​Fitbit Surge: Essential tips and tricks for getting more from your device

How to get more from your fitness super watch

If you've bagged yourself a new Fitbit Surge or you're thinking about picking up the all-in-one fitness tracker and sports watch, you'll want to know how to get the most out of it.

The most powerful Fitbit to date is packed with hidden features for improving accuracy and getting more from your daily life.

Fitbit recently released a pretty major software update as well, which brings a host of new features like along with promises to boost battery life when you're using the GPS and improved accuracy for step tracking.

Essential reading: Which Fitbit should I buy?

So listen up Fitbit Surge owners, here's some quick tips for getting more from your super sports watch.

Wear it properly

Next time you're strapping on your tracker, take a second to make sure it's properly in position. Fitbit says to measure a finger's width from the wrist bone. Also, don't strap it too tight, or it can affect circulation and HRM results.

Automatically track your exercises

Arguably the biggest new feature in the latest Fitbit software update, your Surge (and the Charge HR) can now recognise a selection of exercises and activities giving you details on estimated calorie burn and duration. It's called SmartTrack and will only work with exercises that involve continuous, high movement. So it's good for running and a game of tennis, but not so much for a round of golf.

You'll need to be doing those exercises or activities for at least 15 minutes for SmartTrack to go into action. There is the option to change this to 10 minutes inside the Fitbit app though.

You can see a full list of supported SmartTrack activities on the Fitbit website.

Keep it tracking

During exercise, Fitbit advises wearing the tracker higher up your wrist. It reckons the blood flow is stronger higher up your arm, so slipping it a few inches higher can improve accuracy. If you're hitting the weights, a flex in your wrist can affect the reading too, so keep it locked or relax your hand after to let the Surge get a take on your bpm.

Boost accuracy

The accelerometer and movement sensors in the Fitbit Surge can be skewed depending on the hand it's worn on. Your dominant hand, for example, will do more work, and can lead to the Surge feeding back increased miles. In the Settings menu in the smartphone app, make sure you choose the hand you intend to wear the Surge on – and stick to it.

Track splits in real time with Run Cues

It's an essential on pretty much every sports watch and now Fitbit has decided to get in on the act by adding the ability to view splits with. If you're new to running and don't know what that is, it's basically a breakdown of your run whether that's miles or kilometres to give you an idea if you're running at generally the same pace or you're saving your energy for the end of your run.

Keeping that heart rate signal strong

Fitbit claims it's improved the reliability of its PurePulse optical heart rate sensor for continuously measuring your heart rate. But there will no doubt be the odd occasion when the signal drops out. There's a couple of things you can do to make sure it doesn't happen on a regular basis though. Like making sure it's high enough on your wrist or making sure it's not strapped too tightly to your wrist, which can restrict blood flow.

Customise the watch face

The Surge can be customised with different watch faces for a more individual look. To change the watch face just log in to Fitbit.com using your details, and select Settings. Choose Clock Display on the left and click a clock face. When you're done just sync your Surge to complete.

Get a faster GPS lock

There's nothing worse than standing outside in your running gear, trying to get a GPS lock. Next time, while you're changing into your sports garb, pop the Fitbit Surge on a window sill and stick it into run tracking mode. When you return, it should have found the satellites already and you can hit the pavements in double-quick time.

Change exercise list

If your favourite exercise isn't listed on the Surge, or frustratingly last in the list, you can change it to work your way. First, log in to your Fitbit.com dashboard and go to Settings. Choose Exercise Shortcuts on the left and then add items to the list. You can drag to reorder the exercises, which will change the way they appear on your Fitbit Surge. Just sync up to finalise the changes.

Control your tunes

Ensure that your phone and Surge are properly paired via Bluetooth. If not, go to your Surge and go to the Settings menu. Check that Bluetooth Classic is turned to pair and then go to the Bluetooth settings menu on your phone and finish the job.

When playing music on your phone, press the Home button on the Fitbit Surge to get 'now playing' information. The Select button pauses your music and the Action button skips to the next track, right from your wrist.


What do you think?

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  • ffchkgrich·

    Sorry, can this watch work as bluetooth heart rate monitor and could link with Polar Beat or Endomondo?

  • Stu·

    I had to give up on mine - too bulky & uncomfortable for me, great fitness tracker otherwise

  • Sandra·

    What is the little number on the clock face in the 3 position.

    • Billcamera·

      the date?

  • viren·


    My Fitbit is counting the last day steps/Km and  floors with  current date ( today) also.

    resulting in wrong date.

    Like - Yesterday I ran for 5 km

    and today for 7 km.....Now watch is showing 12km for today. Please help and suggest, how rectify the same

  • Simsissy1·

    can you have the main clock display showing your heart rate instead of having the clock and having to scroll through to see your statistics!! That would be an improvement!!

  • Thought·

    Disappointed that you are not able to see your heart rate continuously.  What is the point in having a continuous heart rate monitor when you are not able to see what it is continuously.  I know the blaze does, but it looks a little too generic.  

  • TSS·

    How do I track cycling on the new Surge?

  • Vls1·

    it may be a good tracker, but it doesn't allow one to change time zones. Sent the last two hours trying to reset time from one zone to another. No documentation and HELP directs me to a non existent gear icon. It stinks as a smart watch. 

    • SoldierBoy·

      I would hope it stinks as a smart watch seeing as it's a fitness tracker. NOT a smart watch. A fitness tracker is designed to do just that. Track your workout. A smart watch, like the Apple Watch for example, is designed for people with money they want to throw away on a dumb idea or fad, and are too lazy to take an extra 30 seconds and pull out their phone. Some smart watches can download weak at best, fitness apps that need to be accompanied by your phone during a workout for GPS capabilities, which defeats the point of the watch entirely. Some can monitor your heart rate, but the main purpose of a smart watch is to be lazy, show off an insanely expensive status symbol on your wrist, and allow you to check your Facebook along with other pointless apps that are literally on your phone that you'd be carrying to begin with.  There's night and day differences between a fitness tracker and a smart watch. You're highly misinformed. I'd suggest googling the differences between the two to start gaining an understanding of what the purpose of each one is.