Saturday 24 February 2018

Fitbit goes after Apple with new health smartwatch

Fitbit's brand new Ionic smartwatch
Fitbit's brand new Ionic smartwatch
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Fitbit is going after the Apple Watch.

But instead of a device that can do everything, the company’s brand new Ionic smartwatch is focusing squarely on health and fitness with an ability for contactless payments on the side.

The new gadget had advanced new sensors that can track issues such as sleep apnea as well as measuring oxygen saturation. It also hopes to appeal to fitness fanatics by touting GPS readings that are considered more accurate than those available on mainstream smartwatches from companies such as Apple and Samsung. The Ionic is also waterproof to 50 metres.

However, Fitbit is also giving the gadget a bit of extra functionality, adding contactless payments to its list of abilities. The Ionic can also hold music on it (about 300 songs, or as many as the watch’s 2.5GB will allow).

Fitbit says that the Ionic’s four-day battery life also differentiates it from mainstream smartwatch rivals, which are typically limited to two days on a single charge.

Read More: Stepping out - how Ireland is out of sync with international fitness

There’s a personal trainer with ‘Fitbit Coach’ for on-device workouts that adapt based on feedback you provide on your wrist. Fitbit also intends to launch expert-designed running and walking audio coaching sessions you can listen to.

It also has a new swim exercise mode that lets you see laps, exercise duration and calories burned for pool swims.

The Ionic is on sale for €349 and is currently available only on pre-order.

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