Review: Fitbit Ionic aims at Apple Watch, but needs more apps

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 35
    God damn, that thing is ugly.

    An aging IT “tech goon” might like it, but mainly because it is not an Apple device.  This is the same sort of fellow who would tell me at my workplace when I want to have a useful app installed or purchased for my Mac, that “we don’t support that” (with a grin).

    This FitBit might just replace his calculator watch.
  • Reply 22 of 35
    Just based on the review, the Ionic appears to fall into the no-man's land (no person's land?) of being neither a high-end sports watch nor a high-end smartwatch. And they want $300 for it? Good luck on that. I use a high-end sports watch (Garmin Fenix 3) for running, hiking, skiing and cycling and appreciate the ruggedness and battery life. The Garmin Connect cloud-based database is quite helpful. The software could likely be better done by Apple, but lots of useful features for sorting and analyzing your data. The app and face selection for Garmin is OK, but not a primary draw for me. The big thing is you need the on-off etc mechanical button selection interface if you want to run this kind of watch in the rain, snow and pool. Touch screens don't cut it in the rain. Is the Fenix 3 particularly good as a smartwatch? Not really. Getting a notification (sound/vibration) that I've got an email or text is somewhat useful, but not a big selling feature. I'm going to check out the Apple Watch series 3 pretty carefully. Might even buy one. I doubt if it'll prove as useful as the Garmin for my sports, but could make up for that in health-related apps and smartwatch features the Garmin will never have. I'm starting to think there will never be one watch that really excels at both fitness tracking and cell phone/Ipod replacement. Be prepared for compromises.

  • Reply 23 of 35
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,573member
    Interesting...  in appearance it looks more attractive than the Iwatch to me.


    Let me make a wild guess.   You consider the DeLorean to be better looking than any of the cars sold today.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 24 of 35
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,616member
    thedba said:

    While I would never dream of trading my AW for a FitBit of any sort, this shows that Apple needs to step up their game.  This adds one more pretty solid competitor to the field.  
    I often see comments like this in various forums about Apple needing to step it up due to competitors big and small coming up with their latest and greatest creation. 
    My question is, what makes you think that Apple has taken its eye off the ball, even for a second?
    While many will compare individual features of their gadget with Apple’s offering, they fail to see the overall picture to where Apple is going with their vision. 
    Apple isn’t just selling a phone, or a tablet or a watch or wireless headphones or laptops. They’re selling their vision on how each of these individual devices interact with each other and complement each other and make the overall experience better. 
    So other than some minor course corrections along the way, Inthink they’ll be fine for the foreseeable future. 
    All good points that you make there...
    But you miss the main one:  That Apple no longer has the smart watch market to themselves.  They now have serious competition that, in some cases, do a better job than Apple.   That's not to trash Apple.  It is to recognize reality.
    They never had the market to themselves. As soon as the market got wind of the AppleWatch, every Tom, Dick and Tony released a model. 

    Poor aesthetics aside, the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit. That’s a serious limitation. 
  • Reply 25 of 35
    On a separate note - does anyone know if the connectivity issue for the Apple Watch in China is still an issue?
    Nothing was mentioned in the qaurterly earnings call. Surprised no one is making a big deal about it.
  • Reply 26 of 35
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,101member
    tommikele said:
    Fitbit refuses to let it talk the Apple's Health app.That alone overshadows any positives makes it a no go even under the best of circumstances. That decision has already haunted them and has place severe limitations on the upside of their company.
    yeah i just don’t get it. HK is the hub of customer health and well being. it’s an important part of the ecosystem and will only get more important. Fitbit digging their heels on this just doesn’t make any sense. it’s anti-user — and that means anti-my-health! funk dat. 

    I agree HK has so many apps these days interacting with each other through the HK database, it all works seamlessly. I can tell you after almost 3 yrs of using HK the database is 1Gb, image how much space each health app would use up if they did not share the data between each app. I am not at the gym each day or out running all the time. If someone is more activity than me their database could be much larger. I wonder what Apple plan is to archive some of this data.
  • Reply 27 of 35
    p-dog said:
     
    ...
    An aging IT “tech goon” might like it, but mainly because it is not an Apple device. 
    ...
    LOL...  So that's your criteria for a good device?

  • Reply 28 of 35
    gsrennie said:
    Just based on the review, the Ionic appears to fall into the no-man's land (no person's land?) of being neither a high-end sports watch nor a high-end smartwatch. And they want $300 for it? Good luck on that. I use a high-end sports watch (Garmin Fenix 3) for running, hiking, skiing and cycling and appreciate the ruggedness and battery life. The Garmin Connect cloud-based database is quite helpful. The software could likely be better done by Apple, but lots of useful features for sorting and analyzing your data. The app and face selection for Garmin is OK, but not a primary draw for me. The big thing is you need the on-off etc mechanical button selection interface if you want to run this kind of watch in the rain, snow and pool. Touch screens don't cut it in the rain. Is the Fenix 3 particularly good as a smartwatch? Not really. Getting a notification (sound/vibration) that I've got an email or text is somewhat useful, but not a big selling feature. I'm going to check out the Apple Watch series 3 pretty carefully. Might even buy one. I doubt if it'll prove as useful as the Garmin for my sports, but could make up for that in health-related apps and smartwatch features the Garmin will never have. I'm starting to think there will never be one watch that really excels at both fitness tracking and cell phone/Ipod replacement. Be prepared for compromises.

    The difference, I think, lies more in the software than in the hardware.
    Hardware wise the differences are mainly in OLED screen that may be harder to see in bright sun (I have an original series that is only half as bright as the Series 3 so I can't really judge that).  Plus, to conserve battery life the screen is not always "on".   And, I find that the battery does drain during long (3-5 hour) workouts.  But for starting and stopping* I understand you can press both buttons to do that -- but for me, sliding the screen seems to work pretty well even in the rain.
    ...  So, hardware wise, the differences are mostly in trade-offs -- you get a nice OLED screen but it comes with trade-offs for hardcore exercise.

    But, the Apple software just can't compete with Garmins for serious exercise.   It tracks time, distance, climb heart rate and pace and even records the totals & averages.  But that's pretty basic stuff.  The Garmins provide better functionality.  (I see that particularly in speed interval track workouts where the Apple Watch just totally fails to record anything but totals and averages for the workout).

    The software limitations could be easily fixed by third party apps -- but they seem to be very slow in coming.  There are some but most are actually running on the phone and then interface with the watch -- which creates its own set of limitations and problems.

    All that said:  I won't give up my Apple Watch because its other, non-exercise day to day features are just so damn great.  But, I find it frustrating because its software limitations would be so easily remedied.  All they have to do is talk to serious exercisers rather than "experts" who mostly focus on mainstream "10,000 step" stuff. 

    * Added:  The Garmin buttons do work more smoothly for starting and stopping.  One tap and you're done.  Sliding the screen is just more clunky -- especially as you may be moving while you're trying to do it.    Plus, as a stop watch during intervals its pretty worthless.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 29 of 35
    Rayz2016 said:
    thedba said:

    While I would never dream of trading my AW for a FitBit of any sort, this shows that Apple needs to step up their game.  This adds one more pretty solid competitor to the field.  
    I often see comments like this in various forums about Apple needing to step it up due to competitors big and small coming up with their latest and greatest creation. 
    My question is, what makes you think that Apple has taken its eye off the ball, even for a second?
    While many will compare individual features of their gadget with Apple’s offering, they fail to see the overall picture to where Apple is going with their vision. 
    Apple isn’t just selling a phone, or a tablet or a watch or wireless headphones or laptops. They’re selling their vision on how each of these individual devices interact with each other and complement each other and make the overall experience better. 
    So other than some minor course corrections along the way, Inthink they’ll be fine for the foreseeable future. 
    All good points that you make there...
    But you miss the main one:  That Apple no longer has the smart watch market to themselves.  They now have serious competition that, in some cases, do a better job than Apple.   That's not to trash Apple.  It is to recognize reality.
    They never had the market to themselves. As soon as the market got wind of the AppleWatch, every Tom, Dick and Tony released a model. 

    Poor aesthetics aside, the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit. That’s a serious limitation. 
    "They never had the market to themselves."   Really?

    "the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit."
    For a multitude of reasons (mostly data security and integrity) Apple keeps the Health App database locked down pretty tightly.  Some, like FitBit, don't approve.  That's their right.  But it keeps them on the outside.  I could picture Steve just giving them a shoulder shrug and little half smile. 
  • Reply 30 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,369member
    Rayz2016 said:
    thedba said:

    While I would never dream of trading my AW for a FitBit of any sort, this shows that Apple needs to step up their game.  This adds one more pretty solid competitor to the field.  
    I often see comments like this in various forums about Apple needing to step it up due to competitors big and small coming up with their latest and greatest creation. 
    My question is, what makes you think that Apple has taken its eye off the ball, even for a second?
    While many will compare individual features of their gadget with Apple’s offering, they fail to see the overall picture to where Apple is going with their vision. 
    Apple isn’t just selling a phone, or a tablet or a watch or wireless headphones or laptops. They’re selling their vision on how each of these individual devices interact with each other and complement each other and make the overall experience better. 
    So other than some minor course corrections along the way, Inthink they’ll be fine for the foreseeable future. 
    All good points that you make there...
    But you miss the main one:  That Apple no longer has the smart watch market to themselves.  They now have serious competition that, in some cases, do a better job than Apple.   That's not to trash Apple.  It is to recognize reality.
    They never had the market to themselves. As soon as the market got wind of the AppleWatch, every Tom, Dick and Tony released a model. 

    Poor aesthetics aside, the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit. That’s a serious limitation. 
    "They never had the market to themselves."   Really?
    That shouldn't be a question. You should easily be able to look up Android Wear launching a year before the Apple Watch, and that Samsung, and even Sony, were major players in the smartwatch market long before Apple got in the game. This is like saying there was no smartphones before the iPhone or no portable MP3 players before the iPod.
  • Reply 31 of 35
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,665member
    Rayz2016 said:
    thedba said:

    While I would never dream of trading my AW for a FitBit of any sort, this shows that Apple needs to step up their game.  This adds one more pretty solid competitor to the field.  
    I often see comments like this in various forums about Apple needing to step it up due to competitors big and small coming up with their latest and greatest creation. 
    My question is, what makes you think that Apple has taken its eye off the ball, even for a second?
    While many will compare individual features of their gadget with Apple’s offering, they fail to see the overall picture to where Apple is going with their vision. 
    Apple isn’t just selling a phone, or a tablet or a watch or wireless headphones or laptops. They’re selling their vision on how each of these individual devices interact with each other and complement each other and make the overall experience better. 
    So other than some minor course corrections along the way, Inthink they’ll be fine for the foreseeable future. 
    All good points that you make there...
    But you miss the main one:  That Apple no longer has the smart watch market to themselves.  They now have serious competition that, in some cases, do a better job than Apple.   That's not to trash Apple.  It is to recognize reality.
    They never had the market to themselves. As soon as the market got wind of the AppleWatch, every Tom, Dick and Tony released a model. 

    Poor aesthetics aside, the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit. That’s a serious limitation. 
    "They never had the market to themselves."   Really?

    "the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit."
    For a multitude of reasons (mostly data security and integrity) Apple keeps the Health App database locked down pretty tightly.  Some, like FitBit, don't approve.  That's their right.  But it keeps them on the outside.  I could picture Steve just giving them a shoulder shrug and little half smile. 
    That's a a fact, Apple launched in a market at least as mature as the digital music players in 2002 (probably more so as there were more players with more breadth) and killed everyone's profits.

    It can only get worse from this point on if Apple puts a downclocked A11 into a watch and microled, in late 2018 , no one will make a profit including garmin.
    If I were Garmin, I'd be worried for the next 2 years, they are living on borrowed time.
  • Reply 32 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,369member
    foggyhill said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    thedba said:

    While I would never dream of trading my AW for a FitBit of any sort, this shows that Apple needs to step up their game.  This adds one more pretty solid competitor to the field.  
    I often see comments like this in various forums about Apple needing to step it up due to competitors big and small coming up with their latest and greatest creation. 
    My question is, what makes you think that Apple has taken its eye off the ball, even for a second?
    While many will compare individual features of their gadget with Apple’s offering, they fail to see the overall picture to where Apple is going with their vision. 
    Apple isn’t just selling a phone, or a tablet or a watch or wireless headphones or laptops. They’re selling their vision on how each of these individual devices interact with each other and complement each other and make the overall experience better. 
    So other than some minor course corrections along the way, Inthink they’ll be fine for the foreseeable future. 
    All good points that you make there...
    But you miss the main one:  That Apple no longer has the smart watch market to themselves.  They now have serious competition that, in some cases, do a better job than Apple.   That's not to trash Apple.  It is to recognize reality.
    They never had the market to themselves. As soon as the market got wind of the AppleWatch, every Tom, Dick and Tony released a model. 

    Poor aesthetics aside, the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit. That’s a serious limitation. 
    "They never had the market to themselves."   Really?

    "the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit."
    For a multitude of reasons (mostly data security and integrity) Apple keeps the Health App database locked down pretty tightly.  Some, like FitBit, don't approve.  That's their right.  But it keeps them on the outside.  I could picture Steve just giving them a shoulder shrug and little half smile. 
    That's a a fact, Apple launched in a market at least as mature as the digital music players in 2002 (probably more so as there were more players with more breadth) and killed everyone's profits.
    I'd say it was even more mature and they did a lot more damage out of the gate if you count the fitness band and traditional watch markets since they quickly rose to the top and have affected their revenue streams.
  • Reply 33 of 35
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    thedba said:

    While I would never dream of trading my AW for a FitBit of any sort, this shows that Apple needs to step up their game.  This adds one more pretty solid competitor to the field.  
    I often see comments like this in various forums about Apple needing to step it up due to competitors big and small coming up with their latest and greatest creation. 
    My question is, what makes you think that Apple has taken its eye off the ball, even for a second?
    While many will compare individual features of their gadget with Apple’s offering, they fail to see the overall picture to where Apple is going with their vision. 
    Apple isn’t just selling a phone, or a tablet or a watch or wireless headphones or laptops. They’re selling their vision on how each of these individual devices interact with each other and complement each other and make the overall experience better. 
    So other than some minor course corrections along the way, Inthink they’ll be fine for the foreseeable future. 
    All good points that you make there...
    But you miss the main one:  That Apple no longer has the smart watch market to themselves.  They now have serious competition that, in some cases, do a better job than Apple.   That's not to trash Apple.  It is to recognize reality.
    They never had the market to themselves. As soon as the market got wind of the AppleWatch, every Tom, Dick and Tony released a model. 

    Poor aesthetics aside, the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit. That’s a serious limitation. 
    "They never had the market to themselves."   Really?
    That shouldn't be a question. You should easily be able to look up Android Wear launching a year before the Apple Watch, and that Samsung, and even Sony, were major players in the smartwatch market long before Apple got in the game. This is like saying there was no smartphones before the iPhone or no portable MP3 players before the iPod.
    Android Who?
    ... Just because a product launched doesn't mean it was a viable product that anybody cared about -- much less actually bought.  
  • Reply 34 of 35
    foggyhill said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    thedba said:

    While I would never dream of trading my AW for a FitBit of any sort, this shows that Apple needs to step up their game.  This adds one more pretty solid competitor to the field.  
    I often see comments like this in various forums about Apple needing to step it up due to competitors big and small coming up with their latest and greatest creation. 
    My question is, what makes you think that Apple has taken its eye off the ball, even for a second?
    While many will compare individual features of their gadget with Apple’s offering, they fail to see the overall picture to where Apple is going with their vision. 
    Apple isn’t just selling a phone, or a tablet or a watch or wireless headphones or laptops. They’re selling their vision on how each of these individual devices interact with each other and complement each other and make the overall experience better. 
    So other than some minor course corrections along the way, Inthink they’ll be fine for the foreseeable future. 
    All good points that you make there...
    But you miss the main one:  That Apple no longer has the smart watch market to themselves.  They now have serious competition that, in some cases, do a better job than Apple.   That's not to trash Apple.  It is to recognize reality.
    They never had the market to themselves. As soon as the market got wind of the AppleWatch, every Tom, Dick and Tony released a model. 

    Poor aesthetics aside, the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit. That’s a serious limitation. 
    "They never had the market to themselves."   Really?

    "the FitBit (for no reason I can think of) will not interface with HealthKit."
    For a multitude of reasons (mostly data security and integrity) Apple keeps the Health App database locked down pretty tightly.  Some, like FitBit, don't approve.  That's their right.  But it keeps them on the outside.  I could picture Steve just giving them a shoulder shrug and little half smile. 
    That's a a fact, Apple launched in a market at least as mature as the digital music players in 2002 (probably more so as there were more players with more breadth) and killed everyone's profits.

    It can only get worse from this point on if Apple puts a downclocked A11 into a watch and microled, in late 2018 , no one will make a profit including garmin.
    If I were Garmin, I'd be worried for the next 2 years, they are living on borrowed time.
    True -- Garmin cannot compete on hardware*   But they are beating the pants off of Apple on software.  And, so far, Apple has done little to counteract their advantage.

    * The exception to the hardware is:  Garmin competes in the high end exercise realm where Apple is handicapped by their OLED screen that burns battery and is difficult to see in bright sun (but has extraordinary benefit in other uses).  Garmin has more flexibility there because its (mostly) a single purpose device.
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