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This is going to be a decisive factor in choosing between these two trackers. How it’s going to look on your wrist.
If you want the best looking device Fitbit has come up with so far, then go for the Blaze. It’s more smartwatch than fitness tracker in stature and while it’s not a timeless design, we definitely want to see more of this from Fitbit.
Read this: Fitbit Blaze v Fitbit Surge
The Charge HR offers a slimmer profile so it’s more a discreet way of tracking but there’s no disguising that elastomer strap. The same one that for some users, has apparently been causing skin irritation issues. We can’t say that we’ve had issues with it though.
You get the same strap on the Blaze, but the difference here is that you do have the option to swap them out. There’s a collection of more luxurious looking straps you can pick up on the Fitbit website with plenty of third party straps available as well. The Charge HR does win 6 to 3 on colour options so it does have something on the more expensive Fitbit in the way of customisation.
Both do have screens, so you can review progress without looking at your phone. They are two entirely different prospects in terms of display technology and what you can view on the screen. On the Charge HR, there’s a significantly smaller OLED screen that’s easy to read but restricts the amount of information to glance at. The Blaze packs in a 1.25-inch 16 colour letterbox-style display. The screen is definitely losing the battle with the bezel.
The Blaze has the three physical buttons to compliment the touchscreen display while you just get the single button on the Charge HR to flick through the different data screens.
As far as waterproofing goes, you’re out of luck here. Both are water resistant so should be suitable for fending off sweat and a run in the rain, but going swimming with either is off limits.
Fitbit Blaze v Fitbit Charge HR: Tracking
The good news is that as far as core activity tracking features go, the Charge HR and the Blaze are evenly matched. Both can track steps, offer automatic sleep detection, track elevation and include an optical heart rate sensor for continuous heart rate tracking.
SmartTrack support to automatically recognise and log certain exercises is available on both, however you’ll only get multi-sport mode on the Blaze. This is where you can track specific exercises with additional data covering running, cycling, weights, treadmill, elliptical and open workout.
Neither have GPS on board, but the Blaze can piggyback of your phone’s GPS to track running and cycling session routes. It does mean you’ll need to take your phone out with you though.
The Fitbit-developed PurePulse heart rate monitor is also ever-present. As we’ve mentioned in our Charge HR and Blaze reviews, we remain unconvinced by the ability to handle high intensity training, especially when compared to heart rate monitor chest straps.
It’s all more positive on the 24/7 activity tracking front where step tracking and sleep monitoring is all very consistent. The only other thing to discuss is the Fitstar support on the Blaze, which gives you a series of workouts you can follow on the Blaze’s screen. There’s only a workouts preloaded at the moment, which include a 7 minute all-body workout but Fitbit plans to add more in the future.
Fitbit Blaze v Fitbit Charge HR:Notifications
This is only one winner here and that’s the Blaze. You’ll get notification support for native smartphone features like texts, emails and calendar appointments. Currently, there’s no third party app support but we did manage to find WhatsApp support on Android, which may be a case of a beta feature going live by accident.
While the Charge HR doesn’t give you those smartwatch-esque features, it does manage to include caller ID, so you know when someone is trying to interrupt your spinning class. It also packs in the same silent alarm as well.