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Fitbit Ionic (Blue Grey + Silver Grey)


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Fitbit Ionic (Charcoal + Smoke Grey)


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Fitbit Ionic (Slate Blue + Burnt Orange)


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The new Fitbit Ionic is being hailed as the brand’s first venture into smartwatches. It’s very nice of people to say, but it’s entirely untrue! Have we all forgotten about the Fitbit Blaze? Yes, the Blaze failed extraordinarily as a smartwatch (to be fair, as a fitness tracker it was pretty decent), but that doesn’t mean we can just brush it under the rug. If we’re sticking to the facts, the Ionic is actually Fitbit’s second try at a smartwatch (third if you count the Fitbit Surge), although it’s the first since the big Pebble buyout, and this is very obvious. With the already established Pebble software, Fitbit couldn’t really go wrong with the Ionic really, could they?

SHOCKER! They haven’t. In fact, the Fitbit Ionic fits into the market about where most people expected it to – somewhere between a fitness tracker and the Apple Watch. But Fitbit hasn’t got it 100% right, either. The Fitbit Ionic has the potential to do great things, but it looks like we may have to wait a while to unlock the ionic’s full potential.

 

Functions, Features, and Fascinating Facts

The Fitbit Ionic is designed to sort of blur the lines between fitness trackers and smartwatches; combining the features of both to create something groundbreaking. From the fitness tracker side of it, the Fitbit Ionic excels. As I touched on earlier, the Fitbit Blaze, as a fitness tracker, was top notch. Really. And the Fitbit Ionic is incredibly similar, filling in gaps and addressing the common problems we all had with the Blaze (notably a lack of waterproofing). While the Ionic isn’t completely waterproof, it is water resistant to 50m, so unless you’re a deep sea diver you’re not going to be having any issues with tracking a swim.

While the Blaze was good, it was never quite at the top of its game, failing to go above and beyond in terms of features. The Ionic does. GLONASS-based integrated GPS is a welcome addition, and it has successfully managed to one-up the traditional built-in heart rate sensor with the inclusion of the spO2 monitor for tracking blood oxygen levels (great for noting your risk of sleep apnea – apparently). Battery life of the Ionic is an estimated 4 days, which considering the extra features is actually quite impressive.

 

Not Quite as Advertised…

As a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Ionic is great. Maybe not as big of an upgrade from the Fitbit Blaze as many would have liked, but still the superior option by far. It’s the smartwatch side of things that isn’t quite knocking my socks off. This is no Apple Watch! That’s not to say it won’t be in the future, but I think it’s glaringly obvious that Fitbit have rushed into releasing the Ionic, even though it’s not quite ready yet.

Take the highly anticipated NFC chip for contactless payments, for example. A brilliant idea, but one that can’t be used in the UK yet! In fact, Fitbit Pay currently only works with 9 banks across the United States and Australia at the time of writing. Or how about the impressive 2.5GB music storage? Nice, but the Ionic comes preloaded with Pandora; not exactly big in the UK, and they’ve recently suspended service in Australia and New Zealand. Where’s iTunes? Or Google Music? Even some aspects of the fitness tracker aren’t yet ready, like Fitbit Coach which isn’t due to go live until 2018. Right now, there’s enough for the Ionic to be usable, but there isn’t enough to make it standout. We’re working on promises here.

 

Style & Design

Style and design is always going to be subjective. Honestly, I don’t think it’s too bad. Looks more like a smartwatch than a fitness tracker, and that’s OK. There are currently 3 different colour schemes to choose from (Grey / Grey and White / Blue and Orange). None of them particularly noteworthy enough to go into more detail. Fitbit have confirmed that next year we’ll see a special edition Adidas Ionic on the market, probably along the lines of the Apple Watch Nike+. While Fitbit are being very hush-hush, we can probably expect a sporty band option, along with some Adidas-branded workouts, too.

 

Is the Fitbit Ionic Worth Buying?

It depends. If you’ve already got the Fitbit Blaze, there’s no immediate rush to run and out and buy the Ionic. In fact, you may want to hang back until there’s more of a smartwatch facility on the Ionic that gives it more of an edge over the Blaze. If you don’t have the Blaze, then it’s got to be the Ionic. Even from a fitness tracker perspective alone, it’s the most advanced option available today. Just keep in mind that you may have to wait a while for Fitbit to actually sort out the smartwatch side of things.

What’s in the Box

  • Fitbit Ionic Activity Tracker
  • Large (fits wrists 17cm-21cm) and Small (fits wrists 14cm-17cm) Wristband
  • Ionic Charging Cable

Fitbit Ionic
Designed to blur the line between fitness tracker and smartwatch, the Ionic is the most advanced Fitbit available today!
Design75%
Usability61%
Battery Life70%
Features90%
74%Overall Score
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