So, a lot of people have been asking me about my thoughts on the Fitbit Blaze ever since I was sent one back at the end of last year, so I thought I would write a little review for this weeks blog. As many of you know, Fitbit sent me this watch to use on my run across America, but don’t worry I won’t be bias at any point. If something is bad then you’ll know. What’s the point of a review if it doesn’t actually review the product, right?
Now the last fitness watch I owned was the Adidas MiWatch when it first came out 4 years ago. It was at the time, the first full color touch screen fitness tracker with built in heart rate monitor that I know of at the time, it was one of the reasons why I bought it. It was big and bulky, had a small screen, GPS issues, and in insanely limited battery life. As much as I loved it, it had to be sent back. The Fitbit Blaze is for me what I expected the MiWatch to be with all of the kinks ironed out. The watch itself is actually just a small black square that pops right out of the watches frame. One of the things I have noticed about Fitbits progressions of trackers is that they are moving a lot more towards customizations as opposed to the solid bands they were once known for. Because of this there are now a nice selection of bands and frames you can buy as extras for your watch, from leather straps and thinner sports bands to black and gold frames. One of the things which I like about the fact that the actual watch just pops out, is that it has its own charging house with a door and lock that holds it in place whilst charging. No more having to wiggle a lead into a small whole on the back of the watch!
The build itself seems very sturdy. I have been wearing this watch almost everyday since October last year and the screen is still in almost perfect condition (albeit a few scuffs from daily use). The band which it came with was a blue silicone plastic which is surprisingly comfy, although I do find that when it gets sweaty underneath, the watch does tend to stick uncomfortably to your wrist, but nothing that a good wiggle doesn’t fix. I did have an issue with one of the straps. As I have to take mine off for work several times a day, the seal between the actual locking mechanism did come apart, but after a quick message to Fitbit I had a new one in my hands within days! Maybe this was just a one of problem, I don’t know but the new one shows no sign of wear and tear yet.
All the settings and report for the watch are done through the Fitbit app on your phone, which connects via Bluetooth (the app is a whole nother blog post!). I have had quite a few issues with connecting to my phone. At times it wont connect for day and others it will connect and update immediately. I have found that the best way is to fully charge the watch before connecting and then staying connected with the phone. After doing a bit of research on this it seems to be that it is an issue with “cheaper” smart phones. The bluetooth uses the same hardware as the WiFi in cheaper phones which is why it struggles to connect at time. It’s a small hassle, but now that I have worked out a quick fix it doesn’t discourage me away from the watch.
The home screen, which is customizable in styles, consists of the time, your current daily steps (and a percentage towards your daily goal), heart rate and calories burn since midnight. As you swipe through the menu you can see all of your stats from the day including all of the home screen, you distance walked during the day, number of active minutes and floors climbed. The preset exercise logs that are on the watch can be chose from the app depending on you commen activities, anything from walking and elliptical to nordic skiing. The watch does try to automatically work out your activities if you do not tell it before hand, which has worked perfect for me when i have been hiking, running and cycling. As this watch doesn’t have GPS built in you have to connect to your phone at the start of the workout to be able to track your run as a route. Not a massive issue but it does drain your phone’s battery slightly faster than normal. The is a relax mode, which helps you try and control your breathing for a few minutes, stopwatch and timer along with vibrating alarms to wake you up gently in the morning. The last option which I have not tried yet is Fitstar which has short workouts, warm ups and ab workouts!
The watches heart rate monitor works very well to track your HR throughout the day. I havn’t noticed any random fluctuations before, during and after my workouts, which for me is all I need it for. All in all I do love this watch and have worn it almost every day since it arrived in the post! There are a few small issues that I have with it but nothing that would make me want to go out and buy a different watch. As a beginners fitness watch, general everyday wear, fitness, work and lifestyle it is a great and you won’t notice it’s there until you need it. If you are looking for more spot on readings for heart rate and more advanced functions such as cadence, then this is probably not the watch for you, although for the majority of people I would say that it ticks all the needed boxes.
Let me know what fitness watches and trackers you all have. Would love to do some comparisons!