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I continue to have a love affair with smartwatches, flawed though most of them may be. The Apple Watch, for example, is great at notifications, not so great at everything else -- and it's way overpriced.
Last year, Fitbit blazed beyond fitness bands with the Blaze, which garnered solid reviews but didn't exactly set the world on, well, fire. Maybe the $200 price tag had something to do with that?
Okay, how about this: For a limited time, and while supplies last, AT&T has the Fitbit Blaze (blue, size large) for $99.50 shipped. Just last week, on Prime Day, the deal to beat was $139. The only other time I've seen the Blaze priced this low was for a refurb.
And here's where it gets interesting: AT&T will cut an additional 20 percent off your order when you buy two additional accessories. So, for example, you could toss a couple Jack Spade iPhone 7 cases into your cart ($10 each) and watch your total drop to $95.60.
For what it's worth, I tried to find items priced even lower, but AT&T's shopping site is kind of a mess. A $4.95 SIM kit, for example, wouldn't load: Every time I clicked it, I wound up back at the accessories page. And the PopSockets listing took me to a completely different product. I tried searching for it and came up empty. Your mileage may vary. (If you find an accessory priced below $10 that causes the 20-percent discount to kick in, let your fellow cheapskates know!)
Getting back to the Blaze, it definitely has the look of a smartwatch, but it's infused with all the usual Fitbit goodness: step, stair-climb and sleep tracking, plus heart-rate monitoring.
It has a color, raise-to-wake touchscreen, swappable band, water-resistant design and five-day battery (though probably closer to four in real-world usage).
Because I have no hands-on (wrists-on?) experience with the Blaze, I'm going to turn you over to CNET's review. Scott Stein summed it up thusly: "Would it be my ideal combination watch and fitness tracker of choice? Well, it comes really really close."
Do you already own a Blaze? If so, please hit the comments and share your thoughts on it, especially when it comes to notifications. Because I have to admit I don't love the octagonal design, which looks a little original-series "Star Trek" to me. (On the other hand... see today's bonus deal!) Actually, as I think of it, the design hews closer to "Battlestar Galactica," what the corners being cut off.
Anyway, I'm fairly tempted to give the Blaze a try, especially now that the price has dipped below $100. But this already represents a $100 drop, so it's a great deal for anyone who's been tempted to try a smartwatch.
Bonus deal: Like to let your geek flag fly? I can think of no better way than with a Star Trek hoodie. For a limited time, and while supplies last, ThinkGeek has the Star Trek Original Series Uniform Hoodie for $19.99, plus $5.95 for shipping. Regular price: $59.99. Looks like only "command yellow" is still in stock in all three sizes, but you can also get "engineering red" in small. Get one while you can!