Fitbit Ionic vs. Fitbit Inspire

Wearable Technology

As one of the leaders in wearable fitness trackers, Fitbit offers durable, stylish and practical devices, including the Fitbit Ionic and the Fitbit Inspire.

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Is a Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Inspire best? 

Wearable fitness devices are becoming increasingly popular as they can be useful in tracking workouts, cardio sessions or overall fitness progress. This popularity has resulted in a plethora of wearable fitness devices in the market. One of the leaders in this product category is Fitbit, which offers a variety of wearable fitness trackers, including the Fitbit Ionic and the Fitbit Inspire. The Fitbit Inspire offers better value for money if you are looking for a basic fitness tracker, while the Fitbit Ionic offers more of a fitness smartwatch experience with a larger screen and advanced features.

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic was released in 2017 as the successor to the Fitbit Surge, which was the first fitness smartwatch offered by the company. The Fitbit Ionic competes against the older models of the Apple Watch. One of the primary features of the Ionic is its built-in GPS feature, which allows users to track their outdoor run or walk without needing to use a smartphone. The GPS can track real-time distance and pace. The progress can be viewed on the 1.42-inch screen. The crisp display can also be used to view workouts and health tips through the Fitbit Coach app. The Fitbit Ionic is water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it suitable to be used while swimming.

Fitbit Ionic

When paired with the Fitbit app, the Ionic offers several other features, including calorie tracking. Other third-party apps are also available on this device, including apps for weather, sports or making payments using an NFC chip for secure transactions. Users can connect the Fitbit Ionic using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. No new models of the Fitbit Ionic have been released since the first model was released. Sold on Amazon for $179.99.

Fitbit Ionic pros

  • The built-in GPS is an important feature for users wanting to monitor real-time distance and pace.
  • Several types of apps can be accessed on the Fitbit Ionic, offering more flexibility in usage compared to other fitness trackers.
  • The large display allows for easy monitoring of workout progress without needing to use a smartphone.
  • There is built-in storage for music. Users can store up to 300 songs and use the Pandora app to download playlists. 

Fitbit Ionic cons

  • The battery life of the Fitbit Ionic can be an issue for users who continuously use the GPS. With regular use, the Ionic is expected to last more than four days, but with heavy GPS use, the battery life will be significantly less. Users might have to keep a close eye on the battery to make sure the device does not run out of battery.  
  • The Fitbit Ionic is available for sale, but the product has been discontinued by Fitbit. This means there will be no new models, versions or upgrades for the Fitbit Ionic.

Fitbit Inspire

The Fitbit Inspire series was released in 2019. There are currently two models available for the Fitbit Inspire series: the Inspire HR and the Inspire 2. The Inspire 2 is the latest version of the series, offering all the features of the HR version with improved battery life and display.

The Fitbit Inspire offers heart rate monitoring, which was missing in the previous version of the Inspire. There is no built-in GPS in this product, which means users will have to use their smartphone to track real-time pace and distance. The fitness app can also be used to connect with friends and share fitness progress. The lack of a large display means the Fitbit Inspire offers excellent battery life of up to 10 days. The battery life is a massive improvement on previous models of the Fitbit Inspire and is one the best battery lives on any Fitbit trackers.

Fitbit Inspire

The Fitbit app can be used for sleep tracking, including the duration of REM sleep. The Fitbit Inspire is water-resistant for up to 50 meters. This device is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible. Sold on Amazon for $59.95.

Fitbit Inspire pros

  • Users get several useful fitness tracking features at an affordable price.
  • The sleek and subtle design of the Fitbit Inspire makes it comfortable to wear 24/7.
  • The excellent battery life allows users to track their fitness and sleep without having to worry about the battery. A key advantage of the long battery life is that users don’t need to charge the device every night, allowing them to monitor their sleep. It takes about 1-2 hours to fully charge this device.

Fitbit Inspire cons

  • The no built-in GPS could be a major issue for users who want to track their outdoor runs without being tethered to their smartphone.
  • The lack of a larger display means the text on the Fitbit Inspire 2 can be difficult to read. The grayscale display looks a bit outdated.
  • Some users have reported the standard band can irritate the skin. Another issue with the band is that it takes a while to dry after getting wet.

Should you get a Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Inspire?

The choice between buying a Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Inspire will depend on the requirements of the user. These two devices might have some similarities and come from the same manufacturer, but they are essentially two different types of products.

If you are looking for a simple and affordable fitness tracker and don’t mind using a smartphone to track the workout, then the Fitbit Inspire offers great value for money and should be your choice of product.

If you are looking for a smartwatch experience with access to more than just fitness tracking, then the Fitbit Ionic is worth the extra price. The lack of a larger screen on the Fitbit Inspire is a major disadvantage when compared to the Fitbit Ionic. With the Ionic, you will have access to several apps and get some advanced fitness features such as built-in GPS and the Fitbit Coach.

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Ali Azhar writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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