Fitbit takes aim at Apple Watch with new Fitbit Blaze
New wearable available for pre-order today for $199
Wearable maker Fitbit today unveiled the Fitbit Blaze smart fitness watch, which appears to be taking direct aim at the Apple Watch.
Fitbit described the Blaze as the company's "smartest, most stylish, most motivating fitness tracker yet", and while that may be true, it's difficult to ignore the similarities between the Blaze's design and that of the Apple Watch. Like Apple did when it first launched its wearable, Fitbit has talked up the style of the Blaze, recognising that some buyers want a little more style out of their wearables.
"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 customised 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."
Indeed, along with the Apple Watch-like design, the Blaze comes with a selection of different bands and frames, all of which are interchangeable. Technically, it features on-screen work-outs, Connected GPS, PurePulse heart rate tracking and SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition.
The device will also serve as more of a smartwatch than any of Fitbit's previous bands; it offers support for notifications such as call, text, and calendar alerts.
While it may not be as fully featured as the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Blaze has a couple of aces up its sleeve. Firstly, it looks as good as an Apple Watch, but it costs a fraction of the price - the device is available for pre-order today for $199. Secondly, Fitbit claims a battery life of five days - about twice as long as Apple Watch battery will last.