Is the New Fitbit Blaze Fit for You?
It is safe to say that no fitness enthusiast who showed interest in fitness trackers and wearables is unfamiliar with Fitbit. This brand has built its reputation as one of the first producer of fitness trackers and since then has consistently delivered several good quality products.
This newly introduced fitness watch, Fitbit Blaze, offers basic fitness tracking with a few advanced features including customizable design which tries to bridge the gap between smart watches and trackers. The marketing campaign aims to persuade you to “get fit in style” and the watch to be your new best friend. However, is Fitbit Blaze the right fitness gadget and companion for you?
The design probably is not your first concern when choosing a reliable fitness tracker, but since Fitbit markets it as one of Blaze’s main selling points, it deserves a closer look.
It is pretty clear that Fitbit is trying to move away from the traditional look which is typical for most fitness trackers available. The tracker itself is just a black detachable color screen which snaps into a stainless steel frame with a black plastic strap. The strap is naturally removable, enabling you to customize the fitness watch according to the occasion. Customization is a priceless move when it comes to wearables. The idea behind is to make the Fitbit part of your day, rather than something to put on while you exercise.
That said, the design is not quite as sleek and impressive as the marketing images suggest and Fitbit has quite a way to go to achieve the smartwatch-like elegance. Nonetheless, the thinness and lightness of the screen make Blaze feel natural and comfortable on your wrist.
What can Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large do? In a nutshell, it offers everything you can expect from a fitness tracker such as tracking steps, stair climbing, active time, resting heart rate, quality sleep or reminders. Apart from design perks, added features represent several guided workouts, smarter notifications and impressive battery life.
Heart Rate Monitor
One of the main selling points is the PurePulse optical heart rate monitor which should accurately substitute the need for a chest strap. However, although optical heart monitors are improved, they are not biometrically perfect. When tested, FitBit blaze did great tracking resting heart rate which is an excellent way to measuring your improving state of fitness.
Nonetheless, the watch proved to be less accurate during running and exercise. For this reason, those who train within specific heart-rate zones or have heart issues, should not rely on this tracker as a reference.
The exercise section of the watch features tracking of all the usual activities such as weights, cardio, running or cycling. One of the new note-worthy features is auto-detection which means the watch recognizes when you switch between activities mid-session, for example from workout to running. Although it works, the software takes some time to catch up with the change, so a manual switch is recommended for more accurate results.
Another exciting feature is guided workouts which might particularly appeal to absolute beginners. These on-screen workout sessions provide step-by-step coaching and instructions with three different types of workout: 7 Minute Workout, 10 Minute Abs and warm up/down. The exercises are easy to follow as you can check whether or not you are doing it right against and avatar on the screen. However, there is no sense of progression due to lack of levels of difficulty, and the workouts can become boring after a while.
The huge advantage the Blaze brought to the game is its extended battery life which can withstand five days of use including tracking your daily exercise. For comparison, Apple watch lasts only a day and a half, and Moto 360 Sport struggles to complete two days, on average. This stellar performance lets Fitbit Blaze compete with many screenless trackers.
Unfortunately, the tracker does not have a built-in GPS which means you will need to take along your smartphone if you want to keep track of accurate data. For most runners and cyclers this is not a problem as most of them take their smartphone for music, but for those who like to exercise “light” lack of GPS can be an annoyance.
The downside of this tracker is the fact that it is not water resistant. Of course, it can withstand sweat, rain and occasional splash but is not advised to be used in shower or when swimming. This is quite a risky move for a tracker which was designed around the idea of a multi-purpose 24/7 companion.
Speaking of smartphones! To approach the smart-watch ideal, Blaze can receive notifications from your mobile such as calls, texts, calendar alerts, Facebook or WhatsApp. That covers the standard notifications, but the watch does not support alerts from any third party apps such as Snapchat, which can be limiting to some users.
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large connects to the same application as rest of the trackers from the Fitbit line. It is available for both Android and iPhone, and the installation and connection with your watch are incredibly simple.
The application remains virtually unchanged, filled with various social challenges and badges to be earned for your achievements. The main screen presents you with the current day, but you can tap into the metrics any time to get a broader overview of your activities. By touching the heart rate score, you will be able to see the progress of your resting heart rate over time. All in all, FitBit app is one of the highlights of the Blaze.
If you are just getting into the fitness lifestyle or are a regular runner, Fitbit Blaze is a reasonable tracker to start with. The guided workouts and the social aspect of the app will be great motivators to help you get used to the ftiness lifestyle. Plus the design customization options enable you to be aware of your physical state at all times, nudging you to move and exercise if you are lagging behind on your goals. It is an excellent gadget to help you achieve the lifestyle you want. However, the Blaze might not be the greatest choice for hard-core fitness enthusiasts who might prefer a tracker that is waterproof and has a built-in GPS.
In any case, Fitbit Blaze definitely offers excellent value for money for anyone looking to keep a closer eye on their fitness.