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Tag: Fitness Tracker (Page 1 of 10)

The $199 Fitbit Versa is the company’s new “mass-appeal” smartwatch

Valentina Palladino

A new Fitbit smartwatch is ready to keep last year's Ionic company in the device family lineup. Today, Fitbit announced the new Versa smartwatch, a thin-and-light metal wearable that runs on Fitbit OS. The longtime king of fitness devices knew it needed to expand into the smartwatch category, and it started that evolution last year with the debut of the $299 Ionic. But the Ionic ultimately replaced the Fitbit Surge, which was the most high-tech and comprehensive fitness watch the company made at the time. Not everyone needs such a powerful device, and that's where the new Versa comes in—it's a smartwatch that mixes smart functions with important fitness features to (hopefully) reach a wider audience than the Ionic.

In the short time I had with the new Fitbit Versa, I was struck at how light it is. While Fitbit didn't provide the exact weight of the Versa, the company did note that the Versa is its lightest device to date. The Versa is quite comfortable to wear, but it also doesn't feel flimsy thanks to its all-metal, rounded-square case. Its case comes in black, gray, and rose gold colorways, as well as special graphite and rose gold editions that come with two band options instead of one. Like other smartwatches, the Versa is compatible with a number of silicone, leather, woven, and metal bands made by Fitbit.

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Fitbit Coach arrives on your TV with new Windows 10 and Xbox One apps

Enlarge (credit: Fitbit)

Now that FitStar's transition to Fitbit Coach is officially complete, Fitbit is expanding the devices that support its revamped personal training app. The company announced that the Fitbit Coach apps for Windows 10 and Xbox One devices will be available for download later today.

Fitbit owned FitStar for a while before it announced its impending transformation into Fitbit Coach last year. The app, which is separate from the main Fitbit app that all of the company's wearables connect to, holds guided workouts, video routines, and other personalized fitness programs.

Fitbit built off of FitStar's previous offerings and added more content that customers can access fully with a $39.99-per-year Premium subscription. There are some routines that users can access for free after downloading the app (which is free to download as well), but most of the content lies behind Fitbit's paywall.

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Come February, Amex users won’t be able to pay with a Jawbone Up4

(credit: Valentina Palladino)

Jawbone may have switched gears to medical devices, but there are some Up fitness trackers still out there. Those who use the Up4, Jawbone's most advanced tracker and one of the last it debuted before pulling out of the consumer-wearable market, won't be able to use its NFC payment feature for much longer. American Express customers who paired a card with their device are receiving notices that the partnership will end on January 31, 2018; the Up4 will no longer be able to make payments using American Express cards after that date.

The notice states that American Express will automatically disconnect the paired American Express card from the Up4 device on February 1, 2018, if not done by the user beforehand. To disconnect your American Express card before the cutoff date, go to the Amex Payments section of the Up4 app, tap "Manage," and then tap "Disconnect." American Express will be issuing a $10 credit to these accounts once the partnership officially ends.

Jawbone had a partnership with American Express that allowed Up4 users to pair an Amex account with the device to use with contactless payment readers. It worked well when the Up4 first debuted back in 2015, but it was relatively limited because users could only pair an American Express card to the device. Other contactless payment systems, including the new Fitbit Pay on the $300 Ionic smartwatch, allow for more than one connected credit card or bank per account.

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Fitbit Ionic review: Meet the $300 fitness-focused smartwatch

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Fitbit has a lot riding on its new $300 Ionic smartwatch. Analyst reports suggest the smartwatch category will continue to grow over the next few years, and Apple and Google already have well-established devices and operating systems. Being one of the top players in the wearables game, Fitbit is unlikely to build a device that runs Android Wear (much less watchOS), so it designs its own devices from the ground up. The Ionic is Fitbit's serious attempt at a smartwatch, far more so than the $200 Blaze that came out last year. Running Fitbit OS, the Ionic combines the most crucial fitness features with what Fitbit believes to be the most crucial smartwatch features.

While testing the Ionic, I asked myself two main questions: does it provide the best fitness experience for the price? And does Fitbit thoughtfully incorporate smartwatch features into a primarily fitness-focused device? It does—but there may be better solutions out there.


It was hard to be excited when the first images of the Ionic leaked months before its debut. Those images confirmed many of our worst fears: Fitbit stuck with the core design that influenced the Blaze fitness watch, which is chunky and unattractive at best.

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Review: Running or not, you’ll want the Polar M430 on your wrist

Video shot/edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

Polar continues to improve on its existing running watches with the new M430 tracker. It's an upgrade to the M400 in many subtle ways, including an improved accelerometer, longer battery life, and the inclusion of Polar's own optical heart-rate monitor. Although it's positioned as a runner's watch, you can do much more with the M430 thanks to Polar's sport profiles. But runners will appreciate the convenience of having an accelerometer that can handle indoor and outdoor activities well, an onboard heart-rate monitor, and a GPS that doesn't make you wait when you're ready to run now. While it has stiff competition in the TomTom Spark 3, Polar's device combines enough essential features to hold its own.


Although the M430 has all-day activity tracking features, its design is best suited for training sessions. It has that rounded-rectangular shape many other Polar devices have, featuring two left-side buttons for the screen backlight and navigating back, and three right-side buttons for scrolling up and down and selecting options on the display. Physical buttons are easier to use (and more accurate) than a touchscreen would be on a serious training device, so I don't mind having them on the M430. In fact, I would have preferred them on the TomTom Spark 3 instead of its awkward touchpad below the display.

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