It’s not enough to create a single-purpose watch nowadays — it has to be smart. For Fitbit, a fitness tracker has to be more than what it is, so they created the Ionic.
The Fitbit Ionic marks the official entry of the company into the smartwatch business. While they have the Blaze (which also looks like the Ionic), it’s not a full-fledged smartwatch due to its limitations; the Ionic has support for third-party apps and more.
The new wearable sits on top of Fitbit’s existing portfolio of fitness gadgets like the Alta HR we personally use every day. The Ionic has all the features you could look for in a smartwatch, including a color touchscreen, heart rate sensor, NFC for contactless payments, and water resistance. All of these are encased in a lightweight aluminum chassis with antenna lines for GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. Also, it has a promised battery life of over four days, or up to 10 hours while using the GPS. Those are impressive numbers, but real-life usage will definitely be different.
Where the Ionic shines most is in software. Since it’s a Fitbit, it offers a wide-range of health tricks including fitness coaching with personalized workouts, guided breathing, and activity tracking even on water since you can take this to the pool. It’ll track your laps, stroke style, and calories burned. It also shows phone notifications like calls, text messages, and calendar appointments.
The watch runs on Fitbit OS, a relatively new and proprietary operating system that’ll serve as the company’s foundation for its smartwatch efforts after acquiring Pebble last December. Developers will be able to create apps for the operating system with full access to all sensors on the device. There’ll be third-party watchfaces, too. Apps will be available through what’s called Fitbit App Gallery, which will be available at launch.
It’ll cost US$ 299 when it gets released sometime in October — making it the most expensive Fitbit device, yet.