Ambrane has been aggressively refreshing its smartwatch lineup, and the company has loads of smart wearables in India under Rs 3,000. The Ambrane FitShot Surge debuted in the country last month, and it is currently available for Rs 2,499. That puts Ambrane against some mighty competitors like Noise, boAt, and Realme Dizo. Now, on paper, the Ambrane FitShot Surge offers more or less the same features that most budget smartwatches provide. In reality, the experience would differ, and we are here to help.
In terms of functionalities, we get SpO2 monitoring, breath training, and heart rate monitoring alongside basic smartwatch features. Overall, it is a no-frills smartwatch, but the bigger question remains whether it is worth the price tag when your rivals are offering almost everything similar. Here are ten points to help you make your purchase decision.
Availability: Before we get to design and features, customers can purchase the Ambrane FitShot Surge from the Ambrane India website and Flipkart. The latter is also offering some sale deals that may bring the retail price down. Moreover, Ambrane is also providing a 1-year warranty with the Ambrane FitShot Surge smartwatch.
Design: The Ambrane FitShot Surge is available in Black and Pink colours. The dial features a plastic build that did survive some major bumps while running and at home. The silicone strap is pretty basic, and its sharp edges will leave an impression on your wrist if you wear it too tightly. The silicone strap includes a standard metal buckle strap-on mechanism, which I feel is outdated for smart wearables. We also get an IP68- rating for dust and water resistance, which is pretty good for this price.
Compatibility: Users can use the Ambrane FitShot Surge with both iPhones and Android smartwatches. I mostly used the watch with an iPhone 12, but I tested its compatibility with an Android device (Redmi Note 11S), and there was no problem with establishing a connection over Bluetooth. Interestingly, the watch works with the ‘Da Fit’ app on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, even though the company does have its own ‘Ambrane FitShot Wear’ app. The ‘Da Fit’ app is developed by a brand named ‘CRREPA’, and Ambrane confirmed that it is their authentic partner.
App: Regardless of the developer, the ‘Da Fit’ app for Ambrane FitShot Surge offers a clean UI, and I truly wish brands like Noise borrow some design cues.
The ‘Da Fit’ app has only three tabs, and options are nicely laid out to help customers of different age groups. Apart from battery levels, users can check software version/ updates, set daily fitness goals, and check health metrics. You can also select watch faces from this app, which should take roughly two-three minutes to upload. Sadly, the watch faces are pretty basic, but I did manage to find a cute display.
Display: The Ambrane FitShot Surge features a 32.51mm circular dial that offers a viewing area of 1.28 inches. Thanks to slimmer bezels, it offers slightly more viewing area than the budget NoiseFit Evolve 2 that I reviewed earlier this year. However, it is an IPS LCD lucid touch screen with 240×240 pixels, and the differences are quite noticeable. In comparison to NoiseFit Evolve 2, the colours are dull, but the touch response is solid. Sadly, there’s no always-on display feature, but it also helps preserve the battery.
Fit: I have used Ambrane FitShot Surge extensively for a week, and the watch ensures an average fit. The build quality is sub-standard, and it is difficult to wear while sleeping. Otherwise, you can wear it for a full day, but it does ensure the best comfortable experience. To be fair, most budget smartwatches have this problem, and customers have to make this compromise with watches under Rs 3,000.
Features: Before we get to the health part, the Ambrane FitShot Surge offers loads of other features that may attract many customers. You can get notifications on your watch, and there are features like flashlight, stress monitor, and even blood pressure. Users can control music, and there are inbuilt games (which I couldn’t test). I was most excited about the camera shutter feature that essentially lets users click photos or shoot videos on the smartwatch via the smartwatch. The watch becomes a remote control to enable the shutter.
However, the Ambrane FitShot Surge will require users to open the ‘Da Fit’ app and use its inbuilt camera instead of the phone’s on camera. Rivals like NoiseFit Evolve 2 will let users take images with the phone’s main camera that offers sharper images.
Health features: The Ambrane FitShot Surge will let users track steps, heart rate, sleep, and even monitor SpO2. Similar to most budget smartwatches, the step count data is a bit exaggerated. I compared the results to a Fitbit, and there was a mismatch – in this case, the watch calculated a step extra. However, it is important to remember most watches/ bands offer conflicting results in comparison to enterprise-grade pedometers. In that case, these figures are always a good reference point. On the other hand, the SpO2 tracker worked fairly accurately against a standard oximeter.
Battery: Ambrane claims the Ambrane FitShot Surge will offer a runtime of up to seven days on a single charge. We were getting roughly six days of battery with heart rate enabled and no AoD feature. The battery backup is quite standard compared to budget rivals. The watch takes roughly 1.5 hours to fully charge. The package includes a 2-pin magnetic charger. Customers can find third party cables for Rs 199 on Amazon.
Verdict: Overall, the Ambrane FitShot Surge is a value for money device that offers almost the same features as its budget rivals. At Rs 2,249 it won’t disappoint first-time smartwatch users. However, the company needs to improve on the build quality, or at least provide a more vibrant AMOLED display. Additionally, it needs to add more watch faces as the existing ones are quite tacky, and the colours are a bit underwhelming.