We watch folks have a difficult time with smartwatches. We can’t see them supplanting our beloved traditional watches, but we’re undeniably drawn to the promises (if not the delivery on those promises) of what the tech can do for us. For me, I’ve really decided they don’t fit my own particular use case, and would likely need to double-wrist it. In other words, not likely. The one exception I would likely make would be for something like the Fitbit Versa.
Now, why would I be as bold as to make that exception? Well, I’m a Fitbit fan. I’ve carried a Fitbit One for probably 3 years now, and I like the metrics that quantify my activity, and I have also really grown to appreciate (and depend on) the silent alarm function it offers to get me up and moving to the gym in the morning (for more measurement). So, you could say, I’m comfortable with the premise of the Fitbit, and I’m used to the software side of their equation as well.
While the Fitbit Ionic was really the first foray into the smartwatch game (we’ve been trying to get one in for review, but no luck as of yet), the Fitbit Versa really steps things up in the looks department. Yes, you do lose the GPS capabilities that the Ionic offers (so, for the runners, that’s the one you want to look at), but I dig the sleeker design, which I’m sure is more than a little reminiscent of the Apple Watch.
Along with the design of of the watch, you’ve got all of the various tracking and fitness capabilities that Fitbit is known for (full list down below), including some additional swim capabilities that my Fitbit One certainly isn’t offering. You can also get apps on the watch, notification from the phone, and so on – basically, everything you’d expect from a smart watch. Except the daily charging – the Fitbit Versa is estimated to have a 4-day battery life, which is nothing to shake a stick at.
With the price for the Fitbit Versa coming in at $199 (currently on pre-order), it’s also a more affordable option than the Fitbit Ionic – say, a fitness watch for the not-so-serious athlete. I, like you, have only seen the photos, but I do like what I’m seeing here. In the meantime, we’ll continue to work with our contacts to get at least the Fitbit Ionic in, if not also the Fitbit Versa, to see how these things work in the real world, and whether or not I can pull off double-wristing watches. It’ll be the challenge of 2018, I tell you! fitbit.com
Tech Specs from Fitbit
- Fitbit Today: See all your daily stats, plus personalized insights and reminders all in one place.
- PurePulse® Heart Rate: Get continuous heart rate tracking, follow trends over time & see real-time heart rate zones.
- Automatic Activity & Sleep Tracking: See steps, distance, calories, floors climbed, active minutes & time in light, deep and REM sleep.
- Female Health Tracking: Turn on female health tracking to log periods, track your cycle & gauge ovulation. Coming soon.
- Guided Breathing Sessions: Find moments of calm throughout the day with personalized breathing sessions based on your heart rate.
- On-screen Workouts: On-screen workouts give you guidance through every move & adapt based on your feedback.
- Exercise Modes & Connected GPS: Track workouts with 15+ exercise modes & use your smartphone GPS to see real-time pace and distance.
- Swimproof: Water-resistant to 50M & tracks laps, duration and calories burned during swim workouts.
- SmartTrack: Automatically recognizes and records activities like runs, sports & aerobic workouts.
- Cardio Fitness Level: Get a personalized Cardio Fitness Score and tips to improve over time.
- Store & Play Music: Store and play 300+ songs, plus download stations from Pandora. Pandora Plus or Pandora Premium subscription required.
- Popular Apps: Instantly access your favorite apps for weather, sports and more.
- Notifications & Quick Replies: Get call, calendar, text, and app alerts. Send quick replies to messages (Android only—coming soon).
- Wallet-Free Payments: Built-in NFC chip stores credit cards for use on your watch. Available only on special editions.
- Multi-Day Battery: Battery of 4+ days lasts day and night without charging. Battery life and charge cycles may vary.
- Accessories & Clock Faces: Wear Versa your way by changing your clock face & switching the accessory band (sold separately).
- Premium Design: Bright color touchscreen & a slim, lightweight anodized aluminum body.
- Hi-Res Touchscreen: Amplified brightness up to 1000 nits & durable screen made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
- Wireless Syncing: Works with Bluetooth headphones & 200+ leading iOS, Android and Windows devices.