How to get the most out of your Fitbit smartwatch
The Fitbit Ionic is the company’s first ever smartwatch taking in all of the goodies from fitness trackers like the Charge 2, Alta HR and Flex 2 and combining it with features like Fitbit Pay, an onboard music player, notification support and battery life that wipes the floor with the Apple Watch and Google’s Android Wear collection.
We’ve spent plenty of time getting to know the Ionic now, so we wanted to share some useful tips and little tricks for when you get your hands on your own Fitbit smartwatch.
Got any questions about anything we’ve included below? Let us know in the comments section.
Improve battery life
The Ionic performs pretty well on the battery front. Fitbit claims it’s possible to get up to five days, and in our testing we’ve comfortably managed to get around four days. If you do want to increase the time that you have before you need to reach for the charger, there’s a couple of simple things you can do.
The first is to turn off continuous heart rate monitoring, which you can do from the Settings menu on the watch. Our other power saving tip is to turn the always on watch mode off when you are tracking exercises. You can do this before you start logging an activity by tapping the settings cog icon and scrolling down and turning off the Always On Screen mode.
Add more exercises to your Ionic
You can select up to seven exercise activities that can be tracked directly from the Ionic, and as a default they are running, cycling, swimming, treadmill running, weights, workout and interval workouts. You can also add additional activities including yoga, spinning, golf, pilates, circuit training and even kickboxing. You won’t get the same level of tracking as running, cycling and swimming, but it will record useful information like heart rate. To switch things up, go into the Exercise Shortcuts menu on the phone app and tap Edit to remove and replace activities. Once the Ionic has synced with the changes you should now see the new activity screen(s) appear.
Show off your stats
If you are one of those people who loves a social media gloat about your daily or weekly step counts, there is a really easy way to do it. Head to the Fitbit web dashboard and click the big settings icon in the top right hand corner. Here you’ll find the Sharing option for Twitter. Once you’ve linked the two accounts together, a daily and weekly tweet will be sent out then just watch those followers unfollow….
Delve into your data
The Fitbit app does a pretty decent job of serving up the information you need to know, but if you want to take things further and closely examine running data, you can export the raw data to be used in other analytics applications. This tip requires going to the web dashboard and the Settings menu as described above and going to Data Export. Here you can pick the time period of data you want to export (up to 31 days), the type of data and pick the file format. Hit download and you can start crunching those numbers.
Get interval training set up
Away from core tracking modes for running, cycling and swimming, there is dedicated tracking for when you want to burn some calories with a session of high intensity training. To set up intervals and rests in between, you’ll need to go to the Fitbit app first and then head to the Exercise Shortcuts menu. From there select Interval Workout and then you can adjust the times as well as the number of times the intervals should be repeated. The Ionic will buzz to indicate interval and rest periods.
Pair the Ionic with Strava
At launch, there isn’t going to be a great number of third party apps available but one we are glad to see is Strava. The sports tracking app will allow you to record activities like runs and rides using the Ionic’s onboard GPS and sync the data to the platform. There’s also a nice Matched Runs feature that will compare data from routes you covered more than once to see your progress.
To get the two apps playing nice together you’ll need to go to your Fitbit app on your phone, and head to the app section in the Ionic’s menu. Select the small cog icon next to the Strava app and that’ll push you into the Strava web app where you’ll need to log in and authorise Fitbit to sync with Strava. When you go back into the Fitbit app, the Strava profile should now indicate that the app is now authorised to share the information.
Restart your Ionic
If your Fitbit smartwatch is playing up there is a way to give it a reboot, which can often do the trick to get things working properly again. To do this, hold down the physical button on the left side of the watch and the bottom right one on the opposite side together for a few seconds. The screen should go black and then you’ll see the Fitbit icon flash up to indicate that a successful restart has been completed.
Go one step further and factory reset
If that restart doesn’t do the trick, you can also perform a full factory reset that will delete all settings and data from the watch completely. So make sure you want to do that or you sync your data to the app before doing this. On the watch, head to Settings and swipe all the way down until you see About. Scroll down again until you see Factory Reset and get ready to take things back to when you first pulled it out of the box.