My Fitbit Surge Review:
As you guys know, I travel 9 or 10 months per year, and spend 2 or 3 months in Bangkok, Thailand, my adopted ‘home’, where I used my blogging profits to buy an apartment mortgage free. During my time in Thailand each year, I try to get my businesses all back in order (sometimes it can be hard to run them from Sierra Leone, Afghanistan or Mongolia!), and I try to get back in shape, eat healthily, work out regularly. I truly, truly, truly believe that a healthy body equates to a healthy mind, so this time around I decided to go at it hard.
I signed up to the best gym in Bangkok ( Aspire Club and CrossFit Bangkok) and did a 21 day transformation challenge with pretty spectacular results (if I do say so myself!), where I worked out 2 and 3 times per day and cut out carbs, alcohol and sugar. After my 21 day challenge, I headed to Europe to watch Northern Ireland play in the European Football Championships, where I knew my alcohol ban would be lifted, and my workouts less regular, so I needed to do something to stay on top of my new fitness regime. I had heard all the online buzz about Fitbit watches, so decided to finally take the plunge and sorted out a Fitbit Surge (THB8490/$240), their newest addition to the fitness watch range.
Once I got the Fitbit home I opened the box, it comes with a USB charger cable, a wifi dongle so u can sync with ur laptop wirelessly and then the watch itself, all pretty simple.
Within an hour I was wearing it, synced via bluetooth to my iPhone and on my way to the Aspire club gym in Bangkok to test it out! I’m pretty awful when it comes to reading instruction booklets, but thankfully this all seemed pretty easy to be honest. For the colours, you have a choice of black, red (tangerine officially), and blue. I went for the reddish one and it’s pretty nice. The watch itself isn’t a ‘smart watch’ exactly, it’s certainly more of a fitness tracker, but the Surge is Fitbit’s top of the range device so it can do a lot more than the rest of the fitness trackers out there.
After using it for a few weeks, here’s what I loved about it:
- User friendly. Just 3 buttons to deal with and a touch screen swipe to get between options. Super easy.
- Syncing. I just turn on my iPhone bluetooth and open the fitbit app, then automatically the data syncs between the two. Finally, easy syncing exists! Top marks.
- Backlight. The watch has an auto backlight, so working out at night etc is no probs.
- Tracking! This is the main selling point and they kinda nailed it to be honest. The Fitbit surge tracks: calories burned, heart rate, distance covered, ‘steps’ climbed, elevation, active minutes and new GPS (it can also link to Strava too) and SLEEP
- The sleep tracking is pretty cool, if you wear your fitbit to bed it tracks how well you slept, how long you’ve slept and the app now even helps suggest when you should sleep and wake up. For a digital nomad, this is big!
- It’s really easy to scroll through all your tracking on the watch to see your progress
- Wearing a fitness tracker seriously adds some subconscious motivation, honestly. It’s was a constant positive reminder for me to eat healthily and work out a lot. I loved that about it, and would recommend it for that alone!
- Auto sleep tracker. The computer knows you’re sleeping so automatically switches modes
- Different workout trackers. Running outside, or on a treadmill, bootcamp, crossfit, cycling. You choose which type of exercise you’re doing and it tracks you perfectly, pretty amazing to be honest.
No product is perfect though, so here’s a couple of my pet peeves:
- The display. Maybe tech has spoiled me, but I wish the screen was in colour and not black and white.
- Battery life. This is a tricky one, because actually the battery life is pretty sweet at 10 days but as soon as you’re bluetoothing, GPSing and working out twice a day, you’re almost back to iPhone scenarios where you charge every day, or more like every 2 days.
Fitbit in my life
As a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Surge is designed to be worn all day every day. This way you can track your heart rate, sleeping patterns and workouts super accurately, then display them in Fitbit’s sexy app and watch as your sixpack re-appears your Tinder inbox is bulging.
Wearing it all the time works for me about 90% of the time. I LOVED wearing it while I traveled, watching how many steps I took each day, how many calories I burned, for sure it helped keep my diet tight and it’s reassuring to know you’re hitting the magic 10, 000 steps in a day mark, something we should all aim for as a minimum.
The only problem arises when you’re off on a date, or even just dressing up a little nicer. Wearing a rubber strapped FitBit doesn’t always match so well with your Hugo Boss shoes or your LV bag! So wearing it literally 24/7 is tough, but other than that, it’s a brilliant way to stay on top of your health. And like I said, as a traveler, it worked wonders.
Sometimes it’s not possible to go to the gym, join Crossfit or a group class, and the Fitbit surge helps a lot here with it’s new GPS functions. GPS is a completely new sensor to the Fitbit family. It can map your runs using Google Maps while generating step-by-step graphs for elevation, pace, heart rate and calories burned. It means you can hit the road wherever you are and get a great grasp on how you’re doing. Pretty sweet. The best part is that Fitbit Surge’s satellite tracking works without your phone. You can leave that at home, a feature that’s not available in the new Apple Watch. Boom!
A huge part of the fitbit benefits is how they display all the info that is collected about you, and Fitbit have made huge strides here, their app is clean, colourful and effective. Displaying all manners of graphs about how hard you workout, your weight, your sleep patterns, your heart rate. It can’t fail to educate you about your health, and like I keep saying, motivate you further to make even more progress. Oh and you can check it out on ur mac too, not only on your phone! Check it out:
Has the Fitbit surge helped my fitness journey? 100% yes. Remember, the watch isn’t a smartwatch, so don’t expect to be dealing with calls and texts through it. It’s about health and fitness, and for that it’s bang on. I mentioned it briefly earlier, but having a constant reminder on your arm about your health is amazing, it keeps me so focused. Knowing your heart rate, and seeing how many calories your burn each day is something we all should be aware of, and I think the market is only going to grow and grow. Also, sat goodbye to half-hearted workouts too, with a Fitbit, there’s no hiding! Another thing I love about it.
For me, it’s been great, I’m 32 and in the best shape of my life and the Fitbit is only helping me progress, so I have no hesitations in recommending it, but perhaps not to be worn 24 hours a day 🙂