Best answer: Considering the price has come down quite a bit, it's not a bad deal to buy the Fitbit Ionic in 2019. However, the inevitable follow-up device might be worth the wait. Not to mention that if you can live without built-in GPS, you can get the more current and more compact Fitbit Versa.
If you're more interested in having access to unbeatable tracking abilities than smartwatch features, the Fitbit Ionic is worth the investment. Most notably, it has a built-in GPS that running enthusiasts will love. You no longer have to bother connecting your phone GPS to the device in order for it to work. When you're in run, bike, or hike mode, you can utilize the built-in GPS to view your pace, distance, and other key metrics. This smartwatch also offers water resistance up to 50 meters and swim tracking, which is a big win.
Athletes will also enjoy the innovative multi-sport modes that allow you to track specific workouts, including runs, bike rides, and even weight-lifting activities. When you finish your workout, you'll receive a complete performance summary that informs you of elevation climbed, split times, and a detailed map of your route. No matter what activity you're doing, the SmartTrack feature will automatically detect it and record it in the app. This is helpful for users who are always on the go and might forget to initiate the workout manually.
Another area where the Ionic succeeded was with its sleep tracking. The device uses the PurePulse heart rate monitor to track the details of your sleep. You'll be able to view time spent in light, deep, and REM sleep stages. You can even set sleep goals and receive a recommended sleep schedule to help you achieve them.
On-screen workouts with the Fitbit Coach app are a nice addition to the feature list. There's also music storage for up to 300 songs, a built-in NFC chip for Fitbit Pay, smartphone notifications (plus quick replies for Android users), and the Fitbit OS app gallery.
All things considered, the fact that the Fitbit Ionic is now available for $100 less than the original asking price makes it that much more appealing. You can't beat the incredible savings, the impressive battery life of up to 5 days, or the next-level tracking abilities. However, it's still important to keep in mind that this smartwatch has been on the market for well over a year now. Sooner or later, Fitbit will get around to updating it.
While the Ionic has made great strides in the tracking department, it missed the mark with some essential smartwatch features. As a result, many users vocalized their opinions and wishes for the Ionic's successor. Some common themes included a desire for more apps, better music streaming options, a more responsive screen, and an improved design. We can only hope that the company is listening. If you can wait for the next Ionic to be released, you'll probably be glad you did.
If you need a smartwatch and you need it now, there's always the Fitbit Versa smartwatch family to consider. The main differences are that you'll have to use connected GPS and pay more for the special edition if you want Fitbit Pay. If you do take that route, the price won't differ much from the Ionic. Most users agree that the Versa is a major step up from the Ionic when it comes to design and comfort. You'll still have most of the essentials that the Ionic offers, like exercise tracking, notification support, Fitbit Coach, and more.
Perfect for athletes
For athletes who crave unlimited tracking with GPS
If you simply can't wait for a new release, the Fibit Ionic is still a worthwhile investment in 2019. This smartwatch will work well for users who are more focused on tracking abilities than smartwatch features.
Smartwatch with looks
For those who crave a more stylish design
If you weren't too thrilled with the Ionic and don't intend to wait for its successor, the Fitbit Versa is a great alternative. It still tracks plenty of key metrics, functions like a smartwatch, and has a stylish, comfy design.
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Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.