Fitbit unveils health-focused smartwatch

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

The Fitbit Ionic is compatible with Apple and Android phones - unlike the Apple Watch, which only works with the iPhone - and the company is opening up its platform to allow developers to build apps for the device.

Fitbit signalled its intention to move into payments past year when it bought the wearable assets of Coin, helping it move beyond its core fitness tracking service.

While other phones are getting around a day (cough, Apple Watch!) and others last just barely more (we get around 2-3 days on the Samsung Gear S3), the Fitbit Ionic one-ups all of them with an impressive 4-day battery life.

The watch also has a new sensor technology - relative SpO2 sensor - for estimating oxygen levels in the blood that have the potential to track sleep apnea among others.

The Ionic includes Global Positioning System tracking, a SpO2 sensor (to estimate blood oxygen levels), water resistance (up to 50 meters), contactless mobile payments through a new Fitbit Pay service, music playback, and improved heart rate tracking. Fitbit will be offering an Adidas-branded special edition as well.

It rolls out alongside Fitbit Coach, which is a a tarted up version of the previous Fitstar app, and offers personal training for £7.99 per month, and a developer kit for third parties wanting to make apps. Beyond all that, there doesn't seem to be much particular advantage in picking Fitbit's headphones over the competition.

Fitbit announced its new payments feature and Ionic along with a new scale and new wireless headphones.

What Fitbit has finally done here is make a smartwatch/tracker hybrid with a claimed four-day battery, that looks, to be honest, pretty great in grey, and promises to do way more than just count your steps and tell you how long you've been asleep for. But the screen is fairly small considering the available real estate, which the thick bezels and Fitbit's logo on the bottom cut into. Llamas said, "It stands to reason we will see some other kinds of applications that are possibly not health and fitness oriented".

The Ionic smartwatch is water resistant up to 50 metres and it's also equipped with a swimming mode.

Fitbit has a new wearable nearly ready to roll out to the fitness crowd, the Fitbit Ionic. They'll also be available in stores and online by October. Ionic will be available in stores worldwide beginning October 2017, including major North American retailers Amazon, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kohl's, Macy's, REI, Target and Verizon. Fitbit also intends to launch expert-designed running and walking audio coaching sessions you can listen to.

With a price tag of $299.95, Ionic is priced above Apple Watch's starting price of $269. Aria 2 is a Wi-Fi smart scale that will focus on delivering accurate weight, body fat percentage, lean mass, and BMI. The standard straps and sport straps are fastened with a buckle and a pin at the end of the strap that is secured into one of the remaining holes, while the leather straps also have a buckle fastening but the strap goes through a loop like a standard watch strap for a smarter look.

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