Fitbit has been one of the leading companies in the wearable space thanks to its line of popular fitness trackers. But with activity tracking features baked into multi-purpose devices like the Apple Watch, Samsung Gear line of products, and smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear, Fitbit’s been under pressure to launch its own smartwatch
After acquiring smartwatch maker Pebble late last year, Fitbit has unveiled its first real smartwatch.
The Fitbit Ionic goes up for pre-order this week for $300, and it should hit the streets in October. While the watch has all the fitness-based features the company’s products are known for, it also supports contactless payments, notifications, and support for apps and watch faces.
The Fitbit Ionic has a 1.4 inch, 348 x 250 pixel rectangular display that offers up to 1,000 nits of brightness, making the full color display easy to see in direct sunlight, without relying on ePaper technology like Pebble’s old watches.
But Fitbit still says the watch offers 4 days of battery life.
The watch has a Gorilla Glass 3 screen, an aluminum frame with support for swappable bands, and the Fitbit Ionic is water resistant at depths up to 50 meters.
It has GPS and a heart rate sensor as well as a new relative SpO2 sensor that Fitbit says could be used in the future to detect and monitor conditions such as sleep apnea.
The watch runs a custom operating system called FitbitOS that syncs with a Fitbit smartphone app. Built-in features include a Fitbit coach, swim exercise mode, running companion for tracking your stats while you’re on the move, and a music player. Fitbit says the 2.5GB of available on-device storage should let you carry more than 300 songs on the go.
But there’s also support for third-party apps including Pandora for music streaming, Starbucks for leaving your wallet at home when grabbing a post-workout coffee, AccuWeather, Strava, and more. Fitbit will be launching an SDK and web-based Fitbit Studio for app developers in September.
The company is also launching a new set of wireless headphones called Fitbit Flyer. They go up for pre-order today and ship in October, and the $130 wireless earbuds are sweatproof, feature a 3-button control system, multi-device connectivity, and they can be paired with the Ionic watch for listening to music or other audio.
So, basically nothing from Pebble made it to the final product. It must have been money well spent. I bet the investors are happy with this, as well as the customers who were told that they’ll see Fitbit products tailored to their needs, just like Pebble was, soon.
Not sure why you’re shocked… It was pretty clear it was to buy out the competition, it was never to buy the tech to reuse.
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