It has been two years since Fitbit up to date its Cost 2 health tracker, the $150 system that represents essentially the most superior exercise band in Fitbit’s lineup earlier than you enter smartwatch territory. Right now, Fitbit introduced the Cost three, a brand new tracker that maintains the Cost 2’s spot however additional bridges the hole between health tracker and smartwatch.

Fitbit made refined adjustments to the Cost 2’s design to provide you with the Cost three. Instantly noticeable in my quick demo of the Cost three is its lightness—at 20-percent lighter than the Cost 2, you possibly can barely really feel it when it is in your wrist as you are carrying it.

The OLED touchscreen has 40 % extra energetic house, and the facet button on the aluminum module has been lowered to an inductive button. Which means it isn’t a bodily button that you may really feel shifting inward once you press it. As a substitute, you will really feel gentle haptic suggestions once you press the left facet of the module’s case.

Together with the inductive button helped Fitbit make the Cost three swim-proof and water resistant as much as 50 meters. Whereas swimming, customers will see the exercise length on the Cost three’s display, in addition to stats like distance, tempo, and laps as soon as they sync to the Fitbit cell app.

Contained in the Cost three is the common array of Fitbit sensors: an accelerometer, gyroscope, optical coronary heart price monitor, and an SpO2 sensor that may come in useful sooner or later when Fitbit rolls out extra superior sleep and respiratory monitoring options. It does not embody a GPS, however the Cost three can observe operating and strolling routes once you deliver your smartphone alongside utilizing the related GPS characteristic.

Forgoing GPS and together with the inductive button saved some inner house, opening up room for a bigger battery. Fitbit estimates that the Cost three will final at the least one week on a single cost.

Greater than a touch of smartwatch

After specializing in smartwatches for the previous yr or so, Fitbit determined to trickle down some options from its Ionic and Versa units to the Cost three. The pretty new Dashboard comes up once you swipe up from the underside of the Cost three’s show, and it exhibits stats like steps, energy, present coronary heart price, and extra.

The Cost three is the primary system within the Cost household to get app alerts, a characteristic that was sequestered to Fitbit’s smartwatches till now. Cost units obtained name, textual content, and calendar alerts, however the Cost three may also obtain the smartphone alerts that you simply select from the Fitbit app—this might embody all apps or simply an important ones for you. Sooner or later, the Cost three may also be capable to settle for and reject calls and ship canned textual content replies for many who pair it with an Android smartphone.

With its grayscale OLED show, the Cost three is not designed to run full apps just like the Versa and the Ionic are. Nevertheless, Fitbit will deliver some apps to the Cost three in order that customers can have among the firm’s most beloved smartwatch options, similar to climate, timers, and alarms. Whereas Fitbit did not present a lot element, it did say it is partnering with manufacturers to deliver extra third-party apps to the Cost three sooner or later.

Some could also be dissatisfied to search out out that music storage and music controls aren’t choices on the Cost three. Whereas customers will not be capable to deliver music with them with out a smartphone, Fitbit might add music controls to the system sooner or later with a software program replace. As for Fitbit Pay, solely particular editions of the Cost three can have it (much like the special-edition Versa fashions). These will embody an NFC chip inside so customers will pay at contactless cost methods with out their smartphones or wallets current.

The Cost three can have all the identical train options discovered within the Cost 2: step, distance, and calorie monitoring; sleep monitoring; and Sensible Monitor automated train recognition. Fitbit is introducing a brand new characteristic as effectively: goal-based train mode. That is very similar to Apple’s goal-setting characteristic on the Apple Watch that allows you to set a distance, length, or calorie objective earlier than you start a exercise. Whereas exercising, you will be working towards that objective because the Cost three tracks your progress and ultimately exhibits a congratulatory animation on the display as soon as you have hit your objective.

Regardless of the rising reputation of smartwatches, Fitbit is satisfied that the health tracker market remains to be sturdy. The corporate describes the necessity to assist two several types of prospects: one that desires a completely imagined smartwatch that may maintain them related in addition to maintain them match and one that desires a extra discrete (and infrequently extra reasonably priced) system that mixes the important options of smartwatches and health bands. The Cost three will enchantment to the latter buyer, particularly with its $149 worth.

The Cost three is accessible to preorder at the moment and shall be broadly out there this October for $149—or $169 for the special-edition fashions.

Itemizing picture by Valentina Palladino

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