Fitbit debuted their original fitness trackers close to a decade ago, and since then, we’ve seen the explosion of fitness devices and smart watches on the scene. It looks like they have now decided to combine their expertise in fitness tracking with the increasingly common smartwatch market, giving us the new Fitbit Ionic, the company’s first real foray into the smartwatch world. How does it stack up against the lineup of smartwatches on the market already?
On the outside, the Fitbit is already a winner. It’s made of lightweight aluminum, and Fitbit has used the same method used in smartphones to fuse plastic and aluminum together into the body of the watch. The fitness sensors are located on the rear, and the back is angled to let them properly touch your wrist at all times. The screen is slightly curved, spherical glass lens, and occupies the whole front of the device; the screen doesn’t have direct edges, but there are large bevels on the sides. It’s also very bright, so you can see it properly even in direct sunlight.
Feature-wise, the Ionic has a color touchscreen, notification support, and the ability to control music – the usual smartwatch features. As a fitness tracker, it also has built-in GPS tracking, water resistance, swim tracking, and a host of others, such as automatically sensing when you’ve stopped running or walking. It runs a new software – Fitbit OS – which will fully support apps made by third parties. PurePulse, Fitbit’s heart rate sensor, has been overhauled and updated, to more accurately track your heart rate during high-output activities. They’ve also included a new Tri-Wave sensor, which tracks your relative oxygen saturation in your blood – which is meant to lead in the future to tracking all sorts of new things, such as sleep apnea. And of course, it can track your sleep.
So how does it stack up to other smartwatches, like the Apple Watch? You’ll have to try it out for yourself to find out for sure, but from the sounds of it, the Fitbit Ionic is a real competitor in the smartwatch world.