Wearable manufacturers are at war for your wrist.
The prize is device domination of that coveted chunk of flesh between your our hand and forearm. Fitbit leads the wearables industry with its health and fitness devices, with Apple trailing close behind. That’s probably why Fitbit is taking baby steps toward launching a legitimate contender to the Apple Watch and Google.
The result is the Blaze, Fitbit’s latest entry in its line of health-centric devices. In a lot of ways, this is the closest the company comes to a smartwatch; it rocks a color screen, custom clock faces, and general connectivity features like call, test, and calendar updates. But unlike just about every modern smartwatch on the market, the Blaze does not have an app store.
The Blaze will also have several different styles of bands available, including a linked stainless steel option for $130, a leather strap for $100, and a plastic offering for $30. The main unit is a square block, which snaps into a frame system that connects to the different bands and promises to make swapping convenient.
As you might expect from Fitbit, this device’s software platform is still very much rooted in fitness. For instance, the same health-tracking options in Fitbit’s other products are available here, including a heart monitor, activity and sleep trackers, and connected GPS capabilities.
Fitbit Blaze will also include some new fitness features, such as FitStar, which offers a suite of animated workout guides that give step-by-step instructions on how to properly perform an exercise, and SmartTrack, Fitbit’s automatic exercise-sensing software, which can detect specific activities without requiring the user to preset the device.
Fitbit’s Blaze will be ready for sale sometime in March 2016 with a base price of $200.