Wednesday, 20 February, 2019


Fitbit Versa initial review: Lacks GPS, but loaded with functions

Fitbit Versa brings female health tracking and a much-improved design Fitbit Versa initial review: Lacks GPS, but loaded with functions
Kristine Garrett | 13 March, 2018, 19:22

It also made a decision to go with what it calls a "squircle" design - yes, really- softening the hard edges of a square with rounded corners to make it feel more inviting.

The Versa will be available in black, light gray, and rose gold with a classic band; a Versa Special Edition comes in graphite and rose gold with a woven band.

As mentioned, Fitbit wants the Versa to appeal to a wider audience, and part of that audience is female. The screen itself is considerably improved, sharing similar specifications to the Fitbit Ionic.

You have the choice of silicone (which felt particularly comfortable and is by far the best option if you're planning to exercise a lot), while there's also a variety of metal and Horween leather options too.

For specs, you've got a "hi-res" touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3 on top and up to 1000 nits brightness, 50M water resistance, 4+ day battery life, heart rate sensor (24/7 tracking), Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting to headphones, and connectivity to both Android and iOS devices.

It also supports the usual fitness tracking functions, including heart rate tracking and swimming, but also features menstrual tracking for the target audience. The Versa will hold up to 300 songs in its internal memory, so you don't need to take your phone with you when you leave the house.

When it comes to Fitbit Pay, the company's wearable payment service, the situation is a little. odd. Men, in fact, won't see these features at all unless they add a female tracking tile to the app by long-pressing a dashboard tile.

Fitbit says you'll get over four days of battery life, which is just a little under what the Ionic offers, but still pretty good when put against the big smartwatches on the market. In addition, for those looking to conceive, female health tracking might become a valuable tool to monitor your reproductive health. The more rounded design should be giving you Pebble Time Steel flashbacks (Fitbit acquired Pebble a while back). It also comes packed with the Relax guided breathing tutorials we've seen before. It has NFC for making payments with Fitbit Pay, but only in the special edition models.

For instance, it could recommend more sleep in the coming week because a bad period is on the way, or suggest easier ways to exercise if you're feeling too exhausted.

"As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price", said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

"The nuances of the menstrual cycle have not been as widely studied across populations as have other areas in healthcare", Fitbit adviser Dr. Katharine White says in the accompanying press release. That will extend to reminders and social challenges later in the year.

It will run Fitbit OS 2.0, which offers a new personalized dashboard and smart replies for Android users.

White adds that there just isn't a lot of data now out there that shows how a healthy woman's monthly cycle affects her overall health.

The Fitbit Versa will be available next month starting at $199.95 for the standard version and $229.95 for the Special Edition.

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