The new Fitbit Ionic smart watch
Your Fitbit just got smarter. Fitbit announced on August 28th – as part of the company’s 10th anniversary – the launch of its new Ionic, the brand’s first smart watch.
All of the things you’ve loved about your OG Fitbit are there, including sleep, steps and workout tracking and the challenges between you and your friends.
But what is new with the Ionic? In addition to the cool design, which features the very lightweight aerospace-grade aluminum case options (very sweat-friendly, we’re told), changeable digital faces and new apps. The colours are blue-grey, with a silver grey clasp, charcoal with a smoke grey clasp, or a slate blue with a burnt orange clasp.
It reminds us of the Blaze model, which now looking back, hinted at a smart watch shape and its simple-to-follow workouts. It also received text and call alerts, depending on the type of phone you had.
Also like Blaze, Ionic also offers the Relax app for deep breathing exercises, heart rate, multi-sport and cardio and sleep tracking. Plus, you’re connected to the Fitbit social network, through challenges.
But Ionic offers a bunch of new features. “It’s not that we’re entering the smart watch category to enter the smart watch category,” says James Park, Fitbit CEO, president and co-founder, at a press conference in Montauk, New York. “We feel strongly that smart watches are a platform for us to deliver the most advanced health tools.” He adds that those include better sensor tools, rich display, good battery life (four days plus per charge).
Fitbit Ionic, $399.95 at fitbit.com.
Fitbit Ionic: Your phone’s new BAE
Your phone will get a BFF with the Fitbit Ionic. Unlike with some smart watches, this one is compatible with both Android and iPhone models and apps. In fact, according to Fitbit, the Fitbit app is the number one app and most downloaded app in the App store.
Fitbit Ionic: Your personal coach
With previous Fitbit models, the screens and the data you are served is simple and straight-forward. But with the Ionic, you get those easy-to-digest stats and a bit more, including a personal coach.
With the Coach app, you have options for “hotel workouts,” with moves that just require a bit of floor space and your body weight. The screen is high resolution and the curved lens means it’s visible even in the sun, so you can see the video exercise instruction no problem. No glare.
After you complete the workout, you tap in how you’re feeling, whether it was too easy, too hard or just right. Then the smart watch smartly preps your next workout based on that feedback. Fitbit says that sometime in 2018, you will be able to follow instructions with your wireless headphones.
Fitbit Ionic: Your personal DJ
Fitbit Ionic is Wi-Fi-enabled, meaning you can instantly upload your music to it much like you would. The Ionic will store more than 300 songs (2.5 gigabytes). You just connect your smart watch to your computer to download the songs you love working out with.
Fitbit Ionic: Your guide to never getting lost (or losing run stats)
The Fitbit Ionic has a GPS system. While that means Google Maps is at your fingertips (or rather your wrist), it also works great for cycling, running and hiking apps, and more. The GPS offers real time pace and distance data. And the Ionic also has Run Detect, so the GPS kicks in automatically when you start to run, and pauses when you stop (say at a light).
Fitbit Ionic: Your collector of apps
Fitbit has opened up its Fitbit App Gallery to app developers, as well as partnered with Starbucks, Strava and others, to create new and newly Fitbit OS compatible apps. Fitbit anticipates that the coming months and years, we’ll see more and more fitness apps, because of the Ionic’s GPS, heart-rating tracking, and water resistance features.
Fitbit Ionic: Your swimming mate
You won’t want to hit up the pool without your Ionic. The smart watch is water resistant up to 15 metres. In swim mode, you can track swimming data, including real time laps, calories burned and distance.
Fitbit Ionic: Your wallet
While it’s tough to say that a smart watch will replace your favourite Kate Spade bag, your runs will be more lightweight with the Fitbit Ionic. The wearable tech company bought Coin in 2016, a digital credit card company, and partnered with American Express, Mastercard and Visa, as well as Starbucks. You can use their apps to pay for your post-run latte.
Fitbit Ionic: Your sleep doc
You likely already know about Fitbit’s sleep tracker, which not only logs how long you’ve slept but the quality of sleep. The Ionic also tracks the oxygen flow based on your heart rate, and researchers suggest it may help with sleep apnea.
Fitbit Ionic: Your accessories
Fitbit knows how much we like accessorizing our fitness trackers. Their accessories shop offers fashionable add-ons from brands like Public School and Tory Burch. While we’re anticipating these for Ionic, you can personalize your watch with elastomer seamless bands, full-grain leather bands and breathable sports bands.
Fitbit also announced their Fitbit Flyer wireless headphones. They are Bluetooth-enabled, sweat-and rain-proof, come with customizable fit accessories, offer six hours per charge (an hour with a 15-minute charge), and more. There is also the Power Boost Mode, with higher base and stereo sound for working out. We like that they are easy to wear with glasses, sunnies, helmets and headbands.
Fitbit Flyer, $169.95 at fitbit.com.