Fitbit has been saying it planned to launch a true smartwatch before the end of the year, and today the well-known fitness wearable company finally announced its first entry in the already crowded industry. The Fitbit Ionic, which will use its own in-house developed Ionic OS, is already available for pre-order on the company’s website for $299.95.
The design of the Fitbit Ionic confirms earlier leaks about the smartwatch, including how how it resembles the company’s earlier Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker, with its square display. Fitbit is not revealing exact specs on the resolution of its Ionic display, but did confirm with The Verge it will have support for up to 1000 nits of brightness, which should make the display easy to see even in bright sunlight. The battery life is supposed to last up to 10 hours if you use processor-intensive features like its built-in GPS or playing music constantly. If you don’t, Fitbit claims it will last up to four days on one charge. The watch can also hold up to 300 songs with its 2.5 GB of onboard storage.
The battery is supposed to last up to 10 hours if you're constantly using processor-intensive features like its built-in GPS or playing music
As you might imagine, the Fitbit Ionic is a fitness-focused device, so it comes with plenty of features for activity tracking. It will come with four workout modes out of the box and you can get more if you sign up for the company’s upcoming Fitbit Coach subscription service, which will launch later this fall. The smartwatch will also have a Run Detect feature that automatically tracks the owner’s heart rate, pace, distance, elevation, and split times.
The watch will be able to monitor its owner as he or she goes through 20 different types of fitness activities. One of those activities is swimming. That’s right — the Ionic offers water resistance up to 50 meters, which is notable because this is the first Fitbit device other than the Flex 2 to offer water resistance.
The built-in GPS will be able to track the owner’s pace, distance, elevation climbed, and split times. Owners will be able to check out a map of their walk, run, or ride route directly on the watch’s display. Finally, it will have a heart rate tracking monitor for keeping up with both resting and active periods.
Ionic OS in the Fitbit Ionic will not only allow the smartwatch to link up to your smartphone for notifications (email, Facebook, etc) but it will also run its own apps, including third-party developed apps from companies like Pandora, Starbucks, AccuWeather and Strava. The company will release a SDK to allow any developers to make apps for the Ionic OS in September. Owners can also download and choose from 15 different clock face options, and there will be a variety of different watch bands to choose from as well. In the future, the Fitbit Ionic will support adding American Express, MasterCard, and Visa credit and debit cards from a number of banks in 10 different countries.
As we said, the Fitbit Ionic is already available for pre-order directly from the company’s site, along with perforated leather bands for $59.99, and sport and classic band for $29.99 each. On Tuesday, other online retailers will launch their own pre-sales for the smartwatch. It will begin to go on sale in brick-and-mortar stores in October, including Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Macy’s, REI, Target, and Verizon.
The company is also launching its own set of wireless headsets with the Ionic. The Fitbit Flyer uses a durable hydrophobic nano-coating that is supposed to be rain, splash, and sweatproof. It also will have a battery life of up to six hours. It’s three-button control box will let owners turn the volume up or down, along with pausing or changing music tracks. It will also have a dual microphone for taking calls. Fitbit says the Flyer is the first set of headphones that uses Waves MaxxAudio for a better bass experience. The Flyer also comes with a set of ear tips, wings, and fins for a better custom fit in the ears. It is also available for pre-order today for $129.95, and will also go on sale in stores in October.
What do you think of the Fitbit Ionic? Let us know your first impressions in the comments!