Fitbit isn’t going to take the looming threat of fancy smartwatches lying down. The fitness-tracker company has introduced a new smartwatch of its own, called the Fitbit Blaze.
The watch is fitness-focused, but it also has some essential smartwatch capabilities, such as displaying your calendar and text messages as well as alerting you when your phone rings. It's the first device with a colour touch screen that Fitbit has ever made.
Fitbit is still the market leader in the wearables world, but many analysts have predicted that fitness trackers will soon be overtaken by smartwatches, in the same way that music players and digital cameras diminished after those functions were absorbed into smartphones.
This move from Fitbit could be seen as an early move to counter that predicted shift.
But Fitbit executives were careful to note that the device still has fitness as its heart - a concentration they think distinguishes it from the growing pack of Apple Watches, Samsung Gears and others that try to emulate a full smartphone experience on the wrist.
“You need a tool, not a toy,” said Woody Scal, the company's chief business officer, at a news conference. He said Fitbit carefully chose the features from smartwatches that seemed to matter most to consumers. He also bragged about the device's battery life, which the company claims is five days and nights - far more than most smartwatches with colour touch screens.
The company also played up the Blaze’s design, which it said was created to be able to go easily from the gym to a fancy night out.
The Blaze will have changeable bands. There are three basic lines: a durable, sweat-resistant tier, metal bands and leather bands.
The device has also been designed to be very thin, giving it a slim profile that doesn’t necessarily scream “smartwatch”, which could be good for the more fashion-conscious fitness addicts.
The Blaze will work closely with Fitstar, an app that will deliver instructions for fitness workouts to your wrist, along with diagrams that show you how your body should be positioned during the exercises.
It will also offer users the option of specifying what kind of physical activity they're doing, such as biking or weightlifting, so the watch will be able to measure different metrics for various activities. – Washington Post