How does the Fitbit Versa compare to the Ionic?

Fitbit are doubling down on the smartwatch category with their cheaper, more mass-market Fitbit Versa. But how does it compare to last year’s Fitbit Ionic?

Features

Both the Versa and the Ionic run on Fitbit’s proprietary FitbitOS, so their feature sets are largely the same.

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic supports FitbitOS apps, comprehensive fitness tracking, music playback over Bluetooth and contactless payments via Fitbit Pay. The smartwatch also supports sleep monitoring, breathing guide and goal setting, messaging, call and social app notifications.

[Related: On The Money: Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay Explained]

Additional apps are available through the Fitbit App store, including Pandora, Deezer, The New York Times and Philips HUE Smart Lights.

Fitbit Versa

The Fitbit Versa supports FitbitOS apps, comprehensive fitness tracking, music playback over Bluetooth and contactless payments via Fitbit Pay. Like the Ionic, the Versa also supports sleep monitoring, breathing guide and goal setting, messaging, call and social app notifications.

Additional apps are available through the Fitbit App store, including Pandora, Deezer, The New York Times and Philips HUE Smart Lights.

Display

In terms of overall design, the Fitbit Ionic looks more like a traditional Fitbit while the slimmer Versa sits a lot closer to the Apple Watch in terms of aesthetics.

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic boasts a 1.42-inch inch with 348 x 250 pixels. This is slightly larger than the display on the Versa.

[Related: In Pictures: Fitbit bring the Versa smartwatch to Australia]

Fitbit Versa

The Fitbit Versa boasts a 1.34-inch with 300 x 300 pixels. This is slightly smaller than the Ionic’s display.

Connectivity

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic boasts Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. It also features a built-in GPS - which the Versa lacks.

Fitbit Versa

The Fitbit Versa boasts Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. However, it lacks the built-in GPS found in the Ionic.

Sensors

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic features a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, ambient light sensor and built-in GPS.

Fitbit Versa

The Fitbit Versa incorporates a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, ambient light sensor and SpO2 sensor.

Durability

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic is water Resistant up to 50 meters and boasts Gorilla Glass 3 protective coating on its display.    At 58g, it’s slightly heavier than the Versa - but not by much.

Fitbit Versa

The Fitbit Versa is waterproof up to 50 meters but lacks the Gorilla Glass found in the Ionic. It's also a little lighter, weighing in at 30g.

Colors and Customizability

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic is available in 3 colors: Charcoal/Smoke Gray, Slate Blue/Burnt Orange and Blue Gray/Silver Gray.

In terms of watch bands, Fitbit sell Classic and Sports Band options for the Ionic (priced at $49.95). There’s also a leather watch-band priced higher at $99.95.                                       

Fitbit Versa

The Fitbit Versa is available in 3 colors:  black, rose gold and graphite.

In terms of watch bands, Fitbit sell Classic Band options for the Versa (priced at $49.95). There’s also a leather watch-band priced higher at $69.95. Finally, there are a range of metal watch-band options that range in cost from $99.95 to $159.95.

Pricing

Fitbit Ionic

In Australia, the standard Fitbit Ionic is currently priced at $399.95.

There’s also a special Adidas variant available, which comes with a special wristband option unavailable for purchase elsewhere, priced at $449.

Fitbit Versa

In Australia, the standard Fitbit Versa is priced at $299.95.

There’s also a special edition available, which comes with a special Woven wristband option unavailable for purchase elsewhere, priced at $349.

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Fergus Halliday
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