For a long time, I wanted some sort of activity tracker, but it was so hard to pick one that I liked. Everyone I know has something on their wrist, and they all think that their tracker is the best, so it became really confusing for me which one I wanted. I finally settled on the Fitbit Blaze, and I’m glad I did. I’ve had it for about a month now, so I wanted to do a Fitbit Blaze review.
There are a few things that are a little frustrating with the Blaze, but for the most part, it is a great activity tracker that does exactly what I want. If you are thinking about buying it, I’m hoping this Fitbit Blaze review can help you make a final decision.
What I Like The Most About The Fitbit Blaze
There are some standard tracker things I like. For instance, I like being able to account for how many steps I take in my day. From walking to the bathroom to going on a hike, every step I take is accounted for! But, there are some specific things that I really like about the Blaze and Fitbit itself.
1. The Style
I LOVE the way it looks. So much more than Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Surge, or the Garmin Vivofit. In fact, this was the deciding factor when comparing to the other trackers, so it’s a big one for me.
It looks like a watch to me, and even though you can tell that there is a Fitbit tracker fit into the watch (the black thing in the pic above is the tracker and it fits into the silver frame), it’s still less noticeable than other trackers. In short, unless someone knows what the Fitbit Blaze looks like, there’s a good chance they will just think it’s a watch.
Plus there are plenty of band options and accessories both from Fitbit and from third parties. I haven’t ordered any extra yet, but I like the options I see out there! (They are on my Christmas list!)
2. The Sleep Tracker Graph That’s On The App
This is one of the big things I wanted in a tracker. I know that I toss and turn all night, but I wasn’t sure how much I was really tossing and turning. Now I know. I toss and turn a lot.
On the Fitbit app on your phone, you can see a summary of how you slept with a little chart. I didn’t get a screenshot of this, but you can click on any day of your choice, which expands to a graph for just that night, and then you can click on each of those little blue or red bars and see what time you were restless or awake.
What’s interesting is that I’m finding some patterns in my sleep. I normally sleep pretty good for about an hour or two in the beginning and then, when my husband wakes up at 4am, I toss and turn until I get up. I thought I slept like a rock in the hours before I got up, but apparently, I move the least in the really early morning and the most before I get up.
I’ve also put it on my husband for a few nights in a row to see if I’m affecting his sleep in any way by all my tossing and turning. Turns out I’m not. He sleeps pretty still and hard throughout his night. Here’s a screenshot from last night.
3. The Blazes’s Screen Strength
When I first put on the Fitbit Blaze, I was so careful when I walked. While the screen isn’t massive, it is still quite large, especially if you are not used to wearing a watch. I didn’t want to bang the screen at all because I was terrified that it would scratch.
But, after about a week, I stopped being so careful and, because of that, I’ve banged the screen on a wall or table at least once a day. (I’ve come to the conclusion that I take corners really tight because I most often hit my wrist on a wall as I’m going around a corner.) I still cringe and curse every time I do it, but I haven’t got a scratch yet!
One of the apps on the Fitbit Blaze is called FitStar. It’s an exercise app that only has three options right now.
- Warm up (Eight-minute series to get you warmed up)
- 7-minute workout
- 10-minute abs
I’m hoping that it will be updated with more!
I like the 7-minute workout. It starts out by telling you what exercise you will be doing, and then the tracker vibrates when you are supposed to start. It moves through exercises like jumping jacks to leg exercises to arm exercises to ab exercises. There are 13 exercises in total. Each exercise is 30 seconds long. So it’s a quick way to get in a full body workout that is timed.
I’m not an athlete. I don’t have a set workout schedule or an intense workout planned daily or any workout schedule right now. So, this app gives me the opportunity to do something good for my body no matter where I am. It’s kind of like a little motivator. And, it helps me get my heart rate up during a short break from sitting at the computer.
Hopefully. Fitbit will update FitStar with more workouts, like a 15-minute workout or a 30-minute workout! But, for now, you just get the two little workouts and the warm up.
What I Don’t Like Most About The Fitbit Blaze
There are a few things I don’t like. One is about Fitbit in general, and the others are about the Fitbit Blaze.
1. Limited Free Reports
I don’t like that you can’t access some detailed reports without paying for premium. Normally I am all about subscriptions if they provide value, but in this case, I feel like I paid a lot for the Fitbit Blaze ($250 CAD) and that things like this should be included – they shouldn’t be a premium option. I understand that Fitbit is trying to pull in revenue from much more than their tracker product – but I still don’t like it.
Although, it does seem to have a lot of value in the premium section, such as a trainer thing and ability to upload pics, so maybe that’s just me stomping my feet and wanting things for free that are actually worth paying for.
Update: I have a friend who has a Fitbit Charge HR. She is a fitness fanatic. She is a statistic fanatic. She loves numbers, graphs, and information. So I asked her if she was using the premium platform, and, if so, what the benefits were. Her reply was: No. I did the trial but saw no benefit to it at all. If she didn’t benefit from it, I doubt I would!
2. Quick View Malfunctions
The Fitbit Blaze has a quick view function. Basically, this just means that you flip your wrist and the screen comes on. You don’t have to push buttons, which is quite nice when you are walking or your hands are full. However, when it’s 2am, nobody wants to be greeted with a bright light in their eyes, which has happened to me a few times.
There is an option to turn off the quick view, which I enable each night before bed, but a few times it didn’t work and the screen kept coming on when I flipped my wrist. Considering I toss and turn a lot, it’s something that is pretty annoying to me – and to my husband who has had to shield his eyes as I turn over in bed.
And, sometimes it doesn’t come on when I want it to, which is equally frustrating. (This happens much more than it coming on when I don’t want it to.) I find that it mostly happens on my walks with my dog. When I’m trying to walk him and carry something in my other hand (like a poop bag), I’ll often flip my wrist to see how many steps I’ve taken so far and the screen won’t come on. Then I flip and flip and nothing! So, I have to press the button, which is difficult to do when a dog is pulling your hand and you are holding a poop bag up to your face.
I’m not sure if this is because the tracker isn’t sitting right on my wrist, but I’ve had this problem in all different positions on my wrist doing all kinds of things, from walking to laying down. It seems to be an issue for more than just me according to this thread on the Fitbit forum.
3. Not Waterproof
This was one of the biggest things holding me back from buying it. My mom wears a Garmin Vivofit and it is waterproof. She wears it swimming all the time. I thought it would be nice to have the option of having something waterproof, but, honestly, I don’t go swimming ever. So, in the end it wasn’t a strong enough reason to not get the Fitbit Blaze.
I can say that I wore it into the shower once by accident. I noticed before I put my hands up to my head and drenched my tracker. I have also gotten it a little bit wet doing dishes before I took it off. No harm done in either case.
Bonuses I Like With The Fitbit Blaze
Constant Heart Rate Monitor
It monitors your heart rate constantly. I think the Charge HR does this too. Basically, it comes in handy when you are trying to get your heart rate up and keep it in a specific zone, but I also like seeing a reminder that I need to improve my cardio because my heart rate is going a little too fast when I’m just doing something simple.
The Countdown Timer
The Blaze has a timer and countdown. I cook a lot with the oven, so I like to use the countdown instead of oven timer so that I can go wherever I want in or out of the house and still know when I need to take something out of the oven!
I love the little celebration that happens when you make your goal steps for the day. The tracker vibrates and the screen lights up with your steps with a rainbow type effect. My mom says that her Garmin doesn’t do that, and she wishes it would because it’s a little bonus to making your steps for the day.
A Few Extra Things To Note About The Fitbit Blaze
When you first open it up, you need to go to the setup page to set up your Fitbit Blaze. You can see the URL on the instructions below – fitbit.com/setup. Below is exactly what you see when you open up the box. There are no paper instructions. It took me about 15 minutes to realize that I needed to get online in order to set up my tracker! But, I loved the process once I started. It’s very user-friendly, and you definitely save on paper instructions!
The Fitbit Blaze comes with the ability to set alarms that vibrate to notify you. It also vibrates when you reach your goal steps or get notifications from your phone or need to start or start an exercise on FitStar. I’ve found that sometimes I don’t feel the vibration on my arm.
Usually, this happens when I’m busy and focused and using my other senses, such as my hearing or sight. I don’t think I’ve become numb to the vibration because I definitely feel it 95% of the time, but there are some times that I have not noticed it at all.
Charging the Fitbit Blaze is easy. I saw a lot of complaints about charging before I bought it, but it really isn’t that hard. You place it into its little charger (see pic below) and plug it into the computer or TV to charge. People were complaining that it’s annoying to have to take it out and put it in its cradle. I don’t feel that way. I just charge it when I’m on my computer and it’s done within an hour or so. Not a big deal. And, I only need to charge it about every 4 days or so. The tracker lets you know when the battery is dying and you can also see a red battery indicator in your Fitbit app.
Exercising With The Fitbit Blaze
It automatically recognizes my walking, which is pretty much all I’ve done with the Fitbit. I simply go for a walk, come home, sync my tracker to my phone, and then on my dashboard in the app, I can see that I went for a walk for so many minutes and burned so many calories, and I can see my average heart rate, which is a neat little feature.
But, you can also tell the tracker what exercises you are doing. For instance, if you want to go for a bike ride, you go to the ‘exercise’ app on the tracker and click on the ‘bike’ option and then your tracker will say ‘Let’s Go!’ and you hit the play button and start pedaling. Then it times how long you ride for and how many miles you ride for.
I should probably get on a bike or something and use this. I mean, I have had the tracker for over a month!
I’m sure there is more to this app, but I haven’t used it so I can’t really say. Apparently, though, you can get GPS data if you have your mobile device on you.
Fitbit Blaze™ can provide GPS data but only in conjunction with the sensors on your nearby mobile device. – Source
I’ll give it a try soon and update this Fitbit Blaze review with what I think.
Update: I went for a walk this morning and instead of letting the tracker recognize that I was going for a walk, I actually went into the exercise app and chose ‘walk’. It spent a few seconds connecting to my phone. When it was done, I hit play, went for my walk, then stopped it when I got home. I then went on the Fitbit app and saw that it had tracked my walk completely accurately! Like crazy accurately, where it even mapped my little turns and steps off the sidewalk. I’m not going to post a pic of the map because it shows exactly where I live, but trust me, it’s kind of cool to see where I went. As a bonus, since I thought it was tracking me, it definitely motivated me to move a little bit more so that it wasn’t just a tiny circle on the map.
You Can Compete In Challenges With Other Fitbit Users
With any Fitbit, you can participate in challenges with other people. I’m not into that. I think that my happiness would be affected by trying to compete with other people and feel bad when I’m not living up to their standards of steps, distance, activity, etc. But, I know that some of my friends love the challenges and feel really good about themselves after they complete them. I create my own personal weekly challenges where I try to do more than I did last week.
Does The Fitbit Blaze Make Me Happy?
Yes! I love the look of it. I love the insights I’m getting into my sleeping and activity. And I’ve found myself being more conscious of my health and motivated to improve it.
I work as a ghostwriter online, so I’m always on my computer. I can get lost in my work, so getting up is not something I easily do. Now, because of the tracker, I’m trying to move a little every hour. There is an ‘hourly activity goal’ in the Fitbit dashboard, and seeing how little I move when I’m working is an eye-opener to how little I move!
The bottom line is that I recommend it to anyone who wants to monitor what they are doing with their day and night, get motivated to do more, and look like they are wearing a watch in the process. You can read more reviews on the Blaze at Amazon here.