If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, a newly teased smartwatch from Fitbit should have Apple patting itself on the back. During a recent investor call, Fitbit shared news that it’s preparing to announce the next generation of its smartwatch-slash-fitness tracker line this spring—there’s even speculation it’s the Fitbit Blaze 2. To top it off, Wareable also managed to obtain a few leaked photos of the upcoming release, which look strangely similar to the Apple Watch 3.
Several reports over the last year hinted at what was next in Fitbit’s innovation cycle, with names like the Charge 3 and Blaze 2 among the most popular rumors. Though the company only just released the Fitbit Ionic in 2017—its first genuine smartwatch—it failed to garner much widespread popularity, achieving rather minimal sales (along with the original Blaze). So, what makes this new release any different? According to that same investor call, the new device possesses “mass appeal.” Perhaps those Apple Watch 3 design similarities are intentional.
Outside of the investor call, someone in the know regarding Fitbit’s plans told Wareable that the company wants the new release “to be something that will appeal to a larger, more general smartwatch audience.” When pressed further, the source said Fitbit feels the Ionic features a “large, unattractive design,” pointing to the fact that it comes in only one size as another possible hindrance. It also appears as though Fitbit has designed a smaller smartwatch and intends for it to cater more to a female audience.
The same report also confirmed the new watch would feature water-resistance up to 50-meters, boast the same SpO2 sensor as the Ionic (meaning it will track sleep patterns), and will be available in four different colors—silver, black, charcoal, and rose gold. Based on the leaked images, there also appear to be a number of different strap options to choose from. Perhaps its most glaring omission is that it apparently won’t feature any sort of GPS.
In an effort to move more devices—outside of the “mass appeal” it originally spoke of—Fitbit also plans on selling the new release at a cheaper price than the Ionic. Aside from an attractive price tag allowing for wider adoption, the company wants to see it achieve higher popularity among developers. Despite the leaked images and investor call insight, Wareable’s attempt at a comment from Fitbit yielded a short response that simply stated the company had “no news to share at this point.”