Fitbit CES 2016: Fitbit Blaze modular smart fitness watch is an Apple Watch rival

After an impressive Christmas, Fitbit is back. The wearable brand is kicking off 2016 at CES 2016 with a big announcement. Here’s everything you need to know.

Fitbit has just announced its latest product – it’s called Blaze, and it looks surprisingly like a smartwatch. In fact, Fitbit is calling it a smart fitness watch, and it claims you’ll be able to wear it whether you’re working out or hitting the town. It also can run for five days without needing a charge, which sounds impressive.

It’s the first Fitbit to come with a customisable colour touchscreen, with a bunch of clock-faces. It’s also modular, so you can snap out the middle and attach it to a load of different bands. Design is a key selling point here, this isn’t an ugly band but an actually quite attractive piece of kit.

Related: CES 2016 – Everything you need to know

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Obviously, any good wearable will live and die by its fitness features. And the Blaze is packed full of them. There’s connected GPS (which is taken from your phone, not built-in), so you can view live stats right on the watch and beam the data directly to your phone.

The PurePulse heart rate tracking has been improved too. The heart rate tracking is always on, automatic and if it’s anything like previous iterations, it’ll be very accurate. It’ll track your resting heart rate while you’re sleeping, too.

It’ll still track your steps, calories, floor climbed and so on, syncing all your data back to the impressive mobile app. There are challenges too – family leaderboards, badges and more to help you reach your targets. Sleep is tracked automatically and Fitbit has improved the silent alarm functionality to wake you up feeling refreshed.

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There are a load of smartwatch type features onboard too. You can play/pause music, reject calls and check incoming notifications, it might not match up to Android Wear or Apple Watch, but it’s nice to have these features. Interestingly, we were told after the press conference that you won’t be able to get notifications from third-party apps – WhatsApp for example – as it’s limited to native SMS apps.

Pricing starts at $199 and you can pre-order the Fitbit Blaze right now, with shipping starting in May. We’ll update this story when we have more information on UK pricing.

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