What about battery life?

Fitbit quotes a four-day battery life for the Ionic, but you’ll struggle to get this if you use GPS much.

In my test, which included an hour of GPS-tracked cycling, 30 minutes of running while listening to music on Bluetooth headphones, and 20 minutes of swimming, it only lasted 52 hours (or about two and a half days).

I was using it slightly more intensely than average though, so it’s fair to say you can expect a few days between charges. And like the Apple Watch, you can recharge it fully in just a couple of hours.

This puts the Ionic a fair way ahead of the Apple Watch’s 18-hour battery life, although that’s based on more intense use because, well, it does a lot more.

But the Ionic is also slightly behind the Garmin Vivoactive 3, which can do 13 hours of GPS tracking (rather than the Ionic’s 10) and lasts about a week without any GPS antics. Again, partly because of the Garmin’s lower-res screen.

In short, the Ionic’s battery life is impressive for a smartwatch with a screen this crisp and bright, but don’t expect miracles if you mostly use GPS tracking and listen to lots of music.

Fitbit Ionic verdict

The Ionic is Fitbit's best all-round tracker so far.

The trouble is, it’s a £300 (RM1675) fitness tracker with some smartwatch scaffolding around it.

That is way too expensive for what it currently offers. Many of its best features (the sleep tracking, SmartTrack, heart-rate sensor, long battery life, Fitbit app) can be found in the RM730 Alta HR. Frankly, it only just scrapes four stars.

On the other hand, if you want a Fitbit that adds GPS tracking and swim-proofing to all of the usual goodies, it’s the only model that can do it all. The Fitbit Coach feature is very promising too, if not available till late October 2017.

Still, the Ionic is far from the only option at this price. Apple iPhone owners are better off paying RM100+ more for the Watch Series 3 (GPS), unless daily recharges are a deal-breaker.

And Android-loving runners, cyclists and swimmers should check out the cheaper but more sport-focused Garmin Vivoactive 3.

This isn’t to say that the Ionic isn’t a good buy for more casual exercisers. It has huge potential with more apps, Fitbit Pay and Fitbit Coach on the horizon.

But you should just be aware that it’s what commentators would call a ‘raw talent’ rather than a title contender.

Stuff says... 

Fitbit Ionic review

Fitbit’s best all-round fitness tracker, just don’t call it a smartwatch yet
RMTBC
Good Stuff 
Bold design
Excellent sleep tracking
GPS and heart-rate tracking work well
Strong battery life
Bad Stuff 
Virtually no third party apps yet
Fitbit Coach not available till later in 2017
Fitbit Pay not ready in Malaysia yet
Expensive for what it can currently do
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