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Fitbit Surge update doubles battery life, adds new running alerts

An update will arrive on the Fitbit Surge later this week and bring a handful of improvements.

Sarah Tew/CNET

An update to the Fitbit Surge will arrive later this week with a handful of improvements that will better help the watch compete with running watches from Garmin and Polar.

The Surge is Fitbit's $250 smart fitness watch. In addition to measuring your steps, distance, calories burned and sleep, the watch is equipped with an optical heart-rate sensor and GPS for tracking pace, distance and speed when running or cycling. It also offers music control and is capable of displaying notifications for text messages and calls from your iPhone, Android or mobile phone device.

The update adds a new feature called Run Cues, which will provide automatic alerts when you reach a predetermined time or distance during a run. For example, at one mile you will now receive a notification with lap pace, distance traveled, number of laps and average heart rate. The Run Cues feature can be set to alert you based on the distance or elapsed time in the Fitbit app.

The battery life has also received a major boost. The Surge previously lasted only 5 hours with an active GPS signal and heart-rate sensor enabled. The update doubles battery life to 10 hours, which is comparable to the Garmin Forerunner 225. Fitbit will also be adding a timer and stopwatch to the watch.

The update is scheduled to begin rolling out to devices on Wednesday.