Fitbit Ionic – Review Pros and Cons
Fitbit is back again this year with their new child Fitbit Ionic. With Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit decided to take a bite in the smartwatch game against big guys like Apple and Samsung. I’m going to break down the features Fitbit Ionic as well as giving you guys pros and cons of the watch. And yeah, sorry for the late review!
Fitbit Ionic: Release Date
Fitbit’s first “true” smartwatch, the Ionic officially launched on October 1st along with Fitbit’s first fitness headphones, Fitbit Flyer. With these two new devices, Fitbit really trying to expand its name in health and wellness market.
Fitbit Ionic: Price
The new Fitbit Ionic price going to be $300, £300, and AU$ 450 as this uploaded. Same price tag with Garmin Vivoactive 3!. In my opinion, for a $300 price, the Fitbit Ionic should provide every quality a premium smartwatch has.. If you look at another premium smartwatch like Apple Watch series 3, the price ranging from $330 to $700. Now $300 doesn’t sound too bad right?
Fitbit Ionic: Design
When the predecessor Fitbit Blaze came out, it got a lot of attentions for the new design. Some people really would like to have the rounded design so it look like a real watch. But Fitbit back at it again with a design that very similar to Fitbit Blaze.
The Fitbit Ionic using Gorilla Glass 3 from Corning. You should expect minimal to none scratches if you are not a heavy user.
The watch come in 3 colors: blue gray/ silver gray, slate blue/ burnt orange, and charcoal/ smoke gray. Following its tradition from Fitbit Blaze, you also have to ability to switch the band of the watch with variety of color and styles. Fitbit always known for their cool customization.
For most of reviewer, the design of Fitbit Ionic seem to be a minus since it’s not really have the elegant classic look like the Garmin Vivoactive 3. I’m on the opposite side of the table. I believe the design of Fitbit Ionic is completely stand out from both Garmin, Apple or any other company’s products. It has the modernize feel but still keep it very classy. I totally see a person rocking a charcoal version of this watch with a clean black tailor suit. If you want to look sporty or want to show your young, wild, and free personality; the burnt orange and silver gray is what you want. At the end of the day, if you want to stand out from your friend’s watches, then the Ionic is definitely for you. Unless your friend wear the same one !
Fitbit Ionic: Features
Some of the basic features that most smartwatches have are included in the Ionic. So you can expect to have sleep, activities, calories, step, heart rate and distant tracker. The SmartTrack feature is still there in addition of swimming. I have to mention that Fitbit has the new heart rate sensor module (PurePulse) so the heart rate monitor is a lot better than its brother Blaze. I personally feel like the heart rate sensor is pretty decent but it nowhere near perfect. I’m gonna get into some of the main features down below and categorize these as pros and cons so you guys would get my points easier!
Fitbit Pay:Similar to Apple Pay, Android Pay, and even Garmin Pay. It allows user to make a payment whenever contactless payment are accepted. Adding this feature makes a lot of sense if Fitbit trying on letting their users be phone-free. This feature currently support Visa, Mastercard, and AmEx from major issue banks like HSBC, Capital One, Royal bank of Canada, Bank of America, and a few others.
Music Storage: Fitbit Ionic has 2.5 GB of internal storage which roughly 300 songs. You only need to have a wireless headphone and you’re good to go. This is clearly an advantage over competition like Garmin Vivoactive 3 since now you can be phone-free for a quick jog around the lake. Additionally, Ionic users can also use Pandora to download the whole playlists directly onto the Ionic. In most situation, carry a phone around you while doing sports is quite bothersome and Fitbit understand that.
App Gallery: Great news for Ionic users. Fitbit App Gallery is created for as an app platform for 3rd party companies to develop apps specifically for Fitbit Ionic. Starbucks, Flipboard, AccuWeather, … Have already pick up a piece. With this app, the Fitbit Ionic is acting more and more like a smartphone in someway. I’m no doubt that this feature will keep expanding. Expect a lot more new customization and new upcoming third party apps coming in.
Fitbit Coach: Fitbit introduce Fitbit Coach as a new coaching feature on the Ionic. Think of this as the upgraded version of Fitstar (coaching feature on the Blaze). The guided workout sessions are more detailed with the Ionic. At the time of this post, Fitbit Coach currently have 3 different workout built in. I’m pretty sure Fitbit going to keep update this feature if more and more people use it.
Water Resistant: Having water resistance is something that most smartwatches, and fitness tracker must have in 2017. Fitbit Ionic water resistance up to 50m deep under water surface. This is a great news for swimmer since you finally can wear your fitbit while swimming and it will track the number of laps you complete, stroke style, and your estimate calories burned.
4 Days Plus Battery Life: Fitbit Ionic battery life is probably one of the best features and a clear advantages from a lot of other smartwatches like Apple Watches 3 and Samsung Gear S3. From my experience, Fitbit Ionic last from Tuesday morning till Saturday. I did use GPS at some point for my running and it did drain my battery decently faster. As I tested, my running took roughly around 1 hour and it drained 15% of my battery. But with a typical smartwatch and workout usage, you should be able to get four to five days battery life.
Fitbit Pay Downside: With the same reason I have for the Garmin Pay problem. I think it’s quite neat to have a payment system right on your watch but it also increase the risk of getting your information leak out. For me, this is not a big point drop but you know what they say “Can’t be too careful”.
Non Interactive Notifications: A big drawback from the Fitbit Ionic. Fitbit Ionic will show you notifications like text messages, iMessages, phone calls, Skype, WhatSapp, and some app-specific notifications. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to interact with these notifications. You can just either delete notification one by one or delete them all. This is something that Apple Watch clearly did better, it’s very intuitive.
Proprietary Charger: Another minor drawback I don’t see people mention is that Fitbit Ionic still using its own proprietary charger. Thanks to Fitbit, you will have to bring another charger in your backpack if you decide to go for one week camping trip.
You can buy Fitbit Ionic here:
Fitbit Ionic: Final Verdict
For a price around $300, this is a nice smartwatch for its price. It’s not the best smartwatch on the market but it is definitely a great smartwatch that provide all the criteria of a premium smartwatch. This is a very close competition with Garmin Vívoactive 3. Fitbit Ionic smartwatch features are ahead of Garmin Vivoactive 3. But as the other way around, Garmin Vivoactive 3 did a better job at Fitness activities than Fitbit Ionic.
If you thinking about getting the Fitbit Ionic as your first smartwatch, you got my recommendation. The interface is pretty intuitive and you can be sure to have a long lasting battery. I really hope that Fitbit Ionic going to keep updating new apps and improving their Fitbit Coach system. Let’s wait for new surprises from Fitbit!