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Fitbit Surge Long Term Reflections

7/1/2017 Fitbit Surge : Long Service Life Documentation 
Fitbit Surge is pure awesome, a bit clunky, produces a skin rash if you wear it too snug, has long battery life, very reliable bluetooth connectivity, awesome heart rate & sleep tracking + ongoing App improvements to the phone app dashboard on iPhone & Android phones. 

Thanks Jaeson Long for the Fitbit Surge ^^ 

My generous friend gave me a top of the line Fibit Surge over a year ago & I have been enjoying it ever since. As of middle 2017 I am using it more than ever :) Thanks Jae! Looking forward to a summer of hiking with tracking feedback, running with data, walks with data, bicycling with data, & more!

Avoid GPS Battery Hog 

The built in GPS sucks down battery in hours, without GPS the battery life is good at many days per charge. I charge it for about 30 min every 3 days and that seems to work fine to keep the battery between 20 & 90% charged. Every 30 days or so I fully charge it and then run it to a low state to improve the accuracy of the battery display meter.

Sleep + Heart Rate Tracking ^^ 

The sleep tracking turned out to be my favorite feature as did the heart rate tracking. I also like the stair counting and movement tracking, activity tracking and app feedback reminders, ideas, suggestions, insight and regular updates. Well done Fitbit! Being able to look back at this health data over time is super cool ^^ earns my ongoing loyalty and personal recommendations!

Snug = Rash : Loosen Up Solution 

I liked wearing the Surge Snug, taking it in the shower with me & doing other things the user manual recommends against, like wearing it for 5 days 24/7 ^^ but this always gave me a skin rash that took up to 15 days to heal. I would switch between my left and right wrist to cope with it, and was force to take breaks from using it until I embrace the logic of wearing it lightly loose. Every since loosening up the tightness of the band setting the wrist rash issues have disappeared entirely. I am also more careful to either not wear it in the shower, or to carefully dry it off for about 1 hour, deliberately cleaning out the charging port and letting the unit hang out of the counter, warm to dry.

Backlight Sleep Time Tracking Coordination Missing

The automatic backlight setting feature does not seem to work properly. I end up using my phone on its dimmest OLED screen setting to check the time when I wake up in the middle of the night. I am going to try this again soon, hopefully a software update will fix it!

I wish the backlight would automatically engage based on my sleep habits, rather than by the light sensor which gets blocked by the sleeves of many of my garments.

Photons Escaping at Nigh

Light leakage from the looser setting sometimes flashes the strobing green led light directly into my eyes when I am half awake between sleep cycles, which can be irritating. Sometimes I intentionally tighten the Surge band up one setting to a snug fit before bed to reduce the light leakage potential.

Wacky Charging Cord/ Port 

The proprietary charging cable & port is the weakest part of the design. Inductive charging would have been nice, or a USB band attachment, and there are still other ways like using a water proof micro USB port or external charging pins with a magnetic attachment. I realize they went with this pin case transfer design for easy of manufacturing with water resistance and appreciate that they gold plated the charging pins, though I still notice corrosion forming despite the gold plating... I wonder how long the unit & its battery will hold up. Hopefully until a newer generation of desire worthy Fitbit launches, speaking of which....

Future Fitbits Hopes, Desires & Wishes

I am looking forward to a Fitbit that is thinner & more sleek, with a band battery system, solar power, or some combination of features that give it great single charge runtime without any added bulk. 1 month battery life per charge would be awesome! When used as a wrist watch, its competing against models like my solar powered Casio G-Shock that run for 23 years using the Lithium Titanate battery & bezel solar energy system!

I hope that Fitbit embraces shared technology with Apple to integrate light based glucose measurement techniques into their future products for the benefit of Meg and millions of other diabetes sufferers who have to prick their fingers all the time for a invasive painful blood glucose measurement. Given that Apple has put more than 30 scientists and 5 years of R&D into light based blood glucose measurement, I can see Fitbit integrating such technologies into future models of their products! Apple Fitbit optical bio-sensor partnership FTW ^^ I am suspicious that the Apple Watch 3 or 4 will have 1st gen. commercialized optical blood glucose tracking!


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