Apple Watch is getting a rival to reckon with in Fitbit Ionic

CIOL Writers
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After witnessing a waning interest from consumers and investors alike, Fitbit is back with a bang with an offering that has it all to take on the best in the business-Apple smartwatch. Fitbit launched its first smartwatch- Fitbit Ionic on Monday that costs $299.95 and arrives this October.


The "space-themed" smartwatch is centred on health-focused features including sleep and activity tracking, a heart rate monitor, GPS integration, four-day battery life and smart notifications. Interestingly, health mapping has become the new focus area in smart wearables with both Apple and Xiaomi towing the line. Ionic looks quite similar to Apple's Watch with a square colorful LCD touchscreen but is being touted as a better option than the latter given its enhanced heart rate reader that includes 'relative SpO2 sensor' capable of estimating blood oxygen levels.

Besides these features, Ionic boasts of a fully fledged operating system called FitbitOS, water resistance up to 50 metres, wireless payments and offline music storage from Pandora. Following the recent trend, the smart wearable maker is also rolling out audio coaching sessions and virtual trainers on the smartwatch that take users through personalized workout sessions. There are also guided health programs giving step-by-step advice to consumers on how to eat healthier, sleep better and exercise more.

Thanks to Pebble that it acquired last year, the company is also offering a software development kit so developers can build their own apps and share with a private community or submit for a review process to be included in Fitbit’s app gallery.

Fitbit is hoping to reverse its dwindling fortunes with this device that will have to compete with both established players like Apple and a spate of cheaper Android products with nearly same functionality. Notably, at $299.95, Ionic is $30 more expensive than Apple too which could go against company's plans.

We hope that Ionic delivers a much-needed hit for Fitbit. Well, the market is hopeful too as the company's shares soar 6.5 percent to reach $6.10, its highest in more than three months.

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