Update: Fitbit's CEO has detailed its upcoming smartwatch, diving into new details regarding what it will be, a health-focused wearable that will double-down on battery life and GPS tracking, and what it won't be, a full-on competitor to smartwatches like the Apple Watch.
It’s no secret that Fitbit is hard at work on its new smart wearable. And since its purchase of Pebble in 2016, expectations for what’s next from the popular fitness company have risen exponentially.
Looking back on its last effort, the Fitbit Blaze, fitness tech aficionados have clamored for something more. Something that continues to track the usual batch of workouts and activities, but does so while bringing along a unique batch of apps, quirky watchfaces and with a design that rivals premium smartwatches from the likes of Apple, LG, Samsung and more.
But will it deliver? It’s still a little too early to say with certainty, as Fitbit hasn't formally announced the device. However, Fitbit’s track record is solid and details given out by its CEO have us excited, even if some of its recent devices haven’t really rocked the wearables world from an innovation perspective.
Here’s everything we know about Fitbit’s next smartwatch, including news and rumors.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Fitbit's sophomore smartwatch effort
- When is it out? Reportedly delayed from Spring to an autumnal launch
- How much will it cost? Realistically, anywhere from $199 to $299 (about £231)
Fitbit watch price and release date
We’ve known since the beginning of the year that Fitbit is working on a full-fat smartwatch, but we’ve only learned recently that its projected Spring launch target has instead stumbled into late 2017, closely aligning with whatever Apple has planned for its autumn event.
However, this reported delay hasn’t stopped us from thinking about how Fitbit could make the greatest smartwatch ever.
But just how much could such a smartwatch cost you? Given that the Fitbit Blaze launched at $199 (about £153), then soon after worked down to where it is now, at about $149, there’s a slim, but ever-present possibility that the smartwatch will land for a similar price. It’s much more likely that it will be $50 or up to $100 above the cost of the Blaze, at most.
Fitbit watch news and rumors
What we know to be true: Fitbit is currently working on a new smartwatch. Things we do not know: a lot of stuff about it, though this has changed of late.
Just recently, we might have gotten our first look at the Fitbit smartwatch, which is supposedly donned with the code name “Higgs”. What’s there to parse from a code name like that?
Thankfully, the leaked render above gives us a pretty clear idea of how Fitbit’s next smart wearable may come together.
It’s rather easy to see how the Blaze and this Higgs render fall from the same tree. Many of its physical features look similar to that of the Blaze, but it’s all more refined looking around every corner.
We’ve heard reports that this wearable will feature swappable bands, a classic Fitbit move. In addition, sources say Fitbit's upcoming smartwatch hosts a full color screen with 1,000 nits of brightness, an aluminum body and built-in GPS.
Additionally, the smartwatch is said to also allow mobile payment, music playback through Pandora, and, of course, heart-rate monitoring.
One report suggested Fitbit once wanted to tie-in the smartwatch with Spotify, but it seems talks between the two companies have broken down and that won't be the case.
Recently, Fitbit's CEO spoke in more detail about the upcoming smartwatch, stating that it will be waterproof to support swimming activities. Not just that, its battery will reportedly last for several days in between charges.
He confirmed that the wearable will feature precise GPS tracking, though it will not come with LTE cellular capabilities, citing that the company hasn't found a viable use case for it at this moment.
Another report from Bloomberg suggests the watch may also launch without a third-party app store. According to sources familiar with the Fitbit smartwatch the company is struggling to encourage third-party developers, but Fitbit denies that's the case.
In a statement, Evernote developer Damian Mehers said: "I could consider developing for Fitbit if there was a compelling device and a large enough user base. I think it will be challenging to establish credibility."
Fitbit's purchase of Pebble seemed to signal good things, but according to a recent report from Bloomberg, a person close to the project says that Fitbit has done little to keep the relationship going, and this has led to team members leaving the project with only months to go until launch.
Fitbit are still claiming that all is well and that the smartwatch is on track for its launch, so for the time being, we are still expecting an autumnal launch.
We’ll be sure to keep this section updated as more news, both confirmed and unconfirmed, comes through.