Those who’ve been eagerly awaiting Fitbit’s first real foray into the world of smartwatches will be able to get their hands on the thing in a matter of days. The company announced this morning that the Ionic will hit retailers October 1, along with the Flyer Bluetooth headphones.
Fitbit CEO James Park talked the device up at every opportunity possible ahead of its release — understandably so, as the company invested years and acquired three startups in order to bring the Ionic to market. The end result is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s are definitely things to like about the smartwatch, but it has many of the trappings of a first generation device, including a nascent app store and a design that probably won’t fit smaller wrists.
Still, Fitbit definitely has the market presence and the fitness know how to get people on board. And as the company handily pointed out ahead of launch, the Blaze rocketed to the top of Amazon’s Android-ready smartwatch charts, in spite of being more of a halfway point between a fitness tracker and smartwatch. There’s a pretty good chance the Ionic will do the same, being of particular interest to Android users.
The Flyer headphones felt more like a late addition to the line. Fitbit clearly realized that it could sell Ionic buyers a pair of bluetooth headphones with the promise of device compatibility and on-the-go music. They’re not a bad pair of workout headphones, but there’s nothing particularly compelling about them either. They can be used for audio coaching when connected to the Ionic, but Fitbit didn't, say, build any kind of fitness tracking into the product.
The devices are priced at $300 and $130, respectively. There's no bundle available at present, but I wouldn't be too surprised if Fitbit were to go in that direction ahead of the holidays.