Fitbit Surge

Last updated date: January 23, 2019

DWYM Score
6.6

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We looked at the top 1 Fitbits and dug through the reviews from 10 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, CNET, Trusted Reviews, Engadget, Consumer Reports, Digital Trends, Tech Gear Lab, Runner Click, Wearable, Verywell Fit and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Fitbit you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 107 expert reviews, the Fitbit Fitbit Surge placed 11th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note November 8, 2019:
Checkout The Best Fitbits for a detailed review of all the top fitbits.

Expert Summarized Score
6.8
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
6.2
7,744 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Fitbit Surge is the fitness tracker that has so many new features, the start-up company behind it calls it a "superwatch" . There's good reason for that label. The final version I tested has built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor and real-time workout data, all fan-requested capabilities that raise the price.
- Tech Radar
February 15, 2018 | Full review
While the $250 (£200, AU$400) Surge isn't as distinct as it was two years ago, it's still a good buy for active consumers due to the superior Fitbit software, which is one of the easiest to use, has the largest social base and syncs with a variety of other services.
- CNET
June 30, 2016 | Full review
In a bid to take a bite out of the already congested sports watch market, the Surge also offers built-in GPS and an optical heart rate sensor, making it a good fit for runners, cyclists or anyone that wants that extra layer of biometric data.
- Trusted Reviews
October 12, 2016 | Full review
The one feature that immediately jumps off the page at you is built-in GPS. Yes, the Surge marks Fitbit's first foray into serious running watch territory. It's not the fastest or most accurate GPS in the world, but it gets the job done most of the time.
- Engadget
March 12, 2015 | Full review
The watch display is very easy to read in bright light
- Consumer Reports
The combination of physical and capacitive controls works well. It’s a snap to navigate the Surge’s options and features without getting lost; the touchscreen was incredibly responsive to boot, even when wet from sweat or rain.
- Digital Trends
January 14, 2016 | Full review
The Surge did great at step counting, averaging only 0.9% off of our manual count, or about 19 steps over a mile. The distance is spot-on, greatly helped that it uses the built-in GPS, rather than estimating off gait.
- Tech Gear Lab
The built in GPS tracking allows you to track every aspect of your running or biking route.
- Runner Click
The LCD screen has a backlight so it's also usable in low light situations – you can toggle this light on or off, or set it to automatically come on when in use – through the settings menu on the device itself rather than having to use the app.
- Wearable
May 13, 2015 | Full review
It is sleek enough for either men or women to wear all day as a watch. Then when you want to track a workout, you don't need to wear a heart rate monitor strap or use a separate app or device to track your speed and distance via GPS. You can view it all on your wrist.
- Verywell Fit
June 19, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Fitbit Surge excels in a lot of areas, but it falls behind its predecessors when it comes to battery life.
- Tech Radar
February 15, 2018 | Full review
The design feels old and clunky. It can't be worn while swimming or when in the shower.
- CNET
June 30, 2016 | Full review
Sleep tracking produced some questionable results at times. Fitbit recently introduced the ability to monitor pillow time using the accelerometer to detect when you’re not moving. Putting it up against the Jawbone UP 3 again it suggested we only managed a couple of hours of sleep. You do still have the option to activate sleep tracking from the app, but either way, the data produced is very basic.
- Trusted Reviews
October 12, 2016 | Full review
Unfortunately, it's a bit bulky. It's not as cumbersome as many smartwatches on the market, but you're also not going to mistake it for your trusty Timex Weekender.
- Engadget
March 12, 2015 | Full review
Requires included proprietary charging cable which can be expensive and time consuming to replace
- Consumer Reports
The Surge has a rectangular touchscreen that is a bit clunky; it occupies a fair amount of real estate on the wrist. The Surge’s larger design also made it difficult to tuck into a long-sleeved shirt.
- Digital Trends
January 14, 2016 | Full review
However, this model does pick up a decent number of false steps due to random arm movement.
- Tech Gear Lab
Surge is not waterproof,only water resistant, so it is not recommended for swimmimg.
- Runner Click
On the Surge's official webpage it states that the battery life is both “up to 5 days" and “7+ days". You don't need to be a genius to work out that doesn't make sense. We got just over three full days out of it, but that did include an hour or so a day of GPS based activity. It charges from a proprietary connector attached to a USB cable – annoyingly not the same connector as the Fitbit Charge, though.
- Wearable
May 13, 2015 | Full review
You can view your heart rate and zone indicator during workouts, but it doesn't have any alerts when you are in a chosen zone or out of the zone (such as a beep or vibration).
- Verywell Fit
June 19, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Train smarter with the Fitbit surge gps watch + hr. monitor. This exercise-savvy watch has built-in gps tracking, allowing you to view distance, pace, and elevation climbed, as well as review running routes and split times. The pure pulse heart rate monitor gives you continuous, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart zones for upping your cardio endurance. Best of all, these stats wirelessly sync with your smartphone for in-depth analysis. No matter your discipline, this watch records running, cycling, cross-training, and cardio, delivering detailed workout summaries with tailored metrics, intensity levels, and calories burned. For improving your sleep, the built-in sleep monitor displays your overnight sleep duration and the quality of sleep, as well as gently waking you with a silent alarm on your wrist. For busy days at work, the display shows your call and text notifications, allowing full control of your mobile playlist when you're on the move.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Fitbit Charge 3
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 9
2. Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 1
3. Fitbit Ionic
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 9
4. Fitbit Alta HR
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 11
5. Fitbit Versa
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 11
6. Fitbit Flex 2
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 11
7. Fitbit Blaze
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 11
8. Fitbit Zip
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 7
9. Fitbit Ace
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 6
10. Fitbit Charge 2
Overall Score: 6.8
Expert Reviews: 11
11. Fitbit Surge
Overall Score: 6.6
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Fitbits

Knowledge is power, and fitness trackers provide a wealth of health knowledge right at your fingertips — or, more accurately on your wrist. With the right fitness tracker, you can power up a healthy lifestyle and a new you.

As a result, wearable technology, like fitness trackers and smartwatches, are valuable tools to help you achieve your goals. These devices do so much more than tell time or add a pretty accessory on your wrist. They record and monitor movement and fitness-related activities. They track the number of steps taken, distance walked, sleep duration and quality, heart rate and more. Some advanced models have separate modes that enable them to track specific types of exercise and can distinguish between swimming, running and cycling and keep logs of your favorite routes. Then, you can connect and upload all the stored data to your computer or smartphone to analyze and learn from your activities.

It’s not a passing trend either. In fact, the global fitness trackers market clocked in at just under $18 billion in 2016. That value is expected to grow to more than $62 billion within the next four years. Smartwatches, specifically, are driving most of the predicted growth. Some of the leading fitness tracker manufacturers include Fitbit, Samsung, Nike, Adidas, Google and Apple.

Fitbit is one of the most popular fitness tracker manufacturers. The company launched its very first tracker back in 2007. Since then, it has introduced innovative new technology and features. Now, Fitbit offers a wide variety of different fitness trackers and smartwatch models at a relatively affordable price range. There are high-tech models with detailed data tracking for serious athletes, as well as simple watches, like the Fitbit Flex 2, for those dipping their toe into fitness tracking and data. There are also Fitbits made just for children ages eight and up to encourage movement and healthy habits early. Whether you’re trying to make fitness fun for youngsters or start your own health challenge,  there is a Fitbit for everyone and every goal.

All Fitbits are designed to seamlessly track every part of your day — including activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. As a result, the company says they will “help you find your fit, stay motivated and see how small steps make a big impact.”

They monitor heart rate with PurePulse. The newest watches, like Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic, include SmartTrack. This innovative technology automatically senses different types of exercises and records them accordingly in the Fitbit app. For example, if you hop on a spin bike and start pedaling, the watch will begin recording as a cycling activity.

The current Fitbit smartwatches, like Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic, also incorporate apps and features like wallet-free payments, calendar alerts and text message updates. Today’s Fitbits and fitness trackers are so much more than step counters. They also enhance and ease many everyday tasks.

In addition to encouraging healthy lifestyles, Fitbit connects all users in a like-minded community. Here, you can share your goals and find motivation from people around the world. It also offers fun competitions with friends, family or coworkers on a variety of statistics to push yourself farther.

All those Fitbit insights add up to real lifestyle changes. In fact, researchers from Arizona State University discovered that the combination of wearing a Fitbit Zip activity monitor and expressing more mindfulness throughout the week increased levels of physical activity. For a relatively low cost (most models range from $50 to $250), fitness trackers help motivate you to kick-start and stick with a fitness plan, hold you accountable, encourage goal setting and, best of all, can help you lose weight.

Pick the right Fitbit fitness tracker, and you’re well on your way to living your healthiest life and achieving your goals.

DYWM Fun Fact

Fitbit founders Eric Friedman and James Park recognized the potential of wireless technology in relation to fitness and health. With the first product, they “embarked on a journey to create a wearable product that would change the way we move.” More than 10 years later, both original founders still lead Fitbit and help introduce new and innovative fitness technology each year.

However, hundreds of years earlier, Leonardo Da Vinci created what appeared to be the first sketch of a pedometer. Then, in 1788, Thomas Jefferson introduced the first pedometer in the U.S. Historians believe it may have originated from the motion sensor of the Swiss or French watches.

The Fitbit Buying Guide

  • Fitbit pay allows users to store credit cards right on the watch and pay without carrying around a wallet.
  • Fitbit monitors and records every part of your day — including activity, heart rate, food, weight and sleep — with specialized sensors. Some advanced models include a built-in GPS for improved accuracy and ease of use.
  • The Fitbit app connects all Fitbit users in a global online community, where you can find motivation, inspiration and connect with others and join challenges.
  • The fitness trackers sync data to your computer or smartphone where you can access additional analysis and progress reports.
  • Fitbit fitness trackers lead the market, offering the thinnest and lightest GPS+ heart rate device available.
  • According to researchers, tracking steps and other activity with a Fitbit positively impacts overall health and wellbeing, which makes it a worthwhile purchase for help achieving your health and fitness goals.
  • Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches run on rechargeable batteries.
  • The battery life of Fitbits vary based on the activities tracked, but some can last up to five days between charges.
  • Fitbit offers interchangeable accessories to update the band and style of the smartwatches and fitness trackers.
  • Fitbits are swim-proof and showerproof, meaning you can wear them in water or underwater up to a certain depth.
  • Fitbits sync wirelessly and automatically to computers and smartphones, so your data is always up to date and stored.
  • Fitbits and Fitbit app are compatible with more than 200 iOS, Windows and Android devices.
  • Fitbits range in price depending on included features. Some cost under $100 while others fall under $250. The more advanced tracking features included in the Fitbit, the higher the price point.