Dec 19 AT 2:09 PM Steve Raycraft 0 Comments

Review: Fitbit Ionic

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Overview

The Ionic is Fitbit’s latest smart device release and it includes all the features you’d expect with a fitness tracker like GPS, a heart rate monitor called PUREPULSE®, and sleep tracking. Additionally, there is onboard storage for 300+ songs and downloaded Pandora playlists.

Hardware

The device itself measures 38.59mm wide, 12.2mm thick and weighs in at 30 grams. The length of the included large band is 258mm. The Ionic uses a 1.42-inch LCD touchscreen display with a 348×250 pixel resolution. Fitbit decided to up the ante more with the Ionic by including an NFC chip that lets you make purchases at locations with NFC payment terminals.

The band is made up of an elastometer similar to many common sportwatches and sports an aluminum buckle. As with other Fitbit devices, the Ionic’s bands are interchangeable and I actually found the sport band you can purchase from the Fitbit.com store to be more comfortable than the one that ships with the Ionic.

The 1.42-inch screen is touch-sensitive and I had very few issues when tapping or swiping on the screen. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 provides strong scratch resistance for those that tend to be a little rough on devices. When out in the sunlight the display was washed out, but still readable. One feature that I greatly appreciated being added is the ability to manually wake up the screen. I can’t count the number of times my Charge 2 would turn on at night if I was restless and unable to sleep. Setting the screen wake to manual on the Ionic makes those sleepless night easier because I’m not blinding myself with my fitness tracker as I toss and turn at night.

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Software

The Ionic uses the ever-improving Fitbit OS that includes a plethora of useful features. The first is the vast selection of watch faces available. Minimal and stat-heavy styles are both available to use. If none of the available ones appeal to you, you can use the Fitbit Studio to create your own watch face.

Has your phone ever run out of storage and you wished you had more space to store songs? Let the Fitbit Ionic help you! The Ionic has on-board storage allowing you to store more than 300 songs on your device. Pandora users can also download their playlists to their Ionic after connecting to the mobile app. This seemed to work well for me when connecting my Pandora account.

Fitbit has added a new App Gallery with the Ionic and while the selection is still somewhat limited, you can find popular apps such as Starbucks and The New York Times. Apps are easily accessible by swiping left. There are four apps per screen so if you have a lot of apps, you may need to scroll several times to access a specific one.

Fancy having a personal coach at your side?  Once again, the Ionic is there to help you. Fitbit OS also includes a personal trainer on your wrist. There are several workouts to select from and each provides a timer and visuals to help you make sure you’re performing the exercise the right way.  I’ve completed many workouts using this feature and found it very enjoyable albeit tough.

Comfort

The band that ships with the Ionic is very similar to those found on sports watches, but I found it to be a little uncomfortable. It seems to stick to my skin even after slightly loosening the band. The sports watch band available on Fitbit.com feels more comfortable to me and is the current band on my Ionic. The ability to easily swap out bands allows you customize the Ionic to fit all occasions.

Battery life

Battery life on any device is crucial. Fitbit claims that the Ionic battery will last up to five days and up to 10 hours when using the GPS. My results were similar using the GPS, but I was able to get close to seven days on a single charge. Another aspect of the battery in the Ionic is that it can charge from 0% to 100% in roughly two hours. This is great when you need to have your Fitbit before an evening workout, but forgot to charge it the night before.

The one downside, and one of my major gripes about the Ionic, is the charging mechanism.  Once again, Fitbit updated the interface and there is a new charging cable that works only with the Ionic and no other Fitbit devices. The number of charging cables in my drawer grows with every new Fitbit release. It would be nice for them to standardize on a specific charger for all future Fitbit devices.

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Fitbit Ionic 8.5 / 10

The Fitbit Ionic is a good fitness tracker for those looking for a new device to help them on their fitness goals in 2018 as well as the seasoned fitness guru looking for an upgrade to their current fitness tracker. If you are anything like me and enjoy customizing your devices, the number of options available for bands and watch faces on the Ionic is a treasure trove not commonly found on fitness trackers. I strongly encourage anyone looking for a new fitness tracker to pick up the Fitbit Ionic watch today.

You can buy the Ionic for $269 at a number of retailers including Target, Walmart, and Amazon

I was first introduced to Android with the Samsung Fascinate and I've been hooked ever since. I love the customization that Android offers the user to personalize their phone. I enjoy writing and have been blessed with the opportunity to share this passion for Android with others.

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