On Monday, Fitbit introduced the Fitbit Ionic, its first proper smartwatch. The wearable device is available for preorder for $299.95 and it will start shipping this October when it will also appear on the shelves of stores like Best Buy, Target, and more.
The next-generation fitness tracker is much more than that, as it includes its own software, interchangeable faces, rich features, and four preloaded applications: AccuWeather, Strava, Pandora, and Starbucks. The latter two are available only in the U.S.
Fitbit’s incursion into the smartwatch market has been welcomed as a long-awaited and logical step forward. The Ionic is a testament to the company’s efforts to try and catch up with the Apple Watch, which is expected to get an upgrade itself next month to support major health and fitness features.
Have you seen what’s #NewFromFitbit? Meet #FitbitIonic—the ultimate health and fitness watch: https://t.co/w1PJRkZ5o4
— Fitbit (@fitbit) August 28, 2017
What can the Fitbit Ionic do?
The Fitbit Ionic has been designed to meet the standards of modern fitness and tech enthusiasts alike. As aesthetically pleasing as it is in its three color combinations (charcoal, orange, and gray), it is also a durable device capable of withstanding prolonged training sessions under most conditions.
Built in 6000-series aluminum, the Ionic packs a touchscreen with a brightness of 1,000 nits coated by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for scratch protection. It can operate at altitudes as high as 30,000 feet, and temperatures ranging from -4 °F to 113 °F. It is also sweat and water resistant up to 50 meters deep.
It has built-in GPS and syncs with iOS, Android, and Windows devices within a range of 20 feet. It supports smart notifications and wireless music playback using Bluetooth headphones, including the recently debuting Fitbit Flyer set.
The Fitbit Ionic keeps a constant record of your activity throughout the day, and it even has smart reminders to get you on your feet if it detects long periods of inactivity. It can automatically track your performance if you start running, swimming, or doing some sort of aerobic workout.
Will the Fitbit Ionic stand a chance in the market?
For those who don’t fancy falling victim of Apple’s closed ecosystem, the Fitbit Ionic might be a great alternative to Cupertino’s smartwatch. At $300, however, it is not much of an improvement in terms of affordability.
However, the company justifies the price tag with a wide range of offerings and openness to partnerships. There is a special Adidas edition, there are dedicated apps for Starbucks and Pandora, and there will be several bands in leather, sport, and other materials upon launch.
In addition, the clock faces will be customizable and interchangeable, according to Fitbit. A new SDK will launch this September, which will also allow developers to create their own apps for the upcoming smartwatch.
Aside from that, the new wearable by Fitbit will be compatible with all past products made by the company as well as new ones, like the Aria 2 smart scale. Oh, and there is a Fitbit Coach app that costs $40 a year and greatly enhances your workouts launching next month too.