Fitbit Ionic is the next generation sports and fitness watch with its own operating system called the Fitbit OS. It’s designed and developed exclusively to support the fitness and health apps. If you are into athletics, sports, gymnastics, aerobics or strength training, this Fitbit Ionic review is for you. Fitbit OS is stated to be highly compatible with the kind of hardware built into the watch.
It can also support the connecting devices such as smartphones, tablets, PC, and Mac systems completely. Also, the OS can provide fully functional support to a vast range of apps developed by other fitness watch brands on its platform. So, you can make use of their features to get the full benefits of the Fitbit Ionic device.
In this Fitbit Ionic review, we’ll take you through the technical and functional features of the device. We’ll also let you know about a few of the vast range of apps supported by the device and their practical benefits.
Interestingly, Fitbit Ionic has a lot of inbuilt features such as:
- Data analysis apps
- 24×7 monitoring apps
- Bluetooth connection
- Wi-Fi connection
- High-end user interface functions
The device has a high-resolution display with a color screen. The designers have made the case rectangular in shape, and it provides extra screen area – you can view multiple icons on the screen which would otherwise be not visible with other types of display screens.
- Fitbit Ionic Review | Technical Specifications
- 1. Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, One Size (S & L Bands Included)
- Fitbit Ionic Price | Worthiness of Functional Features
- How to Wear Fitbit Ionic
- Menu Settings
- Track Your Running with Fitbit Ionic
- Track Your Hiking with Fitbit Ionic
- Track Your Swimming with Fitbit Ionic
- Track Your strength Training with Fitbit Ionic
- Optical Heart Rate Technology
- Here’s a brief video review of the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch:
Fitbit Ionic Review | Technical Specifications
The touch screen of Fitbit Ionic is highly sensitive. You can invoke the menu and functions through the lightest touch of your finger. You can also open menu items and functions through wrist movements.
Buttons: Fitbit Ionic works with three simple buttons. They are located at the top, bottom and back. Swiping action will lead you from home screen to sporting menu. You can view the features of apps, shortcuts, music, and notifications. By changing the direction of swiping you can activate the menu and functions.
Wi-Fi Connection: Fitbit Ionic can be configured for Wi-Fi connection by following few simple steps. It’s compatible with WEP and WAP versions of networks. The device will automatically detect the connection type once it’s taken within the network.
You have to input the password and get it connected. Another kind of connection to smartphones and computers is through Bluetooth. Wi-Fi antenna conforms to the 802.11b/g/n standard network.
Phone Connection: Fitbit Ionic provides a seamless connection to your smartphones and tablets. After installing Fitbit Ionic app, you have to pair the phone to your smartwatch. The onscreen wizard will complete the task for you without hassles.
Computer Connection: You need to download the Fitbit Ionic app onto the computer and install it. You need to connect to the Fitbit website through the app and create an account. Then the screen wizard will guide you through the complete installation process. Finally, use the pairing function to establish connectivity.
Watch Face: The system has a vast range of clock faces which vary in design and basic display features. Every type of face will show its own set of default icons on the screen. You can get the list from Account->Ionic->Clock faces. Select your favorite theme and click on install.
App Listing: Though the Fitbit ionic supports a vast range of apps, you may not need all of them installed simultaneously. So, you can open the list of apps from dashboard->All Apps and install those which are essential for you.
Music Connection: Fitbit ionic supports music app download and installation. It’s possible to connect to online music sites or download music files to be played on the app. If you find the space on your watch to be insufficient, it’s also possible to connect with the smartphone and listen to music.
Podcast Connection: Fitbit ionic provides you with plenty of connections to the online sports and fitness podcast websites. The system allows you to listen to them online or download. The system supports MP3, MP4, WMA files and AAC-audio files.
Storage Space: Fitbit ionic has a standard space of 2.5GB which can store up to seven days of activity data. You can view the history of your training and fitness programs for the previous 30days from today.
Case Specs: The rectangular aluminum case measures 38.5m width and 12.2mm thickness. It’s highly resistant to heat, pressure, humidity, and climatic conditions. Water resistance of the watch is up to 50 meters depth.
So, you can wear it while swimming and also when it’s raining. The Gorilla glass on the dial face is highly resistant to accidental falls. With a net weight of 30 grams, the Fitbit ionic is stated to be highly lightweight in its design and construction.
Watch Sensors: Fitbit ionic has multiple inbuilt sensors. Most prominent one is GPS. It also hosts an accelerometer and Gyroscope. The optical heart rate sensor connects to the wrist. The watch also has an ALTIMETER. We’ll review the functions of these sensors in the following sections.
Battery Specs: Lithium battery can run for four days when used in standard mode. When you use the watch in GPS mode, it may last for 9 to 10hours, depending on usage.
Fitbit Ionic Price | Worthiness of Functional Features
Fitbit Ionic is certainly not cheap. But the price you pay is worth its value due to plenty of functional features. In fact, it’s almost like having a personal trainer on your wrist which can perform multiple functions. Let’s review these functions individually and explore their benefits.
How to Wear Fitbit Ionic
For tracking everyday activities, you need to wear the watch at index finger distance away from your wrist bone (towards your shoulder). When you are exercising, playing, cycling, walking or jogging, recommended distance is two fingers (index and middle finger) distance from your wrist bone. It can detect your heart rate in an efficient manner.
The bottom plate of the case has to be directly in contact with your skin. Keep the tightness at snug level, which is neither too loose nor too tight. It allows free circulation and movement of wrist nerves and bones during exercising and intensive activities.
During the initial setup, you can specify the hand (left or right) on which you will wear the watch regularly. The inbuilt app will make the necessary adjustments in settings. You can edit the setting by opening the app and making changes to it.
Primary settings on Fitbit ionic consist of brightness, vibrations, notifications, and Bluetooth. For example, you can see the settings for notifications in two sections for exercising and sleeping. You can set them on or off according to your requirement.
Track Your Running with Fitbit Ionic
1. Target Setting: Fitbit ionic lets you set the target for your running exercise through its app. Then it can track your progress every day through the monitoring feature. It compares your target value with your current performance level continuously till the target date is reached.
Then it generates a report which gives you a statistical and graphical representation of the data. You can export it onto your smartphone or PC to make further analysis.
2. GPS Setting: If you plan to go for long distance running, it’s nice to tune your Fitbit ionic GPS settings. It can track the route on which you run accurately. At the end of the session, it shows you the distance covered, the time taken; number of steps, acceleration, maximum and minimum heart rate, and other related data.
You can save the data along with route map. When you choose a different route for your next running session, the system can compare all the stored values with the new route and tell you about the differences and similarities. Then you can choose the most optimum path that gives you the best of training.
3. Heart Rate Zones: The heart zone tracking of Fitbit ionic is by default divided into moderate, hard and vigorous. The first level is called the warm up and fat burning zone. The second level is used for increasing the fitness of your cardiovascular muscles.
The third level is useful when you want to train for professional running events and competitions. You may start with a rate of 104 BPM in the initial level and end up with 180 BPM at the highest level. The target you set for every zone will determine the way in which your performance tracking happens.
4. Zone Data capture: You can get the details of distance, speed, utilized calories, present heart rate, and related information. You can also set the number of laps for each session. It can store the lap data to make the analysis and implementation of change programs easier for you. Peak heart rate zone shows your maximum performance capacity at present.
If your present level is less than the target values, the system can gauge the number of days required to reach it. It can also guide you about the changes you need to make if you wish to reach the target within your planned schedule. You can also create your own zones by opening the Settings->Heart rate zone settings.
The icon on the display screen shows the zone in which you are presently running. Then you can change your pace to see the icon changing its position automatically. The other data you see on screen is calories utilization along with distance covered.
5. Fat-Burning Run: Moderate level of running will let you know the calories you burn over an extended period. Your heart rate may be within 104-114 BPM or a bit more. But you can effectively burn fat and become slimmer if you can follow the Fitbit coach app.
6. Hard running: Hard-running is the heart rate zone when the value is between 114-150 BMP. Value may vary, but percent will remain between 70% and 85%of the maximum heart rate zone. You can change the duration of training and resting based on your existing fitness level. Fitbit Ionic will keep track of your progress and compare it with the target to show you the analytical data.
7. Vigorous Running: If you are already in the advanced stage of your training, you may start in this mode where the heart rate zone will be between 85% and 100% of your maximum heart rate. The system can Keep track of calories, and speed at every lap. The system alerts you about any variations and lets you make the changes through the Fitbit coach.
8. Fitbit Ionic Coach: App contains a massive list of workouts for which you need training. Choose running and tap on Start. The coach has many inbuilt features that will be helpful from the basic level to the advanced levels. An exciting feature of the coach is its ability to track your maximum present capacity and warn you when you go beyond that level.
It helps you I avoiding burnouts which are common for training athletes. Of course, your endurance capacity will gradually increase once you start training consistently in the long run. Then the coach can detect your improved performance level and raise the bar. It’s one of the critical features of Fitbit ionic which lets you progress at a comfortable pace until you become good enough for Vigorous heart zone running.
9. Fatigue Detection System: Fitbit ionic has a unique inbuilt feature for detecting your body’s fatigue levels. It generates a vibration when it crosses a threshold value. Then you can stop for rest. The vibrations will stop once your body reaches the normal state.
Track Your Hiking with Fitbit Ionic
Target setting: Hiking mode with Fitbit Ionic lets you set the target distance, number of laps, route, calories, heart rate zone, speed, and lap time. Turning on GPS will automatically detect the route and give you the most challenging one based on the previous history.
You can also connect the watch to your smartphone to download the best of routes from the GPS data. The Altimeter will measure the elevation from the ground level as the steepness level increases. You can download the app from the options provided on the list of apps.
Distance: Input the total distance and the number of laps. The system calculates the lap distance.
Time: Time is based on target and elapsed time. Graphical data will show you the time required to cover every lap.
Speed: Speed data is calculated based on distance covered and time taken. It’s the average value since there could be variations on the route which is displayed in the form of a graph. This data is compared with the target, and the variations are mapped.
Heart Rate: Heart rate is captured in real time by Fitbit Ionic. It can tell you about your present heart rate zone and show the graphical data from the start to the present location. The system will compile this data at the end of the session to give you the summary and variations from the target.
The heart rate will naturally vary when you reach higher altitudes, especially when the external temperature decreases or decreases.
Calories Burnt: Calories burnt is a cumulative value that is displayed on the user screen while you are hiking. The system will also show you the graphical representation of data which helps you to keep track of every unit of time and covered distance.
Fitbit Ionic Coach: Customized coach app on your Fitbit Ionic device can give you the guidelines for performance improvement based on the difference between the target and the actual. You can export the entire data from your watch onto a smartphone or your computer.
Hiking with Fitbit Ionic can test your ability to the limits. It’s better for you to keep track of history and heart rate zone after every session. The number of minutes you spend in each heart zone will tell you about your actual progress. During hiking your heart rate may go through all three cycles from moderate to vigorous. It’s also essential for you to note the fatigue points. This data will be vital to know about your present endurance level.
Track Your Swimming with Fitbit Ionic
Swimming is one of the hardest forms of exercises for a fitness watch to detect. It’s primarily due to the inaccuracy of heart rate tracking while you are in the water. Quality of water and its ingredients like chlorine and other chemicals can act as hindrances.
Hence, Fitbit Ionic works on smart technology and sports tracking to keep accurate track of your swimming workout.
Swim Target: You need to input pool length, calories, heart rate zone, time, stroke type, and related parameters into the target. You can save the settings on your watch which will be used for data analysis.
Swim Stroke: Fitbit Ionic can track freestyle swimming with maximum efficiency. However, you can also perform back-stroke, or breaststroke swims to get accurate data. The butterfly is the stroke which is the most challenging part to track.
The system lets you customize the tracking mode to get the maximum efficiency. The minimum time for swimming session should be at least 10minutes. You can change it by editing the settings from the exercise -> swimming menu. Automated tracking of swimming can turn on the heart rate and heart rate zone.
Heart Rate: Fitbit Ionic gives you the average heart rate during swimming session. You may not be able to see graph if the water ph is too high or low. However, the graph seems to turn on when you complete two or three rounds of swimming the entire pool length and keep the minimum time to more than 15 minutes.
Calories: Calories tracking on Fitbit Ionic is accurate for swimming workouts. The system works well when you can keep the same stroke type from the beginning to the end. You have to ensure you use your hands during swimming. It’s purely due to technical reasons.
Your wrist moves and the nerves vibrate consistently when you use your hands. It will automatically activate the Fitbit Ionic app and also the heart rate tracking system.
Depth: Fitbit Ionic works efficiently to a depth of 50 meters due to its water resistance capacity.
Target vs. Actual: Tracking your target vs. actual data for swimming can become more efficient when you choose the right parameters. It requires a bit of manual logging. It is available under Log->Activities->custom activities. Input the pool length, start time, duration, target calories, target heart rate, and other relevant Metadata. Save the settings and go back to the main menu of activities.
Now the new activity will be added to the list. Choose the activity and start monitoring. It will help you in keeping accurate track of your swimming activities as a workout. Or you may also download third-party apps which are specifically meant for tracking swimming workouts. Install the app and sync it to the smartphone. The accuracy of data will be more.
Track Your strength Training with Fitbit Ionic
Strength training workouts involve barbell, chest press, dips, pushups, and weight training. Fitbit Ionic can give you the best results for heart rate, calories, and custom parameters that are related to these workouts.
The default app on the watch may not have all the required features to make the tracking complete. Hence, you’ll need a reliable app on the device. You can find such apps on the Fitbit online store. Once you install and configure the app, it can start working in sync with your smartphone almost immediately. It’s due to the high adaptability of the Fitbit OS.
By default, the Fitbit Ionic supports three modes of strength training. They are the abs, treasure chest and seven minute-workouts. For the others, you need to use the customized apps from Fitbit online web service.
Fitbit Ionic Barbell: Fitbit Ionic can track the barbell exercises accurately since it involves the movement of wrists. It can track heart rate and calories during the entire exercise span. It can also create the graphical data for every unit of time you spend on the workout. At the end of the session, you can get a cumulative data along with the statistical graph data.
Fitbit Ionic Chest Press: It’s apparent that you use your hands for doing the chest press, whether it is on the bench or on the machine. So, the Fitbit Ionic can track the heart rate and the calories burnt accurately. Graphical and statistical data in the forms of cumulative and per minute intervals can give you accurate information about your performance improvement.
Fitbit Ionic Dips: The Fitbit Ionic can track the dips exercise similar to the others. It can create a log and keep adding the data. You may individually track the progress on this exercise alone or as a cumulative within the strength training.
Fitbit Ionic Weights: Fitbit Ionic supports all the weight training exercise in which your wrists are actively involved. It can calculate the average for heart rate and calories. It will also tell you about your present status on the heart rate zone.
Fitbit Ionic Abs: Fitbit Ionic depends on the pressure on your wrist while performing abs exercises. It is used to measure the average heart rate, calories, and related parameters. Practical experience shows the efficiency of 99% for the data captured and the cumulative reports generated by the system.
Fitbit Ionic Tracking: The Fitbit Ionic is created to ensure simplifying the tracking parameters for your strength training workout. It can you the cumulative and average variations between your target and the present values.
Fitbit Ionic Coach: Fitbit Ionic coach is designed to capture the statistical and cumulative data from the system and use it for analysis. The system uses its inbuilt fitness database to suggest the best methods of performance improvement.
Optical Heart Rate Technology
Fitbit Ionic uses the pulse-oximetry which considers the optical properties of hemoglobin when it is oxygenated and when it is de-oxygenated. The LED at the base of the watch comes into close contact with the blood veins passing through the wrist.
By measuring the count per unit time, it‘s possible for the device to detect the heart rate accurately. It is also one of the reasons for the device to work accurately while tracking your swimming workouts.
Heart Rate: The Fitbit Ionic can sense the maximum heart rate during intensive training. It’s because of the higher level of oxygen consumption. At the same time, the volume of de-oxygenated hemoglobin will also be high. By optically detecting these values, the ability to identify the heart rate when it is in the active mode.
The same principle works when the heart rate zone is on the moderate and hard mode. The device can switch to the standard mode of heart rate detection when your body is in the resting or sleep mode.
The intelligent combination of technology and detection modes enables Fitbit Ionic to keep track of your heart rate accurately. It’s the reason for using the device for your professional athletic and sports training sessions.
Accelerometer: Fitbit Ionic uses accelerometer technology for detecting a change in speed during movement. The application is used to detect the efficiency of body movement while running and walking. It is especially useful when you are performing workouts in the intensive mode. The change in speed is directly to the distance covered and the time consumed.
Going at a constant pace between two laps on the route can be practically not possible, especially when it comes to competitive training. Hence you may need to increase the pace by accelerating at various intervals. The accelerometer tool on Fitbit Ionic can detect the changes in real time.
Another useful factor of the accelerometer is its transitional data capture from moderate to hear an active mode of heart rate zones. It may happen gradually in long distance running and cycling. But it occurs rapidly during the sprinting, speed training, and sports like baseball or soccer. The accelerometer technology on Fitbit Ionic can enable faster detection with accurate data capture.
Gyroscope Technology: Fitbit Ionic uses the Gyroscope for measuring the angular velocity of the watch along the three axes. It makes tracking more efficient during running and cycling. The changes in the angular movement of your body can be high while cycling.
An ordinary device will be able to detect the heart rate, calories, and speed as long as the movement is linear. The missing parts during the angular movements can mean the loss of data accuracy. Hence, Fitbit Ionic uses the gyroscope technology for detecting the speed, time, and direction movement during angular movements. The accuracy of measurement is also high when the altitude keeps changing.
Altimeter Technology: Fitbit Ionic uses the altimeter technology to detect the altitude of the watch with relevance to another object or plane. It measures your body’s elevation while working out on the exercises schedules. With this system, you can use the watch independent of the smartphone. It is highly helpful when you go on hiking or cycling over mountain terrains.
Guided Breathing Technology: Fitbit ionic Guided Breathing technology is helpful while focusing your attention on breath count. The guide helps you align your inhalation and exhalation processes with each other. It can enhance the oxygen intake and also carbon elimination.
The exercise can help calm your mind and normalize blood pressure. Your heart rate will also get controlled and relaxed. It is one way of streamlining your body and mind with each other.
This technology is highly useful when you work on Yoga and aerobics workouts where breath control is a critical function. You can also use it during meditation for calming your mind and enhancing attention span.
Sleep Tracking Technology: Fitbit Ionic can detect the variations in sleep cycle from light stage to the deep sleep. By using the combination of heartbeat rate and activity tracking it can determine the duration of restful sleep, restless sleep, awake-time, and related parameters.
The system gives you complete information about your net restful sleeping hours. Once you get the data, you can open the Fitbit Ionic guide to provide you with the preventive solutions for enhancing your restful sleeping hours. The system can also detect the fatigue and stress levels of your body based on the variations in the heart rate.
Here’s a brief video review of the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch: