Visa Enables On the Go Payments With the New Fitbit Ionic

Visa Enables On the Go Payments With the New Fitbit Ionic”

Prepare to do way more than just count your steps: Fitbit's new smartwatch is finally here, and it's called Ionic. Fitbit Pay incorporates technology from Coin, which the company acquired past year.

It's also got a whopping great four day battery life, which trounces the Apple Watch's two day offering but still falls some way short of what you'd get from a sports watch with a lower resolution screen. Another of the eight sensors is SPO2, which can help monitor blood oxygen levels, though Fitbit didn't say too much about this one.

The Ionic is water-resistant up to 50 meters, and it has health and fitness features such as personal coaching, third-party apps, activity tracking, and sleep tracking.

The Fitbit Ionic will be available to pre-order starting tomorrow at select retailers (and from Fitbit's website) priced at $299.95. A special edition Adidas version of the watch will be available next year.

In September, ahead of the release of Ionic, Fitbit will release a software development kit (SDK) for the smartwatch to allow third-party developers to create their own Ionic apps.

The Ionic features a heart rate tracker, which according to the company is even more accurate than on other Fitbits thanks to shiny new algorithms behind the scenes and a design that means it sits much closer to the skin.

With introductory pricing of £7.99 a month, the app will grow to include advanced tools with a library of programs and workouts developed with Fitbit's Advisory Panel, to deliver adaptive health and personalised fitness coaching. It's also the cheapest of this bunch at $189, though you can get it for less than $150 if you look.

Much like an inexperienced runner trying to figure out how to pace themselves the midst of their first long run, Fitbit is evaluating how much it has left in the tank in a wearables race that is more competitive than some may have expected. With the Ionic, Fibit is launching a competitor service called Fitbit Pay, which is the result of its May 2016 acquisition of mobile payments startup Coin.

What are your thoughts about Fitbit's first smartwatch?

Fitbit has also included workouts in its new Fitbit Coach feature that replaces the Fitstar app. Starting at $269, the chiclet device-which comes in dark gray, light silver, rose gold, and classic gold, with a bevy of additional options for extra cost-has Global Positioning System, a heart rate sensor, water resistance, personalized workouts, and guided breathing. In that case, a health-focused device, such as a Fitbit, makes a lot of sense.

In addition to the watch, Fitbit is rolling out an upgraded smart scale, the Aria 2, and $129.95 Bluetooth headphones that pair with the smartwatch.

The Ionic comes in a range of styles and colours with interchangeable Classic, Sport and Horween leather accessories suitable for a workout, the office or a night out. To make Visa purchases using the Fitbit Ionic device, users simply load an eligible Visa credit or debit card on the Fitbit companion app and hold the smartwatch near an NFC-enabled terminal for a simple and secure way to make purchases on the go.

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