Review: Why Fitbit Blaze outshines Charge HR

A few years ago this blog shifted focus from a purely personal blog to one with the tagline and theme of “Make things better”. Part of making things better is squeezing in some exercise each day — whether it’s a full on workout (rare), a 45 minute bike ride (more common) or the bare minimum (10,000 steps / 30 minutes of consecutive activity).

10 minute abs workout on Fitbit Blaze

Today I’m quick-reviewing the Fitbit Blaze. As an experienced user of Fitbit’s products, I feel I have a good handle on what they do well and what needs to change.

Luckily for Fitbit Blaze, I can’t say there’s much lacking.

Full disclosure: Fitbit does not pay me or even know me, so this is my totally honest review.  I’ve included some Amazon links which if purchased from, may give me a small commission which goes into my bloggy fund.

The Fitbit Blaze is short one thing for me — its own GPS, which would mean on a walk, run, bike ride, etc, that you wouldn’t need to bring your phone with you. The Fitbit Surge has its own GPS, but I personally prefer the look of the Blaze.

Blaze can however sync with your phone’s GPS — this works for me. Probably good to have my phone with me in case I pop a tire anyway.

The capabilities of this Fitbit are almost entirely responsible for the reunion of my bike and I. It has made my rides so much more interesting. (I love stats, what can I say?)

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I can track my distance, speed (for me, that’s in kph), heart rate, calories burned, elevation, and it maps my route — all easily viewed on the Fitbit app when exercise is completed. On the device itself you can view all of the above in real time except for elevation and map. It motivates like crazy and immediately shows you the results of pushing harder.

The Blaze also features FitStar, which is a series of built in workouts. I accidentally scrolled past Exercise to FitStar once before realizing it was a thing. The “Warm Up” option came up, so I tapped the screen and immediately it sent me into an 8 minute warm up. It wasn’t beyond my control or anything (I could have stopped if I wanted to, haha) but I wanted to see what it was about. And I ended up really liking it!

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It’s really, really cool to have come from all the way from the Flex days and now be able to track non-stepping activities like bike rides and workouts. It is, of course, equipped with the heart rate monitor, as was the Charge HR (the middle-child in my own personal Fitbit family), which is a great feature.

I mostly loved the HR. One downfall was that my battery would drain by the third or fourth day when auto-sync was on. The Blaze has surprisingly excellent battery life, charging it only about once a week.

One other disappointment of the Charge HR was that the band was permanent. The Blaze is simply a tracking unit snapped into a band (sort of like the Flex), so there are all kinds of options — many of them very affordable — to coordinate with your mood.

A few standout Fitbit Blaze replacement bands I found include:

oily rainbow fitbit blaze replacement band

The list goes on and on.

Like the other more recent Fitbit models, the Blaze automatically senses sleep from start to finish and tracks sleep quality. They’ve released a new feature in the past month that allows you to set Sleep Goals — bedtime and wake-up time. As someone who gets most of her small shop work done at night, this has not been my forte.

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The display is crisp and vibrant — it surpasses the Charge HR and especially the Flex‘s simplistic digital displays. It shows the time, your steps, floors, calories burned, and distance stepped for the day (i.e., will not show biked distance on your regular dashboard, but will show it in your Exercise screen in the app).

Your display allows you to press play to start whichever Exercise you want, pause for breaks, and stop when done. You can add or remove exercise options (e.g., Yoga or Treadmill) in the app and they will show up on your display for easy access when needed. These exercises count toward your active minutes and are measured by your heart rate and sometimes GPS.

The display also has call display and receives texts. So far I’ve only figured out how to read them if they are sent one at a time, not in clusters. So if you have a friend, for example, who sends you 4 texts at a time, you will have to check your phone. It will display “4 text messages” from [person’s name]. It’s no biggie though. Someone texting you that much probably requires a response, which you’ll need to do on your phone.

As always, you can compete with your friends in Goal Days, Workweek Hustle and Weekend Warrior challenges — which, depending on your set of friends, can be extremely motivating.

A quick thing I want to add is that any time I’ve contacted Fitbit customer service, I’ve never been disappointed. (OK, once, but I think that person was having a bad day and we quickly resolved the issue.) They seem to be very customer focused and do what they can to help within a good turnaround time.

So that’s it from me! There is probably a lot more one could say about the Blaze, but the features I’ve talked about are the ones most useful to me.

Now I’m wondering: What features of this Fitbit smart watch have you most interested?

About Nik

Writer, occasional photographer, common street juggler. I enjoy cooking, crafting, a clean house, animals, and senses of humour. Oh yeah and being the mom of my boy John.

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2 Comments

  1. Nice. I think I’m getting fitbit blaze.
    Jason Cruickshank recently posted…30daykettlebellfatloss.com – No Gym? No Excuse! Death By Body WeightMy Profile

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