Fitbit Blaze review

Fitbit's closest thing to a smartwatch is decent, but no gamechanger
Fitbit Blaze

(We first reviewed the Fitbit Blaze way back in March 2016, but since then Fitbit has been updating its smartwatch-fitness tracker hybrid, including a major new software update that added some of the Charge 2's features, as well as improved sleeping tracking. Fitbit's app has also seen some upgrades. With all those improvements, and plenty of more time with the device, we've come back to update our review.)

Now a household name in the world of fitness trackers, Fitbit has started to find its place in the world. While it still plans to dive fully into the smartwatch game with a true Apple Watch rival, the Fitbit Blaze is a case of the company dipping its toe in the water.

The "fitness watch" offers familiar tracking with more advanced fitness features, which Fitbit hopes will appeal to the armies of weekend runners and gym goers that head out to the local park early on Sunday mornings.

Essential reading: Fitbit Charge 2 review | Fitbit Flex 2 review

The Blaze's marketing portrays it as the fitness fan's new best friend – a tracker for the gym that's also at home in the boardroom – but is it the right fitness device for you? Read on to find out.

Fitbit Blaze: Design

Fitbit Blaze review

It's clear that Fitbit was keen to move away from the dorky black plastic bands that have dominated its design to date. Customization is now the buzzword, and that's a crucial element of the Blaze, but something the company is also focusing on across most of its range.

The tracker itself is a black plastic square that snaps into a stainless steel frame, which has a removable strap. The idea is that you can buy new couture straps and hot swap the unit between 'workout friendly' and 'evening drinks ready' looks.

Essential reading: Fitbit Alta HR review

The ensemble is an improvement over the Surge (Fitbit's existing sports watch and the Blaze's nearest cousin) although not quite as nice up close as the press pictures suggest. The gap between the frame and the unit is more pronounced, and the device itself seems to be all bezel and no screen.

While those are the negative first impressions, the wafer-thinness of the watch itself is the biggest positive. It's impossibly slight against your wrist, no larger than a normal watch in truth and brilliantly light, which makes it comfortable to wear all day.

The panel itself is a tidy 1.25-inch 16 colour display, and if you up the brightness it looks pretty slick. It's touchscreen as well, so you can swipe through the options on screen. The left button is a back key, while the two to the right are used for selecting options mid workout when your fingers get sweaty.

It's not an always-on display, which means the screen goes black when not in use for power saving reasons, and we have to say it's not the most responsive when you want to flick your wrist to see the time.

On the Blaze itself there are only options for Today (today's stats), Exercise (run, bike, elliptical, other), FitStar (set workout plans), Relax (guided breathing), Timer (stopwatch and countdown), Alarms and Settings. It's pretty simple, but weirdly when you go into an option, it stays on that menu when you return to your normal day – meaning that when you flick to see the time, you're presented with your stats, not the watch face. In short, the slight nuances of the watch could be better thought out. Oh, and there's no waterproofing, with only basic water resistance means that you're best off removing before showering. Swimming is a big no-no.

Fitbit Blaze: Features

Fitbit Blaze review

So what does the Blaze do? Well, effectively it's the Charge HR with an OLED screen, guided workouts and more smart notifications.

It tracks steps, calories burned, stairs climbed, active time, resting heart rate, and both sleep stages and quality of sleep. What's more, it has several sports modes, which will track particular exercises using the built-in heart rate monitor, and act as a running watch so long as you take your smartphone along to lend its GPS – more on that shortly.

FitStar – the smart workout company Fitbit bought in 2015 – also has pride of place on the Blaze, with three guided sessions that appear on the watch: warm up/down, 7 Minute Workout and 10 Minute Abs.

Essential reading: Fitbit Blaze v Apple Watch Series 2

It's a pretty complete set of fitness metrics that will please anyone shopping for a top-end activity tracker, though the lack of GPS is the only real blemish on the spec sheet. You can use Fitbit's ConnectedGPS feature if you're willing to strap on your smartphone when it's time for a run, but built-in GPS has become more commonplace in fitness wearables since the Blaze first launched, and its absence is felt even more a year on.

The only other real omission is a smart alarm – one that's designed to wake you up in the lightest part of your sleep cycle. It's a popular feature on other trackers, but hasn't made it to the Blaze, which is strange given the device's new Sleep Stages feature. There is a silent alarm, which uses vibrations to wake you rather than a horrible bleeping.

Fitbit Blaze review

And then there's Relax guided breathing, a feature carried over from the Fitbit Charge 2. There are two modes: two-minute breathing and five-minute breathing. Each one tries to gauge your breathing and tailors guided breathing to your breath. You inhale, you exhale, you stare at the Blaze's tiny screen to match the animation and make the background sparkle. It works as advertised, but it also lacks the nuanced vibrations that would allow for truly concentrated breathing, making the whole thing feel a little tacked on.

It's a decent set of features – but do they work? For some of them, we had to get sweaty to find out.

Fitbit Blaze: Activity tracking and accuracy

Fitbit Blaze review

There's so much going on with the Blaze, we need to break down the features to study the accuracy.

First up, steps and sleep. We've put the Fitbit Blaze up against other step trackers, but as ever, the problem is that they all use different algorithms. With the Blaze, it's the same deal as we've found across other Fitbit devices like the Alta HR - there's a tendency to be too generous. But it's not a massive difference, and trying it against the likes of the Misfit Shine 2 we found it to be very close, just a bit over. Wrist-based step tracking is never going to be spot on, but we have no major qualms in this department.

Sleep tracking has also proven pretty accurate, and toilet breaks were uniformly registered on the nightly results, which is always reassuring - when you know you've got out of bed and it doesn't show on your sleep tracking, it's a cause for concern. Since our initial review, the Blaze has gained Sleep Stages, which uses accelerometer data, heart rate variability and algorithms to track when you're in light, deep or REM sleep. From our vantage point, sleep stages seemed to work well, though the data is useless without the companion app's Sleep Insights feature, which is slowly making its way across Blaze devices as we write this.

Sleep Insights are Fitbit's way of serving up, well, insights - but actionable ones. Fitbit will get to know your sleep and activity habits better over time, and start offering you advice, like suggesting you don't miss your regular evening jog because it noticed that when you do, you don't usually sleep so well.

Next up is the exercise tracking. With dedicated options for running, cycling, weights, treadmill, elliptical and open workout it appears the Blaze has all the bases covered. What's more, like the Fitbit Charge 2, the Blaze will automatically recognise exercise and track it automatically, which works well.

Bike and Run modes use Connected GPS to report distance, pace and all that jazz, while the rest essentially just monitor your heart rate and workout time to offer a calorific figure at the end of your session, and are identical in all but name.

Essential reading: How to actually use your fitness tracker to get fit

We had no issues with the Run or Bike accuracy when connected to the smartphone, but if you want to run without, it will guess the distance based on the movement of your arm. For us it registered an 8km run as 9.48km, which obviously had knock-on effects on the pace – making the data kind of useless. Tweaking your stride length in the app can help this a little, but still, it's not going to solve this problem entirely. But that's to be expected with any wearable trying to guess your distance without GPS.

Lots of runners will use a phone for music, so that's no big deal for them, but given the Blaze places much of its emphasis on its optical heart rate monitor, how does that fare?

Fitbit Blaze: Heart rate monitor

Optical heart rate is getting better, but it still isn't going to challenge a chest strap, especially on a device like the Blaze which is now over a year old. If you want to do HIIT then buy a chest strap – end of. Incidentally, you'll have to use a different device, as the Blaze isn't compatible with ANT+ or Bluetooth straps.

The trouble is that 'useful' is a subjective term, and its meaning will differ from person to person. To try and work out what works for you, this is what the Fitbit Blaze can and can't do.

First up, 24/7 and resting heart rate tracking. We found the data to be spot on, and it aced a number of spot checks against our pulse when sitting down. The resting heart rate tracking – a superb measure of your improving fitness – was spot on, and we love the way it's tracked within the app. Gold star.

Essential reading: Why sleep is Fitbit's new obsession

During exercise, however, things get complicated. On a gentle jog we found the data to be useful, and stayed within 5bpm of a chest strap, straight out of the door.

However, as we upped the pace, things fell apart. As our heart rate rose up from 150bpm to 165bpm, the Fitbit remained static, locked to 150bpm. As we started to sprint the chest strap reported 170–180bpm, yet still the Fitbit stayed at 150. Later in the run it came back to the chest strap at around 165 as we started to cool down.

In our longterm test, the results were largely the same. On a light run, the Blaze capped out at 152bpm while our chest strap reported 160bpm, as we went faster the Blaze stayed put and the chest strap went up to 170bpm. On our way down, the chest strap was with us all the way while the Blaze exhibited some lag until we came down to 140bpm, when it started to catch up. Not great, so what gives?

Well, the Blaze's tracking can't really handle high intensity, and what's more, it suffers from a dreadful lag time, making its suitability for hardcore sessions non-existent.

The two graphs below show off some of the heart rate discrepancies. On the right is the Fitbit's heart rate monitor, on the left is the readout from a Wahoo Tickr Run chest strap.

Fitbit Blaze review

Things got worse in the gym, too. As we expected, twisting of the arm caused big drop-outs in heart rate tracking, which we discovered during the FitStar workouts. 30 seconds of press-ups got our heart rate sky high, yet the live readout dropped to below 100bpm.

We knew all this already, though. We knew that the Fitbit wouldn't match a chest strap. But coming back to our question: is the data useful or is it junk?

The Fitbit's resting heart rate tracking is great, and its optical heart rate monitor can colour your workouts and make calorific burn more accurate from your sessions – whether it's a big gym session, weekend run or walk to the bus stop.


There's also Cardio Fitness Level, which was released via software update well after release. The feature allows the Blaze to provide a look at your fitness level compared to other people your age and gender, by estimating your VO2 Max level. It uses a combination of resting heart rate compared to your heart rate while on a run of at least 10 minutes. It's a good measuring stick that also lets you quickly see how much weight loss and increased exercise can help improve your fitness level.

The Blaze is absolutely fine for beginners and improvers to take to the gym or out for a run, but it's not an adequate training tool for those looking to train within specific zones – despite this being a feature of the company's marketing for Blaze. If you want to get specific about which zone you're training in, neither the Blaze, nor any optical based device, is right for you.

Fitbit Blaze: FitStar

A somewhat shoehorned addition to the Blaze is the set of guided FitStar workouts that live on the watch's menu system. The idea is that you can fire up a workout, and then follow it on the watch.

It's a great idea, and bolsters the Blaze's credentials as a 'fitness watch', even if at present there are only three workouts: Warm up, 7 Minute Workout and 10 Minute Abs.

We followed a couple, and were left with mixed feelings. On a positive note, the workouts are easy to follow, there's no interaction required, and they offer a way for Blaze users to do a structured workout in their own home, whenever they have time.

But is this really the best Fitbit could come up with?


Despite being on a watch with sensors, there's no rep tracking. It doesn't keep score of your performance within the 30 second time slots for each activity and doesn't offer much incentive to do better next time. There are no levels of difficulty, no progression. It's totally undercooked.

Maybe we've been spoiled with Moov's 7 Minute Workout offering, which uses a sliding scale of 40 levels to offer a sense of progression as you're challenged to do more and more exercises in the allotted time. And each rep is tracked, so there's no wimping out. Compared to that experience, the FitStar stuff is Mickey Mouse.

Fitbit Blaze: Notifications

When the Blaze first arrived, the only notifications it could display were text messages and call logs. That's it. Thanks to an update since then, you can now receive notifications from third-party apps, from social media apps like Facebook and Twitter to news apps from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Enabling the notifications are nestled into the notifications section of the companion app, so you'll have to dig in their to get them going after you set up your Blaze.

While the Blaze can display notifications from third parties now, you can't really do much with them. They're just there to tap you on the wrist and let you know that you'll have to get your phone out when you have a chance.

While our notifications suffered outages in our initial review, our longterm testing showed no problems. We received notifications for all of our incoming alerts, so it appears that Fitbit has addressed this problem via a software update.

Fitbit Blaze: The app

Fitbit Blaze review

The Blaze feeds into the same app as the rest of the Fitbit family. It's a great ecosystem, full of social challenges, badges to earn and it's well laid out and easy to use.

Each day is presented on the main screen, and you tap a metric to get a broader look at your performance. For example, tap on the sleep score for the day and you can take a look at your sleep over time, and filter by day, week or month.

Tapping the heart rate score is most effective, and you'll see your resting heart rate plotted over time. Give it three months and you should see a nice downward curve as you get fitter.

Fitbit Blaze
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Amazon

The app has, since the initial review, gained a new Guidance tab built around FitStar exercises and a Notifications tab that collects all your fitness accomplishments and messages in one place. There's also Sleep Insights, which offers guidance around your sleep patterns. Thus far, most of this guidance has been generic but as we said, this should improve over time.

Overall, the Fitbit app is one of its strong points. Easy to use and clear, it offers enough data without feeling overwhelming, and unlike some of the competition, the sync between smartphone and watch is pretty bulletproof, - we never experienced connection issues.

Fitbit Blaze: Battery life and waterproofing

Fitbit promises five days of battery life from the Blaze, which was absolutely borne out in our tests. Even with some tracked workouts, the Blaze expired exactly five days after our initial charge. It's pretty impressive given the smart notifications, bright OLED screen and the svelte build that leaves little room for a battery.

Fitbit Blaze: One year on

The Blaze lives in a different world now. The Alta HR and Charge 2 have come along with sleeker designs, making the Blaze look a bit long in the tooth. In terms of hardware features, the Blaze lacks the Flex 2's waterproof design and the GPS abilities of its elder "fitness watch" brother, the Surge - which is particularly felt with other GPS wearables flooding the market. In other areas, the Blaze outdoes its newer siblings. Its larger display is better for reading messages, and it's also got third-party notifications in its corner. Though compared to other smartwatches, especially the Apple Watch and Android Wear 2.0 devices, its notifications are lacking, as you're unable to take actions on many of them.

Some of the Blaze's new features, like Sleep Stages and third-party notifications, are handy, while others, like Relax guided breathing, may not be such a big deal for you. However, those new features don't make up for its shortcomings, which still include a so-so heart rate tracker, basic guided workouts and a lack of GPS. Still, Fitbit's first proper smartwatch can't be far off now...


Fitbit Blaze
By Fitbit
For people starting out with fitness, the Fitbit Blaze is a decent all-rounder and the best tracker the company has produced to date. The Blaze offers a spectrum of stats for most pursuits, including Sleep Stages and Cardio Fitness Level based on VO2 Max, but not all of them are perfect in nature. Having to take a phone to benefit from GPS accuracy, wayward HR stats at peak exercise and undercooked FitStar workouts ensure the Blaze pales in comparison to specialist fitness wearables – and buyers would do well to peek at the forthcoming Garmin Vivoactive HR first – but its size, diversity, user friendly stats and strong app make it easy to recommend for beginners.

Hit
  • Great all round stats
  • Top beginner friendly app
  • Bags of battery life
Miss
  • Guided workouts basic
  • HR tracker not the best
  • No GPS without smartphone


Shop for Fitbit trackers on Amazon

Fitbit Blaze
Fitbit Blaze
$149
Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2
$147.54
Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit Alta HR
$149.95
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2
$93.90

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61 Comments

  • BadDobby says:

    At least Fitbit are staying true to form, underwhelming with their products. Instead of stealing from Jawbone, this time they tried Garmin's Vivoactive design but still didn't/couldn't put in GPS and waterproofing. But at least they stuck in a HR sensor... inaccurate though it might be. 

    Merry Christmas to all those who just got a fitbit, prepare to be whelmed by the emperor's new clothes! 

    • GGil says:

      the Fitbit HR has for some time had the best feature set and the HR monitor is accurate and the only way to get meaningful stats on calorie burn. Movement alone produces very inaccurate results. So all it needed was a better look and the surge didn't achieve that but the Blaze looks like it does. I have never been more underwhelmed than by the Apple Watch which rests peacefully in my drawer. The Charge HR has served me faithfully and continuously for over 12 months. 

      Grant

      • Jeffpack1957 says:

        Except the hr is only an average heart rate, or for longer sustained activities

      • Stu says:

        Yes, I called it right, about a year ago: Never in the field of human experience will so many watches end up in so many drawers as will happen with the advent of the Apple watch. Mind you the same can be said for my Fitbit Surge - so there's that :)

  • sfluegel says:

    I just discovered FitBit Blaze and am excited beyond belief. I don't want a smartwatch but I wanted my FitBit to be able to push text notifications and have a touch screen...and best of all...interchangeable bands....I've owned the FitBit Flex with a wide array of colored bands...then upgraded to the Tori Burch bracelet band....now I primarily wear my FitBit Charge HR and wear my Tori Burch FitBit Flex when I've misplaced my charger (like leaving it at work by accident) or when I need to look more professional/classy for an event...the Tori Burch bracelet achieves that.

    The one thing I didn't like about the highest FitBit they had (and my Charge HR) is the inability to change the bands....and this FitBit Blaze does that...plus it's a touch screen and will notify me of text messages that I can decide whether or not is worth interrupting work or family time for. The less phone screen time the better and this gives me a gateway to help reduce that. My husband owns a smartwatch and it doesn't track nearly as great as all of the FitBit products I own. I'm excited and will purchase it. This might be a hit within the loyal FitBit community -- especially with the ability to have multiple devices on one account. I'll probably give the Charge HR to my spouse, keep the Flex / Burch and the Blaze. #FitBitBlaze - love it.

    • sfluegel says:

      I love it so much...I actually commented on an article. I rarely make an effort for such things. 

    • blasr says:

      I hope this holiday season Fitbit sold plenty of devices. I believe in the the company and the product and for that reason had invested quite a chunk of my savings. Unfortunately for me, Fitbit's stock is not a good ROI so far, lost about -30% so far.

  • Anomoly says:

    I'm interested. I have the fitbit Charge HR. I like how simple it is, the HR is accurate 'enough' - When i want more accurate HR for specific sporting activities I will wear a chest strap. 

    I didn't think that I would like notifications on the wrist, but it's a nice feature (phone calls only) on the Charge HR. I didn't expect too much from this upgrade. I wonder how they will get people to buy it after buying a Charge HR or Surge recently... I'm a fan but I think i'm the exception (willing to buy the latest and greatest). 

    If anything I think they could really do some work on upgrading the app. I've seen the app for other wearables along with games and competitions and I feel like the Fitbit app is a bit dated. 

    I'm looking forward to this Blaze and I like that the bands are interchangable... hopefully they actually have some great colors. I like the neutral colors (black, grey, clear, white, etc) that go with more. 

  • xrtc says:

    2 questions, 1) can i sync it with a chest strap so i have better heart rate results? and 2) it need to have my smartphone all the time with me when i workout and all the time connected so it syncs? or can i just take the watch, store the date on the watch and then when next time i connect it with the smartphone automaticaly send the data? thank you

    • clarkca13 says:

      Unless Fitbit makes their own chest strap, I do not believe you can sync the Fitbit with another brand of chest strap. And yes, you can take the watch out by itself without the phone and it will sync when it's back within the sync distance of the phone. The Blaze does not do GPS tracking without the phone nearby, but it will calculate distance based on how many steps you took. 

  • xrtc says:

    2 questions, 1) can i sync it with a chest strap so i have better heart rate results? and 2) it need to have my smartphone all the time with me when i workout and all the time connected so it syncs? or can i just take the watch, store the date on the watch and then when next time i connect it with the smartphone automaticaly send the data? like polar devices do? thank you

  • clarkca13 says:

    I'm actually pretty excited about the Fitbit Blaze. I have an Apple Watch and while I love it, I don't take full advantage of it's potential, mainly because I just don't need to be connected 24/7. The Apple Watch is pretty, and I love the call/text notifications, but it's pretty sluggish scrolling through menus and Siri is much slower. That said, I miss my Fitbit for the continuous heart rate monitoring (which Apple Watch doesn't do) and I miss being able to do Fitbit challenges with my friends. Unless I'm wrong, GPS connectivity is the same with the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Blaze. Both of which you have to have your phone to track your distances. 

    Overall, this is exactly what I've been wanting...so I can't wait for it to come out!

  • Cdeshwal says:

    If Fitbit can put GPS and Music on this watch itself, that will make it really hot. Lot of people don't want to have the Fitbit and a smart phone while running. It will be cool to just have the watch and still can listen to the music.

  • Brettsky says:

    I had the Surge, great device, but I'm looking forward to the Blaze. 

    Calendar notification is good, but does anyone know if it gives you reminder and tasks notifications/alerts from 'Reminders' app that comes with your iPhone? (i.e. not 3rd party)

  • John_Maas says:

    Given the fact that this is the only (sort of) smartwatch (yes I know, it's not) supporting Windows 10 Mobile, I'm kinda disappointed that third party apps, like Whatsapp, are not supported. As a Windows 10 Mobile user, the only alternative for me is the Microsoft Band 2, which is really isn't a smartwatch...

  • Jzab says:

    Does the Blaze have a calorie counter ( calories in calories out ) or can you set it up to my fitness pal. 

    • deeeeeee says:

      The Blaze uses the same fitbit app and dashboard that all of the other fitbit trackers use. The app has areas where you can input calories, but it can also sync up with My Fitness Pal. I've honestly never used the fitbit app to count calories, I've had it synced up to mfp forever

  • pkissel says:

    My previous experience with Fitbit is that the product fell apart many times in different ways and customer support was atrocious in remedying each situation. In other words, poor quality control/design/manufacturing and poor customer support. Why would I give them more of my money for another product?

    • GGil says:

      wouldn't normally comment when someone has had such a bad experience but mine has been in such stark contrast. After a year of continuous use of my Charge HR the clasp wore through the band and broke. In all honesty it was my fault for the way I treated it but I thought it should still have stood up better to wear and tear than it did and it should have been possible to replace just the band which of course I wouldn't have minded paying for. I emailed Fitbit with a photo of the broken band and invoice and they sent me a brand new unit free within about 5 days. I have never had better service on any product like this ever..period

    • gulbink says:

      I have had a long series of experiences with customer service that are the exact opposite of what you describe.  I've had every fitbit since the beginning and have had free replacements no matter what caused the problem--including sending the first one through the washer. I think their customer service can't be beaten.  I'm sorry you had a bad experience.

    • athena2390 says:

      I have been using Fitbit products for 3 years including the Flex and most recently the Surge.  I have had a number of issues to which customer service has been stellar replacing my unit(s) after fully explaining my issue(s).  My most recent issue is my skin breaking out after a year of continuous use of the Surge.  So, will refund me and I will put my refund toward the Blaze with interchangable bands.  

  • CBPNC says:

    I got my Blaze yesterday, and I love all the features. I was really looking forward to wearing it for my first workout, but I couldn't wear it. It was irritating my wrist and gave me a itchy rash. I have never had an issue with any of the watches I have worn before. 

    • John_Maas says:

      you might consider a different wristband. Despite my kinda negative impression at first, I'm concidering buying it as well.

  • JayJaye85 says:

    I tried it out for 2 weeks it was my first Fitbit and I have the Samsung Note5. I couldnt get my calls or text notifications. And I would go to sleep and wake up with 100 steps. And No I dont sleep walk. The steps were just too inaccurate for my liking. I loved that I got a little party after 10000 steps but couldnt get notified when my wife sent me a text.

  • someone says:

    I bought the Blaze one week ago and it go straight back to the deposit. Is an excellent fitness tracker, is really accurate and comfortable but if you want to use also the "smart watch" functionality you'll be really disappointed. The notification and music functionalities are working just when the Blaze is in the 'mood'. At the beginning I was thinking is a problem with my phone (Lg g3) but after testing this little device with other phones like Lg g4, lumia 930, samsung S5 and Iphone 6, I was sure it's a software problem. If you planning to connect this device with an Iphone than "go for it" cuz is working fine.

  • maslacak says:

    The Blaze is very much a fitness tool rather than a smart watch. And there is definitely a market for this sort of wearable as indicated by the excellent reviews on Amazon and 4.3 average customer rating.

    If you have an older fitness tracker band like the Fitbit Flex or Jawbone Up, the Blaze is a great upgrade with all its new features (heart rate monitor, auto activity/sleep tracker, smart notifications). If this is the first fitness tracking device you're considering, it could be a good option.

    The lack of built-in GPS is an obvious omission, and I am not a great fan of the new design. But all things considered, the Blaze covers all the basics well, and offers a wide range of vitals stats, even if they are not always perfect. So if you're looking for a fairly stylish fitness tracker from a recognised brand, that does the essentials well, this could be the device for you.

  • Diane75 says:

    I have a flex at the mo which I use daily but am thinking of buying a blaze. I like the idea of it looking more like a watch but would really only use it to track my steps as exercise is purely walking for me. Is it worth the money for tracking steps? 

  • lacross says:

    I've had the Blaze for a few days now and am a little underwhelmed. I've been reading comparison reviews voraciously and am starting to lean toward the Garmin Vivosmart HR. Tracking certain exercises and even offering Fitstar was, at first, appealing but in reality disappointing. I can accomplish the same as Fitstar, with about as much effort, by looking at an exercise in my Shape magazine. Having different 'exercises' to choose from is really just presenting your heart rate in different packages. I have a Samsung Galaxy s5 and the Blaze only occasionally syncs, missing most text notifications after I had to change from Message+ back to Message in order to see text notifications in detail. It says it will pick up notifications up to 30ft from your phone but 10ft didn't even work for me. Again, I've only had it a few days but have purchased a Vivosmart HR to compare and even though it's not as pretty, I think the Vivosmart will offer more info and will work better overall. Note that I am a numbers lover so the Garmin app appeals to me and I'm not a challenge person which seems to be the highlight of the Fitbit app. I've had a Fitbit Charge HR since January but it completely stopped working 2 weeks ago. Won't charge at all. They're sending me another free of charge but think I'll be selling it on ebay. The Vivosmart device definitely outperforms the Charge HR even if the app lags behind.

  • sandyentoronto says:

    Will the heart rate zone be displayed on the phone, thanks

  • Skylie78 says:

    Hi, I am interested in this watch however I don't want to wear a device on my body that is constantly using Bluetooth.

    Can you turn off Bluetooth and it still reads your HR?

    Can you turn off receiving messages etc on the watch? When I train, I don't want to be notified or reached.

    Will it track my steps when Bluetooth is off?

    • Pixie says:

      Can you turn off Bluetooth and it still reads your HR? -- No

      Can you turn off receiving messages etc on the watch? -- Yes, you can turn it off during your workout and turn it back on once you're done, but you will not receive any notification without the bluetooth function on. 

      Will it track my steps when Bluetooth is off? -- Yes, it will track your steps, but all your data will not sync unless it is connect via bluetooth. 

  • GTIgunner says:

    Bought one and returned it the next day. Here are my unforgivable's for this tracker. I was hesitant to buy it in the first place because it looks ridiculous and is in no way a sophisticated nor sporty or stylish accessory. It looks like toy in all honesty and it feels like one too. The buttons rattle due to the frame design and the band feels flimsy. When I found out how to charge this thing while reading the instructions I laughed. Here's the process: take it off, pretty normal. Pop the rectangular screen out of the metal frame, why? Finally, place the rectangle screen in this weird cheap clam-shell case, which only comes with a short usb cable. So you can't plug it into your wall outlet next to your bed like you would naturally do at the end of the day. Very poorly thought out and seems like an after thought. Just give me a chord that plugs into it and into the wall. Keep it simple. Then I tried adjusting my music playlist but it wouldn't connect to my phones music. After playing with it and getting frustrated I finally did something along the lines of unpairing it, turning the blaze to bluetooth classic? and repairing. But then after leaving it for a while I tried to use the track forward button again but it would no longer do anything. It took a few times to get the call notification to work too. Another gripe I had was that the Blaze has a silent vibration alarm and a tracker for sedentary movement. But no function to set a vibration alarm when you have been sedentary for more than an hour. Which I want for the office because I'll forget to get up and move when I get busy. So simple. Finally I was so bummed to see only 4 clock faces to choose from. And none of them are nice. Would have been nice to have a community feature on the app and website to upload new watch faces and skin overlays to customize the appearance. Overall it felt poorly thought through and disappointing enough for me to take it back. Which I rarely do for a product.

  • kbaylosis says:

    Our team is currently working on a premium case and strapping system for the fitbit blaze to enhance everyone's experience. We think that the fitbit blaze is one of the best yet to be out there.

    Checkout and support our indiegogo campaign: https://igg.me/at/wristmate/x/13771175

  • Daveyjay1984 says:

    I'm surprised you didn't put not waterproof in your miss list but for he most part I would agree with your thoughts based on a borrowed blaze used recently. I found it handled a little more jostling if tightened slightly more

  • JoelCotton says:

    where can I buy the white band in the photo? I can't find it anywhere

    • Nottoosure says:

      Saw it on Amazon for $9.90

  • GopThan says:

    can explain where about the time resetting mode?

  • MickyT says:

    Hmmm - many thanks - very useful review.

    Bought a Fitbit HR when it first came out - it is probably the best one they have had. The HR monitoring is decent, but when the Surge came out I sooo badly wanted GPS that I bought one. The HR monitoring on the surge is completely useless, no matter how you wear it. Sometimes my Heart is pumping along at 165 (measured with a watch and pulse the old fashioned way!) and the Surge says about 75!! Useless!

    So now.....I certainly won't be buying a Blaze. Hopeless HR and no GPS! When I'm bushwalking and want to know where I've been and don't care about HR, I waer the Surge. When I exervise (and don't need to know where I've been) I wear the HR!

  • GorillaDaGoon says:

    Dont be fooled the Blaze is not Smart, and several of the limited features do not work with Android. Notification are buggy in the respect where I could only receive and read 1 text message in a day and unless deleted promptly every following text message would just read "new message". Google Blaze new message bug and see. The thread says "solved" yet the fix only works for a limited # of users. Fitbit suggested I try using a different app for text messaging. They stated the watch only showed what the app told it too. I suggested Ill try a different smartwatch to view them on. My solution fixed the problem. 

    Answering and rejecting calls isn't exactly broken on Android its just it never was implemented, so that is out. Don't expect to initiate calls from the Blaze either, because it can't do that. The only thing that this watch can do outside of touch input is start and stop music streams and do 3 8minute guided workouts. Everything else that it can do the Charge HR can also do just as well. On a smart scale this watch is only mildly competent. There are no 3rd party apps nor will there be any, and the same is true for watch faces. If Fitbit does not release new watch faces none will exist. Quite frankly the 4 watch faces fitbit supplies suck. 

    In all actuality this device should have just replaced the ChargeHR. At this price point there are several other options that get being a smart fitness tracker right. If you  want a smart watch the Blaze is not it. If you want a Charge HR get a Charge HR. If you just had your heart set on a Fitbit Blaze get a Fitbit Blaze.

  • Tomasrunner says:

    I think Fibit Blaze is a great product, like others wearables of Fitbit . Perhaps, to lead the wearable's lidership, i would add more features and better user experience.  Checkout and support our project: http://pulserasactividad.es/comprar-fitbit/

  • jonfernando says:

    Fitbit watches are now on sale only at SmartwatchOffers:com

  • Marts says:

    Exteamly disappointed with the Blaze. The 'connected GPS' is at best useless at worst misleading. The only thing the connected GPS does is draw a route on a map. It does not use any GPS data to calculate distance or pace. Instead it uses your stride, which is incredibly inaccurate. If you run and you think this device will let you see an accurate data while your running you will be disappointed.

    As disappointing as the Blaze is the consistent good reviews that don't flush out this fact very well. If I understood how it calculates distance I would not have got it. I will be returning my Blaze for a refund.

    • Jasonfu says:

      Blaze fitbit is awesome fitness tracker, 

  • Tiger800 says:

    Hi, I am a very unhappy customer of FitBit. I bought a Fitbit Blaze and I had problems form Day 1. I could not make the screen swipe with my finger. I tried it several times at the gym and could not make it start. I tried for hours to make it work, went online and found no help. Very disappointed with the product. I phoned FitBit and told them about the problem and they could not help me over the phone so offered a replacement. I did not want this and requested to send it back. I then was told I had to pay for the return postage myself and that I must send it by insured post.I did this and sent back with a fully trackable postage service with Royal Mail from the UK to Holland. Cost to me was £15.18. I have had to chase the service centre several times to find out what is going on. It has taken from the 25th April to the end of May for me to receive a refund!!!!! I have now received the credit for my FitBit but they will not refund the postage. Even though the product was faulty!! This is terrible service and i would not recommend using a company who does not back up their product. I lost confidence in the product from Day 1 and did not want a replacement. 

  • swh1950 says:

    I bought a Blaze based on your review and was sure I was going to like it.

    I had two different Blaze fitness devices.I thought the first one was defective, so I returned it.The second device was no better, so I returned it, too.

    Interface.Sluggish.When selecting a screen, especially settings, it takes between 2 and 10 taps to get the Blaze to respond. Shutdown was the worst, the home screen was almost as bad.

    Heartbeat.Inaccurate and unreliable. Frequently loses the heartbeat, even during inactivity, such as sitting down. The home screen is will not stay on the heartbeat display. It regularly changes to the day and date display. The heartbeat reading was typically in error. When walking, the reading was typically at extremes differing 10-20 bpm from actual. If the Blaze was registering a heartbeat, readings would typically be sub-100, the next minute 125 and the next minute 145.My max rate is 155. Sitting, standing, resting, it was normal for it to lose the heartbeat and upon regaining it, the bpm rate would stay way low for a few minutes before getting closer to the actual bpm. For example, standing still during cool down, the bpm would stay 20-30 beats low for a couple of minutes before catching up and registering a reasonable bpm.I tried various levels of band tightness to resolve the issue, but none helped.

    Shutdown.The Blaze will not stay shutdown.  It restarts on its own, for no reason.

    Distance Measuring. Inaccurate. The distance function was usually 10+ percent too low. Synched to the watch during exercise, 3 mile walks would show as 2.7 and less.The time was accurate, but the distance never was. It was only four percent off on one occasion.

    Design.Nice menus and screens.The longevity of the module is a concern since it has to be removed from the frame and put in a separate device to charge it.

    App.Very nice.Easy to use, read and interpret.

  • Faizan says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

                               Kindly tell me the price of this smart watch.

  • Jamie11 says:

    its as good as it seems to be?

  • emarieadkins says:

    my fitbit Blaze fully charged only last about 2days and a few hours is compatible with my Samsung Galaxy 7s or my note5 plus I did get a gift  a nice rash thanks fitbit you need to do better now I have to get another tracker that hold true to what it's states

  • Rainydaydr says:

    Fitbit Blaze was a complete disappointment.  The mileage tracking was totally unreliable. Even after adjusting for stride, updating software repeatedly, working with their help forums and personnel on adjustments the mileage was consistently off by 30 - 35% on the short side when using on a track.  A mile on a track would register as .74 miles on fitbit while 1.00 miles on the free runtastic app.  2 miles would show as 1.38 miles on fitbit and 2.00 on the runtastic app over and over.  Mine was not an isolated case.  There are dozens of threads in their help forums with the exact same issue.  The device simply doesn't work.   Avoid at all costs.  Return was refunded at 100%.  

    • wer says:

      blaze does have silent alarms... this advert makes it sound much much worse than it is do not listen to any adverts that say it is bad as it is the most amazing watch ever made. if you think it is a waste of money than you are talking out of your other end. this is the best watch EVER!!!! (my opinion is always right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 

  • uwere says:

    I have forgotten my password therefore have set up a new account I am wer and sent a review the other day. I am very annoyed that the best watch on earth (the fitbit Blaze) is being put down and not being bought due to lies. If you are considering buying a Blaze you are a very good buyer if you have bought it and are not impressed then you are a total idiot/fool/I could carry on forever about how much of an idiot you are. However if you have already bought it and like it go you!!!!! the fitbit Blaze as I have said i the best watch ever made and if you do not thing this you should be ashamed and SHUT UP. either way I am always right I have never been wrong i my life. (please do not reply if you think I am wrong because I m not and as I say SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  • JDonk says:

    Avoid fitbit! I bought a fitbit charge for my wife at dick smith. The first one did not work straight out of the box, would not charge at all. Dick smith replaced immediately, same day as purchase. A few months later the new one stopped charging. Again, Dick Smith replaced with a brand new item. Now, 9 months later, this 3rd fitbit charge will not charge, the battery will not charge.

    Subsequently, Dick Smith has closed down in my area so I can not return for a refund.

    I contacted Fitbit, who are saying the original purchase is out of warranty but they will replace with the same model, but will not refund. They don't have enough faith in their own product to give a warranty on the brand new replacement fitbit charge thats only 9 months old!! I asked if the replacement they are willing to send will have a warranty but they didi not reply.

    They also will not allow me to pay the difference to upgrade to a better model!!

    Well, if you ask me thats pretty poor, they should write a book on how to lose customers because thats what they've done in this situation. Not only me but everyone I know I tell how bad the product is and the lack of faith they have in their product. I strongly recommend buying a more reputable brand.

    Fitbit is a waste of money and you will more than likely be disappointed.

  • nunya says:

    Save yourself the trouble and Don't get this product. It is absolutely useless. Hasn't done anything other than tell time correctly, and for $200.00 you can buy a better watch. List of issues:
    1.) Says it'll automatically sync all day, it's been 3 months... hasn't done it Once.
    2.) Supposed to light up when you life your wrist... Still a NO.
    3.) Supposed to connect to your phone and give text and call notifications, 3 months and not one notification to date. Always says, All caught up on notifications.
    4.) Hasn't once connected to my music on the phone.
    5.) No calendar notifications either.
    6.) Slightest of hand movement and your heart rate goes through the roof. Doesn't matter how loose or tight it wear it on my wrist.
    7.) Since none of the other features work correctly, you'd think it should at least count steps, but you'd be wrong! Says I walked 2 miles, shows my having walked 20 on the map.
    8.) Doesn't count stairs correctly, I'll go up 15 flights in order for it to show 8.
    9.) Customer service from Fitbit Sucks.
    Basically save your money, but another company's product!

  • brenvk says:

    I've had the device for around six months now. It had syncing problems on my old phone. It only allowed me to sync twice a week at best. I chalked it up to the phone being old. I now have a fully compatible phone and it syncs EVEN LESS! I tried all the fixes; re installing, updating, all setting on or off in multiple ways, bluetooth settings. Nothing helps. 

    All I can say it is a fancy watch. Without the ability to regularly sync so you can properly track your workouts, food intake, weight and all that, it's not a tracker.

  • Smccray says:

    Got Blaze after Charge HR broke twice in a year. Prefer the Charge HR.  Blaze has problem syncing, no notifications, one button missing already, and the screen changes  constantly, especially to the running. Lap counts,.  Would love to have the HR again

  • Blazeuser says:

    I think the calorie tracking function is quite inaccurate because as far as I an tell, it uses just steps and heartrate to calculate (in addition to data about age, weight, height). My Fitbit Blaze does not seem to recognize the difference between sleeping, doing yoga (I am a yoga instructor), and giving a massage (I am also a massage therapist). I used to have a BodyMedia tracker and it gave me about 60 calories an hour for sleeping or just sitting; but it always went up to 90 calories an hour when I was on my feet--teaching yoga or doing a massage. I just spent all afternoon on my feet giving massages and the Blaze credited me with burning only about 70 calories in an hour. It gives me roughly 50 for BMR (sleeping) or sitting. Because I'm a yoga practitioner I do have a low heart rate--but that doesn't mean my muscles aren't burning calories when they are active! My heart rate isn't going up and I'm not taking a lot of steps in these activities, but I am definitely working!

  • Jbowman2060 says:

    To say that I am disappointed by the Fitbit Blaze would be an understatement. The watch is all gimmick and no functionality. I bought this watch to track my run distances and times each day, specifically the GPS function that routes my runs. I've owned the watch for a week and it has yet to work properly.

    First of all, the GPS/Bluetooth pairing is VERY spotty and disconnects periodically (during the middle of your run for instance). The start/stop button is also on the top of the watch (touch display) and my long sleeve t-shirt stopped the tracking in the middle of my run. So don't plan on using the watch if it's raining or a little cold outside. Third, the distances it provides are simply inaccurate. I've done a run for the past year for instance they I know to be exactly 2.3 miles. I've routed it on several map functions. The Fitbit however, claims that its 1.8 miles. That's a pretty significant margin of error.

    Basically, avoid one of these and go with a simpler Garmin model that last has GPS

  • mollypropst says:

    TERRIBLE PRODUCT!!!!! It quit working after a few months, it won't give me notifications or incoming phone calls.   Don't buy this product!!!!

  • seanpecor says:

    I purchased a Fitbit Blaze when my Surge's strap broke, and I regret it. Two reasons:

    1) Battery life. If you work out regularly, the "5 days of battery life" rating is pure fantasy. I do cardio for 60 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and I lift weights for 40 minutes, 4 days a week. My old Surge would last for several days. I can't get 48 hours out of the Blaze without charging it, and to make matters worse, it's not a fast charge. 

    2) When you're tracking a workout, the screen turns off after 10 seconds. Seriously? Your timer and heart rate status disappears after 10 seconds? If you're serious about monitoring your heart rate during cardio, you have to push the button or tap the screen 100 times an hour to wake the damn thing up. No thank you.

    I can't blame Fitbit for my errant purchase. They don't market the Blaze as a performance watch. I can, however, blame review sites for touting it's "excellent battery life" and failing to mention the screen turns off after ten damn seconds. Had I know this, I wouldn't have wasted $200.

  • gadgetatl says:

    First, I would like to see an addendum to this review since the new updates have come out.

    Second, I will not say, "you should buy this" or "you shouldn't buy that". Everyone out there has different needs and experiences and it's way more helpful to offer pluses and minuses with an explanation of what mine are, to see if any of yours match up. Calling this tracker "underwhelming" too is all about perspective and previous usage. 

    Third, to me it's unfair to compare the Blaze to the Apple Watch or any other GPS watch. Apples and oranges. That being said, if you're looking for a smartwatch because your focus is daily e-mails, texts, etc., a Blaze is probably not for you. If you want detailed stats on your running/cycling/watersport activities, the Blaze is probably not for you. If you want something small and unobtrusive, the Blaze is probably not for you and if you are NOT an iPhone user, I cannot attest to how well the Blaze will work for you.

    With all of that, I've had my Blaze for a week and here's my honest feedback from someone who a) was using a UP24 for three years and who is a cyclist and active gym goer and walker and b) did NOT want to give up detailed sleep tracking and c) didn't want to spend over $250

    The Blaze has been with me almost a week and I still haven't had to charge it. It has no responsiveness issues at all and so far, everything is working as described. Set up and pairing took less than 2 minutes and updates got to my phone once paired. Yes, the charging is unusual but I wouldn't call it a deal breaker. Popping the screen out is easy and painless. It just took a minute to understand the boxy nature of the unusual charger.

    I have not used it for a ride yet but planned to do so this weekend, so we'll see how it works with the on-board GPS on my iPhone. By the way, I'm fine not using a GPS tracker since a) that uses more battery life and b) my iPhone is on me all the time.

    I love FitBit's dashboard! I've connected fully with all the perks that has to offer.

    I love being able to see song titles from iTunes and Spotify without holding my iPhone and being able to reject incoming calls and read texts/emails, though I won't be using it primarily for this. It's just a "nice to have".

    I also was VERY pleasantly surprised by the sleep stats. I heard that Jawbone leads the market on accuracy with sleep stats, but actually, my Blaze has outperformed my Jawbone every single night, catching not only toilet breaks but with the sensitivity option turned on, it tells me with uncanny accuracy, how often I moved around. (I was very aware of the time when I had moments of being complettely awake, so I know it's accurate).

    At the gym or on a spontaneous walk, the HR seemed really accurate and it picked up my activities and logged them well. I do miss what Jawbone offers though, which is a prompt after that spontaneous walk or the workout you forgot to start up that says, "were you active from this time to this time? If so, would you like to log your activity?" Then you can choose if you walked, ran, etc.

    My biggest -- not complaint per se -- but what doesn't fit as well for me is the actual fit. I have one of the tiniest wrists out there, measuring less than 6" around so this watch looks pretty large on my wrist. However, even with that I don't tighten the wrist band completely. Also, FitBit now sells a slim version of a band, which currently costs $49 but I'm hoping to find a cheaper one. So there's hope that it may not look so dauntingly huge. I do wish they had an "extra-small" version but admittedly, I'm not in the majority. It also is wafer-thin and sits unobtrusively on my wrist.

    So, if you are someone who doesn't want to fork out large amounts of cash and just wants a reliable, watch-like tracker that looks nice, is super comfortable, offers great stats, ease of use and the added perks of notifications, give the Blaze a chance.

    I'll give it another couple of weeks and if there's something of significance to add here, I will but so far, so good. Granted, my expectations after years of use with the UP24, (which does 1/4 of the Blaze's functions), were super low anyway.

What do you think?

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