March 21 2018

Fitbit takes leap into smartwatch market

March 21 2018, 10:23 | Geraldine Moore

Fitbit takes leap into smartwatch market

Fitbit takes leap into smartwatch market

Priced at $299.95, it's the most expensive device that Fitbit has offered to date. Apps can be shared privately, or submitted to Fitbit for addition to its App Gallery. That's a global rollout so we hope to see the Fitbit smartwatch available in all of the company's normal territories by the end of that month. I asked Fitbit about the possibility of a bundle, and they refused to confirm or deny anything - but that would certainly make sense in terms of product positioning.

Fitbit is jumping headfirst into the Bluetooth headphones game with Fitbit Flyer.

We also found it comfortable to wear while typing on a keyboard.

Look no further than the second generation Apple Watch for Fitbit's stiffest competition. Dubbed Fitbit Ionic, this is a device with features that compete squarely with the Apple Watch and Garmin's stable of sports watches.

This is important, since one of the industry's biggest problems is that many devices become bedside table decorations. The design is decidedly Fitbit, with a square display and plenty of room for bezels. We will obviously keep you posted when we find out more. You simply press and hold the left side button and wait until the watch vibrates and your card appears on screen. The heart rate technology on Ionic uses PurePulse heart rate tracking to offer better accuracy during exercises like cycling and running.

The Fitbit Ionic features built-in Global Positioning System, with up to 10 hours battery life, along with GLONASS technology for improved connection to satellites.

Without GPS on, Fitbit reckons the Ionic will last for four days with normal usage. These devices can feel like an unnecessary extra device when you can just reach into your pocket or your bag to get out your phone.

Here's the general overview of the Ionic, provided by Verizon. The company also introduced a new Bluetooth wireless headset, the Fitbit Flyer, that can be purchased separately. It will analyze biometrics to determine whether the workout was too easy or too hard and then adjust based on personal goals. It offers several improvements that we'll walk you through now.

The watch also includes a relative SpO2 sensor, which allows for deeper health tracking of conditions like sleep apnea.

However, there will also be apps that expand the functionality of Ionic. For the most part, the company says it wants to focus on apps that will allow Ionic users to customize their smartwatch - think watch faces. Fitbit has seemingly gotten in at an ideal time, as there is still room for another wearable and platform.

Similar to other mobile payments services such as Apple Pay or Android Pay, Fitbit Pay will work using credit card tokens and an NFC chip to communicate with contactless terminals. And more to the point, should you give it serious consideration versus the Apple Watch, which is expected to get a big upgrade in September?

More than a year-and-a-half after the release of the critically panned Blaze, Fitbit is back with its newest smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic. The smartwatch has 2.5GB of onboard storage and is capable of storing and playing more than 300 songs on the device itself. You'll even be able to create and share an app privately (for a small group or a team) without going through a review process.

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