Garmin Vivoactive HR vs Fitbit Surge

Garmin Vivoactive HR or Fitbit Surge?

Whenever we think about the best fitness tracker, comparisons start to occur. After all, without comparing a few, how on the earth will you be able to decide which one to go for?

In this article, we will talk about two multi-sport watch models to figure out which is the best GPS smartwatch to go for.

We don’t assume that our analogy or analysis will meet or exceed your opinion but is better to get the ball rolling. After we are done with this article, you will have a clear idea about at least two of the most promising GPS smartwatch models and will know which one to go for and what to ignore.

Now, let’s come to the main point of the article. What are the best fitness tracker models in 2016 that we will talk about in this article? Well, due to requests, we picked two to talk about in this article which are Garmin Vivoactive HR and Fitbit Surge. For some, it may not appear to be a problem in choosing, but some other still consider this very confusing. We would have to start pointing the fact that the Garmin vivoactive HR is a newer model released in 2016, while Fitbit Surge was introduced to the market in 2015.

At the time of writing this article, Garmin vioactive HR is number 1 Best Seller in Running GPS Units, and Fitbit Surge number 9.


Garmin Vivoactive HR vs Fitbit Surge

Garmin Vivoactive HR

Garmin Vivoactive HR

Before we get into the comparison between Garmin Vivoactive HR and Fitbit Surge, let’s try to know both these GPS smartwatch companies a bit. They say, understanding is the best way to go about it and if you are knowledgeable about a product or a category, you will always end up purchasing a good product.

The Brand

When it comes to brand, both Garmin and Fitbit are tough contenders. Garmin is an old one though with more loyal customers but Fitbit is the recent sensation which took the “fitness watch” industry by storm.

If we think about the brand image, both companies hold the very positive brand image and they both are considered as premium products with tons of happy customers.

If we have to think about the activity tracker brand value, we will tell you that Fitbit may seem to be pretty strong in this comparison due to the great backend and quality network and their dedication to the wearable activity trackers. But Garmin offers a wider choice and has years of experience in fitness market and GPS running watches. They both are pretty well in terms of brand image, to be honest.


Fitbit Surge

Fitbit Surge

The Garmin Vivoactive HR will offer you two variations at the same price range. One is considered as an extra large unit where the other one is regular. The display is always the same in terms of size but the handle is bigger which means that if you have a bigger wrist, you go for the larger one and vice versa.

On the other hand, Fitbit offers 3 colors (black, blue, tangerine) and 5 sizes (6.3 – 7.8 in).


Look is something that may be very tough to differentiate. Some people will love Garmin where some other ones might love Fitbit. But at first sight, we can notice that Garmin vivoactive HR looks more modern and provide bigger color screen display than Fitbit Surge.

Both the GPS smartwatch models come with a nice design to be happy about. If you are going for Fitbit, you have the option to change the wrist band with another color later on. However, you do not get that chance with Garmin Vivoactive HR, as it comes only in black. There are two visible buttons in the lower area when it comes to Garmin but the Fitbit comes with three buttons in at the sides like in a regular watch.


Garmin Vivoactive HRNow, let’s come to the mighty topic to talk about. It is the features of these GPS smartwatch models. At the end of the day, it is features that tell you which one is the best fitness tracker and which one not to go for.

Unfortunately, there is very less to differentiate between these two multi-sport watch models. Where both the devices are interesting and feature enriched, they both are very similar to look at too. Let’s start talking about the Garmin Vivoactive first.

So, we get a 24/7 heart rate monitor which is on of the most  required feature of anybody going for a GPS smartwatch. You do not have to do anything apart from keeping the band on to get all the heart measures. The activity tracking is pretty accurate too. The machine can differentiate when you are walking when you are climbing up and when you are on a car for example. The battery life is super long as it supports up to 8 days of working with 24/7 heart rate monitor, which is amazing.

Apart from these, the Garmin Vivoactive HR also offers interesting display notifications and you can use your cellphone to see all your fitness and sleep cycles data. The watch is sunlight readable which is good and the touch screen is fine too.

Fitbit Surge

Fitbit Surge

Let’s cut it short for Fitbit too. The features that we praised for Garmin is also there on Fitbit which makes it easy for you to decide, doesn’t it? Although comparing to vivoactive HR, battery life is slightly shorter (up to 7 days, vs 8 on Garmin). Apart from that, Fitbit is actually pretty detailed too. Similarly to vivoactive HR, Fitbit Surge will tell you the calories burnt, also provide GPS tracking data and heart rate monitor,workout summaries, but also floors climbed.

You can see call and text details on the Fitbit display when you pair it with your cellphone. The same as vivoactive HR, Surge can monitor your sleeping habit and it can wake you up with a silent alarm.

All in all, both the units are actually great enough to make your experience awesome. Where both the devices are good, some will prefer one over another which is normal. If we really think about it, the Garmin has been there for a long time and it has been the market leader for very long too.  But Fitbit takes a great part of the share in the fitness market.

Final verdict:
Considering the look, display, and features, we would go with the Garmin viovoactive HR.

While it may become a tough choice for you, we can tell you that no matter which one you go for, you will end up liking that one.

Related Links:

  1. Garmin vivoactive HR review
  2. Fitbit Surge review
  3. Fitbit Charge 2 review 
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