Last Updated on December 3, 2019 by Emma Morris
As soon as it was released in 2017, FitBit’s first official smartwatch made serious waves throughout the fitness and tech-loving communities. FitBit is known for creating standout fitness wearables, and at its heart that is still exactly what the Ionic is, although it has the slick-looking design and price tag to make it a competitor for the Apple Watch.
By combining a deep understanding of fitness tracking software with a fresh design approach, the FitBit Ionic marks a definitive evolution for the company. If you’re eager for a stylish fitness wearable that does more than your average wristband, the FitBit Ionic may be exactly what you need; be aware, though, that if you’ve owned a smartwatch before, it’s unlikely you’ll have experienced one quite like this.
Since its release, the price of the Ionic has fallen, and you can now expect to pay around £219.00 for the device if bought through Amazon. Read on for all the information you could possibly need about the iconic Ionic.
- Built-in GPS for accurately mapping your routes and tracking outdoor fitness
- Access to personalised training sessions at your convenience
- In-built fitness routines to follow
- Gain exclusive access to the FitBit community for support, tips and personalised workout programmes
- Tough and durable design
- Lightweight aluminium build
- PurePulse function tracks heart rate, pace, steps taken, calories burned and more
- Long battery life of up to four days
- 384 x 250 pixel full colour LCD screen with 1000 nits of brightness
- Gorilla glass-reinforced screen protects from cracks and breakage
- Store up to 300 songs for listening while you work out
- Sync with all your devices up to 20 feet away
- Customise with either leather or plastic wristbands available in a range of colours
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
- Pay quickly for items with your watch using exclusive FitBit Pay system
- Easily download apps through your wrist
- Waterproof – can be worn in the bath, shower, swimming or in the rain
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of the product from a consumer’s point of view.
- Affordable in comparison to similar Smartwatches on the market
- Built-in GPS makes it easier to track your exercise, accurately plan your routes and monitor distance travelled and calories burned on your runs – all without needing to sync to a separate device
- Fashionable and comfortable design for wearing at home, while you’re on an outdoor run or working out at the gym
- Lightweight aluminium makes it perfect for working out with distraction
- Sophisticated technology makes heart rate monitor super-accurate
- Tracks an enormous range of factors to help you determine your fitness goals and plan your journey to success
- FitBit Pay is a great and reliable payment system that’s easy and fast to use
- Battery life is very dependable – can last up to four days before it needs recharging
- Waterproof – many comparable products offer either a splash-proof feature (which fundamentally means very little) or no protection at all; the Ionic is fully waterproof keeping it safe and dry no matter what water-based activity you’re doing
- User experience enhanced by easy-to-use touchscreen and single button function
- FitBit has since launched a similar, more compact product called FitBit Versa, its second Smartwatch – and it’s more affordable than the Ionic
- Touchscreen function not as sensitive or quick to respond as it could be
- Connecting to GPS can take a while – not ideal if you’re]on the move
- No audio notification during workouts so you have to look at your watch to see what’s happening
- Certain menus take a long time to load which is a pain if you’re having to wait between workouts
- Limited offerings that aren’t fitness related
FitBit Ionic – Comparison Table
Here’s a quick look at the specs of a selection of comparable products offered by FitBit.
|Device||Standard Price (Amazon)||Standard Size||Display||Compatability||Battery Life||Heart-rate Tracker||Built-in GPS||Water Resistant|
|FitBit Ionic||$200 (US) or £219.00 (UK)||1.01×1.53×0.47″||Highres colour LCD – 1000 nits brightness||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||4d||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|FitBit Versa||150$ (US) or £149.90 (UK)||1.01×1.6×0.43″||16bit colour LCD -240×180 pixels||Android & iOS||4d||Yes||No||Yes|
|FitBit Versa Lite||140$ (US) or £137.00 (UK)||1.9x4x0.5″||Colour LCD||Android & iOS||3d||Yes||No||Yes|
The Bottom Line
The FitBin Ionic is a great-looking device, and is much more affordable than many comparable products on the market. However, the more recent FitBit Versa is a cheaper alternative that offers all the same main features, so if you want a smaller device that costs less, this is a good option.
That said, the Ionic boasts the best of what FitBit is known for – fitness tracking technology. This product is a great example of why the company is a leading manufacturer in sports wearables, though the question is: is the company really expert at making Smartwatches? Maybe one day, but not quite yet.
The Ionic is perhaps evidence that FitBit should stick to what it’s good at and focus on the fitness community. The Ionic isn’t so much a smartwatch with fitness-related functions as an advanced fitness wearable that looks like a smartwatch.