It’s a big day at Fitbit. Today, the wearables company lifts the curtain on a number of new updates and products that are key indicators that connected accessories are being treated more as personal accessories than one-size-suits-all gadgets.
Among the new items from the fitness-tracking expert is the Fitbit Charge 2, which is a wristband that merges the functionality of a fitness tracker with the notifications and larger screen of a smartwatch. The device can be worn with a handful of leather or metal bands that are sold separately.
Additionally, Fitbit releases the Fitbit Flex 2, which is a swim-proof fitness wristband that is smaller than the original. What’s especially interesting is that the removable tracker inside the wristband can be worn with alternative accessories aside from the classic bands in the form of metallic bracelets or necklaces. This signifies a dramatic shift in the versatility of Fitbit’s offerings, although other companies have manufactured accessories and jewelrylike cases for the Fitbit tracker, the brand today takes that approach in-house.
“Over the past nine years, it has been our ability to innovate on both design and utility, and our deep understanding of what consumers want, that has made us the leading global wearables company,” said Fitbit cofounder and chief executive officer James Park.
The tracker in the Flex 2 can be inserted into a lariat-style necklace or bangles in materials such as stainless steel or 22-karat plated gold. Fitbit today also shares new collections for its Fitbit Alta, a fitness wristband, and Fitbit Blaze, a smart fitness watch.
These new hardware options come with enhanced functionality and features in the fitness tracking and alert department, in addition to a new in-app feature called Fitbit Adventures.
But Fitbit hasn’t kept all the makeover fun in-house. Today it also reveals the expansion of a few designer collaborations; Public School, Simply Vera Vera Wang and Tory Burch all have created new fitness tracking accessories with Fitbit. Each is designed with an aesthetic that reflects the brand in materials such as metal and leather; Simply Vera Vera Wang for Kohl’s, for example, features a double-wrap leather or chain-link bracelet. The Tory Burch pieces will be available in 2017.
The Charge 2 and Flex 2 are available for pre-sale in the U.S. today on Fitbit.com and on Tuesday at online retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Target and more. This will extend globally through October. The Fitbit Charge 2 is $149.99 and the Fitbit Flex 2 is $99.95. These prices do not reflect additional bands or premium or special-edition items.
“Creating Fitbit products that consumers love and find indispensable is as much about advancing the innovative features and performance of the product as it is about designing how well it fits into wardrobes, lifestyles and moods,” said Tim Rosa, who is vice president of global marketing at Fitbit. Rosa said that with the software updates and the new designs, “we are continuing to build on the popularity of our products with more style choices and features that provide more usefulness than ever before so that consumers can wear them day and night.”