Fitbit is officially getting into the smartwatch business with the Fitbit Ionic. While the company has dabbled in fitness-focused watches before with the Fitbit Blaze, the Ionic is the company’s first (and long-awaited) true smartwatch, distinguished by its support of third-party apps.
But given how late to the game Fitbit is compared to its competitors, expectations are high.
First off, the hardware: the Ionic is built out of a lightweight aluminum case, broken up by iPhone-like antenna lines for the GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. Fitbit says it has used a nano-molding technique to fuse plastic and metal together in the watch body. (This is a technique commonly used in smartphones, but not wearables.) The case’s back is an angled, tapered design that’s meant to allow the various sensors on the back of the device to comfortably and accurately contact your wrist. To the right side of the screen is a pair of buttons, with a third found to the left side of the display. The watch will come in silver, grey, and orange.
The display is a subtly curved spherical glass lens, although the bezels surrounding it are fairly large. Fitbit isn’t offering a lot of details on the screen’s exact specifications, but resolution was sharp and colors were vivid. One spec it did mention was the brightness, which maxes out at 1000 nits to ensure that you’ll be able to see the screen even in direct sunlight.
The Ionic will cost $299.95 when it’s released sometime in October. That price will make it the most expensive Fitbit device yet, and also means Fitbit is commanding a higher price than the $269 Apple Watch Series 1. (Although, it’s cheaper than the Apple Watch Series 2.)
In many ways, the Ionic feels like an evolution of the existing Fitbit product lineup. At face value, you could call it an upgraded version of the Fitbit Blaze. It offers a similar color touchscreen, notification support, and music control, but it has built-in GPS tracking, water resistance, swim tracking, and a third-party app platform that Fitbit insists will be ready for launch.Read More...
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