Fitness trackers have been around for a while now and have come quite a long way since having a simple band that would attempt to count your steps. I remember seeing people put their tracker inside a shoe and shaking it rather excitedly to try and get their 'steps' count up. I've owned my Fitbit Blaze for around 6 months now and have loved wearing and using it. There are so many fitness trackers and bands out there it can be difficult to know which one to choose. For the features and price, I ended up deciding to get the Blaze, which I went for in the Gunmetal version which looked a bit sleeker. It was around £170, but depending on your strap option this can vary.

One of the Blaze's features which aren't on all Fitbit's is the ability to track your heart rate. It has a sensor underneath which will always monitor your level and calculate your resting heart rate to compare it to. Having the ability to monitor your this without the need for an uncomfortable strap across your chest is a nice addition. There are three buttons on the side of the watch which are used with the various features while still being low profile so they don't stick out too much. I've found the battery lasts for around 4-5 days with notifications turned on, quick view turned off and wearing it at night to monitor your sleep. To charge, you simply pop out the watch from the strap and clip it into the Fitbit USB charger that is supplied. 

Modes

A number of different modes on the Blaze are each given their own screen on the watch to make it much easier to find what you're looking for. One of the key features that led to me getting the Blaze was the fact it had a decent sized screen that could show more than just the time or your heart rate at the same time. Being able to receive phone notifications and control your music was an added bonus too. There's a quick summary of each screen below. 


Home
This is the main screen you'll have on display most of the time. It shows you a combination of the time, date, heart rate, steps, floors climbed, distance and calories burned. You can pick from a number of either analogue or digital views depending on your preference of which items you'd like to see. Fitbit also brings out new displays so you may find yourself switching it around. Some displays will show you more than others, so I flicked through them until I found one I was happy with. Swiping up on the home screen reveals your notifications such as texts, and swiping down lets your turn the notifications on or off and control your music. 

Today 
This gives you a detailed view of the current day's stats so you can easily view them all in one place by scrolling down the list. It also shows you how you're doing compared to your daily goal which means you can keep track with a quick glance. The heart rate will show your current HR and as well as the resting level below so you can quickly check if it's different to what might be normal.

Exercise 
Within this screen, there are multiple options to choose from depending what activity you are doing. Run lets you choose to have run cues, use your phone's GPS to track your route and which secondary stat to display. Bike will also let you use your phone's GPS and secondary stat to make recording your activity more useful. The other options here are Weights, Treadmill, Elliptical and Workout. 

Fitstar 
This is a newer Fitbit feature that gives you a different way to work out and links up with Fitbit's additional services. As part of this mode, you get personalised training with routines tailored to yourself. Guided coaching lets trainers share tips and demonstrations, while convenient workouts give preset sessions ready to complete. Lastly, it gives you tailored recommendations based on your activity to help you progress with your workouts.

Relax 
This is a fairly new mode that gives you personal guided breathing sessions. It lets you choose from 2 or 5-minute sessions and is designed to let you chill out. With fitness trackers, it may get you into the mindset of always being on the go so it could be helpful to have a feature that does help you take the time to relax.

Timer 
This one has two options which are pretty standard on any digital watch. You get a stopwatch and countdown timer which are easy to view and could come in useful, whether using it to help you train or keep track of how long your dinner has left in the oven. 

Alarms 
After a recent update, this feature has been improved as you can now create alarms on the watch instead of having to go through the phone app to do it. Choosing whether you want your alarm to repeat is now enabled and you can choose from every day, a combination of days in the week or just one day during the week for each alarm you set. One thing I would like to see is the ability to name your alarms as it could come in handy to prompt you about something.

Settings 
This contains the things you might need to alter such as whether you want Quick View enabled to automatically illuminate the screen when you turn the watch towards you rather than having to tap the screen or press a button on the side. Having this on or not will depend on your own preference and whether you want to make the battery last a little longer. Options for Bluetooth, brightness and heart rate are also kept here, as well as being the place to turn off your Fitbit.

Straps

Fitness trackers were originally designed for one purpose and didn't always look 'fashionable'. This Fitbit is actually the small square gadget placed into a strap. What this means is you can completely change the look of your watch. My girlfriend Laura also owns the same Fitbit but has two different straps for them - the black & silver and pink ones above. You can see how they all compare yet could be worn with different outfits to change your look. There are even more straps, including a metal band which I like the look of, that would make for a more formal looking watch. I can definitely see myself buying other straps in the future so I have more options for how to style the watch.


The two photos above show the two other straps with the watch attached to get an idea of how different they can look. You might notice the pink strap is a different size to the others. This is one of the more recent slim bands the give it more of a lower profile. This is also good for those with smaller wrists as the original straps are fairly wide.

Phone App

Fitbit has a mobile app where you can get a much more detailed view of your stats. It stores all of your data and graphs it to make it much easier to see how you are doing. You can edit the main dashboard to rearrange what you would like to see and click through to each one to see the past views. One of the features on the app that you can't actually view on the Fitbit is your sleep. It gives you a daily breakdown with a great graph showing the different stages of your sleep and calculates how long you were in each stage, awake for and total time asleep. I've found this really useful to help monitor how much sleep I'm actually getting. You can get a similar level of detail for all your other stats on the app so you can drill down into your levels. 

Other tabs on the app include challenges, guidance, friends and your account settings. Within the settings, you can set the goals that you'd like to achieve, such as your daily steps target to tailor it to what you are aiming for. I've found my Fitbit really useful and have enjoyed trying out the different features. Before I got it I did wonder how much difference having a fitness tracker on your wrist could actually make and whether it could help to inspire me to carry out more exercise. Even being able to see how many steps you have done so far did make me purposely go a bit further, such as parking further away and always taking the stairs rather than the lift. So you can use this as a daily tracker to make small changes each day while having some other great features to help with other exercises. If you're thinking of getting some form of Fitness tracker and want something with added functionality that can actually look neat and fashionable, then I would definitely recommend the Fitbit Blaze.