“”Until now, Fitbit had only dared to approach the smartwatch market timidly through the failed Fitbit Blaze: while other brands like Apple or Samsung took different models, Fitbit decided to wait while working on his new release. It has been now when it has introduced its first smart clock that integrates smartwatch with third-party applications and 24/7 monitoring of physical activity. We have tested the new Fitbit Ionic and these are our conclusions.
|1.42 inch Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen LCD; 348×250 resolution (302dpi)|
|DIMENSIONS||29.232 x 21 mm; Diagonal of 35,99 mm; Thickness of 12 mm; Weight: 46 gr|
|SENSORS AND COMPONENTS||Three-axis accelerometer; Three-axis gyroscope; Optical heart rate monitor; Altimeter; Environmental light sensor; Vibration motor|
|CONNECTIVITY||Wifi antenna (802.11 b / g / n); GPS- Glonass; Bluetooth 4.0; NFC Technology|
|WATER RESISTANCE||50 meters (suitable for swimming)|
|AUTONOMY||More than four days; Up to 10 hours using GPS|
The new Fitbit Ionic features a 1.42-inch LCD touch screen with a resolution of 348 x 250 (302 dpi), large enough to use comfortably with your fingers and enough to show a lot of data at a glance. It is very scratch resistant (made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3 glass) and also has an automatic brightness function that makes reading very easy even when it is receiving full sunlight.
In addition to the touch screen, we also have three buttons , two on its right side and one on its left side, rectangular and with curved edges the three, very discreet, that facilitate navigation.
The new Ionic runs on its own Fitbit OS operating system , and is compatible with both ios and android and windows phone through the free Fitbit app , from which we can handle all the functions of the watch.
Although it still has few applications, Fitbit OS supports third party applications such as Strava, one of the most popular for athletes. It also has the integrated NFC chip that allows payments with the same clock through the Fitbit Pay platform (currently available for Carrefour Pass and Banco Santander).
The connection with our mobile phone is made by Bluetooth 4.0, which supports more than one connection to be able to be linked at the same time with a wireless headset, for example, and also has a connection with WIFI network. When synchronizing with the app, we can select the option to do it constantly and automatically, or we can do it manually when we want.
As for the most sport-oriented features, Fitbit Ionic is submersible up to 50 meters (which allows you to monitor swimming training, something we’ll talk about in depth later). It has integrated GPS-Glonass and a heart-integrated heart rate monitor.
Fitbit Ionic has 2.5 GB of internal memory to carry your music with you
Other sensors on the watch include the altimeter, digital compass, and three-axis accelerometer. It also has 2.5 GB of internal memory so we can import our own music and listen to it when linking a Bluetooth headset.
The charging of the watch, which is done by a charger with USB port, is quite fast: in just over an hour, we get a full charge of your lithium polymer battery that can last approximately and depend on the use of GPS, about four days without recharging. This is undoubtedly one of the strengths of the Fittone Ionic.
The new Fitbit Ionic moves away from its competitors especially in the design: against the smooth curved lines typical of Apple Watch or Samsung Gear Fit Pro, Ionic bets on the square shape of well-marked corners, something unusual in this type of gadgets.
Measuring everything in your day to day
The monitoring of all our data has arrived to stay and, who else and who less, already has a bracelet quantifier or some application on your mobile phone that allows you to know from the quality of your dream to the calories spent along a day.
In this sense, the new Fitbit Ionic has nothing to envy the other quantifiers of the brand like Fitbit High HR or Fitbit Charge 2, which already included monitoring the heart rate for 24 hours through its integrated Pure Pulse on the wrist.
Monitoring the pulse throughout the day through the Pure Pulse sensor is one of the strengths of the Ionic
Fitbit Ionic offers us the monitoring of the number of daily steps, being able to establish our own objectives to overcome them, the kilometers traveled, the calories spent throughout the day, the floors promoted throughout the day and the minutes of physical activity that we have done all day.
Of all these data, which are not few, we can see our personal statistics in the app, where we can observe our progress and access the historical file to see if, indeed, we are evolving or not.
So that we do not forget that we are designed to keep us moving, the Ionic Fitbit includes vibration and visual alarms that alert us every hour to give at least 250 steps (equivalent to approximately a two-minute walk). This alarm we can customize it to act in the interval of time that we prefer and in the days of the week that we select.
Monitoring by day … and night
An interesting part of the clock is the one about sleep monitoring: Fitbit Ionic recognizes automatically when we go to sleep and quantifies not only the quantity but also the quality of our sleep. It also analyzes the different sleep cycles we have each night and tells us what is the effective rest that we have been able to enjoy. Both statistics and historical can be seen very clearly in the app.
There are many people who will see on the screen that they have had an effective break of, say, four hours, and think “so what? What do you mean by that? ” In addition to our data, the Fitbit app offers us the normal measures between which we should find (to give us an idea of whether or not we are resting well) and, here is the interesting fact, allows us to compare our rest with other users of our physical characteristics (age and sex). Fitbit has a huge database of all its users that allow us to make this type of comparative.
Gamification and rewards: the key to success in improving healthy habits
This daily quantification of everything we do in our days is aimed at implementing and adhering to new healthy habits. The gadgets that integrate technology and physical activity are a good way to motivate those who still do not move too much to do it a little more. Not only that, but they must also maintain that physical activity over time, something that seems a little more difficult.
Fitbit proposes to do this through gamification to achieve goals and also through healthy competition with other users while creating a sense of community that favors this adoption of new healthy habits.
The huge Fitbit community allows us to compete with other users of their wearables
Through the app, we can compare our data recorded with the Ionic Fitbit with those of our group of friends to see who moves more in the day to day, who exercises more or who gets to take more steps throughout the day.
Likewise, every time we reach our daily goals (those that come pre-established in the Fittone Ionic or those that we put ourselves), the clock will give us a vibration alert and we can see on your screen a greeting that encourages us to continue with our good habits.
Fitbit Ionic in its function of smartwatch
What does a smartwatch have to be really useful and compensate for the money (which is usually high)? Integration with the applications that we use most in our day to day so that it facilitates our work to us and helps us to maximize our leisure time and rest.
Fitbit allows us to receive notifications of different applications, but not interact with them
In this sense, Fitbit Ionic is still “in the nappy” since at the moment there are many applications that we can use from our phone. Yes, we can receive notifications of calls (and accept them from the clock, but always using the mobile or a headset to talk), text messages and calendar events. We can also receive notifications of third-party applications like Whatsapp, but cannot answer from Ionic. In this sense, your competitors take a lot of advantage.
The application program for Fitbit OS is open to developers, something to be valued and we hope that allows us to enjoy more applications designed for the Ionic in a short time. At the moment, from Fitbit assure us that by the end of this year we will be able to enjoy new apps.
Something that allows Ionic is the personalization of the clock: on the one hand we have the possibility to modify the sphere of the same with different (but limited for now) versions like digital clocks, analog and different ways to see our progress in steps or calories on the screen.
On the other hand, Fitbit has also released accessories such as straps with which we can change the look of our watch depending on the occasion.
A sports watch for moderate exercise
Fitbit Ionic defines itself as a “sports smartwatch”, and is that the monitoring of the sport is an important part of this device. It is a multi-sport watch that allows us to monitor different activities such as running, running, weightlifting, cycling, swimming, Pilates, yoga, spinning or interval training. From the app we can select those we practice more frequently to include them in the shortcut of our watch.
In each of these sports we quantify different aspects of our training : for example, in a career training (using GPS) we will show the kilometers traveled, the race pace and the calories consumed, while in a training of yoga will only quantify the calories consumed (the GPS does not make sense here). In all cases, the heart rate is continuously measured.
A personal trainer on your wrist
Within Fitbit Ionic we have the option of the coach: a guided training system that offers different work tables for different goals or muscle groups. Thus, we can find a ten-minute workout for the abs, a seven-minute table for the whole body or a 20-minute workout for the pectoral. These are the trainings we can access for free: in order to see more we will have to make purchases within the FitStar app .
These exercise tables are interesting from the point of view that we can see on the same screen of the clock and with a very good definition a video with each of the exercises that we must do. Once we have seen it, the clock tells you how long you have to make that move, warning you with a vibration that the work interval is over.
Smartwatches are a good choice for casual athletes or for those who want to start moving more
We must be clear that smartwatches like Fitbit Ionic (but here would also include other models of other brands such as Apple Watch or Samsung Gear Fit) are not specifically designed for athletes . They are a very good option for people who want to start training or moving and need some extra motivation, but I would never recommend them to a person who already knows how to train or who is preparing, for example, a specific race test (a marathon or average marathon), cycling or swimming.
That is why brands such as Garmin or Suunto are dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of sports watches and that understand and meet the needs of athletes. Smartwatches, however, can be a good investment for those seeking moderate exercise and know a little more about their daily activity and training.
Fitbit Ionic, the opinion of 9pmnews
I have had the opportunity to test the new Fitbit Ionic and, in general terms, I think a good smartwatch that still has a lot of travel , but to be the second incursion of the brand in the world of smart watches, is not bad .
As I said in the review, the applications we have at the Ionic are not very numerous yet , so we will have to wait for them to develop over time in order to be more autonomous regarding our phone.
I have missed a lot of functions that Apple Watch has (I am a user of this wearable) as the possibility of being able to answer whatsapps, messages or calls from the same clock , which personally I find very useful and should being on all smartwatches that hit the market.
The design of the watch is quite subjective, but personally I think it is a good way to differentiate itself from the competition : it is very light and, with the possibility of personalizing the spheres and changing the straps, can adapt to different situations. Maybe the sphere is a bit big, especially if, like me, you have small wrists, and it is only available in one size.
As a sports smartwatch, it can be useful if we want to monitor occasional moderate physical activity, but it is very short if we want to prepare a specific test . When monitoring a runoff, for example, we do not have the option of scheduling intervals to train runs, a type of training that is very common for runners, but only counts the number of calories spent (well above what account for other specific devices, such as Garmin), distance, pace or training zones in which we have encountered.
This, for a rider or cyclist who is preparing a test, is very short; but we have already said that it is a good device to monitor daily physical activity and not so much sport activity .
The pulse sensor integrated into the wrist can still be improved to the quality of a chest sensor
The same thing happens with a significant part of the smartwatch as the heart rate meter : the fact that it measures the pulse uninterrupted 24 hours a day (even when we are sleeping) is a very interesting feature. But if we use it as a heart rate meter in training we can find beats of pulsations that should not be there and that can scare the athlete (this does not surprise me, but a friend outside the world of smartwatches who also was testing was scared when he saw one of these spikes and stopped his training).
Yes it is positive also that it has an internal memory of enough capacity to save our music , something that allows us to go out to train only with our watch and bluetooth helmets. Incidentally, we have also tested the Fitbit Flyer wireless helmets , with a very good sound quality, long battery life, fast charge and specifically designed for sports use making them resistant to sweat and quite comfortable.
One of the most positive things about the Fittone Ionic is clearly the long battery life : not being tied to the charger almost every day (Hi, Apple Watch!) Is greatly appreciated. In weeks when I have not used it to train, the battery has lasted for more than four days without recharging. The rapid charging of the device is another of its advantages.
Would I buy the Fitbit Ionic? You might wait until there are more applications running on Fitbit OS , but it does not seem like a bad idea for those who want to monitor their daily physical activity and exercise occasionally.