Fitbit, a leading maker of fitness trackers, has unveiled a mid-range fitness tracker model with heart-rate monitoring and smartwatch-like functions, such as audio playback control and message notifications.
The new Fitbit Blaze won’t have a GPS built-in, but it will be able to use the GPS from a companion smartphone to display pace and distance more accurately – similar approach to the Apple Watch. The Blaze will sit alongside Fitbit’s existing Charge HR, which monitors heart rate but has no ability to latch on to the phone’s GPS.
“With Fitbit Blaze, we pushed the boundaries of what’s possible to create a beautiful, versatile device that can be customized to fit your personal style – while packing a powerful fitness punch to help you reach your goals,” said James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit.
“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.”
The Blaze is the first Fitbit model to have a colour display. It will also include a feature called “FitStar,” which provides on-screen workouts delivered by personal trainers, which include guided instructions and animated images to make sure users are getting the most out of their workouts. The workouts are free and can be accessed without a smartphone.
The Blaze will sell for CAD$249 when it comes out in March; however, the device is available for pre-order on the company’s website and at major retailers this week. Fitbit will also sell alternative frames and bands made of leather or stainless steel – of course, these will cost you extra.