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Smart Watch Showdown: Fitbit Ionic vs. Apple Watch Series 3

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With many of the same features, it is becoming even more difficult for consumers to decide whether a Fitbit or an Apple Watch is the better investment. Recently, both companies released the latest edition of their watch products, the Fitbit Ionic and the Apple Watch Series 3, and with each release the products seem to become increasingly indistinguishable from one another.

The Fitbit Ionic contains features such as personal coaching, a built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring, and water resistance to support the product’s fitness productivity feature. Fitbit also highlights its convenient features such as the ability to make payments, access to popular apps, the ability to receive smartphone notifications, and a multi-day battery.

In addition, the Fitbit Ionic is able to store and play music when connected with your mobile device and includes Bluetooth headphone compatibility. These features appeal to the growing trend of cordless products and the growing consumer desire to not need their phones on them all the time.

Hannah McKenzie ’20 is a Fitbit user and is happy with her investment.

“The Fitbit is way more affordable and they offer different versions and they vary in price. I didn’t think I was necessary to get an Apple Watch when I already have an iPhone and a Mac. The Fitbit is perfect. Its small, discrete, and simply gets the job done,” she said.

The Apple Watch Series 3 contains many of the same features as the Fitbit Ionic, with only a few small differences. In addition to a smart coaching feature, a GPS, a heart rate monitoring, and a waterproof build like the Fitbit Ionic, the new Apple Watch model also offers an altimeter and breathing monitoring feature.

Additionally, the Apple Watch allows users to use Apple Pay, use popular apps, and receive cell and app-related notifications. Another major feature of the Apple Watch is similar to the Fitbit Ionic in the fact that it allows users to stream music and connect to wireless headphones via Bluetooth.

However, the major difference that lies between the two products is the Apple Watch feature that allows users to make phone calls and send text messages straight from their watch while not needing to have their phone on them.

Maggie DiPesa ’20 explained her decision to buy an Apple Watch.

“I got an Apple Watch since I already have several other Apple items. To my knowledge I don’t think you can reply to texts or use the Fitbit as a phone like my Apple Watch can so that was a big factor as well,” she said. “My sister really liked hers too so it seemed like the right choice.”

While the Fitbit Ionic allows users to receive text and call notifications, one is not able to respond to those messages using the watch. As of right now, only the Apple Watch has this feature. This alone is one of the major reasons consumers are driven to buy an Apple Watch over a Fitbit.

Otherwise, the only other major difference between the two products is the price. Right now, the Fitbit Ionic is being sold online starting at $299.95, whereas the Apple Watch Series 3 is being sold online at a starting price of $329.
Regardless of these few differences, both products continue to receive rave reviews online from consumers across the globe.


Photo courtesy of Martin Hajek

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