Our Review:

Surge Review March 2019

The gay dating app, Surge, subverts the way men can meet other men of all colours and stripes from different backgrounds by distinguishing itself as a safe, judgment-free space with no labels. Gay, bisexual, queer, or wherever you may be on the colourful spectrum of life, you don't have to put yourself in a box to fit in the LGBTQ+ dating scene, according to Surge. 

As of today, Surge has over a total of 4,000,000 registered users with 3,000 signups every day via Google Play and Apple's App Store. Launched in 2015, it has become one of the trendiest apps for the gay community.

The tech company that had started it all was initially set out on an LGBTQ+ app which they named Lavender. Through sheer observation of trends and online dating experiences, the company has come to the conclusion that it is much more conducive to have specialised dating apps on sexuality. Hence, the birth of Surge and Lavender as its counterpart for lesbian and bisexual women. 

Claiming to be the #1 gay dating app is one hell of a bold move. We certainly have the responsibility to don our investigator coat and see if this app is worth the membership fees and can actually provide you with real, solid dates. Is Surge actually one helluva of an app or is it all just hype? Read on our review below to find out!

Sign Up - Registration

  • Short registration time; only less than half a minute
  • There is email verification
  • Email, first name, password, and birthday are the only info you need to create an account
  • You can opt for a Facebook signup to automatically sync your info
  • Location is detected via your phone's GPS
  • You must be 18 years old to register
Surge Registration

Surge has one of the easiest registrations in any dating app today. It has no frills, no fuss, and would absolutely take you less than half a minute to create an account. First, you must download the app on your device. It is totally free and available on the App Store and Google Play.

Once the app is installed, you can begin creating your account. To sign up via email, you would only need to fill in your email address, first name, nominated password, and birthday. You'd need to verify your email address by clicking on the link the app emails you. To sign up via Facebook, you'd only need to type in your Facebook login details to automatically sync your personal information. Both of these options are uncomplicated and easy to follow. 

Note that location must be detected by your phone's GPS since Surge only suggests people near or within your vicinity. You can change your location (to see other men from other places), weight, age, and other information later--as long as you have availed of a premium package. 

Contacting Members

  • Swipe left to dislike users and swipe right to like
  • A match happens when you like a person and he has liked you back or vice versa
  • You can only chat with people you are matched with
  • You can send photos and videos via chat that vanish immediately after a few seconds
  • Use a "Power Like" to have an easier time matching with other people
Surge Contact

Surge not only promotes diversity within its community but it also places an importance on every member's agency. Most of the contacting features of the app are geared to be consensual and mutual.

For instance, although there is a chat function, you can't just randomly chat with other members. You must keep on swiping through the profiles. By swiping right, it means that you like them while swiping left means the exact opposite. So, the more you swipe right, the more users you like. If they swiped right on your profile, too, it would mean that you are both a match for each other. Once the like is mutual, the chat feature is automatically enabled so you can initiate a conversation with your match. 

The app developers know that this system might mean that matching will take time so they have created a feature called "Power Like" where you can immediately let another member know that you like him. He will instantly get notified that you like him which makes the process of liking you back or disliking you much faster and efficient. Each new member is given one free Power Like. However, they'd have to purchase more Power Likes if they'd want to keep using that advantage.

In cases of finding a match, the photos and videos you send via chat will immediately disappear after being viewed for security purposes. You don't need to worry about old photos and clips resurfacing with malicious intent since the app has taken the necessary steps to prevent this.

Profile Information

  • Profile photos must be a clear headshot of you or else it will be rejected by the admin team
  • You can upload five public photos and three private photos
  • You can connect your Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify accounts
  • Only premium members can see the private or locked photos of their matches
  • You can change your location to see other members that are not within your vicinity
Surge Profile

Since Surge is quite a visual app that heavily relies on profile pictures, it is obvious that the app has strict guidelines when it comes to this. Profile pictures are reviewed and often rejected if they do not comply with the community standards. This can allude to the fact that the app's developers have been studying the trends of online dating that they only want what's best for their community. 

They want clear headshots of their users only--the more HD, the better. They reckon that having a well-lit, crisp, and clear photograph of your face can increase your chances of getting more likes and matches. Say goodbye to cute animal photos, group shots, blurry or dark photos since those are the major no-nos of this app.

Aside from the profile picture, you can also add five public photos of yourself and three private photos. The rules of these photos are laxer. As long as you are recognisable in them and they don't have any explicit content, these photos can be anything--may they be nature shots or group pictures. Note that only Premium Members can access the private photos you are willing to share. 

To further personalise your profile, you can link your Facebook, Instagram and Spotify accounts. Not only will this plug your other social media accounts, but you can also give others a glimpse of what you are really like as a person. They can check out your playlists or Instagram feed and might find a thing or two in common. 

Surge is also heavily reliant on location. Your phone's GPS automatically detects your location. The app will show you potential matches based on their location and whoever is the nearest. To view men from other cities, you must be a Premium Member to manually change your location. 

Special Features

Surge, in its very core, is a fun app with a simple premise--to find your match. This basic tenet has dictated what features the app can offer you in a very simple and easy manner. To explain, here are some of the app's features that can help you find a match quicker:

Power Likes

Having a Power Like is a major advantage. Matching can take time. Interacting with others, even more so, since the interest must be mutual before you can start chatting with each other. Surge provides a shortcut with the "Power Like" feature. Once you avail of "Power Likes," you can use these to immediately notify the person that you like him. He, in turn, can decide immediately if he likes you back or not. 

Unmatch

Even in real life, sparks tend to wane and die out completely. Online dating isn't safe from this. Let's face it, people change, so do their decision and likes. They can unmatch with you or you with them, completely erasing your chat history. However, life goes on and so does swiping. 

Fingerprint Security

To safeguard your activities even more, you can opt to enable fingerprint security. Your device, however, must have a fingerprint sensor in order to avail this security measure. It is still a nice feature to have, just in case!

Private Mode

You can turn on the private mode so your profile is only visible to others that you've liked. Surge provides absolute discretion should you need it with this feature.

Mobile App - Design and Usability

  • Tasteful design and layout
  • Available on iOS and Android version
  • Free to download on the App Store and Google Play
  • Has an average of 33,000 Apple users and 87,500 Android users monthly
  • 100 MB in size; still lightweight and doesn't strain your mobile phone
Surge Mobile

Surge has a distinct look and branding to it that when you see a sliver of a screen, you immediately know that it's Surge. With its use of cool blue and dark grey tones, the app has a unique, muted, yet still youthful feel to it. Despite Surge's tasteful and classy design, its features are not confusing and hard to navigate around at all. In fact, the app has one of the easiest usability of all the apps that we have tested. With simple features and well-organised buttons, the user experience is definitely friendlier than some. 

It is available on iOS and Android version. It is also free to download on Apple's App Store and Google Play. Currently, Surge has an average of 33,000 Apple users and 87,500 Android users worldwide monthly. 

It takes up about 100 MB in size. However, the app still remains lightweight and won't cause any strain on your mobile phone at all. In fact, it can run on background and still won't drain your battery too much, or cause any trouble at all. 

Field Test

"As a 40-year-old man, I have not had the luxury of growing up in a much more open and accepting society we enjoy now. I grew up in a very traditional era where everything is black and white and toxic masculinity is constantly shoved down my throat every single day. I had carried these expectations on my back for so long that I have more or less internalised the fear of being 'found out.' So even if the world today is much more accepting of the different colours in the spectrum, I have always been a bit uncomfortable with being openly gay. It is sad but I am still not ready yet. I'd like to think that I will be, someday. Therefore, when I discovered Surge, I felt as if 30+ years of burden and grief were lifted off my shoulders. It is not the panacea to all my worries, yes. But to have an outlet where I can just be myself with no expectations and meet strangers who understand and not look at me weirdly gives me such profound relief and wonder. Of course, the membership fees can be quite pricey, I'll admit. However, the sense of community and belongingness I feel on Surge is definitely worth it, for me." - Banker, 40

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Costs and Prices

Duration / Credits / CoinsCosts per monthTotal
Premium Membership
1 Month5.99 GBP / Month5.99 GBP
3 Months6.16 GBP / Month18.49 GBP
12 Months4.50 GBP / Month53.99 GBP
Power Likes
5 Credits0.28 GBP / Credit1.38 GBP
15 Credits0.23 GBP / Credit3.46 GBP
50 Credits0.21 GBP / Credit10.40 GBP
Surge Prices
Free Services
  • Registration
  • Like other profiles
  • One Power Like
  • View profiles
  • See your matches
  • Profile Completion
Fee based Services
  • Be visible only to people you like
  • See everyone interested in you
  • View the "Locked Photos"
  • Search and edit your likes
  • Modify your location to see other men
  • Modify what type of guy you’re looking for
Payment Options
  • Credit Card
  • Via Mobile Phone

Payments are charged to your preferred app store's account upon the confirmation of purchase. The account is charged for renewal within 24 hours prior to the end of the current period. Subscriptions may be managed by the user. Take note that the auto-renewal feature may be turned off by going to the user's Account Settings after purchase. 

Summary

You can definitely tell when a project is made with love or not. That is also very much applicable with Surge. The developers have lovingly made this mobile app to create a space where men can let go of any societal expectations and just be themselves. Some might not be that comfortable in putting a label on themselves but the app does not require them to. Upon registering, you are not required to state your gender, or even explain who you are, and where you come from. In today's society that puts tremendous pressure for a person to be pigeonholed into something that can be easily explained, Surge provides its users a reprieve from that. After all, humans are complex creatures with complex needs and wants. 

Being a young app itself, Surge has a very trendy and up to date design. It blends right in with other modern apps flooding the market today. It has a youthful look and cleverly uses blue and dark grey tones. However, unlike some modern apps, it does not have overly complicated tools and flowery matching algorithms. In fact, the developers have totally done away with all of the frills and unnecessary fluff. They kept the app's features simple and straightforward yet still fun and interactive. 

It is quite understandable how Surge rose from the ranks with its team's dedication to the gay community and its compassionate understanding that while some are proud LGBTQ+ members, others may still buckle under the heavy societal pressure. Upon our immersion in this app, we have found more real profiles and even more active members than fake ones.

However, we also understand that Surge is a paid dating app. While it is completely free to download and sign up, there are in-app purchases that unlock most of its features. These fees do not come in cheap. So, if you are looking for good apps with much more affordable price tags, you can check out our other reviews on gay dating sites. 

FAQ

Usability

How do I message someone on Surge?

You need to be a match in order to be able to send a message to that person. You must keep on swiping. When the person you like has liked you back, the chat feature will automatically be enabled. In short, you must mutually like each other to be able to chat.

I was notified that someone likes me on Surge but I can't see who.

Only in the Premium membership are you allowed to see who liked you. If you are a standard member, you just need to keep swiping and hope for the best!

One of my chats disappeared.

If one of your chats on Surge has disappeared, it can only mean two things: either the user has deleted his account or used the "Unmatch" feature. That's not a good sign but that's online dating for you. You can still keep on swiping to look for better prospects.

How can I edit my profile on Surge?

To edit your profile, just hit the profile icon on the top left-hand corner and select “Edit Profile." You can edit your name under which you want users to see you, your birthday, your weight, and your height. You can also edit the About section, saying a few witty words about yourself or what you’re looking for. Finally, you can set your relationship status.

In this section, you can also add up to eight photos (5 public, 3 private).

How do I unmatch someone on Surge?

If you are not feeling the spark, you can either unmatch him instantly while on the Messages tab by swiping left or in the chat window itself by hitting “More” and then “Unmatch." A message pops up to confirm your decision so you don't have to worry about unmatching someone by accident.

Security

How come my photos keep being rejected?

Surge prides itself as a visual app. The developers wanted clear pictures of their members' faces for transparency. In their studies, it has been shown that users that have high-quality headshots on their profiles will get more matches. That is the main reason why nature shots, kitten photos, and group pictures are usually rejected.

Are there any rules for public photos?

As a visual app, Surge requires clear photos of its members' faces for profile pictures. However, this rule is laxer when it comes to public photos. As long as you are recognisable on them and they have no explicit content, these are allowable.

Someone stole my photos on Surge and uses them as their own. What do I do?

In cases like this, you can report the user and contact the app's moderators. The team will immediately look into it and take the necessary steps if needed.

What does being verified mean on Surge?

A check icon appears on some members' profiles. This means that the administrators have confirmed that the profile is authentic and went through photo verification.

I deleted my Surge account and can't reset my password to log in again.

Deleting your account is a serious and permanent action. That’s why you’re going to need to create a brand new account with a brand new e-mail address. You can't register with the same e-mail twice.

Membership and Cancellation

How do I cancel Surge premium membership?

You can cancel your Premium membership at any time. To cancel it on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch:

  1. Go to the App Store on your iOS device.
  2. Scroll to the bottom.
  3. Tap Apple ID (your Apple ID email).
  4. Tap View Apple ID. Log in if it asks you to.
  5. Scroll down to Subscriptions and tap Manage.
  6. Select Surge and set the auto-renewal slider to Off or select Unsubscribe.

To cancel your subscription on your Android device:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app. Search for Surge.
  2. Select Cancel or Unsubscribe.
  3. Confirm.

Premium subscription is valid for 30 days depending on the subscription type selected. Payment is charged to your iTunes or Google Play account at the point of purchase. Your subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24 hours before the end of your current subscription. No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during the active subscription period. Deleting the app and/or your account does not cancel your subscription.

What is included in the premium membership?

Surge offers a lot of exclusive features for its premium members. You can see who liked you, have access to the whole history of your likes and dislikes with the possibility to change your mind later, change your location to see what the guys are like anywhere else, set up more filters, reverse your previous dislikes, and send stickers.

Messages

How do I message people?

On Surge, you just can't automatically message anyone. You must swipe through the profiles to like and dislike people. Only after you get a mutual like with someone, a "Match," would you be able to chat. 

Can I delete messages?

Sadly, you can't delete messages on Surge. You can only delete the whole conversation by unmatching with the user. However, this is a permanent and irreversible action.

I got a new message notification but I don't see it.

This could mean that the user either unmatched you or deleted their account on Surge. To double-check, try logging out and then logging back in.

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Infos

Company:Surge Gay App s.r.o.
E-Mail:help@surgeapp.com
Adress:Rohanské nábřeží 678/23, Karlín, 186 00 Prague 8, Czech Republic