The more we learn about Fitbit’s upcoming foray into the general smartwatch market, the more it looks like the activity tracking company’s fans could be in for a major letdown once the device finally drops later this year.
A Yahoo Finance report published last month claimed to have some insider dirt on the project’s tumultuous progress. The report cited sources that said the watch was delayed after engineers struggled with some of the features and called it, among other things, “definitely not sexy” and derivative of Fitbit’s previous fitness-first smartwatch, the Blaze.
Those design complaints appear to be confirmed after product photos purportedly depicting the design were leaked to Yahoo Finance, which published the pics as a first-look at the new Fitbit smartwatch.
The photos of the watch, which is reportedly dubbed “Project Higgs” internally, don’t show much evolution from the Blaze. The square face is an update from the previous octagonal shape, but the same activity tracking vibe remains — there’s a clear influence from the Surge and Charge 2‘s fitness-focused aesthetics here, even as Fitbit has reportedly focused on making Higgs more attractive to consumers outside the gym.
The previous report claimed Project Higgs will be made of aluminum with a built-in GPS chip, heart-rate monitoring, the capacity for touchless payments, Pandora music compatibility, and up to four days of battery life. The watch will also offer wearers interchangeable band options, like some of Fitbit’s other offerings, and should hit the market at around $300.
An image of Fitbit’s wireless headphones, codenamed “Parkside,” was also included in the leak. The noice-cancelling Bluetooth buds will reportedly hang around users’ necks like the Beats X, with plans to launch for $150 alongside the smartwatch.
The report’s sources claim Fitbit is depending on Project Higgs to carry the company’s hardware performance for the remainder of 2017 — aside from the already released Alta HR, the smartwatch and earbuds are reportedly the only products on the docket for the year.
Unfortunately for Fitbit, the watch might also launch without one of its most intriguing rumored features: its own app store, a potential that was first suggested by the company’s CEO James Park at CES in January.
“Unfortunately, James let the cat out of the bag way too early with the app store news,” a source told Yahoo Finance. Instead, Higgs will reportedly hit the market with a “small selection of customized apps.”
When reached for comment via email about the veracity of the photos and the sources’ claims, Fitbit reps provided the same statement the company shared after the first report:
“We know there is a lot of interest in our entry into the smartwatch category,” they wrote. “We don’t have news to share at this time and do not comment on rumors or speculation.”