Surge vs Band

dbregman

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I really like the band. But being addicted to technology I could not resist buying a Surge to compare. I will start wearing them both tomorrow and will post some comparisons.

Anyone else who is as crazy as me chime in...
 

Red River

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I really like the band. But being addicted to technology I could not resist buying a Surge to compare. I will start wearing them both tomorrow and will post some comparisons.

Anyone else who is as crazy as me chime in...

cool. just wondering where did you buy the Surge, is it available now?
 

jfdavis17

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Sadly I did this, I immediately regretted my decision.

The UI is not near the Bands.

The Surge text notifications and music control is not supported on windows phones.

It feels very bulky compared to the Band.

I knew this when I bought it but a black and white screen is very underwhelming compared to the Band's colored screen.

I wanted the Surge for better battery life and better integration with other apps. But I have decided the Band is just more appealing.


The Band just seems to have so much more potential, I just hope Microsoft doesn't blow it.
 

dbregman

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Re: Surge vs Band - impressions after one day

I agree with jfdavis17 the Surge is not nearly as sexy. Here are my initial impressions after a day with both.

Fit and comfort - for me the comfort is about the same. I don't find the Surge to big or bulky and when I wear the band on my left had I don't notice it is there.

Battery - Here the Surge wins hands down.

Interface - The band wins here for the device interface, but until MS integrates with Health Vault and has a web interface the Surge wins. For the Android app, they both have pro's and cons - I like that Surge allows food input so I can track my intake vs output in one place rather than having to go to myfitnesspal for that.

Features - The Band wins here. there is no stopwatch on the Surge and only phone call and text notifications. Those are delayed a good 5-10 seconds behind the notifications on the Band. No other notifications at this time. None of the Band other 'wow' features either - uv sensor, starbucks, downloadable workouts, etc.

Display - The Band wins again - thew monochrome on the Surge may help with battery life, but is hard to read.

General Differences - The Surge adds an altimeter to count floors climbed - nice but not needed for me. The Bad has the temperature sensor and galvanic skin response that when implemented should provide added functionality, Both have GPS - haven't tried it on the Surge yet to compare. The Surge does have different work outs to choose from - as opposed to just run and workout - it has weights, yoga, circuit, tennis, spinning to name a few. I have not seen or discovered what difference this makes on the reading, or if it is just to track what the activity was for your records. The Surge tracks sleep automatically, rather than telling it you are going to sleep. Nice, but not a huge deal for me. The Surge and the band had similar data for the night.

Accuracy - Tis(for me) is the biggest failing of the band right now - I hope this gets fixed with updates. When exercising (circuit weights, tennis, etc) The HR readings on the Band tend to be high (15-25 bpm) above other devices (Polar chest strap, Surge) this in turn creates a higher than expected calorie count for the work out. For instance a 1 hour circuit is reported by the band at 676 calories with an average HR of 139. The Surge reports the same workout as 439 calories with an average HR of 108 - this seems more in line with the perceived effort. Interestingly the Band only reported about 640 calories prior to the workout vs about 950 for the Surge. By 8pm (when I am writing this) the Surge has me at 2848 calories for the day and the band at 2455. My perception is that the band underestimates general calorie burn and overestimates workout burn. This might average itself out on a single workout day, but days with multiple workouts I believe I get an inaccurate reading. This really needs to be fixed - I am hopeful this will get addressed when they implement the other sensors (temp, galvanic skin response).

Here are screen shots from my workout this morning - it was a series of weight and circuit activities (incline push up, barbell row, body Ts, flutter kicks, chest press, etc)

For the Surge (worn on left wrist):
Capture.JPG

For the Band worn on the right wrist:
2014-12-17 01.39.38.jpg

You can see the difference (as I mentioned above). I like the additional data from the Surge - but I miss the recovery HR that the Band shows.

I'll post more in the coming days.
 

sjjones

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curious is does the surge have a magnetic charger connection, if not this will be an issue in about 4-6 months from my experience with the force
 

dbregman

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curious is does the surge have a magnetic charger connection, if not this will be an issue in about 4-6 months from my experience with the force

It is not - it is a snap in propitiatory connection. After reading your post I just put it in to charge and I can see how it might loosen up over time.
 

dbregman

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Re: Surge vs Band - Surge going back

So - after two days I am dumping the Surge (It lasted longer then the Basis Peak). Had I not owned the Band prior I might be happy with it. But the experience with the Band is so much better it is hard to compare. Some additional thoughts added to above.

The band notifications is worlds ahead of the Surge -
The Email and Text notification on the surge come in a long time after the band. So much so on phone calls - I don't have time to answer.
I missed a phone call yesterday, because the Surge didn't notify me.
I really like the email and find that I rely on the calendar notifications - both of which are not available on the Surge.

The Band display rocks compared to the Surge - I find the surge hard to read and the back light finicky.

More functions on the band
Stopwatch
Timers
Downloadable workouts

One thing I do like on the Surge is the ability to have different workouts tracked - although I am not sure if that is for reporting only or makes a difference in the way the workout is calculated.

Some interesting metrics:


Metric.............................Band.......................Surge

Workout Calories...............676.........................439
Workout Ave HR................139.........................108
Sleep Hours.......................8:32........................8:54
Woke Up............................2x...........................0
Restless............................Not reported...........10x
Steps.................................8,780.......................9,932
Distance............................4.46 miles...............4.42 miles - interesting how close
Active time.........................6 hours...................106 active minutes
Calories.............................2,471.......................3,223 - big difference

As I have said in other posts - I still believe the band overestimates burn for workouts and underestimates for general living. I am very hopeful that MS will correct this with firmware updates. Some of the short comings with the Surge can not be fixed with firmware (display for one). For those thinking of jumping to the surge. I hope this helps.
 

German1513

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I was just about to buy the surge today... now i am not sure about it.. what I dont like of the band is the battery and is not waterproof on the other hand I like the battery on the surge but not the display and lack of functions... another nice feature on the surge is the website with the info and that currently syncs with health vault.
 

dbregman

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I agree that the battery on the band is a bit of a pain, but the other positives including the notifications and the display outweigh that to me. The real key will be how Microsoft innovates going forward, including the use of a web interface for additional reporting and comparison of data.
 

Brian Farkas

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Just to make clear for others so that they don't think otherwise, but the surge is also not waterproof. It is 5atm, they specifically say not to swim with it and don't recommend showering either. For myself, I like that I charge everyday rather than once every 5-7 days. When I had a fitbit I found that it would die because of the sporadic nature of charging where as for the band I just plug it in when I get ready in the morning and it is good to go for the day.
 

rambo47

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@dbregman:

I have the same complaint as you. The inaccuracy of the Band is so bad it's almost useless. I had a 50-minute workout today with a personal trainer, and while I did work hard, there is no way I burned 1122 calories. And my heart rate was reported at ranges that would have me on the floor spasming with the convulsions of someone suffering a heart attack.

Band: reports 200 bpm.
Treadmill handgrips: 148 bpm.

The treadmill agrees with a Polar heart monitor with chest strap so I trust the treadmill's reading.
 

dbregman

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@dbregman:

I have the same complaint as you. The inaccuracy of the Band is so bad it's almost useless.

I sincerely hope this can be fixed in the software - in the meantime I just use it as a benchmark from workout to work. I do think the daily total is close to accurate. I dig out my Polar loop and do some more all day comparisons.
 

mtalinm

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I agree that the battery on the band is a bit of a pain, but the other positives including the notifications and the display outweigh that to me. The real key will be how Microsoft innovates going forward, including the use of a web interface for additional reporting and comparison of data.

as a Band owner I hate to say this, but my gut tells me that msft is not going to follow through with things like windows app, website, healthVault, and fixing the myriad issues that have surfaced on this forum.

the whole effort just smells like the original appletv, a "hobby." worse, msft has to be worried about pissing off partners like fitbit (whose ceo has pledged to support winphone), my fitnesspal, etc.

for instance, I think msft will never build a food-entry module but just rely on fitbit & mfp. i also sorta doubt they will catch up to either of those in terms of longitudinal weight & workout tracking...and frankly, even if they tried hard, who knows how long it would take?

hate to be negative but I am preparing to be underwhelmed...makes me think of taking this back and getting a FitBit device
 

German1513

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I use MS health vault but I hate the band does not sync with it but when I think on the surge those comments about notification taking up to 10 minutes makes me think which one should I pick up.
 

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