Fitbit Launches New Smartwatch

Tuesday, 29 Aug, 2017

Fitbit today has unveiled a brand new, the company's first smartwatch on to the market called - the Ionic. For pretty much all intents and purposes, they're your basic pair of Bluetooth workout headphones - akin to the latest offering from Jaybird, et al. The Ionic is Fitbit's first technical smartwatch, and as such, the Ionic has the most non-fitness-related features we've ever seen on a Fitbit product.

You'll immediately receive an alert from the Fitbit app when your transaction is approved. Llamas said, "It stands to reason we will see some other kinds of applications that are possibly not health and fitness oriented".

The Ionic is Fitbit's second such device, following in the footsteps of the Fitbit Blaze. However, in comparison to the Blaze, the Fitbit Ionic comes across as a tremendous improvement. It will be available in three different color options - silver gray tracker and clasp with blue gray band, smoke gray tracker and clasp with charcoal band, and burnt orange tracker and clasp with slate blue band. Actually, no. Truth be told, both Android Wear and Apple Watch are still in an uncertain place, and both offer fairly lackluster experiences. The overall aesthetic of the Ionic looks similar to Fitbit's wearable trackers.

Once you're wearing it, Ionic functions like a supercharged Fitbit. On-board Global Positioning System (a feature available on Surge but not on Blaze) reduces your reliance on your phone.

The Fitbit Ionic ships with a 1.42-inch rectangular display that can get insane bright at up to 1,000 nits, so you can easily see it even under direct sunlight. Also on board (though not available at launch) will be audio coaching with more than 40 indoor and outdoor running and walking workout sessions complete with audible cues and encouragement while you exercise. After spending close to a week with the Ionic, I'm impressed by what it offers and also what it promises.

The Ionic smartwatch is water resistant up to 50 metres and it's also equipped with a swimming mode.

The new gadget had advanced new sensors that can track issues such as sleep apnea as well as measuring oxygen saturation. If you're on Android, though, the Fitbit Ionic is worth checking out.

Fitbit announced on Monday that it is launchin the Ionic, the first smartwatch that Fitbit has developed that will run third-party applications.

Built-in NFC chip lets you make payments on the go, right from your wrist.

Smartwatch functionality is limited at launch to notifications, secure contactless payments and Strava but realistically, what more do you need? Fitbit App Gallery has been launched as well to distribute apps and clock faces.

It's also waterproof up to 15 meters and has built-in tracking tools for swim workouts. The smartwatch has 2.5GB of onboard storage and is capable of storing and playing more than 300 songs on the device itself. Like other Fitbit wearables, and like the Apple Watch, customers will also be able to swap out the straps.

For instance, you can store and listen to music while you exercise, and a partnership with Pandora will allow Pandora Premium and Plus subscribers to take Pandora stations offline to the device.

With a sizable earpiece and a neck cord, Flyer isn't almost as diminutive as AirPods, but I found them comfortable enough to wear.

The 38.59mm Ionic looks much bigger than the 38mm Apple Watch, thanks to its aluminum case that juts out from the top and bottom of the display.

Read our Which Fitbit is Best roundup, which we will update further when we have had hands-on testing time with the new Ionic. It has brighter display and a slimmer design, and will work in conjunction with Ionic to create a complete picture of your health.

The Ionic is available for pre-order for $299.95, and will be available from retailers from October 2017.