Fitbit Ionic review: The sporty smartwatch – Hardware reviews

Fitbit Ionic review: The sporty smartwatch - Hardware reviews

Fitbit, undisputed star of health trackers, has determined to step out of its consolation zone. For the primary time, the US producer needs to compete with the Apple Watch and Android Put on smartwatches. The Fitbit Ionic is the primary smartwatch from the corporate in a position to benefit from apps developed by third events. After a number of weeks of testing, listed below are my impressions.

Good

  • Battery life
  • Constructed-in GPS
  • Fitbit app
  • Coronary heart charge monitoring

Unhealthy

  • Worth
  • OS is usually a bit sluggish
  • Replying to notifications not doable
  • Restricted swimming options

Launch date and value

Made official at IFA 2017, the Fitbit Ionic is out there for $299. Fitbit’s linked smartwatch is available in three colours: Blue Grey/Silver Grey, Slate Blue/Burnt Orange and Charcoal/Smoke Grey.

 

Design and construct high quality

So far as I can inform, the Fitbit Ionic just isn’t the perfect wanting smartwatch available on the market. The Ionic follows the custom of the Blaze with its sq. dial. In on a regular basis life, it goes relatively unnoticed, so it must be tremendous for a variety of individuals. Nevertheless, these involved with trend will go for one other mannequin, because the Ionic is lacking a little bit of intercourse attraction resulting from its relatively thick borders across the dial. The watch is snug to put on and is definitely forgotten regardless of its weight of 46 grams. 

The Ionic retains the sq. type of the Blaze. © AndroidPIT

On the technical facet, the Ionic’s casing is product of Collection 6000 aluminum, an alloy of magnesium and silicon similar to the iPhone 6, which confirmed indicators of weak point quickly after its launch. Apple has opted for aluminum 7000 sequence for its iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 as a result of it incorporates zinc, which ensures extra energy. I stay, for instance, fairly pessimistic concerning the Fitbit Ionic resistance to scratching. Concerning the construct high quality and end, nonetheless, every part seems to be and feels proper.

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On the again, you may discover the optical coronary heart charge sensor. © AndroidPIT

The strap equipped within the field is product of silicone. For sports activities, it is very sensible. Its fastening system (a buckle and an attachment button) is invaluable to keep away from any danger of loss. It’s generally a bit of tough to wrap across the wrist, the loop being so tight that the piece of elastomer on the bracelet has problem fastening. Thankfully, silicone appears to have the ability to face up to the take a look at of time (and perspiration). In fact, the strap is proprietary so you may need to go by means of the Fitbit retailer to get new ones (together with leather-based). The altering the strap is, happily, very straightforward.

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The bracelet is not going to come unfastened throughout your actions. © AndroidPIT

Within the center, after all, is the 1.Four-inch display screen of the Fitbit Ionic. There are three buttons on the edges (two on the correct edge, one on the left edge). The one on the left is a again button, whereas the buttons on the correct are for navigation. The highest button shows the stats of your day, and the second is devoted to kicking off train periods. On the again, there’s an optical coronary heart charge sensor. I’ll return to the subject of its effectiveness later. The watch is waterproof, so swimming with it’s positively doable.

Show

The Fitbit Ionic incorporates a 1.42-inch LCD contact display screen, with a decision of 348 x 250 pixels and a pixel density of 302 pixels per inch. Identical to the Gear Fit2 Professional we examined not too long ago, the watch is roofed with Gorilla Glass three for further sturdiness.

In comparison with Samsung’s good health band, the show of the Ionic doesn’t supply as a lot distinction, however the watch’s show remains to be excellent. The Fitbit Ionic options vibrant colours and excessive brightness (1000 nits just like the Apple Watch 2). The readability is superb, and the Fitbit Ionic is an ideal companion for any kind of sporting exercise. I used to be pleasantly shocked by its usability underwater, particularly by way of readability.

As for responsiveness, it is not unhealthy. Nevertheless, the display screen is typically a bit sluggish to reply and you must make an effort to maneuver your wrist sufficient to wake the display screen. That is annoying infrequently when you find yourself doing an exercise and need to know info shortly.

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The display screen is without doubt one of the finest features of the machine. © AndroidPIT

Particular options

Health options

Along with its smartwatch capabilities, the Fitbit Ionic is after all an ideal instrument for monitoring your sports activities actions. All of the health options we all know and love from different Fitbit merchandise may be discovered right here:

  • Pedometer: The Ionic interprets movement sensor information to depend your steps. Lively days will end in numerous steps, and inactive days, a small quantity. As at all times with Fitbit, the result’s relatively optimistic.
  • Sleep monitoring: The watch routinely detects the hours between when the person falls asleep and wakes up. The app additionally tells you about your sleep cycles: in-between, mild, deep. Personally, I appreciated this info because it permits me to foretell fatigue. You simply need to get used to sleeping whereas carrying this watch on a regular basis, which may be painful or uncomfortable for some folks.
  • Dietary monitoring: It is doable to manually monitor your eating regimen within the app. Nevertheless, you should at all times enter the details about your meals your self, which requires a sure dedication.
  • Caloric expenditure
  • Exercise monitoring: working, biking, swimming, treadmill, bodybuilding, and so forth.

Though I nonetheless had some preliminary apprehension throughout my underwater periods, the Fitbit Ionic has been in a position to face up to swimming. Generally the outcomes may be distorted when counting distance for laps within the pool.

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Fitbit covers a broad spectrum of actions. © AndroidPIT

Fitbit Coach

If Fitbit presents its smartwatch as a health teaching watch. By means of movies proven on the watch, you may be guided by means of exercises. For the second, solely three movies can be found. Extra free movies ought to arrive later. The thought appears good, however generally it is tough to comply with the video in your wrist and transfer on the identical time. Perhaps a speaker would have helped right here.

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 By default, three free teaching movies are supplied. © AndroidPIT

Fitbit additionally presents different customized workout routines within the Fitbit Coach app. That is really a brand new model of the Fitstar app, from an organization purchased by Fitbit. Customized workout routines can be instructed to you, however there is a $39 annual subscription price. These customized exercises will present you precisely what to do. Every train, you possibly can go away feedback to raised regulate your exercises. The aim right here is that can assist you enhance and encourage you to attempt various kinds of workout routines.

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Fitbit Coach is your personalised coach, however you’ll have to get out your pockets to actually take pleasure in it.  © AndroidPIT

Software program

The Fitbit Ionic runs on the producer’s personal OS, Fitbit OS. Regardless of the advertising guarantees of the model, I admit to being dissatisfied with the probabilities supplied by the watch. If the acquisition of Pebble for $40 million foreshadowed good issues, its integration nonetheless leaves one thing to be desired. For the primary time in its historical past, Fitbit presents a growth equipment (SDK) for third occasion builders to create their very own apps for the watch. For the second, although, the Fitbit App Gallery catalog is comparatively empty. Other than a couple of companion apps which might be very robust (Strava, Starbucks and Pandora to call a couple of), there’s not many different satisfying choices. Followers of Spotify will, for instance, need to switch their songs to the two.5 GB inner reminiscence of the watch. It does not have to be so sophisticated.

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The interface is straightforward and intuitive, however it may be sluggish generally. © AndroidPIT

Unable to reply to notifications

Fitbit OS means that you can obtain notifications in your Ionic (calls, messages, social networking). The issue is that you do not have the chance to reply, which creates an excellent sense of frustration. It is just doable to clear the notifications, one after the other or . Why, Fitbit? The watch does not have a microphone or counsel replies.

Fitbit app

As at all times, the Fitbit app is without doubt one of the finest options. It is at all times so intuitive and enjoyable to make use of. The app shows the important info on the house web page as blocks which you’ll rearrange as you want. You may simply discover all actions accomplished and you’ll problem your mates. It’s suitable with numerous third-party companies (Alexa, IFTT, MyFitness Pal and extra).

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There’s nothing to say concerning the synchronization between the smartwatch and the app. It is fast and painless. The one drawback I encountered was through the preliminary configuration, because it took greater than two hours to obtain and set up the necessary replace to make use of the machine.

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The Fitbit app is without doubt one of the nice strengths of the Ionic. © AndroidPIT

Efficiency

So far as tech specs go, the Fitbit Ionic has 2.5 GB of inner storage, which can be utilized to retailer your music for instance. There’s an NFC chip for funds, a GPS, an optical coronary heart charge sensor, a gyroscope, a barometer and an accelerometer to measure all your bodily actions.

Typically, the efficiency is nice and the useful resource administration appears to be below management. Nevertheless, as defined above, I’ve skilled some delays, although I am unsure whether or not it is due to the processor or the system itself. 

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Because of the GPS, you possibly can verify the climate. © AndroidPIT

GPS and coronary heart charge monitoring

The GPS carried out nicely and the distances proved to be correct and in keeping with what my smartphone recorded. Concerning the optical coronary heart charge sensor, I discovered the outcomes barely increased than actuality, though Fitbit defined that its new algorithms made the measurement extra correct. Whereas the outcomes are extra secure, the recordings nonetheless appears a bit of excessive. In case your wrists are closely concerned in your sporting actions, the guts charge outcomes are principally ineffective. In fact, as for different health trackers, we should stay cautious concerning the info acquired since these are at all times estimates. As soon as once more, I encourage you to learn the article written by my colleague Stefan on the subject:

Battery

In case you’re in search of a long-lasting smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic will delight you, as battery life is without doubt one of the areas through which the watch excels. As promised by the producer, the Ionic is ready to maintain out for almost Four days earlier than exhibiting extreme indicators of fatigue and requiring recharging. Relaxation assured, there isn’t any have to disable the cardio sensor or restrict the brightness to attain such a outcome. It is a totally different story in case you use the GPS rather a lot, because the vary is enormously diminished. However there’s nothing shocking about that.

It’s tough to competing smartwatches that are doing higher on this space. The one unfavorable level is the strategy of charging itself. As at all times, Fitbit presents a proprietary cable, so you may need to take care to not lose it as it is a ache to exchange. Fitbit presents solely the charging cable and never the charger in its field. Given the value of the watch, we had been entitled to at the very least that.

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The charging system is handy (just like Apple’s Magsafe) nevertheless it’s nonetheless a proprietary format. © AndroidPIT

Last verdict

Was Fitbit’s wager on the teaching watch profitable? Probably not, for my part. As a smartwatch, it is a bit of too restricted. The system is not very mature (it isn’t doable to answer to notifications!), and it lacks apps. The design is a bit too easy to actually win me over.

Nonetheless, the Fitbit Ionic is not a nasty product. The watch is a perfect companion for sport monitoring and it advantages from the model’s expertise on this area. As ever, the Fitbit app is a superb energy. You need to use the machine for a lot of actions (working, swimming, bodybuilding) and its battery life is unbelievable. However ultimately, the value appears a bit too excessive for an exercise tracker, and it isn’t superior sufficient for a smartwatch if you evaluate it to the competitors (Samsung Gear S3, Apple Watch and others).

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