This morning Fitbit took the stage at CES to announce its latest activity tracker. The Fitbit Blaze sits between the Charge HR and Surge trackers in the company’s current product lineup. While it may look a whole lot like many full-blown iOS/Android smartwatches, its main focus is still fitness rather than third-party app complications. Update: Fitbit’s stock price is plummeting on the news that it is entering Apple’s Watch realm. As of this writing, the stock price is down 11% and falling. Investors clearly aren’t fans.
Blaze is the first Fitbit to feature a high-resolution color touchscreen LCD display. It comes with a elastomer band and stainless steel frame, but in a move reminiscent to Apple’s attention to style with its Watch, Fitbit is also offering a wide range of different bands and frames. You can even customize its look even more through a variety of clock faces. But so far there’s no sign of Mickey, so Apple wins in that regard.
Blaze was designed to help you get in the best shape of your life by offering valuable health data, motivational coaching, and detailed workout instructions with animated images. PurePulse delivers all-day heart rate information that can “help you maintain workout intensity and better track calories burned during each workout” and provide vital data like “resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time.” Other features like Multi-Sport and SmartTrack take the pain out of logging individual workouts. A single charge is estimated to last up to 5-days.
Aside from its fitness tracking abilities, Blaze can also relay call, text and calendar alerts, as well as adjust volume and song selection from your iPhone or Android smartphone.
There is some resemblance to what Apple is doing but clearly the focus here is on fitness. Fitbit Blaze can be pre-ordered now with a black, blue, or plum band for $199.95 and is expected to be released in March. Looking for a deal on a current generation Fitbit? The Charge is on sale for $89.99 (Reg. $130) and the Charge HR is down to $109.99 (Reg. $150).
Full press releases follows:
- 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.