Fitbit has launched their first smartwatch, the Ionic, along with wireless headphones and a new Wi-Fi smart scale.
By now, you know all about smartwatches—or have at least heard of them. Companies like Apple and Samsung have had their versions on the market for a while, but that doesn't mean there aren't any newcomers allowed. Fitbit, the wearables company you know and love for their Charge 2 (along with the rest of their step-tracking arsenal), is making a splash with the launch of their first foray into smartwatch territory.
Available for pre-order now (it'll retail for $299.95 in October), the Ionic has a lot of cool lifestyle features—like being able to check the local weather, stream Pandora, or pay for your Starbucks—but the company says it's a health and fitness watch first. When the watch was in development, they kept health and fitness features and functionality front and center, hoping that would help them stand out from the competition. So, while that 'Bucks convenience is quite nice—along with the compatibility for Android, iPhone, and Windows users—top priorities were GPS capabilities, in-depth sleep monitoring, and heart-rate tracking.
That's why the Ionic features all the functionality that you would expect: steps and activity tracking, the aforementioned GPS, heart rate, and sleep monitoring, and—drumroll—water resistance up to 50 meters (meaning you can shower and swim with it). It also has an upgrade to the FitStar app currently found on the Blaze. Through Fitbit Coach, users can access a myriad of workouts (think "10-Minute Abs" and "7-Minute Workout"), all led by an actual human being in full-color display—an element that's crucial for helping you nail proper form. It comes with audio cues, too, so you don't have to stare at your watch every time you segue into a new position. (More of a cardio girl? You'll be able to pair audio-only coaching with your favorite tunes, so there's a virtual coach in your ear for that tough run.) Once you're done with a routine, you'll be asked to rate its difficulty, helping the digital coach further customize future sessions catered to your fitness level.
Of course, the people at Fitbit know you want to track the workouts you already love to do, not just what they're serving up through Coach. So they also built in algorithms so you can track a wide variety of activities—think running, cycling, yoga, and HIIT. Automatic exercise detection is built in, meaning if you forget to switch into one of those modes before you start sweating, it's NBD (though it's more accurate if you do switch into the proper mode). It'll even track when you stop moving, immediately pausing your workout so you don't have to push pause-start at every annoying stoplight.
One of the best parts, though, is the battery life. It's allegedly going to slay the competition, offering up four-plus days of battery life, or a max of 10 hours if you use the GPS a lot. Which is nice because, well, you'll actually be able to make use of those sleep-tracking features because you won't have to take it off every night to charge.
And as if they somehow knew most of us rely on music to get through a hard AF workout, Fitbit is also launching Flyer wireless headphones, also available in October 2017. Those will retail for $129.99, and they're fully customizable. You can change the tip, wing, and fin sizes so that it's actually possible to run without ear buds falling out—even if your ears are two different sizes. (Yes, this is an actual thing.) And with a crisp sound quality, you can listen in either the Signature mode or Power Boost mode (designed to get you extra pumped), as well as answer phone calls and control music playback.
The company says they'll also be launching an updated Aria 2 Wi-Fi Smart Scale (available in October for $129.95), and next year they'll be adding subscription-based guided health programs, like a four-week guide to slashing sugar, to Fitbit Coach. They'll also have new training plans on the watch, thanks to a multi-year partnership with Adidas.
Looks like Apple Watch will have some friendly competition in the gym this fall.