Fitbit Ionic is the company's first true smartwatch

Saul Bowman
August 29, 2017

Fitbit has officially unveiled its new "Iconic" health and fitness tracker with smartwatch features that compete with the Apple Watch. Numerous details surrounding the device were already largely known, thanks to leaks, comments from management, and a string of acquisitions.

What are your thoughts about Fitbit's first smartwatch? The smartwatch can automatically track the run with the Running companion app. There's a pedometer for counting your steps, built-in Global Positioning System that allows you to map your runs without needing your phone connected, sleep tracking, a heart-rate sensor that can track your active and resting beats per minute, water-resistance that allows for swim tracking, and personal coaching for on-screen workouts that you can use directly on the Ionic. Fitbit has purchased Pebble not that long ago to increase its market share and get into the real smartwatch business it was missing out on for a long time.

The Fitbit Ionic will be available in three colour variants - Charocal & Smoke Gray, Slate Blue & Burnt Orange, and Blue Gray & Silver Gray.

For developers that are catering to just their friends and family members, they'll be able to skip Fitbit's certification process and deliver their apps directly to other Ionic smartwatches.

There will be a range of configurations. Thomas Sarlandie, Fitbit's software engineering director, said Fitbit envisions all types of apps on Ionic, from transportation to smart home solutions, and much more. Additional bands and accessories will be available, with pricing starting at $29.95. Beyond all that, there doesn't seem to be much particular advantage in picking Fitbit's headphones over the competition. This includes the launch of the Fitbit App Gallery, where you can select the apps and clock faces that appeal to you so you're always armed with the information you want most, in a way that reflects your own personal needs and style.

The software is an extension of the platform-agnostic experience that smartwatch-maker Pebble was known for; Pebble was acquired by Fitbit past year. You can preorder each item via the Fitbit website.

Fitbit Coach is an enhanced version of FitStar, which provided guided workouts and health routines to people using the earlier not-quite-a-smartwatch Fitbit Blaze. Fitbit has an opportunity to move upmarket with that price tag, compared to its average selling price (ASP) of $100.76 last quarter. To compete with Apple Watch, Fitbit acquired payment startup Coin previous year and introduced an NFC chip with Ionic. It will be a subscription based service so you will be expected to pay to use the service on a monthly basis most likely.

When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. Like Apple's system, Flyer pairs instantly with Ionic, and their sweatproof and rainproof IP67 rating, passive noise isolation, and six-hour battery life should make them an attractive option for Fitbit fans.

In both cases, users can tell the app whether the exercise they've been given is too hard, too easy or just right, and the app will generate a new routine that is better tailored to the user's fitness level.

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