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 attention for the new design. Some people really would have likefound in o seen the return of the rounded design so it looked more like a real watch. But Fitbit is back at it again, using a design that very similar to the Fitbit Blaze.
The Fitbit Ionic face is using Gorilla Glass 3 from Corning. You should expect minimal to no scratches if you are not a heavy user. The watch comes in 3 color combinations: blue gray/silver gray, slate blue/burnt orange, and charcoal/smoke gray. Following in the Fitbit Blaze tradition, you also have to ability to switch the band with a variety of colors and styles. Fitbit has always been known for their cool customization options.
For many reviewers, the design of Fitbit Ionic is deemed to be a minus since it’s doesnt have the same elegant, classic look like the Garmin Vivoactive 3. I have to disagree, as I believe the design of Fitbit Ionic is a complete stand out from both Garmin, Apple or any other tracker products. It has the modern 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 that the heart rate sensor is pretty decent but it is nowhere near perfect. I’m going to get into some of the main features down below and categorize these as pros and cons so you guys will understand how and why I’ve ranked this model.
Fitbit Pay: Similar to Apple Pay, Android Pay, and even Garmin Pay, this feature allows a user to make a payment whenever contactless payment are accepted. Adding this feature makes a lot of sense if Fitbit trying to help their users be phone-free. The payment 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 are good to go. This is clearly an advantage over competition like Garmin Vivoactive 3! You can now be phone-free for a quick jog around the lake. Additionally, Ionic users can also use Pandora to download entire playlists directly onto the Ionic. In most situations, carrying a phone around you while doing sports is quite bothersome and Fitbit really understands that fact.
App Gallery: Great news for Ionic users. Fitbit App Gallery has been created as an app platform for 3rd party companies to develop their own apps specifically for Fitbit Ionic. Starbucks, Flipboard, AccuWeather, etc. With this feature, the Fitbit Ionic is acting more and more like a smartphone in several ways. I have no doubt that this feature will keep expanding. Expect a lot more new customization and new third party apps coming in.
Fitbit Coach: Fitbit introduces 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 on the Ionic. At the time of this post, Fitbit Coach currently has 3 different workouts built into it. I’m pretty sure Fitbit will keep updating this feature if more and more people use it.
Water Resistance: Having water resistance is something that most smartwatches and fitness tracker must have in 2017. Fitbit Ionic is water resistance up to 50m deep below the water surface. This is a great news for swimmers since you can finally can wear your fitbit while swimming and it will also 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 offers a clear advantage compared to a lot of other smartwatches like Apple Watch 3 and Samsung Gear S3. From my own experience, Fitbit Ionic lasted from Tuesday morning till Saturday. I did use GPS at some point for my running and it did drain my battery a bit faster. My test run took roughly about 1 hour and it drained approximately 15% of my battery. But with a typical smartwatch and workout usage, you should be able to get four to five days of battery life.
Fitbit Pay Downside: I considered this a con for the same reason I mentioned in my previous review of the Garmin Pay feature. I think it’s quite really neat to have a payment system right on your watch, but it also increases the risk of getting having your information be hacked or leaked out. For me, this is not a big point drop, but you know what they say, “you can’t be too careful”.
Non Interactive Notifications: 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 either delete notification one by one or delete them all. This is something that Apple Watch clearly does much better, it’s notification feature is very intuitive.
Proprietary Charger: Another minor drawback I don’t see people mention is that Fitbit Ionic is 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 away for more than four days.
You can buy Fitbit Ionic here:
Fitbit Ionic: Final Verdict
For a price around of about $300, this is a very nice smartwatch for the money. It’s not the best smartwatch on the market but it is definitely a great smartwatch that provides all the criteria of a premium smartwatch. This model is in very close competition with Garmin Vívoactive 3. Fitbit Ionic smartwatch features are ahead of Garmin Vívoactive 3, but alternatively, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 did a much better job on Fitness activities than Fitbit Ionic.
If you are thinking about getting the Fitbit Ionic as your first smartwatch, you have my full support. The interface is pretty intuitive and you can be sure to have a longer lasting battery. I really hope that Fitbit Ionic going to keep updating new apps and improving their Fitbit Coach system. Let’s hope to hear more new updates from Fitbit!