Make Ionic and Versa screen stay on longer to read notifications

Hi, received the Ionic today and love it. One suggestion, I received numerous notifications while at work this afternoon and when the Ionic vibrated for an incoming notification I would raise my wrist to activate the screen and would have to swipe up to see the notification. It would be nice if the incoming notification caused the screen to turn on automatically and stay on for at least 5 seconds so reading the notification was completely hands-free. Thank you.


Moderator edit: Subject for clarity/Added Labels


With surge, I could simply look at wrist every time. So simple. My surge got retired in September. Fitbit has wonderful service and that’s why I held out for a watch I could swim with. Came so close to ordering a Garmin Fenix many times. Not having my screen show me AUTOMATICALLY is a major annoyance. It’s got me majorly rethinking my decision. Smart watches are a convenience, Ionic has not been convenient. 

Community Legend

Yes @krissrock it does seem that out of the 14 people that have posted 31 comments I might be the only one without problems, but why is it only 14 people out of the many thousands that have bought the Ionic. Yes there are 72 votes but I'm sure some of them are simply because the user thinks that it is a neat idea. 

Personally out of the 12 models I found the Fitbit One the easiest to light with a simply press of a button unfortunately it was never in a spot that was easily accessible. Of the other models I found the Ionic to be the most consistent to turn on with a Twist of the arm. Not a jerking motion but a smooth twist doesn't even have to be done fast.

Recovery Runner

sales vs people who choose to join a forum are completely irrelevant. 
just like you're the odd one out in the group of ppl for whom the quick view works, we're all the odd one's out for those who choose to be part of this forum vs those who purchased the watch and did not join the forum... 

@LizFitbit, I need the screen to light up automatically. I’m frustrated hitting the button to see notifications. I have to push buttons on watch at least 75% of time to see who is calling/texting. May as well reach in my pocket and get phone to see. Loved that feature on surge. If I had known it didn’t have automatic updates, I would have bought Fenix.  That one feature is worth $200+ more dollars to me.  @Rich_Laue I’m guessing that sounds stupid to you but hopefully a simple click of a box would allow us all to be Burger King and have it our way. @krissrock, it’s funny how every other watch out there does this and we are the odd ones!!!

Recovery Runner
Recovery Runner

All of these will be fixed if a always on e-paper display will be implemented into a second generation Ionic or another product.


I find it stupid to have a really on demand content offering device (like a watch) showing the time and other important info after engaging in a action from the user's part like a tap, arm twist or pressing a button. Some things should always work, at night you really do need a backlit screen.

First Steps

I agree with your suggestion Phil. I would like to add that this watch replaced my Surge, which I LOVED! I cannot get the Ionic to turn on with any wrist flick and it's very frustrating. I work in healthcare and often have one hand busy when I need to see the time. I cannot see the time, text, or calls without pushing the wake button with my other hand. This is largely dissatisfying despite fashionable bands and color display screens. 


I also want this feature, I got my

Ionic today and it is super frustrating. I want to see notifications without performing an action ie flick wrist. 


Surely an update can get this implemented as a choice for people that want it. 

I've completely become fed up with this watch.  So frustrating and I hate it.  Had a chat with a fitbit rep today.  Asked if I could please trade my Ionic for an old Surge and was told no.  Was told that fitbit only deals with people that direct sales were made to so I needed to go see the retailer it was purchased from.  He offered some troubleshooting tips to make it work better.  Problem is even if it wakes up more than it does, I'll still hate until notifications are automatic.  Told him I was going to Garmin Fenix and was told basically good luck.  Fitbit is officially big enough to not care anymore.  


If anyone wants a backup Ionic, I can offer you one that was opened Christmas morning.  No reasonable offer refused!!!!

Recovery Runner

It's weird that this wasn't available at launch.

It's inexcusable that it's not available now, 4-5 months later.


I also would like to see notifications automatically display without having to tap the device. 


Recovery Runner

Agreed, I'm still not able to get the lift arm and twist thing to work, this would be helpful as an option to turn on if wanted.


Thanks all for your comments as now I can stop wasting time trying to find the selection in settings to enable this feature (that doesn't exist). It's about as basic as it gets. Not sure what Fitbit's design/implementation team was thinking on this one. Maybe skipped to meet a release schedule?


Be nice to get a response from Fitbit to tell us if the feature is even on the roadmap for a release or they just decided to 86 it altogether.



Hi @Slack, Nice suggestion, thanks for sharing.


I would like to Clarify, since on the newer trackers Notifications stay on memory until they are cleared, however, are you referencing the time when the Notification just got in ? 


I look forward to your reply and hearing what other community members think.

Status changed to: Reviewed By Moderator

Thanks everyone for your comments. To summarize:

  • The current engineering is designed so that your device vibrates without the screen coming on
  • You want to see notifications on-device without having to flick your wrist to activate quick view or press any buttons
  • Quick view doesn't seem to work for all of you consistently
  • You want the screen to turn on with every notification

I talked to the team about this and their concern is that it's one of those love/hate features - some people really want this and others really don't - so most likely, it would have to be optional. A couple of things to bear in mind:

  • This would shorten battery life
  • This could have some annoyances such as your device screen lighting up if it's on the nightstand whilst you're sleeping (whereby the  device wouldn't obey the 'don't send notifications whilst I'm sleeping' setting as it's not on-wrist) which could wake you up

Bearing that in mind, does anyone feel differently?


We are currently polling this feature so I can get a better understanding of how many people want it. Keen to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Recovery Runner

yes. please add an Option to have the fitbit turn on with every notification. 

I'm am totally fine with the "shortened" battery life...(i charge mine almost every night anyway)

I wear my fitbit to sleep almost every and I'm already bothered by it coming on as I move around anyway. So coming on with every notification wont make a difference...


so i do not feel differently...


please add the option to have the device show all notification without "quick view" 


thank you

Recovery Runner

Thank you for considering this! First of all, the Ionic's screen already comes on inadvertently tens of times a day, while washing my hands for instance, so I don't think having it activate with incoming messages will have that much of an impact on battery life. I also can't imagine the screen coming on at night will be that big of an issue for most. Most of our electronic devices' screens already turn for a moment in the middle of the night after they are fully charged and I haven't seen a reddit post about that, yet. lol


YES people want the option. I don’t believe the love/hate thing. Seems as if every other tracker has the automatic light up notification. I’ve literally spent two days shopping for a Garmin Fenix. May be too late for me but why not give people the option. It’s computer programming....should be easy to allow it. If your worried about waking someone up then give it option to allow automatic for calls, texts, and email. I only get late emails. Battery seems to be worse than surge anyways. Wish this option was available. It would have made a huge difference in my decision. Can’t wait six months to see.


Yes. Please, please add an option for automatic screen wake on notifications on the Ionic. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed a call because I can’t activate the screen fast enough. The wrist action is unreliable. I had a pebble that I loved that had this feature. Please add as an option. 


Hi @mmcgr@archeroutdoors@replayreb and @krissrock thanks for commenting, I appreciate all of your feedback. Sounds like impact on battery life isn't a huge concern. I think the screen lighting up at night might be a concern for some but we do have another suggestion under consideration for night mode which might resolve that issue, plus on Fitbit Ionic and Versa, there is a setting to turn off notifications during sleep.


I ran a poll over the last week on a few product boards and overall 74% of you (out of just under 200 voters) want the screen to turn on and 26% said vibrate is enough. Thanks everyone for discussing this with us - I will take this data back to the team and see what we can do. Thank you!

Recovery Runner
Thank you. It’s encouraging to know that you guys are listening to your customers.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10
Recovery Runner

I would love for the screen to not only turn the screen on upon all notifications and incoming calls, but for the actual message to be displayed to be read until action is taken by the user to manually remove off the screen.  That would be great if at least the option was given for those who need it.

Thank you! I hope your development team can enable this request.


Sent from my iPhone
First Steps

Definitely one of my top wants as well.  Quick view works ~50% of the time (my watch isn't always 90 degrees away from viewing), and it being optional vs. mandatory would make everyone happy.  It's great that Fitbit is listening and considering this.   

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