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Fitbit Ionic vs Blaze Best Fitbit Smartwatch 2018

Fitness trackers have been around for a while now, although they haven’t been able to penetrate the market the way some companies would have wanted to. However, there are some exceptions to this, manufacturers like Fitbit who have done fairly well in the fitness tracker industry. The company has recently made the switch to smartwatches as well, which is interesting considering the fact that this segment is dominated by the Apple Watch.

ProductBrandNamePrice
FitbitFitbit Ionic GPS Smart Watch, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, One Size (S & L Bands Included)Buy on Amazon|$249(Price as of 10/15/2018 03:31 ET)
FitbitFitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, LargeBuy on Amazon|$169.99(Price as of 10/15/2018 03:31 ET)

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But it’s a fairly decent attempt anyway, and we’re going to look at Fitbit’s two smartwatches available in the market today, namely the Fitbit Blaze and the Fitbit Ionic, with the latter being the most recent addition to the lineup. While there’s a significant price difference to talk about, the two smartwatches have a couple of other changes on board. We’re going to talk about those changes and differences in detail and help you make an informed decision on your next wearable.

It is important to note that Fitbit doesn’t recognize the Blaze as a smartwatch, but merely as an intelligent activity tracker. However, its features tell us otherwise.

Fitbit Ionic vs Blaze Best Fitbit Smartwatch

Fitbit Ionic

Features

This is the newest Fitbit smartwatch to hit the markets. It comes with a design similar to that of its predecessor, the Blaze. However, it’s immediately apparent that the display here is slightly larger and brighter than the Blaze. This means content on the wearable’s display will be more easily visible. It also comes with a metal unibody design, offering a premium look, something that the Blaze lacks.

Pros and Cons

The Ionic offers personalized fitness training thanks to the “Coach” offering, which is a rebranded version of its fitness training service. There are some workouts available for free here, although the extensive workout list will require a recurring subscription. If you use your Fitbit for extensive training, this option is worth considering.

The Ionic also comes with Fitbit Pay for contactless payments, a standalone GPS chip to help you workout without your phone, and the ability to store music on the smartwatch. Pandora is supported right now although it’s a U.S. only feature for the time being. You can store 300 + songs on the Ionic though, which makes it an independent device capable of functioning without your phone. The Ionic is water resistant as well, and allows customers to track their swim sessions, which is something that most modern smartwatches offer. Customers will have no issues with full-day use of the smartwatch, and reviews indicate that there are no skin issues even with prolonged use. This can be said about almost every modern Fitbit product given the amount of research that goes into perfecting the quality of the watch bands.

There aren’t a lot of cons here, but if I were to pick one personally, it would definitely be the pricing. However, if you’re looking for a rugged, high performance activity tracker/smartwatch, this has to be your best bet right now. The design, unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired. However, that can be rectified by adding customized bands tailored to match individual tastes.

Pricing

The Fitbit Ionic will set you back by $299.95 on Amazon, which is a good enough price tag, but leaves a lot of us wondering if it’s any better than the Blaze which is a $100 cheaper. If you’re looking to customize your Ionic, you will shell out nearly $69 for additional bands. Customization options are somewhat limited here compared to the Blaze, which is a sacrifice Fitbit had to make to accommodate the unibody design.

Fitbit Blaze

Features

Fitbit Blaze is a slightly older offering here, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Its design allows you to change the frame color along with the watch bands, which is kind of a rare feature for smartwatches. It comes with a dedicated heart rate sensor, much like the Ionic, and somewhat shares most of its features from the successor, barring a few. The multi-sport tracking feature allows you to track multiple metrics and offers data on cycling, running, workouts etc.

Pros and Cons

The design of this particular offering doesn’t leave us very flattered, as is the case with the Ionic. However, the fact that it allows for extensive customization is surely a plus in our book. The Blaze also comes with a smaller display and an exterior that is considerably smaller than the Ionic, but not by much. So it won’t look large on your wrists. You can use FitStar (now known as Coach) on the watch, helping you finish your workouts the right way.

There are a handful of cons worth considering before purchasing the Blaze. Firstly, it lacks a water resistant body, and also lacks a built-in GPS sensor. This means you will be required to piggyback GPS signals off your phone to use the feature during runs or workouts. This can prove to be a huge negative if you’re looking to run devoid of any large devices. You can’t store songs here either, so that will also have to be done via your phone or music player. The lack of a standalone wireless payments offering makes it slightly weaker in comparison to the Ionic.

Pricing

The biggest positive here is that the Blaze is $100 cheaper, meaning you will only have to spend $199.95 for the wearable. It can be bought on Amazon and customized according to your liking. Additional accessories such as the frame and watch band will cost you up to $129.95 depending on the customization you pick. You even have the option to pick steel bands here, adding to the overall appeal of the wearable.

Conclusion

After comparing the features of both the wearables, it’s hard to pick a winner here. It’s important to keep in mind that each wearable has its own merits (pricing being Blaze’s key merit), so we cannot conclusively say that one is better than the other on all fronts. The convenient truth is that both wearables will suit a certain set of customers. Those who want to track advanced health metrics and want to wear their smartwatch whilst swimming will undoubtedly go for the Ionic, which has a more robust body, and dedicated hardware to make that happen. The Blaze, on the other hand, doesn’t have any of these features, but is about a $100 cheaper in the market.

So the question we have to ask ourselves is if the Ionic is worth the additional $100. Well, the answer is yes, mainly for the addition of waterproofing, GPS, and native music storage, which will no doubt help the modern day athlete. It also helps that both wearables don’t have a lot going for them in terms of design, so neither smartwatch has an advantage in this regard.

ProductBrandNamePrice
FitbitFitbit Ionic GPS Smart Watch, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, One Size (S & L Bands Included)Buy on Amazon|$249(Price as of 10/15/2018 03:31 ET)
FitbitFitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, LargeBuy on Amazon|$169.99(Price as of 10/15/2018 03:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

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