Fitbit Ionic

By Michele C. Hollow @michelechollow
November 20, 2017
Fitbit Ionic smartwatches

The Fitbit Ionic offers coaching, built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor, music, and much more. It’s like having your own personal trainer.


Fitbit’s newest smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic, is its top-of-the-line fitness watch. It’s a step up from the Fitbit Blaze, which debuted last year. In addition to tracking steps, it stores music, offers personal coaching apps, has a built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor, is water resistant, and can be set up to make payments.

Like the Blaze, the Ionic has a touchscreen. You can receive notifications of texts, emails, and phone calls. While this is a plus, I think of the Ionic as more of a fitness watch than an interactive one because it doesn’t allow you to respond to the texts, emails, and calls.

The Fitbit Ionic comes with two wristbands, one large and one small, a charger, and an instruction manual with incredibly small type, too tiny to read. The Fitbit Ionic retails for $299.99.


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It’s sporty looking. I chose the slate blue silicone band with its aerospace aluminum burnt orange-colored frame; it surrounds the square clock face. It also comes in a charcoal band with a smoke gray frame and a blue/gray band with a silver/gray frame. Once you purchase the Ionic, you can choose from a number of different clock faces by opening the Fitbit app on your phone and tapping the clock picture. All show the time and date. Some include your steps and heart rate.

The Ionic’s not a dress-up watch. I upgraded from the Fitbit Flex, Fitbit’s introduction to fitness trackers. The Flex is narrow and lightweight. The Ionic looks more like a man’s watch. Typically, men’s watches come with wider bands and larger clock faces.

Comfort and wearability

I found the Fitbit Ionic to be clunky and a bit large for my small wrist. I’ve worn it for 5 days so far and tried wearing it one night so I could track my sleep. It’s not heavy, weighting 1.76 ounces. Still, I could feel it on my wrist because of its large size. To be honest, I’m not a fan of bracelets either. However, I got used to my Fitbit Flex and hardly knew I was wearing it.

I’m hoping Fitbit will come out with a slimmer version: think ladies watches with narrow bands.


You can wear the Fitbit Ionic to the gym. It’s not a dressy watch. For an additional $59.95, you can purchase a leather band in cognac or midnight blue. For $29.99, you can buy silicone rubber wristbands in cobalt and lime, gray and orange, and other two-tone combinations. These are sporty but not dressy.


Fitbit’s App Gallery allows you to personalize the look of your watch face. It has a Fitbit Coach, where you can watch several short running, walking, and exercise workouts. The workouts have step-by-step instructions.

It also has an app called Relax, which has two- and five-minute versions of a meditation. When I tried it, my heart rate’s BPM (beats per minute) went down. I used to meditate on a daily basis and am hoping that this app will get me back into practice.

The built-in timer, alarms, and weather apps are nice additions. Other apps include Starbucks, where you can pay for your coffee or tea with a swipe of your wrist. The Wallet app for major credit cards (American Express, Mastercard, and Visa) allows you to leave your wallet at home while you make your purchases.

Pandora and Fitbit desktop app transfers music to the Ionic. A few of my friends use Pandora to listen to podcasts and audio books.

Strava is another app that tracks your athletic activities via satellite navigation. For instance, you can track all of your runs on your Ionic with the Strava app; graphs appear to show you your progress.


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November 20, 2017