Fitbit Aims to Take a Piece Out of Apple With new Smartwatch

Mastercard explains its new support for Fitbit Pay

Mastercard explains its new support for Fitbit Pay

The continuous rise in mobile connectivity has led to the proliferation of digital payments, with Visa helping to offer more ways to pay through devices such as phones, watches and now fitness trackers with the new Fitbit Ionic - no physical wallet required.

In terms of hardware, the Ionic features Global Positioning System, sleep tracking, blood-oxygen monitoring, personalized training, heart-rate tracking, and water resistance up to 50 meters.

The watch also includes a relative SpO2 sensor, which allows for deeper health tracking of conditions like sleep apnea. Some of the exclusives that the device will offer, are Pandora and Spotify, along with Starbucks and a few other apps that will highlight mobile payment.

Ionic is available for pre-order beginning today in two shades of gray and orange, and will release in October for $300 with a variety of Horween leather and sport bands that range from $30 to $60. A Fitbit Ionic Adidas special edition is also scheduled for 2018. "There is a lot they can do in the next 5-½ or 6 weeks before October rolls around", Llamas said. It's expected in September and will likely pack advanced new health features. Thomas Sarlandie, Fitbit's software engineering director, said Fitbit envisions all types of apps on Ionic, from transportation to smart home solutions, and much more. The buds are sweat-proof and water resistant so will survive the most robust of workouts, come rain or shine.

Alongside the Fitbit Ionic, the company has also introduced Fitbit Flyer ($129.95), wireless headphones built for fitness, and the Fitbit Aria 2 ($129.95), the company's next-generation Wi-Fi smart scale.

Fitbit estimates the battery life as "4+ days".

Fitbit Aims to Take a Piece Out of Apple With new Smartwatch
Fitbit Aims to Take a Piece Out of Apple With new Smartwatch

"Ten years ago, Fitbit pioneered the wearables category with the introduction of its first health and fitness tracker", Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park says in a prepared statement.

Fitbit Coach, a paid subscription service that provides audio coaching sessions and guided health programs. Fitbit is now working with various banking institutions to streamline the payment experience and bring it to even more people. The seamless payments made possible by the Fitbit Ionic may reduce friction for the active Fitbit consumers when they are making a payment.

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. This includes the launch of the Fitbit App Gallery, where you can select the apps and clock faces that appeal to you so you're always armed with the information you want most, in a way that reflects your own personal needs and style.

Ionic also features automatic pause detection for when you take a break in the middle of a run, but since there's no always-on screen option, you'll need to flick your wrist or press a button to see your stats.

"I think for the time being that this will sustain the company a bit more".

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