Fitbit Versa Review

What is the Fitbit Versa?

The Fitbit Versa is the company's second attempt at a fully developed smart watch, following in the footsteps of the Ionic. The Ionic was launched late last year, and it was not the device many expected it to be, with its design and its lost smart watch credentials.

With the Versa, Fitbit has addressed some of the criticism. It's a much more refined product, and it looks significantly better than the somewhat clumsy Ionic.

It also has many tracking capabilities and offers exceptional battery life, but still stumbles in the same departments as its predecessor. There's a lot I like about the Versa, but Fitbit needs to improve its smart features and application support to really shine.

Fitbit Versa – Design and display

The Fitbit Versa is simple but attractive. The rounded square design, or squircle, if you wish, may not be to everyone's taste, but most of those who doubt can overcome it simply by how elegant it seems.

Related: Best fitness tracker

Unlike some other smartwatches, the Versa will not dominate in your arm. Its aluminum body is slim, compact and comfortable to use, sitting flat against the wrist. It looks much more slippery than the clumsy and angular Ionic.

Based only on appearance, the Ionic is obviously a fitness-oriented device. The Versa, on the other hand, feels much more polished and friendly with the lifestyle.

From afar, you could easily confuse it with the Apple Watch. The most obvious differences are the physical buttons. Instead of a digital crown, the Versa has a key along its left edge: to activate the screen or navigate backward. There are two on your right, to start, pause and finish your workouts quickly.

Our biggest design criticism concerns the bezel that runs around the Versa screen. It's thick, remarkably so. This can be attributed in part to the brightness and vitality of the touchscreen of the smart watch. It reaches 1000 nits, which facilitates reading at all times, even in sunlight. It is not a screen always on, but can reactivate it with a wrist movement, pressing the left button or a strong blow with the finger.

In addition to black, the Versa is also available in silver and rose gold patterns, and there is a range of silicone, leather, metal and fabric bands to choose from.

Fitbit Versa – Specifications and sensors

Unlike the Ionic, the Versa has no built-in GPS. What this means is that, if you want to track your running route, you should also take your phone with you. That's a big problem, and it's one of the main reasons why the Versa costs a lot less than the Ionic.

However, what the Versa has is enough on-board storage for about 300 of your favorite music tracks, which you can play through a pair of Bluetooth headphones. This will allow you to go on the phone in the gym, which is great. To run, however, it makes more sense to play music through your phone, since you probably also have it with you because of its GPS capabilities.

Related: Best Smart Watch

There is an NFC chip on board for contactless payments, but that's a lot more work in progress. Only Danske Bank and Starling Bank support Fitbit Pay in the UK at this time. In the USA In the meantime, contactless payments are available in the Versa Special Version, which costs $ 30 more than the standard model (and is available in coal and rose gold).

The Versa is also water resistant up to 50 meters, can be used in the pool, and does all the tracking using a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, an optical heart rate monitor and an altimeter.

Fitbit Versa – Exercise and tracking activity

These sensors allow the Versa to track a wide range of activities including running, swimming and cycling. It also tracks your general walks and trainings, such as weightlifting and interval training, and monitors your steps, distance traveled, staggered floors, calories burned, heart rate and sleep.

For anyone new to smartwatches, this may seem like a lot, but the key here is how easy it is to use Versa. Run Fitbit OS 2.0, which is intuitive, easy to navigate and allows you to access key functions of the clock with just a few strokes and touches.

To track an execution, for example, simply slide to the left on the main screen, touch the exercise icon and select Execute. For other types of exercise, slide the tabs until you reach the correct option. To start tracking, press the Play button, which you can touch again to stop the tracking. You can end your training by hitting the checkered flag icon.

To quickly see the statistics for the day, including the details of the workouts you completed and your progress, simply slide up on the main screen.

This simplicity is crucial, as it makes everything easy to find, which in turn, makes the Versa pleasant to use and interesting. Of course, you can also set reminders and alerts for the objectives. However, as in the case of any smart watch, it can sometimes seem aggressive and sometimes a little irritating.

As mentioned earlier in the review, the Versa has no built-in GPS, so you must connect your phone to get a map of your running route, which you can then see in the Fitbit application.

While it is running, the watch displays key information, such as pace, time and distance, and you can scroll to get additional information. Thanks to Run Detect, it automatically stops tracking when it stops for a break and resumes when it starts moving again. The smooth regular vibrations tell you when you have reached certain milestones in the middle of the route too, at intervals of one kilometer, for example, so you do not need to keep looking down on your wrist.

In the pool, the Versa automatically knows when one length has ended and started another, and also shows the distance it has covered and the number of calories it has burned.

Another practical feature offered by Fitbit is the ability to measure quickly against other people. Within the application, in the Heart Rate section, you will find a Cardio Fitness Score chart, which is an estimate of your VO2 Max based on factors such as heart rate, race pace, age and weight. The idea is to improve your score over time by exercising regularly.

The related graphic Cardio Fitness Level provides a competitive advantage, showing you exactly where you are compared to people of the same age and sex. [19659003] Similar comparisons are also available for sleep tracking. The Versa automatically monitors your sleep, using changes in your movement and heart rate to function when you nodded and when you woke up.

The Fitbit application displays this information in a graph that shows how much time has passed in each phase of individual sleep: awake, REM, light and deep. It is true that this requires a degree of confidence in Fitbit's tracking capabilities on your part.

However, I tend to wake up several times each night and, in the course of this review, at least I have been trying to write down exactly at what time of the night this happens. It is promising that my dream graphics seem to coincide with the periods of night consciousness that I really managed to remember successfully.

Again, you can get more information about your sleep patterns by sliding the screens in the Application's Suspension section. Comparisons with others of your age are also easy to find and encourage you to think about your bedtime routine and ways to improve it.

Fitbit will add menstrual cycle tracking for users in the future, but it is not clear when it will arrive.

Fitbit Versa: SmartWatch functionality

Many consumers will probably be evaluating the Versa primarily because of its fitness-focused features, but what should differentiate it from the cheaper fitness bands is its smart capability. However, this is where improvements must be made.

The most obvious focus area for Fitbit is the applications section. Simply, there are not many useful applications to download and use in the Versa.

Deezer is perhaps the largest of the group, but here is an obvious problem. If you already have an account with Spotify, Deezer's most popular opponent, then it is unlikely that you will create and pay for a new Deezer account just so you can listen to music through your smart watch. In addition, the fact that you need to have your phone with you to correctly follow your careers in the Versa makes the idea of ​​using Deezer on the watch even less attractive.

There's also Strava, Hue Lights, Nest, Yelp and The New York Times, but those are the biggest names available at the moment. It's a bit like the Windows Phone app store right now: it's not totally simple, but the main titles are few and far between. Fitbit has promised to launch more applications to its smart watch platform in the near future, including Uber, but needs to move forward.

It is a similar case with notifications, which currently feel half coagulated. You can receive alerts on the Versa for calls, text messages and events when the device is connected to your phone, but you still can not answer directly from the watch.

You expect such limitations in smart bands, but smart watches are supposed to offer more. Once again, Fitbit needs to work quickly to add additional functionality.

Otherwise, it's more or less what you expect. You can customize the look of the Versa by scanning a wide range of watches through the Fitbit application and, as mentioned earlier in the review, you can add songs to the watch and use them to make contactless payments (if your bank is compatible). [19659005] Fitbit Versa – Battery life

The Versa's resistance really puts other smart watches in the shade. Fitbit says it can expect the watch to last at least four days on a single charge, but the real-life results show that it is a conservative estimate.

In tests, the Versa continued to operate comfortably beyond four days. When it was connected to my phone via Bluetooth, it lasted five days; when he was unattached, he achieved six days. Also, if you want to extend that further, you can set the brightness of the screen to dim instead of automatic or bright.

These are super impressive figures, which practically put the Versa in balance with the Fitbit Ionic. However, most other smartwatches do not come close. The Apple Watch, for example, should be charged every night.

The Versa also comes with a clip charger, in which you place the watch by pressing it to open it. From plane, you will return to 100% in about two hours.

Why buy the Fitbit Versa?

In many ways, the Fitbit Versa from £ 199.99 is an improvement on the Ionic from £ 279.99. It's much better, more lifestyle friendly and has a similar set of features, and all of this comes wrapped in a device that costs a lot less money.

You can also use it to monitor a variety of activities, including swimming, and it's easy to use. The duration of the battery is another pen in its cover; Most other smart watches on the market do not come close.

However, as a real smart watch, it is limited at this time. It is expected that this will change in the near future when Fitbit implements the planned updates, but it may be worth waiting until they are published before buying the Versa. Currently, it feels like a work in progress. Some users will find the lack of applications frustrating, and it is disappointing that we still have to wait for the features we expect from a smart watch, such as quick responses to messages.

The lack of built-in GPS is also a big flaw, and means you'll be tied to your phone when you go out running. Although it is not the worst in the world, we prefer that it is not necessary.

The Versa is undoubtedly a step ahead of the Blaze, but now it feels like a smart watch for occasional users looking to make small improvements in their lifestyle and try a smart watch for the first time. Keeping this in mind, serious brokers should consider the Ionic, or slightly more expensive, but more attractive, Apple Watch Series 3 GPS.

Verdict

There's a lot I like about the Versa, from its generous range of tracking capabilities to its sleek design and exceptional battery life, but Fitbit needs to improve its smart capabilities and application selection.