Fitbit Blaze Review – In-depth Analysis Of TheFitbit Blaze by Ghost Fitness
Fitbit Blaze Review
In this review, we’ll look at the Blaze; a super attractive and feature-rich fitness watch that’s a welcome extension of the fantastic Fitbit product range. We’ll review it based on all the most important factors when it comes to choosing the perfect fitness watch for you.
Fitness watches have gained popularity recently for those who don’t want something to track their performance and activity but also serve as a watch. These watches are functional, lightweight, stylish, and can go with just about anything else you got on you.
It’s this market that the Fitbit Blaze yearns to crack wide open. We will assess its performance based on its features, activity tracking, app and device compatibility, design and comfort, battery life and charging, and price to give you comprehensive insight into this useful fitness watch before you even touch it yourself.
|Fitbit Blaze Pros and Cons|
WHAT WE LIKED
What we didn’t like
Fitbit Blaze Most Important Features
Before we delve deeper into each aspect of the Blaze, let’s first take a quick overview of its most important and headlining features:
Built-in GPS: With built-in GPS, the Fitbit Blaze accurately tracks your distance and location.
Monitor sleep stages: The Blaze monitors your sleep stages throughout the night like whether you are in Light, Deep or REM sleep to track your quality of sleep.
Dedicated and 3rd party apps: The UP app designed specifically for Jawbone products makes sure that you can take full advantage of your tracking data on a modern, clean and useful interface. It’s also supported by 3rd party applications.
Phone integration: Receive notifications for texts, calls, set reminders to get moving or have your alarm vibrate on your wrist.
Activity tracking: The Fitbit Blaze continuously tracks your activity during the day or at night – even while you sleep. Track steps, distance, calories burned, and more.
PurePulse continuous heart rate monitoring: The PurePulse heart rate monitor doesn’t rest, even when you do. The continuous collection of your heart rate allows for accurate insights into your health and performance.
Fitbit Health and Fitness App: In-depth integration with Fitbit’s app for Android or iOS allows you to take full advantage of your fitness watch.
On-screen workouts with Fitbit coach: Get coaching advice and prompts directly from your watch face to guide you through workouts, keep you on track or for motivation.
Long battery life: The Fitbit Blaze’s improved battery life will give you uninterrupted activity tracking for up to 5 days.
High-resolution colour touchscreen: Control your fitness watch and see all your most important performance/activity tracking on a high-resolution, compact display.
Fitbit Blaze Activity Tracking and Accuracy
Let’s jump into the most crucial aspect of any fitness watch first: it’s activity tracking. The Fitbit Blaze tracks all your most important activity metrics from steps to stairs to heart rate to calories burned. At any time, you can view your daily progress or stats by swiping your screen to the left and right until you get to the appropriate screen. To the extent that it can, the Blaze will pick up on and start tracking activity automatically.
The Blaze also has a number of preset exercise types that you can choose from. There is run, hike, bicycle, weights, treadmill, elliptical, etc., and you can access even more from the app. You can also use the FitStar feature to get specific workout recommendations. This is a great option if you are fed up with your usual routine and want the watch to suggest a great HIIT, 7-minute, weight or bodyweight routine for you. It will give you a simple illustration of the exercise and provide timed prompts to complete it.
We should mention, however, that it doesn’t actually track your performance during an exercise, for example, weighted reps. It merely logs it away to combine it with your stats in the app. Any calories burned for these workouts are based on preset averages.
A new feature released with a recent update is Cardio Fitness Level. The Blaze basically takes a combination of your active and resting heart rate and compares it to other people of similar age and gender. Using this data, it plots where you are and provides a great point of reference to gauge your progress.
So, as you can see, it does a pretty good job of covering all the basics but does fall a little flat when it comes to being very specific and detailed.
The Fitbit Blaze also tracks your sleep activity. It does so on a minute by minute basis throughout the night, logging in which stage of sleep you were and safely storing the information in app. Just like with exercise, you can also set sleep schedules or targets through the app and the Blaze will notify you at appropriate times.
The final activity tracking feature of the Blaze is its guided breathing. This is a cool feature of most new Fitbit wearables. It tracks your breathing based on your real-time heart rate. Once you start the session, it will track how well you stay in sync with its breathing prompts.
Fitbit Blaze App and Compatibility
As we mentioned, the features, feedback, and information displayed on your Blaze is pretty basic. That means that you will get most of your in-depth analysis, stats, and performance tracking information from the Fitbit app on your smartphone. The Fitbit app is one of the best of its kind and is available on Android and iOS devices as well as on Windows computers.
The first time you launch the app it will provide you with a short intro guide and tutorial on how to use your Fitbit product – in this case, the Blaze. You can easily set up your watch to make it easier to use in your daily life by setting options like on which wrist you wear it, a watch face, enable alarms and notifications, choosing your main goals (steps/calories/etc), and adding shortcuts to your favorite exercises.
A cool feature of the app is that you can link it to multiple devices (if you happen to have any) and change their settings independently.
Needless to say that the app tracks all your most vital statistics like daily calories burned, steps taken, floors climbed, workouts logged, and sleep activity. It then presents these to you in easy to follow and descriptive graphs and charts.
One feature you will definitely want to take advantage of is to set yourself challenges to keep you motivated an on top of your routine. There are a number of preset challenges like daily steps, weekend warrior, etc. or you can create your own.
There is now also a second app, Fitbit Coach. This app provides more tailor-made advice, motivation, and tutorials. All the workouts you do or progress you made will be synced to your normal Fitbit app as well. This app has some features like video coaching that can be bought extra. It can replace some of the basic benefits of a fitness coach by recommending workouts based on your previous ones.
You will also get vibrating alerts or notifications to let you know if you have been idle too long and need to get moving again. We’ll talk more about the Smart Coach feature that gives you deeper analysis of your performance as well as tailored advice in the App and compatibility section. Lastly, a great feature usually only reserved for smart watches is that you can control the music played on your phone from your watch.
Fitbit Blaze Design and Comfort
First of all, the Fitbit Blazelooks fantastic. It wouldn’t look completely out of place on your wrist whether you are in sports close or wearing semi-formal. It has that trademark Fitbit understated, modern look that’s appealing without drawing too much attention to itself. It’s minimalism, and simple beauty almost makes you think of the Apple Watch. It’s obvious that it’s a fitness watch, but you can’t fault it on design.
The actual watch face with all the important bits is housed within a metal frame that’s attached to the wrist strap. That means you have no shortage of options when it comes to various designs and colours. There are both official and 3rd party straps available. You can keep the simple rubber strap (or “classic bands”) and choose between various colours and simple grooved designs or go for something special (“lux bands”) like a metal, leather or “jewelled” strap.
All you need to do to change the look and feel of your watch completely is to detach the face, snap it into the new frame/strap, and there you go. The out-of-the-box straps are either black, plum, pink, gunmetal or indigo.
The display unit consists of a 1.25-inch 16-colour display with the actual unit being quite a bit larger as there is a significant bezel. Not everything fits on the display which is a strange design lapse and slightly annoying.
The colours are sharp and friendly, but nothing to get too excited about. You can choose from four different watch faces. Some show your steps, heart rate or stairs climbed alongside the time. Again, these are pretty simple but at least you have a choice.
Most of your interaction is done by either swiping left or right across the screen to access different feature screens. We like that they also included buttons on the bezel so that you can control the watch even when the sweat gets intense. The button on the left serves as a back button while the two on the right allows you to choose different options within a workout or stats screen.
The watch sits comfortably enough on your wrist, and it’s almost weightless – especially when compared to something like the Samsung Gear. You also barely register the pulse sensors at all. The only slight quirk is that the watch face pops in the frame either side up so it’s easy to get it wrong. However, this is only a tiny pebble in an enormous shoe.
Fitbit Blaze Battery Life and Charging
Next up is a crucial aspect of any wearable tech: its battery life. After all, who wants a wearable that needs constant charging or dies on you? Fitbit states that the Blaze’s battery life will last 4+ (or up to 5 days). This is pretty much in line with most other fitness watches out there, and below what you can expect of more battery-friendly fitness bands.
Fitbit seems to have resisted the temptation to exaggerate its performance like many other wearable fitness tech companies does. Our Fitbit Blaze clocked out between 4 to 5 days of usage without fail. Usually, lasting the better part of the fourth day. That puts it in the better half of similar trackers. It’s also pretty impressive considering you can receive quite a lot of notifications, the screen is relatively big with colour, and you have continuous tracking.
Its biggest fault in this regard is the fact that it takes between 2 to 3 hours to charge fully. If you’re an active person or you have a desk job, you will find it challenging to always get those 2 to 3 hours straight where you don’t mind wearing your watch. Most of us will want to resort to charging overnight; in which case, you will lose your sleep tracking.
A smaller niggle is the fact that you need to take the watch face out in order to charge it. You get a small charger casing that you pop the unit into to charge. The case has a standard USB cable that you can plug into your laptop or computer. This is not a disaster, but it does mean you need to stow your band somewhere will charging. Luckily, it’s so quick and easy to pop the face in and out that it’s not a burden. You can buy a 3rd part charging stand that allows you to pop the full watch into band-and-all.
Fitbit Blaze Price
An attractive thing about the Fitbit Blaze is its price. At around £180, it sits almost right in the mid-price range of Fitbit products. The Versa (roughly £50 more) and Ionic (roughly £100 more) are high-end watches that cost more than the Blaze and are intended for people who take their activity tracking very seriously. The Fitbit Charge 2 HR and Alta are two lower-end models below it for someone who is happy with just the basics.
The Fitbit Blaze does seem to bridge the distance between the two somewhat. Its bigger colour screen, deeper smartphone integration, and workout guidance features are high-end features whilst its lack of specificity and advanced features means it just falls slightly short of that category.
This makes it the perfect fitness watch for those who just feel like the Alta and the Charge are too limiting. The fact that you can control music from your watch while you work out and be guided through programs bylike FitStar are two blockbuster features that will make up some peoples’ minds for good.
Fitbit Blaze In a Nutshell
The Fitbit Blaze is maybe best summed up as a feature-rich fitness tracker that is neither groundbreaking nor disappointing. For an attractive price, you get an equally attractive fitness watch that’s almost a smartwatch as well as an activity tracker. We would have liked to see more in the way of features, however, the app and the comprehensive preset workout routines to choose from are some of the best across the industry.
The biggest disadvantage of the Blaze is the fact that the activity tracking doesn’t go as deep as higher-end fitness bands or trackers. This means that some will rather cough up the extra £50 to £100 more, and go the whole 9 yards. That being said, a few features that make it stand out prominently from basic trackers could also entice some who were looking at more basic models to splurge a bit more.
So, all in all, if you are looking for a relatively stylish, adequately feature-rich, and ergonomically designed fitness watch with an interactive touchscreen display as well as great activity and sleep tracking – then the Blaze is for you. If you want a more rounded product or one that can be used underwater, you might be better off going for something in a higher price range.