Re/code’s Lauren Goode has been checking out the latest fitness trackers from Fitbit, the leader in the smart wristband market — the Charge, Charge HR, and Surge — and she was not particularly impressed.
The Charge is OK — a slight upgrade for the recalled Force — but the clasp continues to be annoying. The Charge HR and Surge, both of which monitor heart rate, suffer from suspected accuracy problems; Goode notes that they rarely agreed with a chest band monitor, undercounting by about 20 percent. She doesn’t go deeper into accuracy issues with wristware, but many observers have noticed that accuracy is not the strongest suit of trackers.
The Surge, Fitbit’s top of the line and its first multi-sport tracker, comes under criticism for being bulky and geek-ish, which may not be a fair complaint, given the state of the competition. The reviewer liked the interface and battery life, but complained that it doesn’t have modes for outdoor cycling or swimming. In fact, the Surge isn’t waterproof.
Fitbit sells the Surge for $250, which is a pretty good price for a multi-sport tracker. If you’re looking for a runner’s watch, though there are cheaper options. And if you want a multi-sport device, a little more money might get you a better product. But we can’t speak for accuracy of any of them…