Samsung Gear Sport vs. Fitbit Ionic: Fitness smartwatch showdown

Samsung and Fitbit have two of the most efficient smartwatches out now for Android customers, and we are right here that can assist you resolve which is absolute best on your way of life.

If you are an Android person and are available in the market for a brand new smartwatch, you are these days in a moderately awkward place. Google does not appear to be giving Android Wear any kind of actual consideration in the meanwhile, and as such, your absolute best wager is to move with third-party answers.

The Samsung Gear Sport and Fitbit Ionic have been each launched in overdue 2017, and they have got temporarily grow to be two of the most efficient wearables in the marketplace. Samsung’s Gear Sport is an evolution (and a shrinking) of the Gear S3 that got here out in 2016, and the Ionic is Fitbit’s first actual shot on the complete smartwatch recreation.

Both are very good merchandise, however the one who’s absolute best for you’ll in the long run come right down to products and services and contours you are looking to make use of.

Let’s dive in.

Design and have compatibility

As any individual with small wrists, I used to be very happy to seek out that each the Gear Sport and Fitbit Ionic don’t seem to be outsized like maximum Android Wear choices. The Gear Sport has a spherical show that sits atop a glittery, steel squircle frame, and it is unquestionably the easier taking a look of the 2. The watch does not glance misplaced whether or not you are on the health club or within the place of work, and due to the 22mm band dimension, you’ll be able to change out the incorporated silicon band with absolutely anything you would like.

There are two bodily buttons at the proper aspect of the Gear Sport’s frame, and whilst those paintings positive, the true celebrity of the display is the rotating bezel that surrounds this show. The bezel may also be turned around left and proper for navigating the Gear Sport’s UI, and together with having very good tactile reaction it additionally makes it simple to move to find what you are on the lookout for with out masking up the display screen together with your hands.

Samsung has the appearance and Fitbit excels at convenience.

On the opposite hand, the Fitbit Ionic very a lot seems the a part of the fitness-focused watch that it’s. The sq. frame is boxy and no longer just about as graceful as Samsung’s possibility, however what the Ionic lacks in seems it makes up for with how darn relaxed it’s.

The Gear Sport is not an uncomfortable watch in any way, however you nearly in an instant put out of your mind that you are dressed in the Ionic once you strap it on. Not simplest is the incorporated band cushy and simple to regulate, however the lighter weight of about 50 grams in comparison to 67 grams with the Sport makes a large distinction.

Samsung’s nailed the aesthetics down, however if you happen to desire convenience over seems (which is arguably extra vital when being energetic), the Ionic is how you can cross.

Fitness options

Speaking of being energetic, that is the item that each Samsung and Fitbit are advertising and marketing essentially the most for his or her respective wearables.

As anticipated, each the Gear Sport and Fitbit Ionic do a super activity at counting your steps, energy burned, and recording a number of other workout routines (together with swimming thank you to five ATM waterproofing on each and every one). There are patently small discrepancies between the stats that every one tracks, however one house the place I discovered the Ionic to be a lot more correct is with what number of flooring I walked up and down. On the Gear Sport, I discovered myself having to stroll up and down a flight of stairs two times earlier than it registered a unmarried one, while the Ionic used to be ready to maintain with none hassle.

Another house the place the Ionic shines is with on-screen exercises. There are 3 loaded onto the watch by means of default, and you’ll be able to get extra with a subscription to Fitbit Coach. Being ready to practice personalised exercises proper to your wrist is very handy, and whilst Fitbit Coach will price you $40 for an annual subscription, it is a kind of issues that is laborious to are living with out as soon as you may have attempted it.

The Gear Sport has an incredibly in depth health bundle.

The Gear Sport does not have anything else like this, however it does have a couple of great options of its personal that the Ionic unusually lacks. You can use the Gear Sport for logging your meals, water, and caffeine consumption all over the day, set desired goals you’ll love to hit all the way through a exercise, or even view your weekly efficiency for steps, energy, heart-rate, and so forth. These are all issues that Fitbit may just upload to the Ionic with a long run instrument replace, however in the meanwhile, it’s important to cross to the Fitbit app to your telephone to look/do any of this.

Even with that mentioned, I nonetheless discovered myself extra motivated to be energetic with the Ionic. The widespread reminders to get 250 steps in in line with hour is a pleasant encouragement to stay shifting, and a large number of Fitbit’s clock faces do a very good activity at appearing your steps, heart-rate, and energy burned. This is solely subjective on my section, however I did in reality understand myself sought after to hit the health club extra incessantly than no longer when dressed in the Ionic.

Smartwatchy stuff

When it involves non-fitness-related options, this one’s a combined bag.

To be completely blunt, notifications at the Ionic simply don’t seem to be that excellent. You’ll get notified of any calls, texts, calendar appointments, and different apps that you just grant permission to, however there is no technique to have interaction with them. You can solution or decline telephone calls, however that is about it. If you get a textual content or message on Hangouts, the one factor you’ll be able to do is swipe it away.

The Gear Sport is the most efficient with notifications, however Fitbit’s temporarily gaining sturdy developer enhance.

You can disregard notifications at the Gear Sport, however you’ll be able to additionally Like messages on Facebook Messenger, archive/delete emails, and reply to texts by means of typing on a T9 keyboard, handwriting, the use of your voice, and even sending emojis. I no doubt would not advise writing lengthy emails at the Sport, however having the ability to ship off a handy guide a rough respond to incoming messages with no need to pick out up your telephone is helping this really feel much more like a right kind smartwatch than the Ionic.

Fitbit’s app variety is smaller, however there are extra giant names right here.

Both the Ionic and Gear Sport can retailer track for offline listening, have NFC chips for cellular bills, and will run apps. I desire the usage of Spotify at the Sport versus Pandora at the Ionic for storing songs, and Samsung Pay has enhance for lots extra banks than Fitbit Pay in its early phases. When it involves apps, alternatively, I’ve to offer the higher hand to Fitbit.

Samsung’s wearables have had a loss of compelling apps for the reason that unique Galaxy Gear that got here out in 2013, and this, sadly, hasn’t modified all that a lot 5 years later. There are some giant names right here, equivalent to MyFitnessGood friend, ESPN, Bloomberg, and Endomondo, however maximum of what you can to find within the Galaxy Apps retailer is not price messing with.

Numbers-wise, there are a lot fewer apps to be had for the Ionic. However, with regards to 3 months since its free up, there are already apps for Starbucks, Yelp, Philips Hue Lights, Nest, Strava, Flipboard, E*TRADE, and others. Smartwatch apps don’t seem to be one thing I experience spending a large number of time in, however paying for my espresso at Starbucks and turning on my Hue lighting fixtures (with an respectable app I do not need to pay for) are issues I will’t do at the Sport, and most probably may not ever be capable of.

Other tidbits

A couple of different issues I spotted whilst the use of the Gear Sport and Ionic earlier than we wrap issues up:

  • You need to obtain 4 apps to make use of the Gear Sport on a non-Samsung telephone. For the Ionic, you simplest want one (the Fitbit app).
  • The Gear Sport lasts for a cast two days on a unmarried fee, however the 4 or extra days of use at the Ionic is fantastic.
  • Fitbit selected to make use of a proprietary band machine at the Ionic, however there are already a ton of third-party choices to make a choice from on Amazon.
  • You can exchange watch faces immediately at the Gear Sport, however need to open the Fitbit app to take action with the Ionic.

Final verdict

The Gear Sport and Fitbit Ionic proportion the similar retail worth of $299 (despite the fact that they are each less expensive than that at the moment), and to be completely fair, each are neatly price the associated fee.

If you are available in the market for a smartwatch that appears nice, handles notifications neatly, and is an excessively first rate health tracker, it is laborious to be disillusioned with the Gear Sport. This is the smartwatch I have been dressed in for the reason that day it got here out in mid-October, and I have in reality loved my time with it.

See Samsung Gear Sport at Amazon

With that mentioned, I am shifting over to the Ionic as my day by day wearable. The Ionic will not be as flashy because the Gear Sport or have its rotating bezel that is forever a laugh to make use of, however it works higher for my way of life. For any individual who is at Starbucks with regards to each and every unmarried day, the use of my watch to pay for my morning espresso is a large comfort that I love to have. The Ionic remains extra protected on my wrist when I am operating in comparison to the Sport, Fitbit’s better half app is extra stress-free to make use of, and whilst you pair the watch with the Aria 2 scale, it is simple to look why the Fitbit group has grow to be as massive as it’s.

See Fitbit Ionic at Amazon

If you personal a Samsung Gear Sport or Fitbit Ionic, which one did you select and why?

Smartwatches are superior. So why don’t seem to be they extra standard?

Samsung Gear Sport vs. Fitbit Ionic: Fitness smartwatch showdown

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