Fitbit has officially announced its first entry into the smartwatch market, which is set to take on Apple and other wearable manufacturers by offering a “highly personalized experience not previously seen in other smartwatches”.
The new Fitbit Ionic is described as a “health and fitness first platform” and builds on the company’s expertise in that area by incorporating a range of new features and technology, including a new relative SpO2 sensor which the company said allows the smartwatch to “track deeper health insights like sleep apnea in the future”.
Other new features include “industry-leading” GPS, improved heart rate tracking, and water resistance up to 50m. Fitbit also said the Ionic incorporates all of the ‘core features’ that are synonymous with the brand, including a long battery life rated for 4+ days, activity and sleep tracking, and cross-platform compatibility.
“Ten years ago, Fitbit pioneered the wearables category with the introduction of its first health and fitness tracker. Since then, we have become the leading global wearables brand, setting the pace of innovation in the category and establishing the largest social fitness network that helps millions of people around the world be healthier,” said Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park.
“With Ionic, we will deliver what consumers have not yet seen in a smartwatch – a health and fitness first platform that combines the power of personalization and deeper insights with our most advanced technology to date, unlocking opportunities for unprecedented health tracking capabilities in the future,” Park said.
The Ionic supports contactless payments using NFC, on-board music with 2.5GB of storage, and a range of apps and clock faces available from the Fitbit App Gallery. It also supports the company’s new ‘dynamic’ coaching service called Fitbit Coach, available for $12.99 a month or $62.99 a year.
Fitbit teased the Ionic in its quarterly earnings report earlier this month, where the company reported a loss of $28 million and said sales of 3.4 million devices were up 17% from the previous quarter, but down 40% year-on-year.
Along with the Ionic, the company also announced its first entry into another market with the Flyer wireless headphones.
Featuring a durable, sweat-proof design and customisable fit that makes them “built for fitness”, the Flyer are designed to seamlessly connect to the Ionic over Bluetooth for music playback and audio coaching without the use of a phone.
Both new products will be available from October in Australia. The Fitbit Ionic is priced at RRP $449.95, while the Fitbit Flyer is priced at $199.95.