Friday, February 06, 2015

First impressions on Fitbit Surge

Fitbit Surge arrived about a week ago, and I thought I would share a few initial impressions. I'll admit that I returned my original Fitbit Force despite NOT having any issues with skin irritation. It was clear to me that they would discontinue the model, and probably launch new and improved models soon. So, I took the full refund and waited. Missing my step count and sleep tracking.

The Surge is much larger than the other models, but the wedge shape and sleek design don't make it feel or look awkward and bulky like many other products in this segment. It doesn't have the bulky look or extras that a Garmin triathlon model has. Surge seems to strike the right balance of fitness tracking and a few other features, such as text messages and alarms.

The display works well in sunlight, but the auto backlight setting is a bit stingy with illumination during dark or indoor settings. I feel like I have to coax it a bit too much to get the backlight on to view.

There are a few clock face options, with some more fanciful than functional, but I found one I like. The touch screen can be sensitive, so I often look for the time and find that it has slipped to another screen. Access to the Run, Exercise, Alarms and Settings is easy with the three button controls having good tactile feel and accessible.

Aside from all the excellent fitness features, and the excellent companion iPhone app, the one thing that I am hoping to learn how to do is to browse through recent text messages. It's very handy to have a slight vibration and a small drop down notification to show a snippet of message. It's just great to not have to pull the iPhone out of my pocket, unless it needs an immediate reply. I haven't figured out if it's possible to browse messages or to even recall that quick popup.

Overall, I think this must be the best combination of features, design and price on the market. I think Fitbit could make some improvements on this model, but it's the best of the current crop and a good value.