Fitbit Ionic UAE release date, news and features

Fitbit has finally launched its smartwatch in the Middle East and it's called the Ionic.

It comes with a large full color display and a lightweight body designed specifically for working out. Mobile payment technology is also promised for early next year.

We have all the details down below on what you need to know about the Fitbit Ionic, so read on to find out the release date, specs and everything else we know so far.

Fitbit Ionic release date

Fitbit showcased its new smartwatch at an event in Dubai along with other products it its range. The Ionic has already gone on sale in the UAE with the rest of the Middle East to follow.

Pricing for the Ionic is set at AED 1,399 in the UAE and it's available at Virgin Megatore, Sharaf DG and Sun & Sand Sports.

Fitbit Ionic design and display

The Ionic is the first wearable from the company that has been entirely designed in-house at Fitbit.

The watch is waterproof up to 50 meters, meaning you can take this swimming or you can just wear it in the shower. It's made of aluminum merged with plastic to allow for a waterproof yet premium-feel design.

There are three physical buttons that are slightly raised compared to the rest of the body, making them easy to find mid-workout.

One sits on the left hand side in the middle while two sit on the right hand side of the watch. The Ionic is thinner and lighter than other Fitbit models like the Blaze, so it should be a comfortable fit while you're working out.

In the Middle East, Fitbit is launching the Ionic is three colour combinations: silver gray tracker and clasp with blue gray band, smoke gray tracker and clasp with charcoal band, or burnt orange tracker and clasp with slate blue band.

The rectangular watch face could be a highlight too, as the shape means it looks different to almost anything on the market right now. The display has a resolution of 384 x 250 and Gorilla Glass 3 to stop you scratching it. It should also be as bright as the Apple Watch, as the display can reach 1000 nits.

Fitbit Ionic fitness

Fitbit has given its first smartwatch a big focus on fitness features. There's a heart rate sensor on the rear that the company says is more accurate than on other devices, as it sits closer to your wrist and the algorithms are improved.

There's also built-in GPS tech, so you can take this out without having to take your phone to track your run. It'll also automatically track your exercise, so you can just start running and the Ionic will notice.

One new feature for the Ionic is auto-pause during workouts, which means for example that when you get to a traffic light it will pause recording your data until you start to run again on the other side of the road.

There are specifically designed workouts in the Fitbit Coach app as well that will tell you what to do and time your press ups and other exercises.

There's also an Sp02 sensor in the Ionic for measuring blood oxygen levels, but it won't be activated until later. Those with diabetes will be able to use the Ionic to monitor glucose levels when it's paired with something like the Dexcom G5 Mobile sensor.

Audio workouts will also be coming in the future, but you'll need to have a Bluetooth headset connected, which, the company also sells and is called Flyer.

Fitbit Ionic battery and software

Fitbit estimates the Ionic will last for four to five days without needing a recharge, but that will change depending on how much you use the watch. If you're often exercising, it will likely last a lot less time.

When you're tracking with GPS Fitbit also estimates it will only last for 10 or so hours, so you'll want to remember to turn GPS off when you're not using it.

The Ionic is running new software called Fitbit OS. As it's a smartwatch, this allows for lots of other features, apps and watch faces that are unavailable on previous Fitbit products.

You'll be able to download Fitbit and third-party apps and watch faces from its own App Gallery. At launch, everything here is expected to be free, but the company may decide to charge for some services in the future.

The full range of third-party apps are currently unknown, but we do know Strava and AccuWeather will both be offering up their own Fitbit-based applications for you to use.

Plus, notifications will also come through to the watch, so if you get a text to your phone and it's nearby you'll then get the notification through to your wrist.

Fitbit Ionic compatibility and other features

The Ionic will be compatible with most recent iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Almost all phones running iOS 9 or Android 4.4 KitKat software will be able to be pair with the latest Fitbit products.

Mobile payments will be possible through the Ionic with a new service called Fitbit Pay, however, that technology is not going to be available to the Middle East just yet.

You'll also be able to store music directly on the Fitbit Ionic, with 2.5GB of storage included. That's a rather limited amount of space, but should be enough for a couple of audiobooks or albums.

Fitbit Ionic price and availability

The Fitbit Ionic costs AED 1,399 which is the same as the 42mm model of Apple Watch 3 or most high-end Android Wear watches. 

It is already on sale in the UAE from stores such as Virgin Megatore, Sharaf DG and Sun & Sand Sports.

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