Of course you know Fitbit from wearable but strangely enough, the company never made a full smartwatch. Until now, at least The Fitbit Ionic is the first real watch from Fitbit, and that is a little bit noticeable. Fortunately, Fitbit has enough experience in the field of fitness trackers to make the Ionic
€ 349, –
That Fitbit worked on a real smartwatch was unclear when the Pebble, the creator of the first smartwatch ever took. Fortunately for Fitbit, the smartwatch market is far from clear about how the perfect watch works and looks, and the small mistakes that have been made can be easily forgiven.
Pebble once started with a square screen, and although most smartwatch makers nowadays just ‘make’ around the display, Fitbit opts for a design with right angles. The opinion of the editorial staff was much divided. Luckily for Fitbit, I had little trouble with that choice, also because the slight bulging of the glass provides unrivaled viewing angles – very handy when you’re running with a heartbeat of 170 in the round or with your arms bent over a barbell.
The Ionic comes with a standard plastic strap, but the universal system can use as shops AliExpress for a song purchase fine straps and click on your watch. The three buttons on the side are not in the way but give the Ionic a slightly less premium appearance – something that is well provided by the silver aluminum housing.
You can easily switch bands.
Structure and sync
In terms of the menu structure, the Ionic is reasonably logical, although the buttons on the side feel somewhat archaic as if one or two less could have been done. The touchscreen works fine, albeit a bit slow and there is enough room in the menu to also process the items under the buttons below.
Synchronizing with your phone is generally fine, although the connection is sometimes slow and it takes a while for your data to come through. The Fitbit app is a great tool for tracking your sports performance and eating and sleeping habits. You can also select watch faces to change your clock (it is, of course, a smartwatch) add music (about 300 songs), and even download some apps (Strava!). So the app is fine, but together with Strava, it is also the only app with which the Ionic can talk. No Google Fit or Apple Health, and that is quite difficult if you want to compare your performance with before the purchase.
Although the Ionic is more than just a fitness tracker, that is obviously the most important part. Fitbit has a lot of experience in the field of smart bands, and you notice that. The Ionic does not have a particularly wide range of sensors but the most important ones, the heart rate monitor, and pedometer, work very well. During the test period, I did not come across any strange moments with the counting of hundreds of steps during sitting or a steady heartbeat – except when the vibrations of my shaver suddenly increased my heart rate.
The GPS tracker also had few problems. You can use the Ionic for about ten hours with the GPS connection, so your lap or bike ride is no problem – or your triathlon because the watch is completely waterproof. Handy is the familiar Fitbit feature where your watch recognizes when you start your run, and you do not have to indicate that manually. Also showing notifications works like a train. In the app, you can indicate which specific app you want to receive or notifications on your Fitbit, from your alarm clock to calls to WhatsApp. You can also read the messages, only to answer you need to grab your phone.
Fitbit also has its own way of charging and so its own cable and connection, and although we are deeply awkward in our hearts, Fitbit knows that frustration to a minimum. The connection is the same as on the other wearable of the company, a magnetic charger that is reminiscent of old MacBook plugs. With an hour of recharging, you can go a few days ahead, depending on how intensively you use the sensors.
Fitbit jumps into the deep with the Ionic but quickly reappears – a little bit of gnawing and kicking, but without swallowing water. We knew for a while that Fitbit could make good fitness trackers and thanks to the expertise of Pebble, most smartwatch features are also quite successful. The menu structure could have been more logical if the buttons on the side had simply been omitted, and the looks would have benefited as well. Opinions are divided about the design, but the Ionic certainly looks sleek and simple. For three hundred euros there are few watches on the market that show notifications as well as give you a good look at your sporting and healthy lifestyle, and although we always find a lot of money, we would be prepared for the Ionic to put it down for it.
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