We tried the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch to see if it lives up to the hype.
So, Fitbit has just launched its highly anticipated Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch, a new and improved version of the hot-selling Fitbit Blaze.
On the surface, the Fitbit Ionic has similar functions as the other latest smartwatches (Apple Watch 3 and Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch): multiple-activity tracking, sleep tracking, 50m water resistance, GPS tracking and continuous heart rate monitoring, to name some.
It’s priced at $458, pretty on par with the other two. Apple Watch 3 is retailing at $498 and Samsung Gear Sport at $448.
The big question: Is it worth replacing your current watch with the Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch? We got our hands on a unit and tried it out for four days. Here’s what we love about it so far.
Unboxing the Fitbit Ionic was a joy upon discovering the absence of a thick, off-putting instruction manual that always comes along with watches. Instead, there’s a user guide available on the Fitbit app which you download on your phone and is then synced to your Ionic. But there isn’t a need to when the Ionic so intuitive. With just a few press of the buttons here and there, we figured how to use the Ionic really quickly.
Great battery life
The battery life of the Ionic is really something to rave about. Ionic has a lifespan of four to five days, which is pretty impressive considering that the functions it has are pretty battery- draining: GPS tracking and round-the clock activity tracking. After we charged the Ionic on Saturday morning, there was 40 per cent battery left on Monday afternoon.
The Ionic has a newly-added personal coaching function, which offers on-screen workouts with a step-by-step guide. Currently there are three workouts available. Fitbit is looking to introduce more workout videos with various difficulty levels in time to come.
Going cashless is no doubt, one of the perks of owning smartwatches. The Fitbit Ionic has an embedded NFC chip installed, which allows you to activate your Visa or Mastercard credit card into the watch’s system. Now you can buy your daily cuppa or groceries with a tap of the watch.
Smart Tracking function
The Smart Tracking function records your workout without needing you to press the start button. If you’re running, it tracks your distance, pace, route and calories burnt. Other trackable activities include yoga, swimming, biking, dancing, interval training and high-intensity interval training. Don’t worry about pausing during your workout. This smart function detects when you stop and resume your activity.
New and improved heart rate sensor
The Fitbit Ionic boasts more accurate heart rate monitoring than the older Fitbit devices. A new built-in SpO2 sensor measures oxygen saturation in the blood that can detect health problems like sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. That sensor also has the potential to track irregular heartbeats.
The changeable straps allow you to switch up the looks easily. Use the black and charcoal sports band for sweaty activities, and the sleek blue leather band (sold separately) if you’re chilling out with friends.
The watch interface is clean and simple, with three easy-to-navigate buttons. The left button activates the screen and lets you return to the previous page. The two right buttons control the watch’s on-screen actions. The touchscreen makes it easy to swipe and toggle between apps.
At slightly less than 50g, the Fitbit Ionic is a great lightweight wearable that’s perfect for keeping up with your daily activities and providing you with detailed stats such as steps clocked, calories burned, and heart rate. As a smartwatch, it’s not that interactive as the Ionic only lets you check notifications but not reply to messages. If you’re looking to get more insights on your workouts and sleep, the Fitbit Ionic is well-built for that.