Fitbit Ionic

Last updated date: February 13, 2019

DWYM Score
8.0

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We looked at the top 1 Fitbits and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Tech Radar, CNET, Trusted Reviews, Pocket-lint, Digital Trends, New York Times Wirecutter, Wearable and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Fitbit you should buy.

Overall Take

This sleek, lightweight model provides users with a big picture of their fitness and activity. Currently, it stands out as the only Fitbit with built-in GPS, so tracking is easy and accurate. It also features multi-sport modes and the advanced SmartTrack for automatic exercise recognition. In our analysis of 105 expert reviews, the Fitbit Fitbit Ionic placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Fitbit for a detailed review of all the top fitbits.

Expert Summarized Score
8.0
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.7
5,717 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Stores up to 300 songs or lets you access Pandora playlists.
- BestReviews
The Fitbit Ionic is a comfortable fit on your wrist, and compared to a lot of modern smartwatches is particularly light – so much so that you'll instantly notice how lightweight this feels on your wrist, which makes it a more pleasant to wear while working out.
- Tech Radar
November 21, 2018 | Full review
Fitbit Ionic has a better-than-most-smartwatches four-day battery life, while still having always-on heart rate and a comfy fit.
- CNET
May 29, 2018 | Full review
Importantly, the Ionic is light. Far lighter than its design might lead you to expect. It’s a comfortable wearable, even when on your wrist in bed or during exercise. The slightly tapered sides result in less of the Ionic being in constant contact with your wrist, and the fact that it angles away means it tends to bash against your wrist bone far less often, too.
- Trusted Reviews
August 22, 2018 | Full review
Another major smartwatch feature the Ionic boasts is music playback. You can add tracks to the watch and listen via any Bluetooth headphones - a great feature for those who don't want to have to take their phones on a workout with them.
- Pocket-lint
June 21, 2018 | Full review
The Ionic features a blocky, rectangular shape that while separating it from antiquated circular timepieces, gives it more of a masculine appearance.
- Digital Trends
July 18, 2018 | Full review
The Fitbit Ionic is designed to be your constant companion for the better part of a week. You should have no problem making it four days on a charge. There's no option to keep the screen on all the time, so it really sips power as it rides around on your wrist.
- Forbes
November 27, 2017 | Full review
In terms of the heart rate data the Ionic can deliver, you'll be able to see resting heart rate information throughout the day, real-time bpm readings through all workout modes and set up heart rate zones for interval training.
- Wearable
March 12, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Some owners say it's still lacking in smart watch performance.
- BestReviews
The bezels are relatively thick on the Fitbit Ionic. It’s one of our major criticisms of the design, and we think there’s a lot of wasted space below and above the screen. Fitbit could have included a much larger and more useful display instead.
- Tech Radar
November 21, 2018 | Full review
Wrist payments don't work with as many banks as Apple Pay and Android Pay.
- CNET
May 29, 2018 | Full review
I’ve tested two different Fitbit Ionic devices – one of which was running unfinished software; the hardware was final, however – and twice I’ve had straps that simply failed to lock into place as they should. Notably, there was no audible click to indicate the straps had been secured.
- Trusted Reviews
August 22, 2018 | Full review
We found that the built-in GPS can take a good few minutes to connect, however, so be prepared to wait around for this to kick in before you go running - and there doesn't seem to be a hot fix from your phone to speed this up either. This is a little irritating if you're a regular runner
- Pocket-lint
June 21, 2018 | Full review
While many love the design, some women find it to be rather large on their wrists, complimented by a wristband that appears too big to wear with additional jewelry.
- Digital Trends
July 18, 2018 | Full review
The Fitbit Ionic has a distinctively "Fitbit" look. The frame is aluminum, but the overall design doesn't look classy. It does not look like something that costs $300. The octagonal footprint will be divisive, and the rectangular screen is too small. Many of the watch faces and apps feel cramped.
- Forbes
November 27, 2017 | Full review
Fitbit’s first foray into the world of true smartwatches, struggles to justify that label. It offers few apps and doesn’t handle notifications well.
- New York Times Wirecutter
December 14, 2018 | Full review
There's a lot that we really like about Fitbit's first smartwatch, but ultimately the software niggles make it difficult to put it in the same bracket as the Apple Watch
- Wearable
March 12, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Fitbit Ionic Smart Watch. The Fitbit Ionic is designed to give you your fitness big picture. Housed in a sleek-looking wearable is a smart hub that provides coaching, workouts, tracking, and more--all backed by built-in GPS, multi-sport modes, and SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition. The Ionic functions as a traditional smart watch, too, delivering notifications (like texts calls, and calendar alerts) and access to apps, onboard music, and built-in payments. The large watch face is on-trend with a bright display and sleek metallic accents that make this tracker infinitely wearable--all-day, every day. PRODUCT FEATURES Dynamic Personal Workouts Start dynamic personal coaching right on your wrist, complete with on-screen guidance during every move and routines that adapt based on your feedback. Built-In GPS Built-in GPS with GLONASS lets you see pace, distance and other key stats on display, while also recording elevation climbed, split times and a map of your route. Integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a GPS antenna in the unibody frame create a much stronger connection with satellites in space and more accurate tracking. PUREPULSE CONTINUOUS HEART RATE & TRACK RESTING HEART RATE Use PurePulse continuous heart rate to better track calorie burn, optimize intensity during workouts, and measure your health and fitness over time. Get insights on your cardiovascular health and fitness by tracking your resting heart rate and following your heart rate trends over time. Multi-Sport+ SmartTrack Use Run, Bike, and other multi-sport modes to track specific workouts with real-time stats on display, or rely on SmartTrack to automatically record exercises for you. Swimproof + Swim Tracking Wear Fitbit Ionic in the pool or rain and use it to track swim workouts with stats like lap counting, duration, and calories burned. Cardio Fitness Level Get a better understanding of your fitness level and learn how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score

Overall Product Rankings

1. Fitbit Charge 3
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 9
2. Fitbit Versa
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 11
3. Fitbit Ionic
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 9
4. Fitbit Flex 2
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 11
5. Fitbit Blaze
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 11
6. Fitbit Alta
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 11
7. Fitbit Zip
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 7
8. Fitbit Ace
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 6
9. Fitbit Charge 2
Overall Score: 6.8
Expert Reviews: 11
10. Fitbit Surge
Overall Score: 6.6
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Fitbits

Knowledge is power, and fitness trackers provide a wealth of health knowledge right at your fingertips — or, more accurately on your wrist. With the right fitness tracker, you can power up a healthy lifestyle and a new you.

As a result, wearable technology, like fitness trackers and smartwatches, are valuable tools to help you achieve your goals. These devices do so much more than tell time or add a pretty accessory on your wrist. They record and monitor movement and fitness-related activities. They track the number of steps taken, distance walked, sleep duration and quality, heart rate and more. Some advanced models have separate modes that enable them to track specific types of exercise and can distinguish between swimming, running and cycling and keep logs of your favorite routes. Then, you can connect and upload all the stored data to your computer or smartphone to analyze and learn from your activities.

It’s not a passing trend either. In fact, the global fitness trackers market clocked in at just under $18 billion in 2016. That value is expected to grow to more than $62 billion within the next four years. Smartwatches, specifically, are driving most of the predicted growth. Some of the leading fitness tracker manufacturers include Fitbit, Samsung, Nike, Adidas, Google and Apple.

Fitbit is one of the most popular fitness tracker manufacturers. The company launched its very first tracker back in 2007. Since then, it has introduced innovative new technology and features. Now, Fitbit offers a wide variety of different fitness trackers and smartwatch models at a relatively affordable price range. There are high-tech models with detailed data tracking for serious athletes, as well as simple watches, like the Fitbit Flex 2, for those dipping their toe into fitness tracking and data. There are also Fitbits made just for children ages eight and up to encourage movement and healthy habits early. Whether you’re trying to make fitness fun for youngsters or start your own health challenge,  there is a Fitbit for everyone and every goal.

All Fitbits are designed to seamlessly track every part of your day — including activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. As a result, the company says they will “help you find your fit, stay motivated and see how small steps make a big impact.”

They monitor heart rate with PurePulse. The newest watches, like Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic, include SmartTrack. This innovative technology automatically senses different types of exercises and records them accordingly in the Fitbit app. For example, if you hop on a spin bike and start pedaling, the watch will begin recording as a cycling activity.

The current Fitbit smartwatches, like Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic, also incorporate apps and features like wallet-free payments, calendar alerts and text message updates. Today’s Fitbits and fitness trackers are so much more than step counters. They also enhance and ease many everyday tasks.

In addition to encouraging healthy lifestyles, Fitbit connects all users in a like-minded community. Here, you can share your goals and find motivation from people around the world. It also offers fun competitions with friends, family or coworkers on a variety of statistics to push yourself farther.

All those Fitbit insights add up to real lifestyle changes. In fact, researchers from Arizona State University discovered that the combination of wearing a Fitbit Zip activity monitor and expressing more mindfulness throughout the week increased levels of physical activity. For a relatively low cost (most models range from $50 to $250), fitness trackers help motivate you to kick-start and stick with a fitness plan, hold you accountable, encourage goal setting and, best of all, can help you lose weight.

Pick the right Fitbit fitness tracker, and you’re well on your way to living your healthiest life and achieving your goals.

DYWM Fun Fact

Fitbit founders Eric Friedman and James Park recognized the potential of wireless technology in relation to fitness and health. With the first product, they “embarked on a journey to create a wearable product that would change the way we move.” More than 10 years later, both original founders still lead Fitbit and help introduce new and innovative fitness technology each year.

However, hundreds of years earlier, Leonardo Da Vinci created what appeared to be the first sketch of a pedometer. Then, in 1788, Thomas Jefferson introduced the first pedometer in the U.S. Historians believe it may have originated from the motion sensor of the Swiss or French watches.

The Fitbit Buying Guide

  • Fitbit pay allows users to store credit cards right on the watch and pay without carrying around a wallet.
  • Fitbit monitors and records every part of your day — including activity, heart rate, food, weight and sleep — with specialized sensors. Some advanced models include a built-in GPS for improved accuracy and ease of use.
  • The Fitbit app connects all Fitbit users in a global online community, where you can find motivation, inspiration and connect with others and join challenges.
  • The fitness trackers sync data to your computer or smartphone where you can access additional analysis and progress reports.
  • Fitbit fitness trackers lead the market, offering the thinnest and lightest GPS+ heart rate device available.
  • According to researchers, tracking steps and other activity with a Fitbit positively impacts overall health and wellbeing, which makes it a worthwhile purchase for help achieving your health and fitness goals.
  • Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches run on rechargeable batteries.
  • The battery life of Fitbits vary based on the activities tracked, but some can last up to five days between charges.
  • Fitbit offers interchangeable accessories to update the band and style of the smartwatches and fitness trackers.
  • Fitbits are swim-proof and showerproof, meaning you can wear them in water or underwater up to a certain depth.
  • Fitbits sync wirelessly and automatically to computers and smartphones, so your data is always up to date and stored.
  • Fitbits and Fitbit app are compatible with more than 200 iOS, Windows and Android devices.
  • Fitbits range in price depending on included features. Some cost under $100 while others fall under $250. The more advanced tracking features included in the Fitbit, the higher the price point.