Fitbit Ionic Adidas edition smartwatch to launch in 2018

Meet Ionic, Fitbit's First Smartwatch and Last Chance to Beat Apple

Meet Ionic, Fitbit's First Smartwatch and Last Chance to Beat Apple

You probably know Fitbit because of its fitness trackers, but the company recently acquired ex-Kickstarter sensation Pebble and so, armed with the new ideas and high hopes it unveiled its first true smartwatch product - called the Ionic - this week. In fact, one of the biggest draws of these headphones for Ionic users will likely be the fact that they can be connected directly to the smartwatch itself, with no phone necessary. The company's current fitness watch, Blaze (which is not technically a smartwatch), costs $200.

In terms of features, the Ionic packs a ton of stuff in to make it a very intriguing wearable device. Xiaomi and Apple tied for first place during that same period, with 3.6 million devices shipped.

Fitbit's new Ionic smartwatch is available for preorder beginning today and will be in retail stores in October, according to the company. The Fitbit Blaze, which debuted in January 2016, is priced at $229.95.

The Fitbit Ionic runs on the Fitbit OS, which offers various clock faces, as well as an app gallery that will feature health and fitness apps like Fitbit Coach and third party partner apps like Strava. The watch also includes Fitbit's updated PurePulse continuous heart rate tracking technology, Bluetooth, and a new relative SpO2 sensor for estimating oxygen levels in the blood.

I suspect Fitbit flirted with the possibility of building heart-rate monitoring or other fitness tracking directly into the headphones like Samsung has done in the past, but doing so would have both driven up the price and been redundant for all those who have a tracker on their wrist.

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"I think for the time being that this will sustain the company a bit more".

The most valued addition to the Ionic is the Fitbit Pay. Fitbit has been making some weird design choices of late...

When it comes to features, unsurprisingly this is a timepiece that puts fitness first. "It's about tracking your health and giving you all the data and moving on from there", Llamas said. Like other Fitbit wearables, and like the Apple Watch, customers will also be able to swap out the straps. But the design of the new Ionic watch does bear a resemblance to earlier Pebble watches with its rectangular face and flattened edges.

Perhaps the timing of a blizzard of announcements from Fitbit Inc. The buds are sweat-proof and water resistant so will survive the most robust of workouts, come rain or shine. An AccuWeather app, meanwhile, will allow users to get localized weather reports for their specific location. "There is a lot they can do in the next 5-½ or 6 weeks before October rolls around", Llamas said. Fitbit Pay will work with American Express cards and select Visa and Mastercards from supported banks. This is coming in Fall 2017, the firm says.

Only the documentation is now available, but based on Fitbit's current write-up it appears the device will be a fast hacking favourite, with developers able to easily sideload applications and share them with friends and family without going through Fitbit's approval process and App Gallery, and apps being based on javascript, CSS and SVG.

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