With Fitbit’s new Ionic aptness tracker, health and aptness still take core stage, yet Ionic is some-more of an all-around wearable than any Fitbit that came before. Ionic represents a initial fruits of a company’s Pebble, Coin, and Vector selling spree: You can now implement third-party apps, make payments, and we can store hundreds of songs for offline listening.
The biggest change for Fitbit is a new open system, as a association has leveraged a Pebble merger to emanate a height for third-party apps. Only a handful of apps will be accessible during launch, yet Fitbit will shortly be opening adult an program growth pack so developers can daub into Ionic’s sensors to build apps and watch faces usually like they on watchOS and Android Wear.
But even with all that, Ionic is still a Fitbit first, smartwatch second.
Thin is in
The initial thing you’ll notice about Ionic is how most it doesn’t demeanour like a Pebble or a Vector watch. It’s arrange of a mash-up of a dual top-tier Fitbit devices, Blaze and Surge. Ionic has a elementary block face rather than Blaze’s peculiar octagon, and it packs a bigger 1.42-inch screen, too, with most slimmer bezels. (There’s still adequate space for a Fitbit trademark underneath a screen, however.) Its 1,000 nit, 348×250 LCD reason shade is frail and splendid adequate to be manifest in approach sunlight, that is good given anyone who buys an Ionic will expected be regulating it outward a lot.
The watch comes in 3 colors, black, gray, and orange, any with bands built to element a “space movie” motif. (For example, a orange watch is interconnected with a blue rope to rather impersonate a intersection of Mars and Matt Damon in The Martian.) For a some-more personal touch, Fitbit has grown an easy swapping process around a symbol on a underside of a rope that fast snaps and unsnaps it in place. It’s a best process I’ve used so far—even easier than Apple Watch’s push-and-slide method—with a foolproof recover and a robust click to let we know it’s connected.
When we reason a 12.2mm Ionic, it looks as corpulent as an Android Wear watch, yet most of that goes divided when we tag it on. Ionic has an assertive convex pattern that pushes a heart rate guard into your wrist. It sounds worried yet it’s not, and a ensuing wrist form is usually about 6 or 7 millimeters, significantly slimmer than a 10.5mm Apple Watch Series 1 or 10.8mm LG Style Watch, dual of a thinnest smartwatches out there. Its extruding lugs competence still make it a bit too large for tiny wrists, yet Ionic has strike on a pattern that melds a classical Fitbit character into a bone-fide select intelligent wristwatch.
Once you’re wearing it, Ionic functions like a supercharged Fitbit. An array of sensors are constantly in use to lane your each movement, and we can see them all (steps, BPM, calories) by regularly drumming a default face. On-board GPS (a underline accessible on Surge yet not on Blaze) reduces your faith on your phone.
A new Fitbit Coach use powered by Fitstar lets we get personal training on your wrist with step-by-step visible instructions for a accumulation of workouts. Also on house (though not accessible during launch) will be audio coaching with some-more than 40 indoor and outside using and walking examination sessions finish with heard cues and support while we exercise. Rounding out a superintendence coaching element will be a paid use rising subsequent year for $8 a month or $40 a year that will erect a complete, personalized lifestyle devise for sleep, practice and nourishment formed on your specific goals and needs that adjusts to fit your routine.
Ionic also facilities involuntary postponement showing for when we take a mangle in a center of a run, yet given there’s no always-on shade option, you’ll need to crack your wrist or press a symbol to see your stats. You can also accept notifications from your phone—and taptic vibrations warning we when they arrive—but we still can’t make calls or respond to messages. A four-day battery promises to keep your Fitbit using clever by any examination (up to 10 continual hours using GPS or music), and when we need to block it in, you’ll find a captivating charging cable, yet this time around it’s a smaller, Surge-sized block rather than a bulbous Blaze cradle. And like former Fitbits, it will do a thing while we sleep, too.
Pay and play
Ionic is water-resistant to 5 ATM (50 meters), so we can use it in a pool with a new Swim Exercise mode that shows real-time laps, duration, and calories burned. The watch also includes Fitbit’s updated PurePulse continual heart rate tracking technology, Bluetooth, and a new relations SpO2 sensor for estimating oxygen levels in a blood. But even some-more sparkling is a new non-exercise-related sensor.
That would be NFC for a company’s new remuneration service, Fitbit Pay. Like Apple Pay and Android Pay, Fitbit Pay lets we bucket credit cards onto your watch for creation payments during customary store checkout readers. At launch, a use will support cards from American Express, Visa, and American Express, yet Fitbit says it will be adding some-more credit and withdraw cards in a nearby future.
Along with your Wallet, Ionic facilities an array of apps, such as Weather from Accuweather, Starbucks, and Strava, along with Fitbit’s Coach, Exercise, and a few other batch apps, yet a success of Ionic rests mostly in developer’s hands. Fitbit will be providing an SDK for formulating apps and faces that take advantage of a watch’s countless sensors, and developers will be means to share apps in dual ways: around a private couple or publicly by a Fitbit store, that will need approval. Notably, all apps accessible for Ionic will be giveaway once a app gallery (Fitbit’s chronicle of a store) launches.
Along with apps and services, Ionic also puts a renewed concentration on music. While some Fitbit inclination are means to control what was personification on your phone, we can store adult to 300 songs, podcasts and audiobooks on Ionic and play them in a new Music app.
But it doesn’t usually have to be songs that we own. Fitbit has partnered with Pandora to concede Plus and Premium subscribers to auto-sync new playlists to their Ionic for offline listening. And given you’ll need a span of Bluetooth headphones to listen to all those songs, Fitbit has also introduced Flyer, a set of wireless earbuds that can bond to dual inclination during a same time (like Ionic and your phone).
With a large earpiece and a neck cord, Flyer isn’t scarcely as petite as AirPods, yet we found them gentle adequate to wear. Like Apple’s system, Flyer pairs now with Ionic, and their sweatproof and rainproof IP67 rating, pacifist sound isolation, and six-hour battery life should make them an appealing choice for Fitbit fans.
Rounding out Fitbit’s new tumble lineup is an updated chronicle of a Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, that has been reengineered for larger correctness and easier Bluetooth setup. It has brighter arrangement and a slimmer design, and will work in and with Ionic to emanate a finish design of your health.
Ionic is available for pre-order commencement currently in dual shades of gray and orange, and will recover in Oct for $300 with a accumulation of Horween leather and competition bands that operation from $30 to $60. A special book Adidas chronicle of a watch will be accessible subsequent year.