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Fitbit smartwatch 2017: News and rumors

Fitbit's 2017 smartwatch looks like the Blaze and tracks your workouts with GPS

Why it matters to you

Fitbit's 2017 smartwatch could challenge the Apple Watch. Here is everything you need to know.

Fitness-focused Fitbit is working on a new wearable. Following the lukewarm reception of the Blaze 2, the firm’s first smartwatch, it has reportedly gone back to the drawing board. Rumors suggest Fitbit’s next smartwatch will pack high-end sensors, revamped software, and apps that do more than tracking your sleep and workouts.

Details are a little hard to come by, but here is everything we know so far about Fitbit’s 2017 smartwatch.

Design

If the rumors are true, Fitbit’s next smartwatch will look familiar. Yahoo Finance, which got its hands on a presentation deck shown to retail partners like Best Buy and Target, describes the aluminum, “waterproof” smartwatch as bearing a striking resemblance to last year’s Blaze. That is not a good thing, apparently — one source described it as “very retro-looking,” and several Fitbit employees who saw the design reportedly complained about it.

Specs and battery

Fitbit fitness watch

But the new smartwatch could be poised to address one of the Blaze’s biggest shortcomings: Lack of GPS. Fitbit’s next smartwatch, like the Apple Watch Series 2, will reportedly track your jogging, walking, and cycling routes on a map for posterity.

GPS is the tip of the iceberg. Fitbit’s new smartwatch is said to boast a color display with 1,000 nits of brightness, comparable to the Apple Watch Series 2. It will reportedly have a heart-rate monitoring chip, in addition, and support for Apple Watch-style contactless payments.

And it won’t have to charge very often. According to Yahoo Finance, Fitbit’s next smartwatch will last about four days.

Manufacturing delays

Fitbit’s apparently struggling to deliver a working smartwatch. According to Yahoo Finance, company engineers ran into problems making the smartwatch fully waterproof and the GPS functional. In one of the final prototypes, the GPS didn’t work because “the antennae wasn’t in the right place,” a source told the publication. “[The team] had to go back to the drawing board to redesign the product so the GPS got a strong signal.”

Those and other production woes have forced Fitbit to push back the smartwatch’s release timeframe. It’s now expected to launch in the fall of 2017 instead of spring.

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