Nowadays it’s more difficult to spot someone who isn’t wearing a fitness tracker of some kind that it is to find something who is. With the advent of the Fitbit and other wearable trackers, people are keeping tabs on their steps and overall health now more than ever before.
Fitbit, arguably the most well-known fitness tracker on the market, offers its Ionic and Blaze devices. These are two of Fitbit’s most advanced trackers to date and are meant to compete with other popular devices like the Apple Watch. Even with that in mind, Fitbit remained true to its core mission, making their fitness trackers the ultimate smartwatches in the health and fitness industry.
Neither device will replace the Apple Watch, however, they both offer features and functionality that Apple just can’t compete with. Both are proving to be very popular health trackers, especially in the fitness community. But how do they stack up against one another? Let’s take a look at how these two smart devices differ and what they have in common.
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Two Great Devices
Both the Ionic and Blaze have a similar design – which makes sense considering they are made by the same company. The fitness trackers have a square shaped face along with similar wrist bands. While some people prefer the look and design of the Blaze, it’s tough to determine if one is better than the other.
One big differentiator between the two is the screen. The Ionic boasts a bigger, newer, and more vivid display than the Blaze offers. However, there are similarities between the two devices as well. These include heart rate monitoring, coaching modes, tracking abilities, and smart notifications.
From an overall health and fitness perspective, both the Ionic and the Blaze provide excellent options that can lead to a healthier lifestyle.
One of the biggest differences between the pair is the cost. Currently, the Blaze is almost $100 less than the Ionic. However, there’s a reason for that. The Blaze is known for being an affordable smart device that provides a solid experience. On the other hand, the Ionic will provide more features than its counterpart.
So what, exactly, do you get for the extra money? Let’s find out.
A big differentiator between the Ionic and the Blaze is that the Blaze offers connected GPS functionality. With connected GPS, you can connect your Fitbit to your phone and use its GPS features. The Ionic, however, has its own built-in GPS features.
Built-in GPS capabilities mean the Ionic can gather statistics and perform more tracking. This includes your pace and distance metrics. It also means that you can ditch your phone completely when you’re ready to work out. Who wants that big bulky thing weighing them down anyway?
Those who have had their Fitbits for a while are pretty excited that there’s finally a device in the lineup that offers water resistance. Those wearing the Ionic will get up to 50 meters of water resistance with their fitness tracker. Before the Ionic, the only option Fitbit wearers had was the Flex 2, which was cheap and didn’t provide many features.
With the Ionic, you can shower or swim and not have to worry about your device. Like many of Fitbit’s devices, the Blaze is splash-proof, which means it can handle a little rain or moisture, but it won’t do well if it’s submerged for an extended amount of time.
Near Field Communication and Applications
Need to get a bottle of water to cool down after you’ve finished your workout? With the Ionic, you don’t have to worry about having your wallet or credit card with you. With its built-in NFC capabilities, you can store your payment information right in your device. Now you can pay for that bottle of water (or cup of coffee) using the device wrapped around your wrist.
Additionally, you can download mobile applications to your Ionic, which the Blaze cannot do at this time. There aren’t a log of apps available at this tie, however, there is plenty of potential behind this technology that makes it worth a little extra money.
You take your phone with you on your workouts to be able to track your run and listen to your music. With the Fitbit Ionic, you can take your music with you and not have to lug your phone around too. The Ionic can hold and play roughly 300 songs.
Or, if you prefer to have your phone with you, the Ionic also has Bluetooth capabilities. You can listen to all the songs you want and not have to worry about whether or not you’ll run out of storage space.
Even though there are plenty of features available on the Fitbit Ionic, the Blaze can still hold its own. While the Ionic holds the advantage in many different areas, there is still plenty the Blaze can do to make it a fitness tracker worth buying. Not to mention, it will cost you less money.
Here are just a few of the features that you’ll get when you choose the Fitbit Blaze:
Sleep tracking automatically monitors your sleep and provides an overview of the information it records
SmartTrack keeps track of your exercises for you and automatically recognizes what you’re doing (e.g. running, swimming, cycling, etc.)
Keep track of your heart rate right from your wrist
Track your workouts right on the device screen
The touchscreen has bright colors
Keep track of multiple sports so you can record all your workouts
It’s easy to see that the Blaze is Fitbit’s first foray into the smartwatch industry. The look and feel of the device are a bit clunky, however, it’s still a solid device. If you have someone in your life who needs a simple fitness tracker, the Blaze is a great choice. Additionally, if you just need the basics and don’t want to spend a lot of money, you might consider the Blaze.
We’ve already discussed many of the Ionic’s advantages, so let’s address the fitness tracker on its own instead of comparing it to the Blaze. The Fitbit Ionic is a great fitness tracker that gives its users a great way to focus on living healthier.
The Ionic will give you everything you want in a smartwatch – music, applications, alarms, notifications – all contained within a device that is designed specifically to help you get healthy. There are plenty of useful tools available with the Ionic that will motivate you to get moving.
Additionally, since the Ionic is one of Fitbit’s top of the line devices, it is preloaded with a lot of the best technology the company has to offer. There are even rumors of other features already in the works. One example is that the company is bringing glucose testing to the device in the coming months.
The Ionic is a great device, with many features. Here are some of the more prominent capabilities available with the Fitbit Ionic:
- Built-in GPS functionality
- Track swimming workouts with water resistant capabilities
- Touchscreen is scratchproof, high-res, with a vivid picture
- Receive smart alerts and notifications
- Exercise without your wallet or phone thanks to built-in NFC functionality and music storage
- Multiple band choices available
- Customize your screen
- Gather and view precise data and consistent information with multiple sensors
One last thing to keep in mind with the Ionic is its battery life. It comes with the same battery that other Fitbit devices use. Typically, users can expect to get 4-5 days out of a single charge. However, along with the new features comes increased battery usage. That means you may not get as much battery life when using the built-in GPS or other features available on the Ionic.
Which One to Choose?
Honestly, both of these Fitbit health trackers are great devices, so you can’t go wrong with either one. But if you value a lot of features over cost, then you might be better off going with the Ionic. Additionally, if you need a device that will last for a few days on a single charge, or if you forget to regularly charge your device, then you might want to stick with the Blaze.
The Blaze is great for people that don’t want to spend a lot of money on a health or fitness tracker. Remember though, that if you choose to go with the Blaze, you’ll have to carry your smartphone around with you if you want music or GPS during your workouts.
You also can’t swim or shower while wearing the Blaze. However, it is a solid activity tracker that will give you all the capabilities of a smartwatch.
On the other hand, the Ionic is ideal for those that don’t mind spending a little extra on a device with more features. It’s water resistant, so you can swim and shower with your device on, plus you’ll get all the latest applications available for fitness trackers.
You can also leave your smartphone and wallet at home with the Ionic since it has built-in GPS, music, and NFC functionality.
When it comes down to it though, we would choose the Ionic. Those features and the ability to not have to lug our phone around with us is just too good to pass up. That makes it worth the money in our opinion.
Justin obtained his MBA at Baker University. He loves learning and writing about smart home technology and has a passion for its application. Justin brings a wealth of writing experience to the All Home Robotics team and enjoys discovering new and creative ways to implement smart home technologies into his own home (and sharing his findings here)!