We first saw the Blaze at CES 2016 in January, where it got a stack of awards (18, exactly). Fitbit describes the Blaze as its "most stylish, most motivating fitness tracker yet", and it is now available in Australia. Here's what you get for the $329.95 price tag.
The Blaze gives you guided instructions and animated images for an 8 minute warmup, a 7 minute workout and a 10 minute ab program with the Fitstar Personal Trainer. The idea is that you can get in a quick workout, without an app or smartphone.
"As a former professional athlete, nothing gets me more motivated than a great coach," said Tony Gonzalez, football legend and FitStar Trainer. "FitStar Personal Trainer offers workouts you can do anytime, anywhere, using your computer, tablet or phone and it’s only getting easier, thanks to this new integration with Fitbit Blaze."
Connected GPS gives you real-time exercise stats like distance, pace and minute-mile split times when connected to a smartphone’s GPS. After each workout, stats sync wirelessly to the Fitbit dashboard so you can see your route, speed and elevation in more detail.
PurePulse is Fitbit's continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking. It has simplified heart rate zones for motoring your workout intensity and calorie tracking, but it also gives you deeper insights too. Because you are wearing it all day (ideally), you will have access to stats on your resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time.
Fitbit's SmartTrack will automatically recognise and record activities like biking, hiking and running, with general categories for aerobic workouts (such as Zumba or dance) and sports (such as tennis or basketball). Multi-sport mode lets you record specific activities like biking, cardio, running, weights, yoga and more while providing relevant, real-time performance stats. PurePulse is enhanced while in Multi-sport mode for even better heart rate tracking, especially during high intensity workouts.
You'll get vibration notifications for calls (which you can answer direct from the device), texts and calendar alerts. There's a silent alarm and the battery has a life of up to 5 days.
The emphasis is very much on a sleek design, customisable with easily interchangeable bands (there's a quick release spring). It comes with a black, blue or plum band as standard, but there are also a number of "Luxe" accessories available now. This includes leather bands in black, saddle and mist grey and a stainless steel link band. Fitbit says more accessories will be available throughout the year.
The colour touchscreen is a standout though -- and Fitbit's first. The multiple clockface options look great, too.
"One of the first things we learned in this industry is that fitness is personal -- and if something isn’t your style, you won’t wear it," said James Park, CEO and Co-Founder of Fitbit. "With Fitbit Blaze, we pushed the boundaries of what’s possible to create a beautiful, versatile device that can be customized to fit your personal style -- while packing a powerful fitness punch to help you reach your goals. Fitbit Blaze delivers a combination of innovative features that were carefully selected with intention and purpose, designed to motivate and offer a fitness experience that is more effortless and more useful with advanced guidance and coaching."
The Fitbit Blaze is now available in Australia for $329.95.