The Fitbit Blaze Review – Making a Splash into the Smartwatch Game

The Fitbit Blaze Review – Making a Splash into the Smartwatch Game

The worldwide wearable market took huge strides in 2015 with Fitbit leading the charge. In 2015 alone they shipped 21.0 million units worldwide– ranking them #1 based on volume shipped and market share, which hit 26.9%. What does 2016 hold in store for Fitbit? In August stock value went down 70% but things may be looking up with their two new wearables on the market, the Fitbit Blaze and the Fitbit Alta. Although we’ll still need to keep an eye out for the Apple Watch and Xiaomi Mi Band.

The smart watch market is hotting up, with several companies, now including Fitbit, looking to create the best smartwatch for women. At CES 2016 Fitbit introduced the Fitbit Blaze, which marked their entry into the smartwatch game. This smartwatch is anything but ordinary. It’ll track your everyday activity, sleep, nutrition and smartphone notifications all while inconspicuously resting beautifully on your wrist. The Blaze may not be for everyone, but take a deeper look into it’s features, accuracy and design to decide if it could be the right device for you!

Fitbit Blaze Review

Fitbit Blaze Features

The Blaze is packed with all the bells and whistles. This smartwatch is built to help you make healthy lifestyle decisions based off of analysis from your movement, sleep and nutrition data that is collected. It has all the common Fitbit tracking capabilities including steps, distance, active minutes, calories burned, stairs climbed and sleep. It can also automatically track exercises including running, cycling, treadmill, elliptical and weight training. On top of that you can track your heart rate, receive smart notifications and participate in guided workouts– making it Fitbit’s smartest device yet.

With all these features we were surprised to learn it lacked GPS tracking, smart alarms and waterproofing– It only has a basic water resistance rating, which means you can’t shower or swim with this smartwatch. The Blaze checks off a majority of necessities when it comes to a smartwatches, but the only feature that was unique or made it stand out from the rest is the Fitstar workouts.

FitStar Workouts

fitbit blaze sport man fitstar workout

A pretty cool new added feature to the Blaze is the FitStar Workouts. Follow the guided workout on your watch screen to get your heart pumping and body warmed up. Fitstar created structured workouts that are easy to follow for individuals who aren’t sure exactly what to do while working out at home or the gym. It comes complete with three different FitStar workouts to participate in including interval training. At first glance we aren’t very impressed, but are looking forward to hopefully seeing the addition of many more FitStar workouts in the future.

Tracking Accuracy

We wore the Fitbit Blaze and the Fitbit Charge HR side by side to see the differences in tracking, if there were any. On top of steps, sleep and nutrition, the Blaze can also track specific exercises including running, treadmill, elliptical, cycling and weights. So we decided to adventure out on a couple mile run to test the accuracy. It automatically recognized the run and seemed to give accurate results.

Next was heart rate monitoring. The Blaze tracks your 24/7 and resting heart rate– which is said to have been improved. When it comes to heart rate monitoring from the wrist, your readings are likely not going to be as accurate as a chest strap. From the readings on the run it looked as though our readings were accurate. Although it’s said that the Blaze heart rate monitoring can have a lag and not report accurately as your activity intensity increases. It may not be the best idea to rely on the heart rate monitoring from this device when you’re participating in high intensity interval training or sprints.

When it came to sleep tracking everything seemed to be on track. The Blaze tracks your sleep, restlessness and awake time, but when comparing it to other apps such as the Jawbone, that has increased capabilities, it’s a let down. It’d be nice for the Fitbit to take a deeper dive into sleep stats and display deep and REM sleep.

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Blaze Design

After seeing it at CES we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a device. Everything from opening the box to setup was easy and intuitive. Although we do wish you could have two devices connected to your Fitbit app at once. You can tell Fitbit is amping up their game with the new design of the Blaze – it’s a step up from the Surge, the closest tracker to this design.

fitbit blaze review smartwatch setup blue

The large colorful OLED display combined with the comfortable wristband form an beautifully designed smartwatch. The frame is sterling silver and holds the large black display. The bands come in three different colors including black, blue and plum. The clasp for the watch can get quite frustrating and takes a bit to get used to with the little band that secures the connection. The display has a couple of different watch faces to choose from, which is great. One downfall would be that only one of the watch faces allows you to view your heart rate at all times. It’d be nice for all of the different options to display your heart rate 24/7. It’s a sleek looking device created with the business professional and athlete in mind.

Notifications

fitbit blaze review smartwatch wrist keyboard

Connect your device to your smartphone for everyday notifications. This device can track all of your texts and calls around the clock. Other than smartphone notifications there are move/idle alerts– If you’ve been sitting for too long it will alert you to get up and get moving. With the upgraded tech in the Blaze we were hoping for a wider variety of notifications. Calendar notifications and social media monitoring would be great for well-rounded smartwatch notifications. We hope to see updates in the future that include more notification options.

Charging

The Fitbit Blaze has an average battery life of 4-6 days. Depending on what you’re using the smartwatch for will account for the length of your battery life. On average, it takes about 2 hours to charge and lasts about 5 days.

fitbit blaze charger usb custome

Charging the Blaze can be tricky. Your first charge will not be intuitive. Each time you have to charge you’ll have to remove your device from the frame. Then you’ll place it into the square charger and plug the USB into an outlet or your laptop. It’d be nice to have a universal charger that is easily replaceable. If you leave your charger at home and your device dies at work, you’ll be out of luck. A 5 day battery life is pretty great for a smartwatch packed with a bright colorful display and smartphone notifications.

Fitbit definitely made a splash into the smartwatch market. The attractive design, long list of features and accuracy make for a great wearable. We’re looking forward to the upgrades made to the Fitbit Blaze fitness smartwatch in the near future that will help bring it to above par! If you’re an athlete or someone looking to get into a more active and healthier lifestyle then this smartwatch may be for you. Take a look at the entire Fitbit Blaze review of it’s features here.

TELL US: Did this Fitbit Blaze review help? What else would you like to know about the Blaze?

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