairly simple to use, especially during workouts.
  • Screens are "sticky" meaning they don't change back to a home screen after a period of time. Some have said they don't like that. I like it.

Questionable:
  • Step count isn't consistent with other FitBit devices (comparing past workouts with a previous device). I would like to test and experiment with this but I don't know that I want to invest the time. I wear both the ChargeHR and my One, and the ChargeHR is consistently under the One in steps, with the One matching my Omron. The 11-year old tried wearing both a Zip and his Charge and they were pretty consistent.
  • Driving home the other day I could tell it was counting steps while I was driving. Not a crazy number of steps added but up to 100
  • The charging connection is very poor. Why they didn't just use micro-USB instead of a proprietary connector, that doesn't even make a good positive connection, is beyond me 
  • Can't be sure how responsive the heart rate monitor is. This is mainly a concern on the spin cycle as I watch that metric regularly. It's not a big deal on most other exercises. It seems to take a while for the monitor to catch up to the heart rate. I don't think chest strap monitors have the same issue.
Deal-Breaker: GPS doesn't seem to be accurate when compared to the GPS use in my iPhone (Runkeeper) and also my Garmin Forerunner. Even after trying to allow enough time for the GPS to triangulate with the satellites I still got a reading below what the historical distance has been, as measured by other devices.

So ultimately ... Hubs decided to return the Surge. Perhaps it was a bad one. I saw a fellow wearing one at a family function and asked him about his experience (because I'm like that, if I see you with a Fitbit, I'll strike up a conversation!) *Ü* He said he really liked it, and had found the mileage tracking to be quite accurate,  even while biking (which was one of the positive points my husband was looking for).  He's wearing a simple Zip now, for steps. He has a HRM for that when he wants to monitor his heart rate, he has a couple GPS units when he needs to track mileage. It just just would have been nice to have it all in one!

And I could have SWORN I  took a picture of Hubs wearing the Surge before we returned it. I even recall a rather funny face in the picture ... but I can't find it anywhere!


2 comments:

  1. Ok...so maybe not that Fitbit device...but I'm still sooo tempted to get a Fitbit. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the Surge is just too much (and too expensive) for me. I've always advocated the One, but I'm loving my ChargeHR ... and yesterday I just went out and bought a Zip to replace my 16-year old's One which he just lost :( ... he wasn't tracking sleep, stairs or using the timer, so I figured I'd just go with the least expensive model for his replacement.

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