Review (Fitbit Ionic)

I haven’t jogged or ran a half marathon since I injured my left leg while while running. It’s currently cold, so the thought of hitting the road during these icing evenings is numbing but I eventually need to get back to it.

Sounds like I am making up a number of excuses on why I don’t want to hit the road again and you know what? I am. Don’t despair I’ll be hitting my stride in no time and I have a really cool companion to aid me on my way back to full fitness. It’s a Fitbit, not just any Fitbit but the Ionic, the Fitbit that works as a smartwatch and fitness tracker at the same time.

Great battery life!

If there’s one stand out feature about the Fitbit Ionic, it’s the devices really impressive battery life, one single charge lasts between 4 to 5 days depending on often you use the built-in GPS tracker. I’ve only had to charge the Ionic once a week, the only time I notice that the battery is low, is when I get a message via the Fitbit App telling me that the Ionic currently has a low battery. In a time and age where we charge our laptops, phones, headphones and cars, it’s good to find a product that can go a number of days without sitting on your bedside table at the end of the day.

If you are big on getting rewards for living healthy, the Fitbit Ionic has a cool feature where it detects when you start working out. Whether it’s a jog, push ups and good old squats, if the Ionic doesn’t recognise your workout, you can simply log it in the Fitbit App. Health nuts will love some of the Ionic’s features, there’s a built in Heart rate monitor that’s constantly keeping tabs on your heart rate. While a build-it in GPS will keeps tabs on your runs when using the exercise app. The Ionic features an exercise app that tracks runs, swims, workouts and bike rides. When used extensively these features can drain the battery but no need to panic as the Ionic handles all this pretty well.

Not really a smartwatch?

The Fitbit Ionic doesn’t do well in the “smartwatch” category. It retails for +- R5500, the same price as a 42mm Apple Watch Series 3. The Fitbit Ionic has a couple of Apps but they don’t stand out. I honestly love the weather app and wallet app, I’ll tell you later why the wallet app is so cool. There are a handful number of apps, a dedicated music app and the streaming service Deezer. If you are an iPhone user like myself, you might find yourself frustrated that the Ionic doesn’t support Apple Music. Fair enough it does give you the option of storing 300 songs on the device but if you are locked in the Apple ecosystem, you might find it hard you listen to music while you are exercising.

You can change the Ionic’s faces via the Fitbit app, but the standard watch face that the Ionic comes with does the trick for me. The options I found in the Fitbit App weren’t really so dope, but I am sure they will appeal to alot of people. I personally know that at some point I’ll be tired of my current watch face and I’ll need to change it. The Ionic goes come with a pretty good alarm, look? I start my day at 3am, so I’ll take anything that can help me wake up in the morning. I also like the built-in sleep tracker, I have really weird sleeping patterns. It’s great to see how long I am sleeping and what I need to do to improve my sleeping patterns.

Fitbit Pay, it rocks!

I recently had an incident where I left my wallet at home. I did’t have any of my bank cards on me and my drivers license. Luckily the previous night, I had set up Fitbit Pay via my FNB card. As far as I know that’s the only bank here in SA that supports Fitbit Pay. By simply loading your details via the Fitbit App, you have access to your card on your wrist. By simply long pressing the left hand button, Fitbit pay is enabled. So back to my story, I was scared to use the Ionic for payments so I had my friend on standby to help me out if the payment didn’t go through.

Please don’t judge, but the moment it worked, I’ve never stopped using it. The Fitbit Ionic has NFC (Near Field Communication) that enables it to communicate it with payment points. The Ionic’s range is pretty good and I am really happy with how it works. I now don’t have to worry about not carrying my bank cards, just have to worry about my drivers license from now on.

Verdict.

When it comes to styling, the Ionic is not the best looking “smartwatch” but it’s built tough. It’s water and dust proof, I haven’t scratched the screen yet and it’s easy to wipe clean. Where it lacks in the smartwatch department, it makes up for it as a fitness tracker. Fitbit Pay is there to save the day when you’ve left your wallet or when you want to shock the your waiter. Nothing makes me feel like I am from the future like using my Fitbit to make a payment, it’s definitely futuristic.

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Super Dave spends most of he's time gaming in his mama's house. *one day he will move out* patiently waits for that day...

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