After the new Fitbit watch was leaked a few weeks ago, many began wondering when Fitbit was finally going to announce the new product. The new watch, named Versa, has a lot of the same features as the previously released Ionic, but what it lacks in features it more than makes up for in style.
The Versa comes with all the things you would expect from a Fitbit watch, sleep tracking, heart rate monitor, movement reminders and exercise trackers. The Versa, like the Ionic, is also waterproof and it sells for $100 cheaper than the $299 price of the Ionic. This difference in price could be attributed to the Ionic’s built-in GPS whereas the Versa connects to GPS via a smartphone.
All images via Fitbit
After the Blaze in 2016 and the Ionic in 2017, many reviewers and tech journos commented that the look of both watches was not good. However, soon after the Blaze hit the market, Fitbit acquired ex-smartwatch maker, Pebble, for a sum of $23 million and it is clear that the Versa borrows design elements from previous Pebble models. I initially bought a Fitbit Blaze back in 2016 when the smartwatch craze was at its peak, and my favorite feature was the sleep tracking, which was surprisingly accurate. I did stop using the Blaze after a year because it lacked the functionality of other watches, and it was infrequently updated.
The new line of Fitbit watches allow users to pay with their watch using Fitbit Pay, and there is functionality with third-party apps like Flipboard, Strava, Hue Lights and Amazon Alexa. One feature not commonly found on outdoor watches is female health tracking. This feature tracks menstruation cycles to help predict a women’s next period and ovulation. Female health tracking will be available in May—the Ionic does not currently have that feature.
Part of the marketing materials from Fitbit state that this watch is stylish and can be worn at all times, from working out to having drinks with friends on the weekends. The watch comes in three standard flavors: black, rose gold and silver. Two special edition models, the silver aluminum and rose gold, come with a charcoal and lavender band, respectively. Although I haven’t worn one yet, these new models look more fashionable, but it still toes the line between a smartwatch and a lifestyle watch. The beveled edges, and brushed aluminum look on some the models add a sophistication that was previously lacking. The Ionic made the list for our “Best of Tech 2017” for its vast improvement over the Blaze.
Serious athletes will opt for a Garmin or Suunto, but people with more laid-back lifestyles will find a lot to like. The sleek design, affordable price—when compared to the Ionic—and Fitbit Pay make this watch worth it. The Fitbit Versa is out in April and will retail for $199.