New Images Reveal Fitbit’s Upcoming ‘Mass Appeal’ Smartwatch

Images of Fitbit's next smartwatch have been obtained by Wearable, following the fitness firm's recent confirmation of a new device launch later this year.

During an investor's call yesterday revealing weaker-than-expected results, Fitbit CEO James Park said the company will introduce a smartwatch in 2018 that will have "mass appeal", seemingly confirming lackluster sales of its Ionic smartwatch (reviewed here).


According to Wearable, the new device will be the successor to the two-year-old Fitbit Blaze and will run the same Fitbit OS that first showed up on the Ionic – software that was largely the result of Fitbit's acquisition of Pebble back in 2016.

The actual name of the new smartwatch remains unclear, but Fitbit is said to want to appeal more to the female market, which is one reason why this device will be smaller than the Ionic and closer to the dimensions of the original Blaze.


Otherwise, the new smartwatch is said to be water resistant to 50 meters and will have an Sp02 sensor for monitoring sleep apnea, but GPS won't be included. The watch will be more affordable than the Ionic, according to Wareable's sources, and will come in four colors: black, silver, rose gold, and charcoal, with a range of straps available.


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Fitbit Pay Launches in U.K. for Starling Bank Customers

Fitbit Pay officially launched in the U.K. on Tuesday, but with only one bank currently supporting the mobile payment platform, access to it remains severely restricted for users of the company's latest wearables.

The Fitbit Pay payment system was introduced as an exclusive feature of the Fitbit Ionic, the activity tracker firm's first attempt at a smartwatch, released on October 1. The digital wallet works in a similar way to Apple Pay on the Apple Watch, but up until now it wasn't available outside of the U.S., Canada, and Australia.


Fitbit Pay users in the United Kingdom need to hold an account with Starling Bank, a newcomer and relative minnow on the financial banking scene, which will undoubtedly leave the large majority of Ionic users unable to take advantage of the payment system, at least for now.

Fitbit has confirmed the company is in talks with other U.K. banking services for future support, but with rivals like Apple Pay, which lists over 25 supporting banks on its official website, as well as Android Pay (over 20 banks) and Samsung Pay all jostling for contention, Fitbit will have a job gaining a foothold in the emerging mobile payment industry.

You can check out our in-depth review of the Fitbit Ionic here. Fitbit Pay is expected to hit other European countries sometime in 2018.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Review: Fitbit Ionic is a Decent Fitness Smartwatch Spoiled By Lingering Bugs

The Ionic is Fitbit's first real effort at a "true" smartwatch, and there's plenty riding on the $300 device. Not only is the activity tracker company late to the smartwatch game, its market share in wearables has shrunk because of increasingly sophisticated rival devices from the likes Apple and Xiaomi.

To have a hope of reviving its fortunes, Fitbit sought out a new creative direction and subsequently bought Pebble late last year. The wearable technology that Fitbit inherited as part of the acquisition now powers the new Ionic operating system, called Fitbit OS.


Last month, app makers were supplied with an SDK to see what third-party apps they can come up with for the Ionic. In the meantime, I was interested to look at what Fitbit's smartwatch has to offer out of the box, and in particular, how it compares to its closest kin, the Fitbit Blaze.
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