Global wearables brand, Fitbit, recently got with the smartwatch craze and launched a very Starwars-esque inspired timepiece – the Fitbit Ionic. The Fitbit Ionic hit a few selected stores in South African in October 2017 and will carry a price tag of around R5,499.
According to Fitbit, this health and fitness first platform, the Ionic, offers a highly personalised experience not previously seen in other smartwatches. It builds on Fitbit’s health and fitness expertise with a new relative SpO2 sensor (SpO2 stands for peripheral capillary oxygen saturation. It’s is an estimate of arterial oxygen saturation, owhich refers to the amount of oxygenated haemoglobin in the blood). This however makes it possible to track deeper health insights like sleep apnea in the future.
The smartwatch also boasts industry-leading GPS tracking, on-device dynamic workouts, improved heart rate tracking, and water resistance up to 50 meters. But wait… there’s more… smart features like contactless payments, on-board music, smart notifications, and a variety of popular apps and clock faces are also now available in the Fitbit App Gallery.
Ionic has all the core features users love from Fitbit like 4+ day battery life, automatic activity and sleep tracking, and cross-platform compatibility. Ionic will be available at select local retailers from mid October 2017, with a new Fitbit Ionic adidas special edition device coming in 2018. The Fitbit app software development kit (SDK) will be open to developers in September 2017.
“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 James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “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.”
Fitbit’s strongest and lightest GPS watch
As Fitbit’s first device designed fully in-house, Ionic features new processes and materials that improve weight, fit, durability, breathability and daily wear – resulting in an extremely lightweight, ergonomic design comfortable enough to wear all day and night.
Most advanced design
Utilising nano-molding technology, the unibody watchcase allows it to double as the Bluetooth and GPS antenna. This construction creates a stronger GPS signal that works in busy cities or on remote trails.
Built to last
Ionic is built to be more durable with new materials, new bands and more extensive testing than ever before.
Easy to read display: A color, spherical glass touchscreen with crisp graphics and amplified brightness of up to 1,000 nits lets you read your stats wherever you are – in bright sunlight or a low-lit room.
The fitness smartwatch will be available in three stylish colour combinations:
silver gray tracker and clasp with blue gray band;
smoke gray tracker and clasp with charcoal band; or
burnt orange tracker and clasp with slate blue band.
In addition, accessories will be available in a black and charcoal or cobalt and lime two-toned breathable sport band, as well as a hand-crafted and perforated Horween leather strap in cognac or midnight blue.
Everything you need in one device
From beginners to experienced athletes, Fitbit’s most advanced device to date offers personal, actionable guidance to motivate you to reach your goals – all while keeping you connected with apps and notifications.
Personal trainer with Fitbit Coach: Access dynamic, on-device workouts that adapt based on feedback you provide on your wrist, or listen to expert-designed running and walking Audio Coaching sessions (available 2018) to increase endurance, speed and form on your schedule.
Running companion: Automatically track your run with the new Run Detect feature that kicks in GPS tracking – just step out the door and go; see real-time pace and distance; auto-pause to grab some water or take a breather and automatically resume when you start running.
New swim exercise mode: With water resistance up to 50 meters and industry-leading lap counting, use Ionic in the pool and see your real-time laps, exercise duration and calories burned for pool swims.
Industry-leading GPS: The unique design and integrated antenna inside Ionic provide a stronger connection to GPS and GLONASS satellites, delivering industry-leading GPS performance. Leave your phone behind and see pace and distance right on your wrist, as well as record elevation climbed, split times, and a map of your walk, run or ride in the Fitbit app.
Improved heart rate technology: Ionic has enhanced PurePulse® heart rate tracking with greater accuracy during exercises like cycling, intervals and running; better measure calorie burn, see real-time heart rate zones to optimize intensity, and track resting heart rate 24/7.
New sensor technology: The introduction of a relative SpO2 sensor for estimating blood oxygen levels opens the potential for tracking important new indicators about your health, such as sleep apnea.
Motivation through music: Leave your phone at home and find the motivation to jumpstart your workout by storing and playing more than 300 songs on device (2.5 GB of storage). Connect Ionic to any Bluetooth device of your choosing. Make payments using Fitbit Pay™: Leave your wallet and phone at home and effortlessly pay for items right from your device, wherever contactless payments are accepted. Over the coming months you will be able to add eligible credit and debit cards from top issuing banks in over 10 markets across the globe, with more countries and banks planned soon.
Smart notifications you need most: With extended smartphone notifications, receive call, text and calendar alerts, as well as notifications from apps on your smartphone like Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, Slack, Snapchat and more.
Multi-day battery life: With 4+ days battery life on a single charge (10 hours with GPS or playing music), Ionic will outlast any activity you do during the day and still track your sleep all night.
In addition to these new features, Ionic has everything you love about Fitbit – automatically track your steps, calories, floors climbed and sleep stages, see your cardio fitness level (estimated VO2 Max), maintain moments of calm and more.
Hi, I'm Clare and I am a freelance writer and Tech journalist as well as the owner and founder of gadget-gal.com where I review tech devices and also cover emerging technology news. Outside of gadget-gal.com I write for a number of publications and have regular tech slots on chaiFM radio station and eNCA's Tech Matters national breakfast TV news show.