Reviewing the Fitbit Ionic - and yes, it works with Windows 10 Mobile

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OK, cards on the table time - I've been trying hard to get a Fitbit Ionic smartwatch for review for ages, buoyed up by Fitbit's still decent support of Windows 10 Mobile in 2017 - I use my 'Fitbit One' every day and track progress in the UWP application. However, Fitbit's PR is useless and I've now given up - and at £300 I'm not going to dip into my own wallet for something which I don't think I'd get the most from. But that doesn't mean it's not the next generation of fitness watches, or that it doesn't work with Windows 10 Mobile. So, bearing all that in mind, I'm going to bounce you over to Windows Central's review over in the USA, which will give you a good flavour of the gadget.

From Daniel's review:

Let's get this aside: I'm a massive fan of Fitbit. In fact, my history with the company goes all the way back to the 2012 Fitbit One — a receiver that counted steps and challenges your ability not to lose tiny things. That's why I am excited about its latest wearable releases, which finally starts to show the fruits of its Pebble smartwatch acquisition from late-2016.

Taking last year's Fitbit Blaze and marrying with the GPS features of the Fitbit Surge with a dash of Pebble gives you the Fitbit Ionic. While a $300 price tag puts the Ionic out of reach for casual pedometer users those into fitness will appreciate what it can do, that is when it syncs...

...Like all smartwatches, the Ionic relies on companion software to sync. Available on Android, iOS, and Windows 10 (PC, Mobile, Xbox, and holographic) the app looks and functions the same across all systems.

For Windows 10 the app worked quite well, and I had no issues syncing to an Alcatel Idol 4S for health, steps, and sleep data. However, notifications were hit and miss with text messages working initially but failing later during the day to push through. The necessary Bluetooth Generic Attribute Profile (GATT) is still in beta for Windows 10 as Microsoft and Fitbit work on getting the system to work...

...The Ionic is the most ambitious creation yet from Fitbit, who now has a strong legacy in the fitness and wearable field. The hardware is outstanding and finally marries all the features that users want in a smartwatch in 2017. Apps, swimming mode, GPS, an excellent heart rate sensor, and a premium design of metal and glass — it's all here.

Fitbit Ionic

However, some of these early software and firmware bugs make me hesitant to make this an easy recommendation. Personally, I love using the Ionic — initial bugs and all. I dig the look, the feel, and the battery life is outstanding. I have zero regrets and plan to keep on using it because it's fantastic.

Nonetheless, for your average consumer, I find some of those issues problematic for a first out-of-box experience. Just the setup, which includes at least one firmware update, will take twenty minutes. Add in the pairing of headphones (which was easy, thankfully) and syncing music and it can be a few hours before your Fitbit Ionic is ready to go. Even then, you may run into issues changing clock faces or syncing oddities.

Overall, the number of caveats in Daniel's full review has certainly put me off a personal purchase. What do you think? Would you buy something this expensive for your wrist? Are you, like me, pretty happy with the smaller and simpler trackers? And if you do have an Ionic then what do you think of it in the context of Windows interactions?

Source / Credit: WC