Fitbit has created a product portfolio that covers almost every entry level and intermediate use-case for those trying to live a fitter and healthier lifestyle. But I think it’s time for them to up their game.
They’ve shown some promise with the updated Charge HR and Flex devices, but it’s the Surge which is letting them down.
Today’s Fitbit Surge
Many cyclists and runners are training data junkies. The Fitbit Surge has the “PurePulse” heart rate sensor, a GPS receiver and integrates with services like Strava to give some really useful insights.
But, after several months of running and riding with the Surge, I want more. It’s not waterproof and it lacks advanced features cadence and vertical oscillation measurement. This is the main reason I’m considering a switch to a running watch such as something from the Garmin ForeRunner range.While running, you can easily flick the monochrome touchscreen to toggle between heart rate, current pace, time and other pertinent information.
What does the Surge 2 need?
Fitbit has sent some very strong signals with the Blaze and the upcoming Charge 2 and Flex 2. Interchangeable bands are a must. Many people like to wear their fitness band or sports watch 24/7. The Surge is not an attractive device and could do with a fashion makeover.
A colour display would be nice but not essential.
Somehow, Fitbit needs to fit a few more sensors into the Surge without compromising battery life or size. The simplest one, I think, would be a cadence measure. The Fitbit Surge already counts steps and measures distance travelled. It would seem to be a relatively straightforward move to add a cadence measure. This would also allow the device to calculate stride length.
These are important as stride length and cadence are THE two determinants of how fast you can run.
Vertical oscillation measurement would be great as well. When you watch a great runner in action, you’ll notice how they seemingly glide across the terrain. Achieving that smoothness comes from controlling your form so your body doesn’t bob up and down – something that happens when your form is inefficient or you’re fatigued.
When can we expect a new Fitbit Surge?
The Fitbit surge hit the market in October 2014 – almost two years ago.
In technology terms, that’s an eternity.
I’d hope to see a new Fitbit Surge in time for Christmas. That seems reasonable given the Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 are expected to hit the stores in the next few weeks. A Christmas release for a new Fitbit Surge seems reasonable as that allows the other trackers to enjoy some clear time to get some marketing attention before moving on to a new product.
What do you think? Do you want a new Fitbit Surge? What would you want from the device?