More About Fit­ness Than Smart­ness

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

Pop­u­lar name in fit­ness wear­ables, Fit­bit has launched a smart­watch, Blaze. But can this new watch com­pete against pop­u­lar ones such as Ap­ple Watch, Sam­sung Gear S2 or Motorola Moto 360?

UNIN­SPIR­ING DE­SIGN: Smart­watches look good. At least, the Ap­ple Watch and Sam­sung Gear 2 with broad, rect­an­gu­lar de­signs. To charge the watch, you need to take the square plas­tic panel out of the stain­less steel frame and plug into the sep­a­rate square cas­ing to charge. There are but­tons on the sides – one on the left and two on the right. The left one is the back key, whereas the two on the right come handy dur­ing work­out ses­sions. I showed the Fit­bit Blaze to many and no one re­ally liked the de­sign. Some­one had a com­ment: "my Ca­sio cal­cu­la­tor watch looked much bet­ter than the Fit­bit Blaze". While the Blaze is light, I wasn’t re­ally ex­cited about wear­ing this smart­watch. It has a re­spon­sive touch screen dis­play, but it isn’t as good as the one on Ap­ple Watch or Gear S2. It has a 1.25-inch, 16-colour dis­play.

PAIR­ING TAKES TIME: Just like any other smart­watch, even Fit­bit Blaze has to be paired with a com­pat­i­ble app. Avail­able for iPhone and An­droid OS, it took close to 20 min­utes to set up this smart­watch, which is un­usu­ally long com­pared to other smart­watches.

MORE FIT­NESS, LESS SMART: Most of the func­tion­al­ity of the Fit­bit Blaze is sim­i­lar to its ear­lier fit­ness bands. The Blaze is good at keep­ing track of foot­steps, ac­tive ex­er­cise calo­ries burnt, qual­ity of sleep, rest­ing time and more. Track­ing fit­ness ac­tiv­ity is Fit­bit’s forte and Blaze does a good job. It man­aged to track my sleep and mid­dle-of-the-night wake up ses­sions with ac­cu­racy. It even has an in­built heart rate sen­sor that mea­sures the heart beats. Most of the time, the heart rate mon­i­tor works well, but some­times it is iffy. Un­der ex­er­cise track­ing, it has op­tions for run­ning, cy­cling, weights, tread­mill and el­lip­ti­cal. It doesn’t come with in­built GPS; for us­ing Fit­bit’s Con­nected GPS fea­ture, you will have to carry your smart­phone along.

It fetches in­com­ing call no­ti­fi­ca­tions, shows text alerts and cal­en­dar re­minders. There is also an op­tion to con­trol mu­sic from the watch. But the list of smart­watch fea­tures ends here. There are no apps that you can con­nect it with or any What­sApp or Face­book no­ti­fi­ca­tions, as you get on most other smart­watches to­day. This makes it more of a fit­ness watch and not a smart­watch ca­pa­ble of han­dling com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The Fit­bit app is well de­signed. It of­fers a lot of de­tails about the work­out ses­sions and daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

BAT­TERY: The most im­pres­sive fea­ture of the Blaze is the bat­tery. Un­like other smart­watches, you need not charge it ev­ery day. On one charge, it lasted me over five days dur­ing the test­ing pe­riod.

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