Fitbit Blaze - Review

Fitbit Blaze - Review


When the strap of my Fitbit HR started bubbling for the second time (it was replace just under a year ago for the sane reason) I swiftly contacted the company who were only too happy to offer me a like for like replacement, however they also offered me a discount on one of their newer models instead. Now as someone who walks a lot I always like to keep track of my miles/steps but it has become more important with my 2500 miles in 2017 challenge, so I wanted something that would do that but would also function as a stylish watch (if you've read my other reviews you'll know I like to look good on the footpaths of Britain). The Fitbit Blaze fitted both of those options, so I opted to take a 50% discount instead of a replacement for the HR.

Fitbit Blaze - Review


Now I know wearable trackers are not for everyone and there are inaccuracies in their tracking at times etc. but before I start I would like to confirm it is calibrated to my average stride length, and I have tested its accuracy on counting my steps (you'll see later), but as with all my reviews here are the technical specs first.

Fitbit Blaze Technical Specifications

I hope Fitbit won't mind me lifting this off their website?

  • PurePulse® Heart Rate - Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate & simplified heart rate zones.
  • Multi-Sport Modes - Track workouts like running, biking & weights and get real-time stats on display. Then see post-workout summaries on screen & in the app.
  • Connected GPS - Connect Blaze with the GPS on your phone to see real-time stats like pace and distance on display and record a map of your route.
  • On-Screen Workouts - Get Fitstar™ workouts right on your wrist, with step-by-step instructions that coach you through each move.
  • Workout Summaries - See detailed workout summaries on your wrist, and track your improvement over time in the Fitbit app.
  • Cardio Fitness Level - Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score.
  • All-Day Activity - Automatically recognises select activities and records it in the exercise section of the Fitbit app.
  • SmartTrack™ - Automatically recognizes select activities and records it in the exercise section of the Fitbit app.
  • Smartphone Notifications - See notifications on screen when your phone is nearby—like calls, texts, calendar events & push notifications from your favorite apps.
  • Reminders to Move.
  • Auto Sleep Tracking & Silent Alarms.
  • Sleep Stages - See your time in light, deep and REM stages to better understand your sleep quality. Learn more.
  • Guided Breathing - Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalized breathing sessions based on your heart rate.
  • Music Control.
  • Accessory Bands & Frames - Switch up your look with accessory bands in leather, metal and more.
  • Long Battery Life - Battery life up to 5 days.
  • Syncs Wirelessly.


Design


Personally I like the design, although I know this can be subjective, I don't find it too large on my wrist, although a thinner "wristed" person may (Zoe is not a fan, and thinks it would be way too large on her wrist), and the simple rubber strap works well with the metal housing. I love that there are other options available, the actual device clips into the metallic surround, and needs to be removed to charge, (Fitbit sell their own, or there are 3rd party straps for a lot less money), personally am thinking about getting a metal one and a leather (or faux leather) one so I can change up my look! Yes I do indeed think I'm a fashion blogger now.

Fitbit Blaze on my wrist (Ace clock face shown)
Fitbit Blaze on my wrist (Ace clock face shown)


The GUI of the watch (Graphical User Interface) is simple to use, with swiping left or right to scroll through the main menus or up and down for specific sections, and there are 12 different designs for a clock, both analogue looking and digital. The music controls work well with my iPhone, as does the call answering option and I do like being able to read my text messages via the Blaze rather than having to get my phone out all the time. So over all it is winning here.

Tests with Walking


I set my stride length with my old HR, so have not needed to alter this to get a pretty accurate reading, I actually loose a couple of tenths over the course of a mile, so 1 mile walked shows as 0.98 of a mile on the Fitbit (variances over rough and uneven ground do not seem much either). and when I paced out 100 steps I was getting between 97 and 101 showing on  the Blaze after the walk. So I am pretty happy that I am getting an overall picture of my distances and number of steps within quite a close margin, after all nothing is perfect.

I think little attention needs to be paid to the stairs count, I've never really known why it matters and it is certainly not accurate in reality, I've had massive over estimations (usually) and many under estimations, so would never suggest sing this as accurate. I also can't vouch for the Fitstar element because I simply have not used it, it isn't my thing. Although the Relax part of the watch (it walks you through slowing breathing) seems to work quite well.

The heart rate monitor seems pretty accurate but I don't test my heart rate that often (if at all) but the Blaze seems to math up with the HR and Apple watch monitors.

Rigours of use


I've worn the Fitbit Blaze pretty much constantly since purchasing it (shows and charge times aside) and have found it comfortable and without much complaint, although there have been a couple of minor issues and I am a little worried that the screen my scratch if I knock it through the summer months, but I guess time will tell (no damage yet, the glass seems very tough and scratch resistant, and I've knocked it a few times).

Minor Issues


Stair counting aside, I've noticed two issues:

Firstly battery life, which isn't too bad (4-5 days roughly), but still annoying having to charge so often, especially if you find yourself away from easy plug sockets (camping without EHU).

Secondly, and this one is a pain, if you wear a long sleeved top and sweat a lot or it rains! Seems odd that last one right? Well I was caught out in some rain with only a hoodie (yeah and trousers!) and the sleeves got quite damp, this meant they constantly rubbed on the screen of the Blaze and kept jumping my music (well podcasts) as the wet jumper mimicked the effect of a finger swipe. Turning off the option for music control stopped that issue, but I have had timers switched on or exercise options activated these are quite annoying in themselves, but it also means that the watch battery ran down even quicker than normal.

Conclusion


So there you have it, it's stylish and seems pretty accurate to me, has a few drawbacks, but then all activity trackers do. But I am glad I have my Fitbit Blaze, it motivates me to do more and helps track my miles. 

Oh and if you would like to add me on Fitbit please do: Ashley Beolens Fitbit Profile always happy to workweek hustle :)

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I'm Walking 2500 miles in 2017 to raise money for Birding For All - Read about it here - Please consider donating through My Donate

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