Fitbit Ionic vs. Fitbit Charge

Wearable Technology

The Fitbit Ionic model has not been upgraded since it was launched in 2017, but it still manages to rival the latest fitness trackers and smartwatches on the market, including the Fitbit Charge series.

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Which Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Charge is best?

Fitbit has become one of the leading brands in wearable fitness technology. The company offers several types of products that can track different health-and-fitness metrics, including heart rate, steps climbed, calories burned, distance traveled, and more. Two of the most popular product lines by Fitbit are the Fitbit Ionic series and the Fitbit Charge series. The Fitbit Ionic series used to be more expensive than the Fitbit Charge series, but with the release of the latest model of the Charge series, the price gap has narrowed. For a similar price, the Fitbit Ionic offers several extra features that make it a better overall wearable fitness product. The biggest advantage of the Fitbit Ionic is the larger LCD, which offers more of a fitness tracker and smartwatch experience.   

Fitbit Charge

Fitbit Charge

The latest model of the Fitbit Charge is the Charge 5, which was recently released in late September 2021. The biggest change in the latest model is the color OLED screen, which is four times brighter than the last model. The Charge 5 also features an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, which can measure the body’s response to stress. It also features an ECG sensor that can be used through the Fitbit app. The battery life of the Fitbit Charge is excellent, offering five days of battery with normal use. The longer battery allows users to enjoy the always-on feature of the Charge.

The previous models of the Fitbit Charge series have had smaller screens with monochrome displays, so the new OLED screen on the Charge 5 is a big improvement over previous models. The Charge 5 is also thinner than its predecessor. The straps of the Charge 5 can be swapped, but unfortunately, the older straps or charging cables are not compatible with the latest model. Surprisingly, some features have been removed from the Fitbit Charge 5, including the altimeter, weather app, Spotify controls, and a few more. The latest model of the Fitbit Charge series is sold by Amazon.

Fitbit Charge pros

  • The OLED color display is a big improvement over previous Charge models.
  • The excellent battery life means users of the Charge can use all the features of the device without having to worry about the battery. 
  • Stainless steel construction with water resistance up to 50 meters.

Fitbit Charge cons

  • The increase in the price of the Charge has made it almost equal in price to the Ionic, which offers more features and styles.  
  • Some of the features of the Fitbit Charge, such as recovery or stress features, require users to get separate apps or subscriptions.
  • The smaller screen size of the Charge means it cannot be used as a smartwatch.

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic was released in 2017 and became one of the flagship products of the company. It was later replaced by the Fitbit Sense series. The Fitbit Ionic offers several fitness-tracking features, but it is more of a fitness smartwatch than a fitness tracker. The Fitbit Ionic is aimed to rival the Garmin smartwatch series and Apple smartwatch. The Fitbit Ionic has a built-in GPS for runners to track their outdoor runs without needing to keep their smartphones with them. It also offers a dynamic fitness coaching feature, music storage, and Fitbit Pay. All these features mean that users don’t have to carry their phones with them for several functions that can be performed through the Fitbit Ionic.

Aesthetics play a key role in the overall appeal of the Fitbit Ionic. The aluminum body offers a premium look and lightweight feel. There are several color choices for the Ionic including silver, blue, black, orange, and Grey. There is also an Adidas version of the Ionic. Users can add about 300 songs to the in-built storage of the Ionic and connect headphones through Bluetooth. The battery life is a slightly weak point of the Fitbit Ionic, as it only averages four days with normal use. The Fitbit Ionic is sold by Amazon.

Fitbit Ionic pros

  • The build quality of the Ionic makes it feel like a premium product.
  • The Fitbit Ionic offers great value for the money with all the smartwatch and fitness features offered by the product.
  • The dynamic personal coaching feature of the Fitbit Ionic offers step-by-step guidance to users on workouts, including proper form and technique for different exercises. It also offers guided breathing sessions for post-workout cool-down or general meditation.
  • The Ionic is water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it wearable while swimming.

Fitbit Ionic cons

  • The battery is not great on the Fitbit Ionic, but for basic users, the battery might be enough.
  • The Ionic will show notifications from the smartphone, such as messages and emails, but users won’t be able to interact with the notifications, such as responding to a text message. This is a disadvantage compared to rival smartwatches on the market.

Should you get a Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Charge?

The increase in the price of the latest model of the Fitbit Charge might have made the Fitbit Ionic more appealing to users. For a similar price, users can get a larger screen, more style design, and some extra features by choosing to buy the Fitbit Ionic. Both the products have a built-in GPS, which is an essential feature for outdoor runners looking for a fitness-tracking product.

The latest model of the charge has come out with a color display, making a big improvement over the last model. This should make the Charge more competitive to the Ionic, which features a larger LCD screen, which allows for some extra features, such as dynamic coaching and other apps.


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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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