Fitbit earned the number one wearable title last year with nearly 4.4 million wrist companions sold. And while their devices have never been sleek, fancy or elegant, they’re hoping that the latest Blaze might help more people jump into the whole fitness watch scene.
But this is not really a smartwatch, by definition. It doesn’t have third-party apps like other smartwatches (Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S2) out there. This niche segment that Fitbit hopes to approach could be for those who want to be fitness focused, yet not jump into a whole new world of complications associated with “smartwatches”.
It’ll be interesting to see how the masses react to a more fashion-focused fitness tracker/watch, considering how Swiss (TAG Heuer and Breitling) makers have also decided to join in. Maybe the days of the analogue are over.
Fitbit’s Blaze is going to do what their products do best, tracking fitness. Whether you choose to have it on your wrist 24/7, that’s pretty much up to you but you can rest easy if you decide so; it’ll monitor sleep, count your steps, track your workouts and records your heart rate throughout.
If you’re unfamiliar with the whole Fitbit ecosystem, you can read about their other devices here.
The actual device is modular, so the choices of bands/straps will fit pretty much any occasion – coming in the typical Fitbit elastomer, leather and stainless steel options. The brand’s devices have always been squarish, straying away from the traditional watch face but the Blaze is octogonal watch face, so it’s less cube-ish this time.
Notably, Fitbit’s latest fitness tracker will feature an LED colour screen – a first for the company. Adding that makes a big change but for some reason they left out inbuilt GPS on Blaze; a key feature that differentiated their top of the line Surge tracker from its lower models.
Though, it does have “connected GPS”; a fancy way of saying that you’ll need your smartphone to track distance and map out your route. They probably left this out to keep battery life at a bearable 5-days.
Although, we didn’t choose to call it a smartwatch, it does have some form of notifications: call, text and calendar alerts to be precise. You’ll also be able to control your music playback options while doing all your fitness related activities.
Most of the specifications are still up in the air but from what we’ve been able to gather, it’ll play nice with iOS, Android and Windows smartphones/tablets, together with PCs too.
The elastomer Fitbit Blaze will retail for US$ 199.95 (RM 875.70) and come in three colours: black, blue and plum.
If you want to go higher up in the looks department, you’ll have to fork out more – an additional US$ 99.95 (RM ) for the leather band and US$ 129.95 (RM ) for the stainless steel band. The new fitness tracker will be for sale internationally in March 2016.