Considering their size, smartphones provide unparalleled access to a limitless amount of information. But even with devices getting thinner and lighter, they’re not always the most comfortable—or convenient—things to carry around (think: on a run, at the gym, around the office), which is why Fitbit Ionic is designed to stand alone. Aside from timekeeping, 10 of Ionic’s core features can function without a smartphone nearby, freeing up your hands and pockets for more important things—or nothing at all.
Below, 10 phone-free Fitbit Ionic features that will help you achieve your health goals, unencumbered.
Everything You Can Do on Fitbit Ionic Without Your Phone Nearby
Run (or walk!) with GPS
Just step out the door and go—sans phone. The Run Detect feature on Ionic kickstarts the device’s integrated GPS, so you get accurate real-time heart rate, pace, distance, elevation, and split times—as well as a post-workout summary—right on your wrist. When you return home, simply sync Ionic with the Fitbit app to see a map of your route on your phone.
Not only do you not need your phone to buy things while wearing Ionic, but you don’t need your wallet either. If you’re at a store that accepts contactless payments, simply press and hold the left button on your watch for two seconds to get to the Fitbit Pay app. If prompted, enter your four-digit watch PIN code. After your card appears on the screen, hold the watch face (on your wrist—you must be wearing Ionic for Fitbit Pay to work) near the payment terminal. Ionic will vibrate and you’ll see a confirmation on the screen when the payment goes through. Customers in Australia will have to follow a slightly different process. For more information, read What should I know about Fitbit Pay?
Listen to music and podcasts
Ionic can store several hours of your favorite songs and podcasts, which you can then easily listen to using Bluetooth headphones, like Fitbit Flyer. To download playlists to your watch, you’ll need a computer with a Wi-Fi connection and the free Fitbit desktop app. You’ll be able to download any files that you own or that don’t require a license. For detailed instructions, read How do I listen to music and podcasts on my Fitbit watch?
Monitor your heart rate
Powered by PurePulse, Ionic displays your real-time heart rate and resting heart rate in the Today app, mentioned above, as well on certain clock faces. During workouts, you’ll also be able to see which heart-rate zones your heart rate is in, so you can adjust your training intensity accordingly.
Work out with Fitbit Coach
Ionic comes pre-loaded with three, free Fitbit Coach bodyweight workouts. To start a workout on Ionic, tap the Fitbit Coach app, choose a workout (you can preview it by tapping the menu icon in the top right), and then tap the Play icon in the bottom right corner. You’ll see a 10 second demo of each move (tap the play icon again to skip it, and Ionic will vibrate when it’s time to start and stop. At the end of the session, you’ll see a workout summary that includes calories burned, average heart rate, max heart rate, and more.
Track your hourly activity
If you have Reminders to Move turned on, Ionic will keep track of when you’ve been too stationary and vibrate at ten minutes before the hour if you haven’t taken at least 250 steps in the past 50 minutes. Hit your 250-step goal in time and you’ll get a celebratory message and vibration.
Log and analyze your exercise
Ionic can capture stats from more than a dozen types of exercise—like running, biking, hiking, swimming, and indoor cycling—and you can customize the Exercise app to easily access your favorites. To track an exercise on Ionic, open the Exercise app, swipe to find the exercise of your choice and then tap to select it. Tap the play icon or press the bottom button to begin. Ionic shows three real-time stats. Swipe the middle one to scroll through more. When you’re done with your workout press the bottom button and confirm that you want to stop. Press the top button to view your workout summary and then tap Done to exit.
See your daily stats
As you go about your day, Ionic is busy tracking and storing multiple data points, seven of which can be viewed on your watch in the Today app: steps, hourly activity, heart rate and resting heart rate, distance covered, calories burned, floors climbed, and active minutes. To change the order of the daily stats tiles, press and hold a tile and then drag it to a new location. All Ionic stats except sleep reset at midnight. And, as always, your full suite of stats can be found in your Fitbit app or on your fitbit.com dashboard.
Practice guided breathing
The Relax app on Ionic uses your heart rate to personalize a two or five minute deep breathing session. To get started, tap the Relax app. It will default to the two-minute experience. Tap the gear icon to choose the five-minute session (or to turn off the optional vibration cues), then press the back button. Tap the play symbol to start the session and follow the on-screen instructions. At the conclusion of the session, you’ll get feedback on how closely you followed the breathing prompts, as well as your heart rate at the beginning and end of the session and how many days you’ve completed a guided-breathing session this week.
Set a silent alarm
Although you can always control your silent alarms in the Fitbit app or from the Fitbit.com dashboard, Ionic gives you the ability to do it on the fly from your wrist. On your watch, open the Alarms app and tap “+ New Alarm” (if you’ve already created multiple alarms via the app or dashboard, you may need to scroll down to see this option). Tap “12:00” and then scroll to set your desired alarm time—don’t forget to set am or pm. Press the back button on your watch and then scroll down to set the frequency.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.