Fitbit launches its first smartwatch that can beat Apple and Google

Todd Singleton
August 29, 2017

But instead of a device that can do everything, the company's brand new Ionic smartwatch is focusing squarely on health and fitness with an ability for contactless payments on the side. The smartwatch runs its own - Ionic OS. The company's current fitness watch, Blaze (which is not technically a smartwatch), costs $200.

The device is created to be an everyday wearable, with conservative looks. Xiaomi and Apple tied for first place during that same period, with 3.6 million devices shipped. With worldwide availability kicking off next month, the Ionic is up for pre-order on Fitbit's website today for $299 and all other retailers starting tomorrow.

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. Nobody wants or needs hundreds of smartphone-style apps on their smartwatch, so their absence is irrelevant.

While the Fitbit Ionic offers a plethora of compelling features for folks who like to exercise and may use Android or iOS, most consumers should wait to see what Apple's next Apple Watch offers.

The smartwatch is the company's first device to include a sensor that can estimate blood oxygen levels, called a relative SpO2 sensor. Fitbit boasts it has also included a highly accurate tri-wavelength heart rate sensor which in concert with the PurePulse tool will help provide precise readings. While the design is bulky, I plan to live with the watch for a few more weeks, so stay tuned for my full review. Fitbit says it expects apps such as Flipboard, Game Golf, Nest and Surfline to appear this autumn. Fitbit is sticking by its DNA, sticking by what it knows incredibly well. "It's about tracking your health and giving you all the data and moving on from there", Llamas said. It's expected in September and will likely pack advanced new health features.

Fitbit today also unveiled the Flyer headphones.

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We are curious to find out if Pebble applications will be supported on the watch or not. "In addition to music and getting coffee and shopping, at some point do you get news, stock ticker reports, score updates, and things of that nature?"

Perhaps the timing of a blizzard of announcements from Fitbit Inc.

Ionic is water-resistant to 5 ATM (50 meters), so you can use it in the pool with the new Swim Exercise mode that shows real-time laps, duration, and calories burned. More apps will follow as developers get on the platform. They'll also be available in stores and online by October.

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. More countries and banks will be added soon, according to a Fitbit press release. Fitbit Pay will work with American Express cards and select Visa and Mastercards from supported banks.

Moving onto other features, the Ionic smartwatch also comes with NFC for mobile payments, launching with a new service called Fitbit Pay that will allow you to pay with your Ionic smartwatch anywhere there is a contactless payment terminal. This is coming in Fall 2017, the firm says.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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