Engadget– The Fitbit Blaze is a new type of device for the company. It’s the first hardware Fitbit has made that could be classified as a smartwatch, albeit one with a major focus on fitness rather than the more flexible and relatively feature-packed approach that characterizes Android Wear and the Apple Watch. But just as with other smartwatches, the Fitbit Blaze aspires to be something you’ll want to wear on your wrist: Beyond the fluoroelastomer bands that resemble those found in other Fitbit devices, the company is also selling more-premium leather and metal straps. The question is whether the whole package is desirable enough to want to wear on your wrist every day.
Beyond the band, the odd metallic casing that fits around the main tracker unit similarly felt rather uninspired and kind of flimsy. When you put the whole package together, it’s just not a very compelling thing to wear from a looks and comfort perspective.
CES 2016 is wrapping up in Las Vegas, and many products have been shown which will be released in the upcoming years. One product that will be coming out this year is the new Fitbit Blaze. The new watch will be available in Late March, at a comfortable price point of $200. This watch is pegged to be a direct attack on the new Apple Watch, which will most likely be debuting in April of 2016.
The watch is Fitbit’s attempt to move into the smartwatch for fitness. It hooks up to your phone through bluetooth to establish a GPS signal, which in turn is used for turn-by-turn run tracking. The connection also allows calls, texts, and calendar appointments to come through. Absent is 3rd party apps or notifications, which Fitbit is looking to keep off the device. They are trying to make a simple device that will hopefully undersell the Apple watch, a strategic move for the company. Other features of the device include a heart rate tracker, step count, and calorie burn, which will hopefully help the masses improve their fitness techniques.
The design is interesting, octagon in shape with a touchscreen display. The watch mimics many of the new Pebble and Garmin watches currently on the market. The watch appears to target everyday use, and thus is looking to appeal in both form and function.
Overall, the watch should sell well and directly challenge the new Apple Watch. We will sit back and see what new features Apple bakes into their second model. Knowing Apple, they will not sit back and let Fitbit dominate the market.