This fitness tracker will provide you with tons of data to help you keep tabs on nearly every aspect of daily living.
The Fitbit Blaze is a highly functional fitness tracker that makes a statement. It’s not disguised as a fashion watch or a piece of jewelry. It sits large and unapologetically on your wrist and compels you to pay attention to it.
If you take advantage of the many metrics and customizations offered on the device and its associated app you’ll be rewarded with a pretty complete picture of everything you do during the course of a day, week, or month. This information is compiled in the app, so you’ll want to have your phone handy to get the most functionality. The device automatically syncs when you open the app on your phone, or you can turn on the All-Day sync function, which will upload data periodically throughout the day as long as you are within 30 feet of your phone.
Of all the various fitness trackers offered by Fitbit, the Blaze is one of two that are most similar to an actual watch. It has a large square clock face you can customize by choosing from one of nine displays showing simply the time or various combinations of the time, date, number of steps, heart rate, and how many calories you’ve burned.
The Blaze has a wide, comfortable rubber wrist band, and the band and watch face are available in several colors and finishes to best match your style. I didn’t have any trouble wearing it, but I’m a pretty small person, and the Blaze was kind of big for my wrist. The face is approximately 1.5- by 1-inch, so it’s not subtle. I’d call it sporty rather than fashion-forward.
In addition to the Fitbit app, the Blaze pairs with more than 30 third-party apps to track activities and other daily variables, such as calorie and water consumption. The band’s built-in features along with the various compatible apps make the Blaze versatile and highly customizable. There are multiple ways to track your exercise history:
- Multisport mode lets you see real-time stats and a summary of your pre-selected exercise, some of which are connected to GPS tracking.
- SmartTrack automatically recognizes and records select exercises so you get credit without having to manually log every activity. SmartTrack kicks in after you’ve engaged in an activity for a pre-determined number of minutes.
- MobileRun is a feature in the app that uses your phone’s GPS to track a walk, run, or hike.
- Manually log your activity if you forgot to wear your tracker or if you’re performing an activity that isn’t easily captured by the tracker.
- FitStar comes preloaded on the Blaze and provides three guided workouts that play right on the band. Additionally, you can download the stand-alone FitStar Yoga or Personal Trainer apps to your phone, tablet, or computer to access weekly free workouts, or pay an annual fee for unlimited access.
To get the most out of what the Blaze has to offer, it’s helpful to have some specific goals — for example weight loss, daily active minutes, or time spent working out each week. To get the most out of your tracker, set aside a block of time to familiarize yourself with the device and all of its different functions before you try it out for the first time. The pre-loaded and downloadable features make customization options nearly endless, which can seem overwhelming at first.
As noted above, the Blaze tracker in combination with the Fitbit App and other third-party apps is highly customizable, making it possible to track everything from what you had for breakfast and how many calories you burned during your workout to how well you slept and what your friends are up to. For the average fitness enthusiast the accuracy of the band should be adequate.
One area for improvement is tracking the flights of stairs you’ve gone up and down, which wasn’t very accurate. Additionally, the band isn’t waterproof, and it’s recommended that you not shower with it. If you’re a swimmer, you may want to consider a different tracker.
The Blaze does remind you to get up and move, and will let you know how many more steps you need to complete each hour to meet your daily step goal.
The Blaze can tell you when you’ve received a call, email, text, or app notification (such as Facebook), and reminds you of calendar events. It will display up to 160 characters of a message and store up to 30 notifications, deleting older notifications as new ones come in.
Although you can receive social media messages, you can’t respond to them from the tracker. However, the app is set up to allow you to form and join groups, create and join challenges, find and invite friends, and post your progress. You can add up to 2,000 friends using your contacts list, Facebook friends, or email addresses. This interactivity helps keep you engaged and motivated to reach your goals.
If you enjoy working out to music, the Blaze has the capability to advance tracks and control volume using Bluetooth technology and the buttons on the band itself. The level of functionality is dependent on your mobile device’s operating system. Of course you have to have your phone with you to access your play lists.
The Blaze will last up to 5 days between charges, depending on how you are using it. Some functions, like the guided FitStar workouts, take more juice than others and will affect how long you can wait before you need to charge up again.
The Blaze is optimized for Windows 10 so if you have an earlier version you won’t be able to sync your data from the band to your computer. But this limitation shouldn’t deter you. The Fitbit app and dashboard work very well on your smartphone or tablet.
As one of the earliest developers of wearable technology, Fitbit has been around long enough to have ironed out most of the technology kinks, and it offers one of the most robust platforms on the market. When it comes down to it, a fitness tracker is only as good as the functionality of the associated app that’s compiling all of your data. Fitbit offers a wide array of customizations that make the Blaze well suited for just about any fitness enthusiast dedicated to practically any type of workout. Fitbit offers extensive documentation and live support for its devices and apps at Fitbit.com.
December 05, 2016