Fitbit announces Ionic smartwatch and Flyer headphones

The Ionic features a battery life of four days or more, automatic activity and sleep tracking, and cross-platform compatibility.

Fitbit is even partnering with Adidas on a "special edition" version of the Iconic coming next year that will include training programs; Apple similarly partnered with Nike with the Apple Watch Nike+ version of its smartwatch. The Fitbit Ionic comes with a Pandora app for listening to music and other apps that do not require a compatible smartphone.

Powering Ionic is a battery Fitbit promises will last over four days under normal circumstances and up to ten hours when users take advantage of Ionic's Global Positioning System and music functionality. They go on sale in October.

The heart rate monitor makes up one of the eight sensors on board the Ionic smartwatch, and Fitbit has said new algorithms are on board for measuring heart rate during high intensity training.

Fitbit announced on Monday that it is launchin the Ionic, the first smartwatch that Fitbit has developed that will run third-party applications. The smartwatch has 2.5GB of onboard storage and is capable of storing and playing more than 300 songs on the device itself.

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Audio Coaching is going to be available next year as it's still in development. (There's still enough space for a Fitbit logo beneath the screen, however.) Its 1,000 nit, 348x250 LCD touch screen is crisp and bright enough to be visible in direct sunlight, which is good because anyone who buys an Ionic will likely be using it outside a lot. Fitbit is now working with various banking institutions to streamline the payment experience and bring it to even more people. Today, the company has diversified its offering by launching its first ever smartwatch and wireless headphone. It will sync with the Fitbit app using a Bluetooth connection.

On top of contactless payments, on-board music, smart notifications, will be a variety of popular apps and clock faces available in the Fitbit App Gallery.

Only the documentation is now available, but based on Fitbit's current write-up it appears the device will be a fast hacking favourite, with developers able to easily sideload applications and share them with friends and family without going through Fitbit's approval process and App Gallery, and apps being based on javascript, CSS and SVG.

The main distinction in creating a real smartwatch is that the company's creating a platform for third-party apps on its new smartwatch operating system, Fitbit OS.

There's a personal trainer with "Fitbit Coach" for on-device workouts that adapt based on feedback you provide on your wrist. Ionic is priced at $299.95 and is now up for pre-ordering via Fitbit's website, shipping is expected to starts in 3 to 4 weeks. The standard straps and sport straps are fastened with a buckle and a pin at the end of the strap that is secured into one of the remaining holes, while the leather straps also have a buckle fastening but the strap goes through a loop like a standard watch strap for a smarter look.

  • Desiree Holland