LIVE FROM CES 2016: Wearables pioneer Fitbit launched Blaze, a “smart fitness watch” featuring the company’s first coloured touchscreen.
The Blaze, which looks somewhat like the Apple Watch, has a “distinct focus on fitness”, claimed CEO James Park, and is “more motivating, with coaching and guidance, smarter through more integration with smartphones and more stylish” than the company’s other bands.
The device aims to “put fitness first” and has “the right set of smart features that don’t overwhelm the user,” he added.
Fitbit Blaze, priced at $199, is available for presale with global retail availability starting in March 2016.
The Blaze’s Classic Collection features three colours (black, blue, plum), the Luxe version is made of stainless steel and the leather version also comes in three colours (grey, camel and black).
The tracker itself is quite thin and can be snapped onto any of the bands. This means consumers can “use the workout-friendly, sweat resistant band” for exercise and then switch to a “more stylish look” when going out, according to Edward Scal, chief revenue officer.
The device includes on-screen workouts via FitStar, which Fitbit acquired in March earlier this year. It also has GPS, automatic exercise recognition and a multi-sport mode that lets users record specific activities like biking, running, and yoga along with real-time performance stats.
Fitbit has improved battery performance, and the Blaze can last up to 5 days without needing to be recharged.
Fitbit, which listed in June, saw revenue hit $409.3 million for the quarter ending 30 September, up a mammoth 168 per cent from $152.9 million in Q3 2014, as sales increased in and out of the US.
The company maintained its leadership of the wearables device market in Q3 2015, although its market share dropped (to 22.2 per cent from 32.8 per cent a year ago) as new vendors moved into the space, according to an IDC report.