Fitbit’s Blaze makes fitness even more mainstream

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It’s not an Apple Watch knockoff you’re looking at. That’s the new Fitbit Blaze smartwatch announced at CES 2016. Through the years, Fitbit has released several activity trackers that mastered exactly what they needed to do: track activity. But the market for activity trackers began to felt an increasing amount of pressure in 2014 when smartwatches became a better value. Most smartwatches can do exactly what Fitbit offers in its own devices. So, in 2016, Fitbit is joining the field with its own smartwatch. The Blaze, which really does look like a cheaper Apple Watch, is yet another product that wants to combine power and style.

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Having a smartwatch rather than a little ticker-like display gives Fitbit the ability to put information and full notifications on your wrist. Like any Fitbit device or other brand’s activity tracker, the Blaze will show statistics like how many steps you’ve traveled or the amount of calories burned. And everything is stored behind a display that is touch-ready for user interaction.

All data collected by the Blaze syncs with the official Fitbit app.

The Blaze is compatible with more than two hundred apps across Android, Windows, and iOS.

Fitbit says battery life should be around five days, quite longer than most of the Blaze’s initial competitors. This, mind you, is being said about a smartwatch that does have a GPS active inside.

Fitbit_Blaze_Lineup

Color options include black, blue, and plum bands; however, Fitbit will offer a “stylish collection of premium accessory bands and frames” in the near future. For now, the accessories at launch are seven bands from rubber, genuine leather, and stainless steel materials. Pricing for them ranges from $29 to $129.

These are the fitness features Fitbit is really pushing with the Blaze:

  • FitStar Personal Trainer on-screen workouts deliver guided instructions and animated images to three of the most popular personal trainer workouts from FitStar: Warm It Up (8 minutes), 7 Minute Workout, and 10 Minute Abs. Each workout is free and can be accessed at any time with no app or smartphone required, offering a fast, effective workout you can do anywhere.
  • Connected GPS helps you train smarter by delivering real-time exercise stats like distance, pace and minute-mile split times when connected to a smartphone’s GPS. After each workout, stats sync wirelessly to the Fitbit dashboard to let you review your route, speed and elevation in more detail.
  • PurePulse continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking helps maximize any training routine with simplified heart rate zones to help you maintain workout intensity and better track calories burned during each workout. PurePulse also provides all-day insights into overall health, including resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time, all without an uncomfortable chest strap.
  • Multi-sport mode lets you record specific activities like biking, cardio, running, weights, yoga and more while providing relevant, real-time performance stats to help you get the most out of each workout. PurePulse is enhanced while in Multi-sport mode for even better heart rate tracking, especially during high intensity workouts.
  • SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition automatically recognizes and records continuous movement activities like biking, hiking and running, with general categories for aerobic workouts (i.e., Zumba®, cardio-kickboxing and other dance classes) and sports (i.e., tennis, basketball and soccer). It gives you more ways to stay motivated and get credit for your workouts by effortlessly recording them in the Fitbit app and automatically adding them toward weekly exercise goals.

Since you’re going to be using this in rainy and sweaty conditions, the Blaze was built to be withstand bumps, rain, and sweat. The body and the band wicks away moisture while the metal body is durable enough to take a smack or two against a hard surface.

Fitbit already has the Blaze up for pre-order with shipping scheduled for March. The Blaze is priced at $199 and will also be sold by Amazon, Best Buy, Brookstone, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Sports Authority, Target, and Verizon.

Click here for our CES 2016 coverage

Fitbit Reveals FitBit Blaze – The Smart Fitness Watch That Empowers Consumers to Get Fit in Style

Versatile timepiece features a sleek design and easily interchangeable accessories, an enhanced fitness experience with advanced coaching, and the smart features you need to stay connected

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CES – Fitbit (NYSE: FIT), the leader in the connected health and fitness market, today unveiled the Fitbit Blaze™ smart fitness watch, its smartest, most stylish, most motivating fitness tracker yet. The latest addition to Fitbit’s award-winning line of innovative devices, Fitbit Blaze is available today for presale with global retail availability starting in March 2016. Fitbit Blaze is a smart fitness watch built to help you make the most of your workouts, with a versatile design to fit your personal style, and the smart notifications that matter most – all in one sleek timepiece that fits seamlessly into your life:

  • Enhanced fitness features like FitStar™ by Fitbit® on-screen workouts, Connected GPS, PurePulse® heart rate tracking, and SmartTrack™ automatic exercise recognition help motivate and push your fitness further
  • Focus on style featuring a slim design, easily interchangeable bands and frames, and a beautiful, color touchscreen with a variety of clock faces to fit your personal style
  • Curated to fit your life and focused on the features that make tracking your health and fitness easier, Fitbit Blaze includes the smart notifications that matter most, like call, text and calendar alerts, so you can stay connected to what’s important, and a long battery life of up to 5 days allows you to keep up with your life, day and night

“One of the first things we learned in this industry is that fitness is personal – and if something isn’t your style, you won’t wear it,” said James Park, CEO and Co-Founder of Fitbit. “With Fitbit Blaze, we pushed the boundaries of what’s possible to create a beautiful, versatile device that can be customized to fit your personal style – while packing a powerful fitness punch to help you reach your goals. Fitbit Blaze delivers a combination of innovative features that were carefully selected with intention and purpose, designed to motivate and offer a fitness experience that is more effortless and more useful with advanced guidance and coaching.”

Enhanced Fitness Experience

In addition to tracking all of the best all-day activity stats you have come to expect from Fitbit, Fitbit Blaze was built with next-generation features to help you take your workouts to the next level:

  • FitStar Personal Trainer on-screen workouts deliver guided instructions and animated images to three of the most popular personal trainer workouts from FitStar: Warm It Up (8 minutes), 7 Minute Workout, and 10 Minute Abs. Each workout is free and can be accessed at any time with no app or smartphone required, offering a fast, effective workout you can do anywhere.
  • Connected GPS helps you train smarter by delivering real-time exercise stats like distance, pace and minute-mile split times when connected to a smartphone’s GPS. After each workout, stats sync wirelessly to the Fitbit dashboard to let you review your route, speed and elevation in more detail.
  • PurePulse continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking helps maximize any training routine with simplified heart rate zones to help you maintain workout intensity and better track calories burned during each workout. PurePulse also provides all-day insights into overall health, including resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time, all without an uncomfortable chest strap.
  • Multi-sport mode lets you record specific activities like biking, cardio, running, weights, yoga and more while providing relevant, real-time performance stats to help you get the most out of each workout. PurePulse is enhanced while in Multi-sport mode for even better heart rate tracking, especially during high intensity workouts.
  • SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition automatically recognizes and records continuous movement activities like biking, hiking and running, with general categories for aerobic workouts (i.e., Zumba®, cardio-kickboxing and other dance classes) and sports (i.e., tennis, basketball and soccer). It gives you more ways to stay motivated and get credit for your workouts by effortlessly recording them in the Fitbit app and automatically adding them toward weekly exercise goals.

“As a former professional athlete, nothing gets me more motivated than a great coach,” said Tony Gonzalez, football legend and FitStar Trainer. “FitStar Personal Trainer offers workouts you can do anytime, anywhere, using your computer, tablet or phone and it’s only getting easier, thanks to this new integration with Fitbit Blaze.”

Get Fit in Style – Focus on Fashion and Personalization

Fitbit Blaze is a sleek, versatile timepiece that fits your personal style with:

  • Premium interchangeable bands made from genuine leather, stainless steel and high-performance elastomer to let you design a look that’s extremely personal and a perfect fit – whether at the gym, in the office or out on the town.
  • A unique modular design that allows you to easily remove and insert your tracker into a new frame, so you can wear Fitbit Blaze with style at work and then swap it instantly into a new frame with a workout-friendly wristband. Use the quick release spring bars to switch your bands and change the look of your device in seconds.
  • Fitbit’s first vibrant, high-resolution, color touchscreen and multiple clock faces make the device uniquely yours and distinguishable from others.

Curated Features that Fit Your Life

From the inside out, Fitbit Blaze is a carefully curated experience designed to help you take action without distraction. Each feature was selected with intention and purpose to help you stay connected, maximize your entire day and night, and fit effortlessly into your life:

  • Stay connected with smart notifications you need. Fitbit Blaze features the smartphone notifications you need most instead of being overwhelmed with unnecessary information.
    • Bluetooth® Smart connectivity delivers call, text and calendar notifications through on-screen messages and a vibrating alert, so you can see what matters most at a glance
    • Accept and reject calls directly from Fitbit Blaze when connected to a compatible smartphone
    • Adding motivation to any workout is easy with on-screen controls for playlists and volume when playing music from your connected smartphone
  • Track your night with automatic sleep tracking to know how long and well you sleep, plus set a silent alarm that gently vibrates to wake you.
  • Long battery life of up to 5 days on a single charge lets you live your life and track your exercise, sleep and heart rate day and night, with the confidence you won’t lose a step or miss a beat.
  • Compatible with more than 200 Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices so you can access stats and motivational interactive tools, which help to motivate millions to achieve their goals within the community of Fitbit users they choose.

Pricing & Availability

Fitbit Blaze is available for $199.95 (U.S.) for presale today at Fitbit.com and tomorrow at major North American retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Brookstone, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Sports Authority, Target, and Verizon, with global retail availability starting in March 2016. It will be available with black, blue, and plum bands at introduction, along with a stylish collection of premium accessory bands and frames. A full line of easily interchangeable accessories will be available in a variety of colors and styles with additional accessories coming soon. Accessories available at introduction include:

  • Classic high-performance elastomer bands available in black, blue and plum ($29.95 U.S.)
  • Luxe genuine leather bands paired with stainless steel display frames available in black, mist grey and camel ($99.95 U.S.)
  • Luxe stainless steel link band paired with a stainless steel display frame available in silver ($129.95 U.S.)

Consumers who want to experience Fitbit Blaze in person will be able to do so in advance of in-store retail availability at select Best Buy locations in the United States and Canada. Beginning February 20, visit select Best Buy locations where Best Buy Blue Shirts will be available to assist shoppers with trying on the device with its accessories and to complete a preorder.

Fitbit at CES® 2016

By combining the power of technology with insights, Fitbit offers a wide variety of connected health and fitness devices that help people at the everyday, active and performance fitness levels pursue their health goals. Visit the Fitbit booth to see the new Fitbit Blaze and experience the entire Fitbit family of connected health and fitness products – Tech West: Sands Expo at The Venetian, Level 2, #74108.

For more information on Fitbit products and services, please visit www.fitbit.com.

About Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE:FIT)

Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in the connected health and fitness category, Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness. Fitbit’s diverse line of award-winning products includes Fitbit Surge™, Fitbit Blaze™, Fitbit Charge HR™, Fitbit Charge™, Fitbit Flex®, Fitbit One® and Fitbit Zip® activity trackers, as well as the Aria® Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Fitbit products are carried in over 48,000 retail stores and more than 55 countries around the globe.

Fitbit, the Fitbit logo, Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One, Fitbit Zip, Aria, MobileRun, PurePulse, SmartTrack and FitStar are trademarks, service marks and/or registered trademarks of Fitbit, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks, service marks, and product names used herein are the property of their respective owners.

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About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the HTC 10 and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.