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    August 29, 2017

    Fitbit’s premium new Ionic smartwatch tackles the Apple Watch

    fitbit ionic

    Fitbit has announced the Ionic; a premium new smartwatch set to improve on the likes of the Blaze while leading the charge against the Apple Watch.

    Where Fitbit previously released a hedge knight of a smartwatch with the Blaze, the company now has the Ionic; a premium new contender that looks to shoot out directly with the likes of Samsung, Apple, and LG among others.

    The Ionic brings with it GPS support and water resistance up to 50 meters, onboard music storage, and even support for its own app store in the near future. Fitbit has partnered with Pandora for music streaming prowess, though the device cannot at present connect to Apple Music, Google Play Music, or Spotify.

    Read: RIP, Pebble: Fitbit acquires intellectual property, key personnel

    The Ionic can connect to wireless headphones over Bluetooth, and Fitbit has promised that its newly announced Flyer series of headphones will pair automatically with the device.

    Courtesy of Coin – which Fitbit acquired last year – the Ionic incorporates a new, contactless payment system dubbed Fitbit Pay. User can enroll their bank card and trigger transactions through a side-mounted button, though the company hasn’t yet confirmed which banks or markets will be supported going forward.

    The smartwatch’s heart rate sensor doubles up as a sleep apnea detector, while an embedded NFC sensor is further included for good measure.

    Visually, the device takes much inspiration from the Blaze; the unit bears a square display with stark, angular corners. Notification support for both Android and iOS continues, and the device will be compatible with Fitbit’s newly re-launched Fitstar coaching subscription service, which will set consumers back $8 USD per month or $40 USD per year.

    The Ionic is slated to hit the market this October, where the device will retail for $300 USD – sports bands for the device will retail for $30 USD, while leather bands will retail for $60 USD.

    Read: Apple is now the world’s largest wearables vendor, beating Xiaomi

    What are your thoughts? Can Fitbit hope to stack up against established rivals such as Apple, Samsung, and LG? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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