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Fitbit Blaze Review

Posted: , posted by John V.

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Introduction


Companies that make fitness trackers have tried to emulate Fitbit’s success, but throughout it all, Fitbit has remained untouchable at the top – even in an era where smartwatches have tried to make dedicated fitness trackers obsolete. It’s been almost a year now since we last visited Fitbit, and during that time, we’ve seen a lot of stuff vying for that spot on our wrist. Call it the evolutionary path, but the Fitbit Blaze is the latest fitness tracker from them that aims to live up to the company’s legacy and keep its position perched at the top of the ladder.

Packaging contains:

  • Proprietary charger
  • Wireless sync dongle
  • Users manual

Design


It’s a design that slowly grows on you over time.

Honestly, we were at a standstill regarding its design at the onset. When we first wore it, the Blaze came off a bit clucky with its mechanical-esque frame. First thing to come to our mind was the old MOTOACTV from a few years back, partly due to its squarish shape and the fact that it’s something that can be removed from the wrist strap frame. After a while of wearing it, however, it slowly grew on us. While the unit itself is square in shape, the angular cuts of the frame give it an almost aggressive look. And it feels pretty comfortable with the included rubbery and rigid textured strap.

Speaking of straps, it’s nice that there’s more personalization here with the Blaze, since its variety consist of classic rubbery ones, leather bands, and a pricey metal link one. It’s not the first time they’ve tackled the watch form factor, but thankfully with this one, it’s a significantly better looking design than last year’s Surge.

Two buttons flank its right edge, while a single button is slapped on its left. Pressing any of the buttons turns on the screen, while the left button’s primary function is to act as a back button – while the two other buttons pertain to the corresponding on-screen functions.

Our only qualm with the design is in the way it’s charged. In addition to finding the pulsating heart rate sensor on its underside, there are pins there that line up with the ones on the cradle charger itself. Unfortunately, you need to remove the unit from the wrist strap before charging, just because the cradle doesn’t accommodate the unit with it inside of the strap.

It should be noted, too, that the Blaze isn’t waterproof, meaning it's not meant to be used for swimming. However, it is water-resistant, which means it can withstand water exposure to an extent (think sweaty workouts or when it's raining. Also, it doesn't offer built-in GPS, which was something we saw with the Fitbit Surge last year.

Display


Colors are on the subdued side, giving it a washed out appearance.

Frankly, there’s not a whole lot of appeal with the Blaze’s 1.66-inch 240 x 180 touchscreen LCD display. Even though it’s able to reach a strong luminance, making it more than visible to make out outdoors with the sun out, there’s just a lack of richness to its overall appearance. Colors just seem to appear washed out, but even more pressing are the thick bezels surround the panel.


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