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Fitbit's new Ionic smartwatch is its most premium ever and takes on the Apple Watch

By Cookie Monster - on 29 Aug 2017, 1:00am

Fitbit's new Ionic smartwatch is its most premium ever and takes on the Apple Watch

Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit just unveiled its latest health and fitness smartwatch, the Ionic which is the company's first device to be designed fully in-house.

The Ionic has a nano-moulded unibody made up of 6000 series aerospace-grade aluminum and is water resistant up to 50 meters. Its touch-screen display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The nano-moulded unibody packs 8 different sensors  such as an integrated GPS antenna, vibration motor, altimeter, optical heart rate sensor, digital compass, ambient light sensor and 3-axis accelerometers. 

In comparison, the Apple Watch Series 2 comes with the 7000 series aluminum which has double the hardness and twice the tensile strength. The Apple Watch Series 2 also has an integrated GPS antenna and is water resistant up to 50 meters. Its display is made up of Ion-X glass.

One of the key features of the Ionic is the new SpO2 sensor which can estimate blood oxygen levels and provide deeper health insights like sleep apnea in the future. The Ionic also has the improved PurePulse heart rate technology for more accurate readings during exercises and tracking resting heart rate 24/7. 

Another important feature of the Ionic is the Fitbit OS, the company's latest platform for smartwatches that will be updated regularly. The Fitbit OS has a Fitbit App Gallery for you to select app and clock faces. At launch, there are several partner apps such as Pandora, StarBucks, Strava and AccuWeather. More popular apps such as Flipboard will be supported later this year. 

Other fitness-centric features include a Run Detect feature that activates GPS tracking when you start running, a new swim exercise mode, sleep tracking and more than four days of battery life on a single charge. The Ionic has 2.5GB of internal storage for playing more than 300 songs on the new Fitbit Flyer wireless headphones or any Bluetooth headphones. 

Similar to Apple Pay on the Apple Watch, the Ionic can function as your mobile wallet. The NFC chip allows you to make mobile payments with a few swipes. Over the next few months, eligible American Express, Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards can be added to the smartwatch. 

Availability and Pricing

In the USA, Fitbit Ionic is available for pre-order on Fitbit.com from today at a retail price of US$299.95 (~S$406). It will be available globally from October in three color combinations: silver gray tracker and clasp with blue gray band, smoke gray tracker and clasp with charcoal band, or burnt orange tracker and clasp with slate blue band. 

In Singapore, Fitbit says the Ionic will be available on Fitbit.com and select online retailers for S$458 starting from October 2017, which is more affordable than the S$548 Apple Watch Series 2 (38mm). It will also be available at Challenger, Harvey Norman, Best Denki, Courts, AXTRO Sports and Metro.

Accessory options include the following:-

  • Classic accessories in blue gray with silver gray buckle, charcoal with smoke gray buckle, and slate blue with burnt orange buckle - S$49.90
  • Two-toned breathable Sport Band accessories in blue gray and black and charcoal, or cobalt and lime - S$49.90
  • Hand-crafted and perforated Horween leather accessories in cognac and midnight blue - S$99.90

Source: Fitbit