Wearable technology has evolved by leaps and bounds, lately, so much that it’s largely become a mainstream consumer good for many people. That wasn’t always the case. Heart rate monitors, calorie measurements, and more were once bulky, heavy, unwieldy devices that looked supremely gaudy when they were strapped to your wrist. Fitbit was one of the first products to help revolutionize that market, and wearable tech has only become more prevalent with the likes of the Apple Watch and Android wearables from many different manufacturers. In spite of more technological prowess from other products, Fitbit has reigned supreme in the world of health-oriented wearable technology, and the Charge, Surge, and Blaze models continue to sell in droves. We’ll take a look at some informed reviews of each, and help to draw a comparison between each of these popular products.
If a new Fitbit is somewhere on your holiday or birthday wish list, the following details will help you to determine which model is right for you!
One unifying feature of the entire Fitbit wearable lineup is that they all look good. Sure, they’re still clearly identifiable as technology, but apart from that, many people find that they can wear a Fitbit with just about any type of outfit they want. The same can’t be said for many other makes and models of wearable technology.
On top of that, Fitbit products tend to be both resilient and easy to use. Build quality is one of the most important facets of any wearable tech’s usefulness. These are devices that must be designed to take a beating if they want to be the cornerstone of a healthy, active person’s life. Water resistance and shock protection are a good start to this, and Fitbit wearables tend to have both.
Perhaps the top reason that Fitbit is the top dog when it comes to wearable tech is the fact that the “tech” side of things tends to work exceptionally well. The readings and information that your Fitbit presents are almost always accurate. It helps to ensure that they’ll always be a boon to your lifestyle, rather than just another device that needs to be charged on a regular basis.
One of the complications–and dare I say frustrations–that often accompanies the Fitbit product line, however, is the fact that the names of the products themselves can be a bit confusing for consumers. Speaking in the colloquial, many people just refer to their Fitbit devices as “their Fitbit” rather than the actual name of the product model.
Since the Fitbit family is actually a diverse bunch of hardware, this can leave people wondering which model performs which task. It’s occasionally difficult to know which is right for you. Given that they exist at varying price points, this is a valid worry. You don’t want to end up buying more technology than you actually have a need for, right?
Our aggregate of reviews and opinions will help you to better understand the Fitbit product line. By the end, we hope to have helped you find a device that fits your lifestyle!
The Fitbit Brand
The Fitbit mission state practically lives in the name of the brand. It’s a wearable technology company whose products all revolve around fitness. Unlike more ubiquitous devices like the Apple Watch or Android Wear devices, the point and purpose of Fitbit wearables is to function as a fitness assistant. Yes, they carry basic watch functionality, too, but the prime directive has always been concerned with consumers’ health.
Fitbit devices keep track of your movements throughout the day, and more advanced models have a heart rate monitor that can provide even more accurate information about your own health. They’re rugged and well-designed, too, which means that you can take them with you into any environment. The sole exception to this, of course, is underwater; many models feature water resistance, but the wearable technology field has yet to lock down actual waterproofing in many devices.
Though there have been many iterations of different Fitbit product lines, the Charge, Blaze, and Surge remain the most popular, especially in 2016. They’re the most multifaceted of the bunch, and though none of them aim to compete with, for example, the Apple Watch, they do quite a few tasks that people might expect from a modern smartwatch.
The price disparities tend to throw many consumers off, however, and so we’re going to work our way up the chain. We’ll examine the least expensive first, the Fitbit Charge, and make our way up to the significantly more costly Fitbit Surge.
As the least expensive of the product line, many expect the Fitbit Charge to be lacking in features. As a majority of reviews will be eager to tell you, this is not the case. The Charge has a built-in clock, syncing settings for your smartphone, and even a function that allowed you to display your phone’s notifications on the Fitbit, itself.
The current model is actually the Fitbit Charge 2, the second iteration of what proved to be a remarkably useful first generation device. With this, you get the baseline elements of what Fitbit devices are about–exchangeable straps, a heart-rate monitor, and battery life that can extend up to five days! The Charge will track all of your movements throughout the day, whether you’re going for a walk or putting yourself through a workout. Even though it’s water resistant, however, it should never be submerged or worn in the shower.
It currently retails for about $129.95.
The Fitbit Blaze is the next step up in the Fitbit product line, boasting more features than the Charge (including a higher price tag.) You get quite a lot with that extra money, however, including several noteworthy additions that bring the product more in line with what a person expects from a “smartwatch.”
The first thing that many will notice is the drastically expanded watch face and the colorful readouts that it’s capable of. More than the Charge, the Fitbit Blaze makes an excellent companion to your smartphone. Displays of notifications and calling information are much easier to read on this device. It boasts more accurate measurements, too, and has more ways for you to synchronize with other applications.
Fitbit claims that the Blaze’s battery life can last up to five days, as well, but tests have shown that it tends to fall slightly short. This is acceptable to most, as other smartwatches–especially those with a built-in heart rate monitor–tend to require daily recharging. The Blaze is also water resistant, but like other Fitbit models, should not be worn in the shower or submerged.
It currently retails for about $179.95.
The Fitbit Surge is where the product line starts to get a little bit tricky. For most consumers, they wonder why a device that looks less sophisticated than the Blaze has a higher price tag. And to give them their due credit, this is absolutely true. The Surge lacks the colorful readout of the lower-priced model and instead appears more like a clunkier, boxier version of the Charge.
The answer lies in GPS since the Surge is the only GPS-capable wearable in the Fitbit lineup. It’s also one of the least expensive pieces of GPS-enabled wearable tech that you’re going to find on the market. With the GPS capabilities comes all of the usual Fitbit goodness–fitness tracker, heart rate monitor, and the ability to sync with smartphones and computers in order to better calculate your fitness and activity tracking.
However, there appears to have been some compromise with the usual features, in order to bring GPS to the device. Many reviews don’t speak as highly of the Surge as they do other Fitbit wearables, citing evidence that the heart rate monitor’s statistics aren’t accurate. It’s certainly not waterproofed, either, and the limitations of the display–when compared to the Blaze–make it harder to see your smartphone calls and notifications.
If you’re a runner that would benefit from the addition of GPS to the device, you might get your money’s worth out of the Surge! Most active folks, however, will instead benefit from the Charge or the Blaze.
This model currently retails for about $249.95.
When it comes to wearable technology, people are being faced with considerably more choices than they were a handful of years ago. The addition of the Apple Watch and wearable Android tech have led to a more crowded field. In spite of that, however, Fitbit has remained one of the very best products that you can buy, especially if you’re a fitness-oriented person.
We’ve included links to further reviews of the Charge, Blaze, and Surge so that you can continue your comparison of these devices. Meanwhile, we hope to have provided you some useful information about each of them. Given that wearabel technology is still quite expensive, it’s important to ensure that you’re not buying more than you actually need, just as it’s important to make sure that your needs are met by your new device! Have any further questions? Let us know in the comments, below!