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The Blaze was probably Fitbit’s second most popular device, behind the Charge 2. But with the release of the Charge 3, which device should you get and is the Charge 3 really any better just because it’s newer? That’s what we’re exploring in this post.
Where the Fitbit Charge 3 and Blaze are similar
Given that they’re made by the same company and are largely designed to do the same thing, there’s plenty of overlap with the Blaze and Charge 3. Here are the items that you’ll get with both devices:
– Activity Tracking: They estimate calories burned, distance, steps, and more.
– Sleep Tracking: Fitbit is actually one of the best companies out there for tracking your sleep.
– Wrist HRM: Both devices have Fitbit’s PurePulse optical heart rate sensor.
– Unisex Build: They’re designed for both men and women.
– Bands: You can buy additional bands to dress the devices up or down.
– Smartphone Notifications: They relay incoming text, call, and calendar alerts from your phone.
– Android/iOS App: Since they’re both Fitbit devices, they sync with the Fitbit app.
– Connected GPS: Not proper GPS. They piggyback off the GPS from your phone.
– Workouts: Track all sorts of activities such as running, HIIT, and more.
That’s the big stuff that you’ll get with both Fitbits, but given that the Charge 3 is 2 years newer than the Blaze, it has some nice upgrades and features that you won’t find on the Blaze.
Why get the Charge 3 over the Blaze?
Beyond the obvious design differences, the Charge 3 provides a few noticeable technical advantages. Let’s start with the more significant features.
The Charge 3 in all its glory
The Charge 3 has battery life of seven days, while the Blaze is only about 5 days. Nice to squeeze a few extra days of battery life out. One downside with both devices though, is that they require proprietary charging cables, which means that’s yet another item to remember to bring with you on business trips, vacation, etc.
Like the Fitbit Versa and Ionic, the Charge 3 is water resistant down to 50 meters. And it now tracks pool swimming as a workout. You will be able to see how far you swam, your pace, and the calories that you burned. The Blaze is only splash-resistant and therefore is not equipped for swimming or the shower.
It tracks swimming!
Think of Fitbit Pay as Apple Pay, but from Fitbit. It allows you to pay for goods and services directly from your wrist at certain vendors. Fitbit is only available on the special edition Charge 3 devices and is not available at all for the Blaze.
With an MSRP of $150, the Charge 3 is more affordable than the Blaze, even though the price is all over the place now for the Blaze [check current price on Amazon]. It originally had an MSRP of $200, but we see it in the $170-$185 range most often now. It really just depends on the retailer. The point is that the Charge 3 is probably going to be more affordable for you.
The Blaze is a watch-style fitness tracker with a larger, full-color display. While it’s not water resistant and doesn’t have Fitbit Pay, there are still a few reasons to get this watch over the Charge 3.
This is pretty obvious, but some people will prefer the look and feel of the Blaze to the Charge 3. One has more of a smartwatch look, while the other looks like a standard fitness trackers. If you’re looking to replace your current watch, go with the Blaze. If not, the Charge 3 might make more sense.
The Blaze was Fitbit’s first smart fitness watch
Control music playback
Because the Blaze has more screen real estate than does the Charge 3, there are some extra things that Fitbit will allow you to do, one of which is to control the music that’s playing on your phone. This is actually quite convenient and means that you don’t have to fiddle with your phone in order to pause, play, skip, etc.
The Blaze also has an app that’s called FitStar, which has three preset workouts for you to follow. They even have avatars to walk you through those workouts. This is actually the predecessor to Fitbit Coach that has now found its way onto the Versa.
FitStar app on the Blaze
This isn’t a game changing feature, but it’s nice to have. Let’s put it this way. If you have under 10 minutes for a workout, you can just follow the 7 Minute Workout app that’s on the watch.
What is Connected GPS?
This is something unique to Fitbit devices, but is on both the Charge 3 and Blaze. In fact, the Blaze was the first Fitbit to have Connected GPS. Instead of the watch having a GPS chip built in, it actually works in tandem with the Fitbit app on your phone in order to track when you go out running, cycling, and hiking. The devices will display stats such as distance, pace, etc., but your phone is actually collecting the data (aside from heart rate). Honestly, Connected GPS works just fine, but it’s not as convenient as proper GPS. Still, most people do in fact run with their phone, so it’s not really that big of a deal.