One of the top three products Fitbit has to offer is also the most controversial one. Fitbit Blaze seems to be an attempt of Fitbit to combine fitness trackers with smartwatches, but the experiment… Failed, to say the least. What you’re left with is a something that goes both ways but it’s neither, something that can perform both things, but neither of them very well. It seems that this time, at least, the saying “Jack of all trades, but a master of none”, holds the truest. So, let’s not stand on ceremony, but dissect Blaze and find out what it has inside.
Fitbit Blaze Fist Impressions – Style over Substance?
With the latest craze about smartwatches everywhere, it’s not that surprising Fitbit would attempt to make something like that. In fact, Fitbit Surge came really close to being an actual smartwatch. However, Surge stayed true to its origins and was focused on fitness, with most of its features being directed toward gathering data on your daily movements.
Design-wise, Surge was bulky and not very attractive, but it got the job done and did so marvellously.
Naturally, realizing how unattractive Surge was, Fitbit tried to appeal to design snobs among their customers but ended up failing. The new Blaze has a very “meh” design, plagued by dated looks, at best, and downright inefficiency, at worst. Fitbit features a hexagonal design, or, more precisely, that of a square with its corners cut off. Such a design is a little dated and doesn’t look all that good. However, the worst part is not the shape of the module, but its display. Since this is supposed to be a smartwatch, you would expect it to have a good screen that displays a lot of stuff, but you’d be wrong. The things this watch shows you are elementary at best. In fact, the display only shows you your heart rate and your step count, along with the date or time.
But the problems don’t end there. Just like the Surge, the Blaze features a touchscreen. However, the touchscreen Blaze features is underwhelming, to say the least. It is very unresponsive, and though the watch responds to the hand flick movement to wake it up, you will have to invest quite a few swipes to get it to move on the next screen. Blaze features buttons too, three of them, in fact, but their use is limited – the button on the left side takes you to the home screen and can be used as a back button. The ones on the right are used to control the volume.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at the smartwatch part of this tracker. As we said, Blaze was conceptualized as a smartwatch, but it’s already got problems on the design level, as we’ve already explained. So, how are the features? Not that great either. Blaze can take your calls and texts, as well as control the music, but that’s it. Considering Surge has all these features, but is a fitness tracker first, you can understand why is this so underwhelming.
Combine that with the watch’s display’s insensitivity, and you get a very mediocre smartwatch. Also, another design problem we’ve not mentioned is that the watch has a very small display. In fact, it’s much smaller than it looks, as only the central part of the black portion of the module is the actual display. A large Fitbit logo on the bottom really gets in the way and reduces the product’s display size.
But, what about the product’s fitness tracking options? Well, we have to admit, it’s not bad at all. Along with standard features, such as a step counter, calorie counter and distance travelled, the product features a sleep tracker and heart rate monitor. It can also keep track of your exercises, and you can set the watch to track your vitals as you run, lift weights, run on a treadmill, or ride a bike.
As you can see, the product has a lot of ground covered and is quite versatile. Blaze also offers something called Fitstar, a special feature that is meant to give advice and instruct you how to exercise. It also shows you how you did in one particular exercise, and allows you to compare that to your other scores. There is also an option such as Warm It Up, that shows you how to properly warm up before exercising, as well options for ab workout and a short general workout, called 7 Minute Workout and 10 Minute Abs, respectively.
As for accuracy, Blaze is pretty on point. It inflates the step count slightly, but does so consistently, allowing you to gauge how many steps you actually took. This also serves as a good motivation to push yourself to the limit and over. The companion app is simple to use and stores all of your data in an intuitive and orderly manner. The watch is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows operating systems.
Lastly, one of the most impressive things about Blaze is its battery. You would think that the product such as this would have a very short battery life span, but you’d be greatly surprised. The watch can go on for five days easily, even with apps being used. With intense use, though, one charge should last you about 4 days, which is still pretty good. It takes 3 hours for the product to recharge.
Fitbit Blaze Review – Conclusion
All in all, Fitbit Blaze is a mediocre product. Its design leaves much to be desired, but its fitness tracking capabilities are fairly good, though not outstanding. It’s got a good battery, though, and you can expect it to go on for quite a while. However, Blaze is a bit overpriced, costing $200, even now, a year after the release. Compare Blaze’s price and capabilities to the likes of Charge 2 and Surge, and you will quickly realize there are better ways to spend your money.