As far as fitness trackers and smartwatches go, Fitbit has made a mark for themselves. So much so that people often regard fitness trackers as “Fitbits”. They have helped people get-on and about their health by providing quality fitness trackers to keep tabs on their steps, calories, and heart rate. Fitbit currently sells four activity tracker wristbands: the Fitbit Flex 2, Alta HR, Charge 2, and, Blaze – and two clip-on activity trackers: Fitbit Zip and One.
The Surge, which was Fitbit’s oldest tracker (and in much need of an upgrade) has been removed from the Fitbit product list online and will be soon replaced by the Fitbit Ionic. The Iconic has all the features that place this tracker at-par with smartwatch giants such as Apple, Garmin, and TomTom. The new upgraded features combined with the partnerships that Fitbit has undertaken, could very well make the Iconic the next big thing to hit smartwatch universe. Here’s a look at the features that Fitbit claims to make the Ionic a “true” smartwatch.
The Ionic has all the features of smartwatch that you would expect: steps and activity tracking, GPS, continuous heart rate, and water resistance up to 50 meters. Like the Fitbit Blaze, it offers on-screen workouts, but instead of watching a small stick figure, you will be able to see an actual model on the full-color display. The algorithms in the Ionic designed for specific sports such as running, cycling or swimming, puts it at par with high-end trackers such as Garmin and TomTom. Add to this the automatic exercise detection, makes tracking of stop-and-go activities like running completely effortless.
Phone Free Experience
The new Fitbit OS pairs nicely with devices running on iOS, Android, and Windows, and a brand new sensor for tracking your heart rate. It supports third party apps, so that you have access to your mail, messages, the latest news, and weather report. The Ionic has built-in GPS for improved location accuracy. While the previous trackers required one to connect their smartphone for location, the Ionic is more of a phone-free experience and you can track your activity in the absence of your phone. The NFC included with the Fitbit Pay service allows you to make payments via Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. With the Iconic you won’t have to carry your wallet on a run and can make an emergency purchase in a jiffy.
Music Lovers Rejoice
If you love listening to music while exercising or running, then with the Ionic you’ll have another reason to not haul your phone. The tracker provides almost 2.5GB available for storing music along with a partnership with Pandora which will give you access to three of your favorite radio stations. You can stream these live or can store them for offline use later. However, the watch doesn’t have a jack to support wired headphones, so you’ll have to invest in a pair of wireless bluetooth headphones to access these features. Keeping this in mind Fitbit will be launching the new Flyer wireless headphones at $129.99 to make your music experience even more better with customizable parts that let you go for a run without them falling out. The Flyer will have a noticeably crisp sound quality with Signature and Power Boost settings, to get you extra pumped up for your workouts.
There’s a reason why the Ionic has a battery life that lasts for more than 4 days ( 10 hours with GPS), so that you don’t have to take it off every night to charge. The idea behind this is to track sleep in users which can provide insights on sleep stages, light, deep, and REM sleep patterns. The new Relative SPO2 sensor can detect your blood oxygen levels and could be crucial in detecting sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Another beneficial new aspect is the integrated Fitbit Coach app,which lets you access personalized training and evolving plans that adapt based on your feedback. Fitbit has also announced a new partnership with glucose monitoring device company Dexcom, to enable the watch to monitor your blood glucose levels alongside steps, heart rate, and other stats tracked by the device.
All this and a Fitbit-Adidas partnership next year for a “special edition” version of the Ionic, makes this light-weight tracker a steal at $299 in the US and should be available for online purchases in India and overseas by October 2017. The touchscreen display of 1.42-inch with 348 x 250 resolution is impressive with a 1000 nits of brightness and a proper HDR TV. This makes the struggle for visibility even under the brightest external conditions easy and makes deciphering your workouts a piece of cake.
Image Courtesy: Fitbit.com