It seems like everywhere you turn nowadays, everyone is tracking their physical health using one of the many fitness trackers on the market. A quick search of Amazon yields thousands of results and this is precisely the problem, many of them claim to be the jack of all trades but are the master of none. Fitbit are no rookies in the health tracking game and their new Ionic wearable is taking on the big guns and in many regards beating them at their own game.
The Ionic is the first smartwatch by Fitbit but the second time Fitbit has entered the watch space, their first being the somewhat underwhelming Blaze. This time around though, Fitbit have a winner on their hands and it all starts with the design. The Ionic is a sleek looking smartwatch with an all aluminum 5ATM waterproof build and gorilla glass front. There are some tactile but useful hardware buttons on the sides and touchscreen navigation, all par for the course for this kind of device. The included band is plastic but seems like it will hold up to some abuse, we did prefer, however, the sport band as it gave the wrist more breath-ability during a workout.
Speaking of the screen, it is a full color squared off LCD option with some largish bezels that does get quite bright (1000 nits) and can be seen even in direct sunlight. We particularly appreciated the raise to wake function with the display, so we are not broadcasting our results to the world 24/7. The touch latency though is just OK and felt a little sluggish at times.
The Ionic features all the usual array of fitness tracking tools but Fitbit have upped their game with the inclusion of GLONASS GPS and a brilliant and improved heart rate tracker that is always on. The data is also displayed regularly even on different watch faces. The GPS is also very accurate and easily logged our usual running route with ease, a new addition is also the auto pause mode, which will stop tracking when you stop moving. It is worth noting that your cellphone is also not required for GPS to work, hallelujah! We particularly give Fitbit credit on this one and we loved to check and log this data after our workouts.
The Ionic also has multi-sport modes to let users track specific workouts like weights, runs and rides. In Bike, Run or Hike mode, you can even use the built-in GPS to see pace, distance, and other key stats on display. For those of you lacking motivation, there is also Fitbit Coach and Audio Workouts that are like having a personal trainer at your disposal. These tailored workouts that will guide you through and supply feedback, so it can gauge intensity on the next workout.
If these features haven’t sold you yet, The Ionic has an impressive 5-day battery life and can even store, play and control music while connected to your favorite bluetooth headphones. New to the Ionic, is Fitbit Pay, this allows users to add a credit card to their account and pay for purchases using the embedded NFC chip like that of another brands’ fruity watch.
Finally, the very impressive Fitbit app amalgamates all the recorded data and effortlessly runs the show by providing some powerful insights into things like your sleep, resting heart rate, cardio fitness level and more. It is very intuitive and with the ability to download certain apps like the weather forecast directly on to the device, makes the Ionic a truly versatile device.
The Fitbit Ionic is simply one of the best fitness tracking devices on the market and at the very reasonable price of just $399, undercuts a lot of the competition yet still offers similar if not better features. This is a buy in our books and worth your attention!