FitBit Ionic: Can it Storm the Smartwatch Market?

Fitbit ionic

San-Francisco-based Fitbit, the leading global fitness wearable brand, announced its first smartwatch, called Fitbit Ionic. Fitbit was one of the world’s best-selling fitness wearable companies until recently, but IDC reports that Xiaomi and Apple have overtaken it early this year in terms of shipping numbers.

The Ionic is more of a combination of the company’s earlier products – Blaze and Surge trackers – and it is made using nano-moulding technology. It is lightweight and strong, as it moulds metal and plastic together.

Fitbit Ionic is different from the existing Blaze watch; the Ionic is more personalized and focuses on the health and fitness platforms with unique features. The device has a Sp02 sensor, which helps gain deeper health insights into issues like sleep apnea in the future. It also has improved heart-rate tracking, water resistance up to 50 meters, on-demand dynamic workouts, industry-leading GPS tracking, and it can track swimming activities as well. It also includes other smart features like contactless payments, on-board music, notifications, and compatibility with other popular apps available in the Fitbit App Gallery.

The company is working on the web tool for developers, allowing them to create their own software for their devices; the tool is expected to be released later in September.

The company also announced that the Ionic’s heart tracker is much more accurate compared to previous trackers they’ve used. And it also meets the specs to have WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS antennas inside the device. It has a storage capacity of 2.5GB and will support touch-less payments with the upcoming Fitbit Pay facility.

Alongside the Ionic, the company will also launch a special edition in partnership with Adidas, mirroring the Apple Watch collaboration with Nike.

Apple Watch Nike+ on

The company believes that Ionic, with its core features like long battery life (multiple days), automatic activity, sleep tracking and cross-platform compatibility, should be able to crack the market. The basic version is priced at £300, or about $390, which is more expensive than the base version of Apple Watch Series 2. The company has already started accepting pre-orders, but the shipments are likely to start late September. The smartwatch will be made available to retailers starting October 2017.

The company has designed the watch to be geared more towards fitness than fashion, which might be a challenge given its previous lines of products. Given the company already has a loyal set of customers who might be looking at upgrading to the new Fitbit product, it could come as an advantage.

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