- 5-day battery life
- Display is good enough to see outdoors
- Step and sleep tracking work very well
- Smooth and snappy performance
- Comfortable to wear all day


- A device this big (and pricey) should have GPS on board
- Notifications are glitchy and limited
- No waterproofing
- Only 4 watch faces available, none are very good
- Inconsistent heart rate monitoring
- Expensive interchangeable bands
- Charging method is very awkward

Our Rating
Bottom Line

The Fitbit Blaze is a great fitness tracker in almost every way - step and sleep tracking are very accurate, and it's a great all-around fitness companion. This is no smartwatch, though. Notifications are extremely limited, there are only four watch faces, it doesn't come with GPS on board, and yet again, this is another Fitbit device with no waterproofing. If you can do without the LCD display, you'd be better off going with the Charge HR.

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Fitbit has proved it’s good at making fitness trackers. Offering a breadth of quality products in just about every price range, it’s no wonder why their trackers can be found on just about every other person’s wrist. But what happens when a fitness-first company tries to make something more along the lines of a smartwatch? That’s what we all asked ourselves when Fitbit unveiled the Blaze “fitness watch” at CES 2016.

For some time now, I’ve been having trouble choosing whether I want to wear a smartwatch or a fitness tracker. Sometimes I wear both, and sometimes I wear neither. Because of this, I was really excited when I first heard about the Blaze. I thought it would be an all-in-one wearable solution to my problems, but I quickly noticed that wasn’t the case at all. In what areas does the Fitbit Blaze excel, and is it worth the high price tag? We find that out in our full Fitbit Blaze review.

In an effort to bring both our readers and viewers the most comprehensive review experience possible, the Fitbit Blaze was reviewed by two different members of Android Authority. While I (Jimmy Westenberg) put together the written review, the video linked above was done by our own Joshua Vergara.
Review notes: I have been using the Fitbit Blaze as my main fitness tracker for about 15 days. The Nexus 6P has been my smartphone companion of choice.


Fitbit Blaze review AA 24

It’s clear that Fitbit is taking design much more seriously than ever before. The Blaze doesn’t necessarily look like a fitness tracker, but it doesn’t really look like a standard smartwatch either. This is no Android Wear device, nor is it an Apple Watch. The company is trying to do design its own way with the Blaze.

The metal frame makes the watch much bigger than it needs to be

Two main parts make up the Blaze. One part consists of the watch band that’s attached to a metal frame, and the other is a small black square with a display that houses the device’s internals. The display portion can be popped out of the body, allowing you to easily swap out watch bands. My one gripe about the design is that there’s a sizable gap between the tracker itself and the metal frame, making the watch much bigger than it needs to be. Also, the display is very small compared to the overall size of the watch, so it looks like this thing is pretty much made of bezel.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 8

The company is offering three different strap styles – silicone, leather and metal. We’re reviewing the silicone variant, but you can buy the leather and metal bands from Fitbit’s website for a hefty $99.95 and $129.95, respectively. Not only do the bands cost too much money, that’s on top of the already high $200 price point for the standard Blaze. I get why Fitbit is offering extra bands, don’t get me wrong – use the silicone one during your workouts, use the leather or metal options when you’re at work or going out for the night. I just wish the company could have brought down the price a little bit more.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 15

Each one of these extra bands also come with an additional metal frame. The bands themselves can easily be removed from the frame, but it’s much easier to just pop out the tracker and put it in another frame. As is the case with other Fitbit products, the silicone band on the Blaze is very nice. It’s soft, comfortable and doesn’t collect a lot of dust or hair. It also attaches with a clasp just like a normal watch, which I find to be very helpful.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 2

The Blaze just isn't as fashionable as other smartwatches on the market

The metal frame is super sturdy and makes the watch feel very well built. You’ll find one physical button on the left and two on the right. The one on the left is your back button, and the two on the right can be used for selecting different options when you’re in a workout. You can pause your run or create a new lap with these physical buttons, but it’s also pretty easy to select these options on the touchscreen itself.

Overall, I’m on the fence as to whether or not I like the design of the Fitbit Blaze. It’s not really as fashionable as any of the Android Wear or Apple offerings, and I can’t help but think it just looks like a tiny computer on my wrist. Some people don’t mind that, but I do. With that said, the Blaze is a really good start for Fitbit on the design front. I’m just looking forward to seeing what the next generation Blaze looks like.


Fitbit Blaze review AA 5

The Blaze is the first Fitbit device to come with a color LCD display. It measures 1.25 inches and comes with a resolution of 240 x 180. Overall the screen is quite nice. It remains visible both indoors and out, and I haven’t had any problems with touch sensitivity during the review period. This isn’t an always-on display though, so it’ll go black when you’re not using it. That wouldn’t normally be a bad thing, but the Blaze isn’t all that responsive when you flick your wrist to check the time. Oftentimes I found myself flicking my wrist 2 or 3 times, then giving up and pressing the side button to turn on the display.


Fitbit Blaze review AA 1

When it comes to fitness tracking, the Fitbit Blaze covers all the basics. It can track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. It can even track your heart rate and sleeping patterns if you choose to leave it on at night. Basically, the Blaze is a fancier version of the Charge HR with an LCD display, more notification options and guided workouts.

Fitbit Charge HR review AA 20See also: Fitbit Charge HR review7

GPS and proper waterproofing aren't offered here

It’s not too farfetched to think that a GPS should be included on a device this large (and this pricey), but unfortunately that’s not the case. It doesn’t have GPS tracking capabilities on its own, but you can use Fitbit’s Connected GPS feature if you don’t mind carrying your smartphone with you on your run.


The Fitbit Blaze also lacks waterproofing, just like with the company’s Charge HR and Surge devices. Instead, Fitbit says the Blaze is “sweat, rain and splash proof, but not swim proof.” Waterproofing has pretty much been the most requested feature in the Fitbit community for the past couple years, and it now looks like fans will need to wait even longer for this feature to be added.

The vibration motor in the Blaze is much less powerful than what you’d find on other Fitbit products or Android Wear devices. It’s not weak enough to where I wouldn’t notice it, but I wish it was a little more powerful.

For a more detailed look at the specs, check out the table below.

 Fitbit Blaze
Display1.25-inch touch screen LCD display
240 x 180 resolution
Heart rate monitoringYes
Sleep trackingYes
Water resistanceSplash, rain and sweat proof, but not swim proof
Battery lifeUp to 5 days
Sensors and components3-axis accelerometer
Optical heart rate monitor
Ambient light sensor
Vibration motor
CompatibilityAndroid, iOS, Windows
ColorsBlack, Blue, Plum
DimensionsSmall: 139.7 - 170.2mm (40.13mm wide)
Large: 170.2 - 205.7mm (40.13mm wide)
XL: 205.7 - 236.2mm (40.13mm wide)


Fitbit Blaze review AA 7

Activity tracking

As is the case with other Fitbit devices, the Blaze can track your steps, calories, distance and floors. It’s very accurate in all four of these cases.

Accurate step tracking is the metric that most people look for in a fitness tracker. Like I did with the Charge HR, I counted out a certain number of steps and recorded the results on the Blaze when I was done. I started with exactly 1,500 steps, and I walked 500 equally big steps outside on the sidewalk. After I was done, the Blaze said I was at 2,004 for the day, which is very accurate for a wrist-mounted fitness tracker. I’ve also compared the Blaze’s step tracking capabilities with those of the Garmin vivosmart HR, Jawbone UP3 and the Charge HR, and it seems to be pretty spot on with all three.

Exercise tracking

Fitbit Blaze review AA 19

The Blaze excels at detecting what workout you're currently doing

There are a handful of different exercises supported by the Fitbit Blaze, including running, biking, lifting weights, running on a treadmill, and using an elliptical. Fitbit devices have always done well with automatically recognizing what workout you’re currently doing, and the Blaze excels in this area. What this means is that you don’t need to manually select “Run” mode before you take a run. You can just go, and the Blaze will record your running stats once you’re all done.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 20

It should be noted that in addition to the exercises listed above, the Blaze also has a generic “Workout” mode. This is for your workouts where you’ll be doing multiple activities in rapid succession, so you don’t have to keep switching between modes every time you want to switch activities.

Since there’s no GPS on board, you won’t be able to accurately see how far you’ve traveled on your run, but the Blaze will estimate your distance based on your arm movement. This is a pretty rough estimation, too — I went on a 3.9-mile run, and the Blaze only recorded it as a 3.5-mile run. This is pretty good for not having a connected smartphone nearby, but not accurate enough to rely on for every workout.


At the end of each workout, you’ll be shown an overview screen with your time, distance, max and average heart rate, burned calories and steps. You can get more detailed information in the smartphone companion app once the Blaze is done syncing. These statistics should be more than enough for the average person, but likely won’t suffice for folks who are really serious about tracking their workouts. You’ll definitely get better results with a triathlon watch or something similar, but those are also much more expensive.

Heart rate tracking

Fitbit Blaze review AA 16

The Blaze’s heart rate monitor sits on the underside of the watch and remains pretty unnoticeable when you’re wearing it. You can set the HRM to be always on or off, but you should probably just keep it in Auto mode. This way it will only monitor your heart rate when you’re active, and not just when you’re sitting around. If you don’t care about this feature, you also have the option of turning it off, which will likely result in a few extra hours of battery life.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 4

But how does it perform? Well, before we get into that, we should tell you that this isn’t going to be nearly as accurate as a chest strap. Although they’re not the most convenient workout accessories, chest straps are the way to go if you need something that will give you accurate HR readings.


Heart rate tracking on the Blaze is one of its lowest points

Heart rate tracking on the Blaze is one of its lowest points. If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that can accurately report your resting heart rate, the Blaze is for you. Anything more than that, though, and you should look elsewhere. During our testing, we just couldn’t get the HRM to rise above 150 BPM. Even at the most intense moments, when our heart rate should be closer to the 175-180 BPM range, the Blaze just stayed at 150. This is quite unfortunate, as Fitbit has been marketing its PurePulse Heart Rate technology as one of the Blaze’s main selling points.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 13

All in all, the Blaze will give you accurate resting heart rate stats, but nothing more than that. If you’re looking to train in a certain zone or want accurate results while you’re in a workout, you probably shouldn’t be seeking out a wrist-mounted HR tracker anyway.

Sleep tracking

Fitbit Blaze review AA 11

Fitbit devices are really good at tracking sleep, and the Blaze is no different. Unlike other fitness trackers, there’s no need to manually log your sleep in the Fitbit app. You don’t even need to press a “sleep now” button before you go to bed. When you wear it to bed, the app will automatically log your sleep and record any time you were restless or got up in the night. It’s usually pretty accurate, too. Sleep stats are pretty limited, and it doesn’t show you any info on deep or light sleep. The statistics the app does show you should be just fine for most people though.

One thing to note is that the Blaze is sort of big, so it’s not as comfortable as the Charge HR or other smaller fitness trackers. This might turn some people away from wearing it every night.


Fitbit Blaze review AA 22

Fitbit bought a company called FitStar last year, and the company’s exercise software is one of the headline features on the Blaze. From the FitStar menu on your watch, you can select three different cardio routines — Warm It Up, 7-Minute Workout, or 10-Minute Abs. Once you make your selection, you’ll be shown how to do each workout for a few seconds. You’ll then have about 30 seconds to do each workout, then move on to the next one.

The workouts are overall easy to follow, but offer no room for improvement. You’ll still get a brief overview screen of your workout after your routine is finished, but it doesn’t motivate you to do better next time, nor does it come with any truly challenging workouts. I get why FitStar is on the Blaze, but it just seems like Fitbit didn’t try very hard to perfect this feature.


Fitbit Blaze review AA 9

Fitbit devices usually have a pretty basic user interface, but not the Blaze. Thanks to the LCD touchscreen display, you can do a little bit more on the Blaze compared to other Fitbit devices.

The device’s home screen is a watch face, and you can choose from four different styles in the companion app. None of them are particularly good, though. They all look and act differently, which is nice, but they aren’t all that intuitive to interact with.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 21

You can scroll through the watch menus by swiping to the left on the display. This is how you’ll select different workouts, FitStar, timers, alarms and the settings menu. You should try your best to remember to always manually navigate back to your home screen, though. For some reason, if you leave your watch on a certain menu – say the FitStar screen – and your watch goes to sleep, flicking your wrist will bring you back to the that menu, not the home screen, even if your watch has been idle for a few hours.

Fitbit Blaze review AA 23

Moto 360 Sport review AA 25Related: Moto 360 Sport review20

From the watch face, you can swipe down to turn notifications on or off, or control the music that’s currently playing on your phone. Swiping up will give you access to your recent messages. Having the ability to receive notifications on your wrist is great, but unfortunately this is the most undercooked part of the whole watch. From the Fitbit app, you can turn on call, text and calendar notifications, and that’s it. No Facebook, no Twitter, not even email. I’m not saying I particularly need Twitter mentions on my wrist while I’m out and about, but I wish the option was at least there.

Fitbit wants to simplify notifications on your wrist, and that unfortunately means options are limited on the Blaze

It should also be noted that notifications are quite buggy at the moment. With my Blaze connected to my phone, there have been times where I haven’t gotten any notifications sent to my wrist at all. That’s pretty frustrating, but Fitbit offers somewhat of a fix for it. You can enable a widget in the notification shade that will help with missing or late notifications, but I’m not really sure that’s a viable solution to the problem.


Out of all the companion apps I’ve used over the years, Fitbit’s app is my favorite. It’s easy to use and it looks good. The app’s home screen, or Dashboard, shows you which device you’re using, and all of your daily stats below that. You can click on each statistic to get more details on your progress throughout the day. Tapping on your device will bring you to the settings menu, where you can change watch faces, notification settings and more.

Best Android Fitness apps and workout appsSee also: 15 best Android fitness apps and workout apps40

You can slide out the menu to the left to access Challenges, Friends, your account and a tab to manage your alarms. The app is really good at providing daily, weekly, monthly and yearly challenges, and the built-in social features are great too. It’s easy to connect and chat with other Fitbit users.


Fitbit Blaze review AA 14

Fitbit says the Blaze can last up to 5 days on a single charge, and I can vouch for that claim. I’ve been able to make it last for close to 5 days pretty much the entire time I’ve had the device. It’s not often that you’ll need to charge the Blaze, and trust me — that’s a good thing.


Charging this thing is a task. You can’t just plug a USB cable into it, and there’s definitely no wireless charging here. You need to take the device out of the metal frame and place it in a little plastic charging cradle, then hook it up to a computer or charging brick. It’s pretty annoying to charge it this way, but luckily you won’t have to do it that often.


Should you buy it?

Fitbit Blaze review AA 10

Buy now from Amazon

So, should you consider the Fitbit Blaze? You need to know what you’re buying before we answer that one.

The Fitbit Blaze isn’t as smart as a smartwatch and it’s not as advanced as some of the other fitness trackers out there. It doesn’t come with a GPS, it’s not waterproof, and anything beyond resting heart rate is a flop. With that said, it’s very good at the basics, which is par for the course with Fitbit products. Step tracking is pretty much as good as it can get, battery life is great, and with the exception of the heart rate monitor, it’s a great all-around fitness companion. There are also a variety of different bands available for the Blaze if you want to wear it all day.

Bottom line, the Fitbit Blaze is a fitness tracker with a few smartwatch-y features thrown in that aren’t all that great. If you aren’t keen on the design of the Blaze, you’d be better off going with the Charge HR — it’s a bit more than half the price on Amazon and comes with most of the same features.

  • Didn’t read the post as soon as I saw the line “Fitbit’s foray into smartwatch territory is a letdown”. Fitbit is not a smartwatch company, at least not yet. And Blaze is & never was a smartwatch.

    • BadPuppy

      I totally agree. I read the review and was thinking, who ever said the blaze was a smart watch?

  • Watashi

    Think I’ll stick with the Flex and my Pebble Time for now.

  • Dusan

    How come a 5 day battery only got a rating of 8.5? That should have been at least 9.5 if you compare it to other smartwatches. My Huawei Watch lasts for about a day and a half if I wear it for about 10 hours a day.

    • Kanoosh

      because the blaze is not considered a smartwatch , it’s considered a “smart-tracker” ..somewhere in between.. and 5 days for a watch this light on features, is kinda wack..after all it’s a basic fitness tracker with notifications and a bigger screen, that’s all.. should last a lot longer imo.

      also he probably gave it a lower rating then you have liked because of the massive hasell it is the charge it, so i don’t think he debunked points for the charging time itself.

      • BadPuppy

        Exactly. It is not a smart watch so why is the whole post complaining that it is (was) a weak smart watch?

  • nikolas ostropolskiy

    Wow that was a long review. … also who ever designed the fitbit Blaze should get kicked in the nuts. That person must be entirely out of touch with what’s “in” design wise.

    • Garfie1d

      Who ever makes such comments about personal likes and dislikes should get real good kicked in the nuts … The world thankfully is not turning around after your personal fancy.

      • nikolas ostropolskiy

        Well then sounds like you should get kicked in the nuts for personally disliking my comment.
        Good thing I live in a country with freedom of speech and opinion.

    • BadPuppy

      It’s the best thing I bought in a long time. The review is just wrong.

  • Rodney_P

    I didn’t bother reading the entire article myself. Knew the reviewer didn’t know exactly what he was reviewing by the first few sentences.

    Fitbit dominates the Activity Tracker industry because they are focused on Fitness. A fitness tracker is not about notifications or pointless, laggy third party apps. When a person buys a fitness tracker, they want something that does best what it is intended to do. Fitbit Blaze provides options and functions that previous generation Fitbits did not offer, and it is reasonably price. You are not going to find a better Fitness Tracker that has all the functionality of a Fitness Blaze anywhere else on the market.

    Compare the Blaze to an Apple Watch: which cost at a minimum $350, does not work android or windows os, and has a 1 day battery life and you will soon realize that the two products is not even comparable.

    • Jimmy Westenberg

      Thank you for not reading the review! From my conclusion – “Bottom line, the Fitbit Blaze is a fitness tracker with a few smartwatch-y features thrown in that aren’t all that great.”

      You’re right, a fitness tracker isn’t about notifications, but a smart “fitness” watch should have more notification options than what standard Fitbit products offer.

      • When looking at fitness trackers with smart notification capabilities, I honestly don’t *want* more. I like the basics. However, I also get too many notifications, and at least at this point I can’t imagine any company that exists which could create a product with this kind of battery life and notifications for everything. More notifications = less battery time. I much rather opt for the more battery time. Instagram can wait.

      • BadPuppy

        I did read the review and I found it very puzzling. The Blaze isn’t and never was a smart-watch. It isn’t priced as one and never purported to be one. It is a fitness tracker – one of many made by fitbit. Why should it offer more notifications than other fitbit trackers? It isn’t even its top-of-the line tracker. Notifications are a nice feature, but I am just tracking my steps, calories, hr, etc. If I wanted a smart-watch, I would have bought one (and paid at least $100 more).

  • Starman3482

    You said there is no GPS but I pulled this off of the website

    “Get fit in style with a smart fitness watch built with revolutionary features like PurePulse™ heart rate, Connected GPS, on-screen workouts and more.”

    The main difference between the $200 Blaze and the $250 Surge is that the Surge has built-in GPS to monitor your workout route, while the Blaze must use your phone’s GPS. On board GPS has become the “I’m not messing around” feature for fitness trackers. Since it requires a stand-alone chip, on board GPS also makes those devices bigger, more power-hungry, and usually more expensive than those with connected GPS only.

    • BadPuppy

      I paid $150 for my Blaze.

  • staylow

    Pebble Time Round for this guy. Small enough to sleep with and tracks steps and sleep quite accurately. Sure it doesn’t do GPS tracking or heart rate but those I can definitely do without if the sacrifice is something this big and odd looking. This device looks like a fail to me.

  • Ala’á H. HJ

    Many thanks for posting this great review, there were some missing parts to know about that sport watch. So, it is clear for m
    e to decide weather i go with it or not. Thanks again.

    • BadPuppy

      Not a sports watch. A fitness tracker.

  • I’d like to mention I was able to get over 150 in the HR in every run I’ve completed so far–granted that’s not very many since I haven’t had it over a week yet, but perhaps there have been some updates since March?