Fitbit is giving the smartwatch another chance and the new Fitbit Versa looks promising, sporting a better design and improved functionality.
The company's first smartwatch was the Fitbit Ionic, but it was not as successful as other wearables. The new Fitbit Versa now steps away from the harsh design of its predecessor and features slimmer bezels and a rectangular form factor with rounded corners - Fitbit refers to it as a "squircle."
Fitbit Versa Design
At first glance, the new Fitbit Versa bears a striking resemblance to the Apple Watch, albeit it's less refined. Despite the highly similar design, Fitbit wants to make its Versa stand out through its focus on fitness and health. At the same time, the Fitbit Versa is significantly cheaper than the Apple Watch, as it comes in at a $199 price point. That's also notably cheaper than the Fitbit Ionic as well, which costs $300.
Fitbit Versa Features
The new Fitbit Versa offers the standard features we've come to expect from a smartwatch, such as smartphone notifications, continuous heart-rate monitoring, and an app store. It also features baked-in payment capabilities thanks to Fitbit Pay, a long battery life of up to four days on a single charge, steps and workout training, and waterproof capabilities.
The smartwatch can also record users' daily stats, workouts, and sleep cycles, and it also allows women to keep tabs on their menstrual cycle. Women can also record period-related symptoms such as cramps each month, and compare them with the symptoms recorded in other months. The Fitbit Versa can also store up to 300 songs and link with Pandora through the tethered smartphone.
"Designed to be your personal health and fitness companion, Versa does more than tell the time," touts Fitbit. "It tells you how to make the most of it."
On the downside, the smartwatch doesn't come with GPS or cellular connectivity, which means that it needs to be tethered to a smartphone at all times. Users will not be able to log on to social media or check their email on the smartwatch.
Fitbit has also widened the range of available colors. The Fitbit Versa itself comes in black, silver, or rose gold avatars. Various bands, meanwhile, allow for more personalization, with options including woven bands, a Milanese Loop, or leather bands.
All in all, the Fitbit Versa comes with standard smartwatch features, an Apple Watch-like design, a four-day battery life, but no GPS or cellular data. At $199, however, the trade-offs are understandable.