Is Fitbit Blaze still useful when many watch makers and smart watches are being pushed to the market daily? Lets find out
I was a fitbit user before this, I owned the first gen Fitbit Charge HR. My wife and I both owned one. It was good, it does what it advertised till it broke down a few weeks back. I then start to look around for a replacement. What I needed were,
1. A 24/7 heart monitoring
2. A battery life of minimum 3 days
3. Sleep tracking
4. A screen
5. Steps tracking
6. Distance tracking
7. Stop watch
8. Not bulky
9. Minimum rain and splash proof
Additional feature that will affect my decision
1. Water resistant, so I can take it for a swim or shower
2. GPS module included so I do not need to carry my phone when I jog
3. Music Control
I started to look around, and ended with Garmin Vivo Smart series and Fitbit Charge HR 2, they both met what I wanted, and Garmin actually have the additional features that I would like to have. I almost go for Garmin, until I started to look into Fitbit Family of activity tracker. I found out fitbit surge will fit the criteria too, albeit with a mono display screen, which made it feels a bit of outdated.
Long story short, I then chose Fitbit Blaze in the end and after receiving it and using it for 3 months now, I am going to pen down my thoughts on it.
Fitbit Blaze is a squarish module tracker which is removable from the strap itself, allowing you to get creative with your watch strap. There are lots of alternative watch strap that you can purchase to suit different events that you will be attending.
Build Quality (9/10)
Default watch strap is made of silicon with diagonal texture strip. I like it because it does not get uncomfortable when I wear it for my basketball games and jogging session. It does not irritate my skin but for some, it might. The square module itself seems to be constructed nicely. It is a square and nothing more. Button are accessible and you will get the hang of it without reading the manual.
No fancy technology on the screen used. From the specs it looks like a low quality screen, I will not disagree, the pixel that made up the digits can be easily seen when watch is put closer to the eyes. However on daily occasions, the distance from the glance we made to view the time, is far enough, and the screen do look bright and clear enough.
There are four modes to the screen adjustment – Dim, Normal, Max, Auto.
I used only Dim, in order to maximise the battery. It is hard to see under direct sunlight under the DIM mode. If needed you can always set it to AUTO. On daily usage indoor and most outdoor situation, I find the DIM mode sufficient.
Touch screen is responsive, and there is nothing for me to complain about.
Customer Service (10/10)
They are top notch, upon receiving my Fitbit Blaze, I only realised a small dent at the bottom of my watch and I contacted the Fitbit Support Team. After a couple of emails, they actually offered to send a replacement to me. It only takes 2 days for them to make the decision, and about 1 week for the replacement to reach me. I am happy, that they took attention to my enquiry and acted on it.
I wasn’t expecting them to make a decision so fast. They were above my expectations.
Battery Life (9.5/10)
Normal smart watches last about 24 hours. Even the latest fossil Q is no diff. Some tracker last 3 days while others which utilises changable battery last for months.
Newer tech with kinetic energy will have a infinite battery life. For Fitbit Blaze, it last me usually for 4 to 5 days. This is inline with what they advertised and what I have expected.
My bluetooth is on to PAIR mode 24/7, you can choose to off it if you want. And I am on DIM mode for brightness of my screen.
It got a score of 9.5 because in comparison with garmin and apple watch, it triumphs over them. I am satisfied with the battery life.
But of course, if they eventually adopts the kinetic energy tech, it will definitely be 10.
Fitbit Blaze is one that function like a smart watch and activity tracker. The features include
- Smartphone notifications. You can choose what kind of notifications to receive via the Fitbit App
- Music control via Bluetooth, however it does not work when your music playing device is connected to another device via Bluetooth. For example I connected my phone to my Bluetooth headphone to listen to my music. Fitbit Blaze will not be able to use the music control function, even though it is connected to my phone as well. However notification still comes in.
- VO2 matrix
- Breathing under the Relax Mode
- Linked with Fitstar for different exercises
- Exercise mode which can help you track different kind of exercises you are doing
- Sleep tracking which will separate sleep stages into – Awake, REM, Light and Deep Sleep. There are also benchmark and 30 days average for you to compare the quality of your sleep
- 3rd party app which can be connected to inject “Fun” into your watch. App like Wokamon, a virtual pet app, which will take the steps taken and convert it to experience for you to level up your own pet that you are raising in the app.
This section did not get a higher rating because of the loss of music control function when my music playing device has got another Bluetooth device connected to it. I also look forward to a GPS module included and a waterproof rating so I can safely take it to swim.
Apart from the need of switching on my GPS on my phone, the rest is good. The interface is easy to use, and it is easy to change the settings around. You can arrange the positions of the stats that you want to see in the Fitbit App. You can connect with your friends and with all the badges, it can act as an extra motivation to keep you going.
What I would like to see is probably an integrated mic, so I can do voice note to my phone and reply voice messages, however I do understand that it will then move the tracker towards a smart watch. I do think fitbit can excel well in that field too!
Well, thankfully, I guess I made the right choice. Albeit some features I wanted like GPS module and water resistant aren’t there, it still make a good day to day tracker and a semi smart watch. I can change the strap anytime I want. For sports and for work. I am happy with their customer service even though some will disagree.
I will never know if the heart rate monitor is the most accurate, but I do know at this current moment, nothing can be 100% precise, so I use it to see abnormal heart rate activity in me which is useful. If you are a previous fitbit user, this will make a nice upgrade. The app is as good as before too. With the price tag, the value is hard to beat.
I do think that this is meant for people with moderate exercise activity and is not meant for hard core trainers. It is meant to monitor your well-being and encourage a more active lifestyle, it is versatile in its outlook and enough features to make it a semi smart watch. So why not?
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- Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 cm ; 40.8 g
- Boxed-product Weight: 295 g
- Batteries 1 Lithium Metal batteries required. (included)
- Item Model Number: FB502SBKS-EU
- ASIN: B019VM3F2M
- Date first available at Amazon.com.au: 13 November 2017
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: