Since the very first Apple Watch, Apple has dominated the wearables market. Companies like Xiaomi and Huawei have taken a bite out of Apple’s dominance but the company still enjoys a comfortable spot atop the heap of smartwatches and fitness trackers. With the release of the Apple Watch Series 3 right around the corner, FitBit has decided to jump into the smartwatch game with their newest product: FitBit Ionic.
The FitBit Ionic is the fitness tracking company’s answer to the Apple Watch. FitBit is taking clear aim at the king of the wearable world with their design and the features they have packed into their first smartwatch. So… How do the two stack up against each other? Find out what wearable your wrist should be rocking with our FitBit Ionic vs Apple Watch Series 2 head to head comparison.
FitBit has clearly taken some inspiration from the Apple Watch when it comes to design. The square face is the biggest similarity. However, there are some differences. For example, the Apple Watch has rounded, sleek edges while the FitBit Ionic has much sharper corners. The display on the Ionic sits much more flush with the band whereas the Apple Watch stands out more like a traditional watch face.
Design is very subjective so it’s tough to say which is better. That’s up to your own personal style. For me, in the design portion of the FitBit Ionic vs Apple Watch Series 2; I have to go with the Apple Watch. The FitBit looks nice, don’t get me wrong. However, I feel like the Apple Watch has more style function outside of the gym. I would wear an Apple Watch all day long where the FitBit Ionic looks a little too “sporty” to pair with a business casual look, for example.
The FitBit Ionic promises 4 days of battery life which amounts to 10 hours of music streaming. That’s pretty impressive for a small wearable. I don’t own an Apple Watch but I know many people who do and I often see them charging their device in the middle of the day if they forgot to put it on the charger overnight. That somewhat defeats the purpose of having a watch which should be literally attached to your wrist all day long. A 4 day battery life makes the Ionic the clear winner in this part of the FitBit Ionic vs Apple Watch Series 2 comparison.
At launch, the FitBit Ionic will have limited app support. However, FitBit seems committed to making it easy for developers to create apps for the Ionic. Initially, the only apps you will be able to use on the Ionic are the Starbucks app, Pandora, Accuweather, and Strava – a cycling app. This gives the Apple Watch a clear advantage. However, the Apple Watch has had quite a bit of a head start to build up a good stable of compatible apps. Time will tell if other apps end up coming to the FitBit Ionic. For now, the Apple Watch gets the nod when it comes to apps. If FitBit can get some big names like Spotify to release an app for their smartwatch then the competition will be much closer.
Although FitBit wants to compete on Apple’s turf, they can’t forget what made them a household name: fitness tracking. The workout tracking on the FitBit Ionic looks like it will put the Apple Watch to shame. The Ionic will be able to automatically start tracking your workout without any input from you. This is a big change from the Apple Watch which requires you to tell it when you are working out and what you are doing. There was a leak regarding Apple Watch workouts but it’s not clear if that feature will be coming to the Apple Watch Series 2 or only available in future models. For now, we have to give the workout tracking edge to Fitbit in the battle of FitBit Ionic vs Apple Watch Series 2.
The FitBit Ionic has an NFC chip built in to support mobile payments through FitBit Pay. This is obviously meant to compete with Apple Pay. There are limited banks on board at launch but that should change quickly as more and more institutions adopt the payment method. Of course, much like with apps, the Apple Watch has had a huge head start in this area. Because of that, the Apple Watch wins this round. However, depending on how fast new banks join the ranks of FitBit Pay supporters, we may have to change our decision in the coming months.
Making your watch fit your own style is one of the most important parts of the FitBit Ionic vs Apple Watch Series 2 battle. Unique straps allow you to make your watch match your mood, your outfits, or the occasion. Both smartwatches offer replaceable straps for their devices. At launch, the FitBit Ionic is somewhat limited in the additional strap styles that are available. However, the pricing is much more reasonable for the Ionic straps when compared with the Apple Watch. This is especially true when you look at a leather band. The price on the Apple Watch leather bands almost made me have a heart attack. If I was wearing an Apple Watch it would have told me to sit down and take a rest.
I guess we can chalk up replaceable straps as a tie. Apple has a much better selection for the Apple Watch but the prices are much more reasonable for the FitBit Ionic.
At $299, the FitBit Ionic comes in a cool $70 cheaper than the cheapest Apple Watch Series 2 model. Obviously, the price of the Apple Watch can increase pretty rapidly as you move to their steel or ceramic models. If you like the look of the FitBit Ionic and you trust that it will, in fact, have better app support in the near future then it’s a no brainer to save the money. However, if you want app support from day one and you prefer the Apple Watch style; spending a little extra will be worth it.
So, who wins the FitBit Ionic vs Apple Watch Series 2 battle? It’s tough to make a call. Each model has their advantages and disadvantages. The decision could come down simply to your budget. One thing is for sure, FitBit has made a solid play with their first smartwatch. It’s not perfect and the style may not be for everyone but the price is very nice and if you like the way it looks then you should definitely enjoy the newest product from FitBit.
What are your thoughts? What would you choose in the FitBit Ionic vs Apple Watch Series 2 comparison?