So, I broke down and returned that Ionic.
Here is the Fenix 5s that I got. It’s very pebble-like. The screen is the pebble trans-reflective screen that’s always on. I’ve got super skinny wrists and it doesn’t look too bad at all. These photos actually make it look bigger than it does in real life, and it still doesn’t seem over-the-top. It’s about the same thickness as my pebble steel, but a tiny bit wider to accomodate for the roundness.
There are a bunch of watch faces, just like the pebble. I’m getting old and my damn eyes are going, so I put in the biggest damn numbers I could find! However, it’s pretty cool, because, if you look closely, the numbers are blue at the bottom. When you get the watch, and set it up, these garmin people are all into fitness, so they want to know what your different goals are in “how many steps do you take a day”, type of thing. I just chose the defaults for my height and weight. As you walk around, those steps get added up and the blue fills in. (It’s morning, so I haven’t gotten too far. ) It’s actually been a bit interesting, kind of like driving a car that shows the miles/gallon as you go, and you can’t help but drive a bit more efficiently. So… who knows, maybe I’ll be healthier out of my own curiosity.
The messages come in nice and big and clear. I’m pretty happy with that. It comes with about 10000 exercise apps installed, and you click the left two bottom buttons to cycle through them up and down. Luckily, you can pick and choose and order, so my “up and down” goes “Time -> messages -> back to time -> and so on”. I really need to see messages quickly and if I’m at the gym, I can certainly find whatever workout Im doing from the other option (favorites list).
There are a TON of features on the app. Seriously: barometric pressure, a compass, gps, altimiter, heartbeat, etc. etc.etc… but for me, it’s a very very nice pebble.
Fitbit dropped the ball. It’s sooooo depressing that they just abandoned all the learning from Pebble. I’m just glad Garmin had it going on.
oh… and one more thing: The VivioActive 3 is $279. It does everything the Fenix 5s does, but it’s less waterproof. (I swim in salt water, so I didn’t want to risk it. It’s pool-proof, but they don’t recommend much else. It’s also touch screen and has Gramin Pay (whatever that is).
Basically, It’s probably the Go-To pebble replacement if you don’t want to drop $500 on the Fenix.
If you’re used to a Pebble, and you get a FitBit ionic, you’re going to want to shoot yourself.