Fitbit have been the market leaders in Fitness Trackers for some time now, and despite recent reports of declining sales, they still have a loyal following.  I always notice if someone has a fitness tracker on, and if so, it is nearly always a Fitbit!

The range has always been trackers, with the exception of the Blaze which ventured into the Smartwatch category, while seemingly, not wanting to let go of its fitness tracker roots!  Now Fitbit might have found the perfect balance between Top of the range Fitness Tracker and Smartwatch, all in one.

Fitbit Ionic

Just a few days before Europe’s biggest Consumer Tech show in Berlin, IFA 2017, Fitbit have launched their first fully fledged Smartwatch.  It is built on their fitness tracker heritage and includes all the expected features of a smartwatch.

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To most of us, keeping fit when travelling can sometimes be a challenge, especially while on business.  Some people, myself included, wear a watch and a fitness tracker to try to keep motivated to stay fit when away from home.  Ionic could well change that.

Fitness Tracker Features

If you think Fitbit are just for counting your steps, you need to get out of 2009!  Modern day fitness trackers can monitor most aspects of your health, the Ionic can do that and more.

Notable inclusion now are built-in GPS and water resistance.  There are several key features on the Ionic that mean you can leave your phone back in your hotel room when exercising and GPS is the first!  Whether you are out for a run or even cycling the device can track your pace and distance and display them on-screen.  When you next sync the watch to your smartphone you can get a more detailed overview of your exercise.

The water resistance is up to 50 meters which is more then enough for lengths in a pool.

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Suitable for almost any sporting activity, the Ionic can track your performance, but if you need a little bit of extra motivation when you hit the gym, Fitbit has you covered.

There are 4 workout tutorials built-in to the watch itself, one of which has the ability to adapt itself to your progress.  After the release, Fitbit will be launching a premium subscription service called Fitbit Coach.  This will further enhance the “personal trainer” element and keep you training correctly.

A heart rate monitor using PurePulse gives you detailed information, not only during your workouts but also when resting and asleep.  This can assist you with understanding and improving your cardiovascular health.

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Smartwatch Features

The big news here is the Ionic will come with its own Operating system (OS) and app store for 3rd party apps.  Whats more, the apps will be standalone, which means they will download directly to the watch! No need for your smartphone to be within range anymore.

With 2.5GB of onboard storage you will have to make a choice though, keep music on the device for your workouts or load up with Apps?

A welcome inclusion is the NFC chip.  You can now make contactless payments direct from your Fitbit! 

Battery life is always important and Fitbit are quoting 4 days in between charges which is impressive!  My current Charge HR lasts 3 days before needing a power up, and that’s over a year old.  Turning GPS on will greatly reduce this down to 10 hours of use.

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Specifications

  • 2 Sizes, Small & Large
  • Touchscreen Colour LCD Display
  • Full Charge in 2 hours
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for Connectivity and Syncing
  • Optical Heart Rate Monitor
  • GPS
  • 50m Water Resistance
  • Apps for Android, iOS, Windows
  • 3 Colours; Blue Grey/Silver Grey – Slate Blue/Burnt Orange – Charcoal/Smoke Grey

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Price

The Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch is £299 and available for Preorder direct from Fitbit.  At present, shipping times are advertised as 3-4 weeks.

 

I will be visiting Fitbit at IFA this weekend, for a hands on review of the Ionic.

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