Fitbit Versa Review - What More Could You Ask For?

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The Fitbit Ionic wasn’t the mega hit Fitbit hoped it would be. But I personally think Fitbit is on to something with their new pebble like Fitbit versa. It has a new minimalist design thats reminiscent to the apple watch but at a much more reasonable price. Its still a fitness tracker first and a smart watch second. Heres what I like, what I don’t like and what I would change on the new Fitbit Versa. 

Depending on which Fitbit Versa you get they’ll either cost you $199.95 or $229.95. The 200 dollar models come with either black, rose gold, or silver aluminum casings and they all come with your classic silicon wrist bands. The 230 dollar models, like the one I have here comes with either graphite or rose gold aluminum casings and in addition to your classic silicon wrists bands they also bring a fabric wrist band. If you want to pick the Fitbit Versa up I’ll have a link in the description below and if you use the link it really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause Fitbit trackers routinely go on sale. So you might get lucky. 

Aside from the extra fabric wrist band the special edition Fitbit Versa comes bundled with, the special edition Versa also has an NFC chip for contactless payments. Personally I don’t really care for the NFC chip in the versa because I prefer to just use my phone for tap to pay… so I suggest you just pick up the Special edition Versa because you want more than one wrist band to choose from. And personally I think Fitbit should have included NFC on both Versa models. Now, actually removing the wrist bands from the versa isn’t as easy as the apple watch, but after you get the hang of it it should be painless. And Fitbit also gives you the option to choose from leather or stainless steel steel bands as well which are sold separately.

Aside from the extra fabric wrist band and the builtin NFC chip on the Special edition Fitbit Versa, Both versa models are identical. The Versa itself is surprisingly thin and light weight, its a watch that you actually forget you’re wearing after awhile especially with the fabric wrist band. There are three buttons on the sides of the watch which are all very easy to find and they all have great tactile feedback. The versa also comes equipped with a touch screen LCD display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 . And even in direct sunlight in a clear sunny day I have no issues actually seeing the display. The touch screen controls and responsiveness of the Versa when navigating through the menus and opening apps is good but there might be some hiccups here and there. Either the watch might need a second to catch up or your swipe might not register. The Versa is also water resistant down to 50 meters so this means you can wear it in the pool, in the rain, and you don’t have to worry about it if you sweat on it while you’re working out. 

If you’re someone who regularly workouts and you want to maximize your results then a fitness tracker like the Versa can help you quantify your daily activity so you can better program your training and or your diet. With the Versa you can monitor you heart rate 24/7, track your steps, track your distance walked, flights of stairs climbed, track how many calories you’ve burned, track your sleep and you can get a better breakdown of your performance during your workouts. The heart rate monitor on the Fitbit Versa is fairly accurate, but don’t expect it to be as precise as a dedicated chest strap heart rate monitor. The Versa is using bluetooth 4.0 and you can pair your wireless headphones to it so you can play your stored music off of it, but you cant connect a chest strap heart monitor.

For the runners who might be interested in the Versa, just know that it comes equipped with a 3 axis accelerometer and gyroscope and an altimeter. Unfortunately there is no built in GPS, instead the Versa uses Connected GPS which means the Versa relies on the GPS from your phone. This means the Fitbit Versa will only be able to map out your runs if you bring your phone along. If you decide to leave your phone behind the Versa will still be able to track your performance during your run, but your speed and distance ran wont be as accurate if you brought your phone along. 

As a smart watch the Fitbit Versa plays nice with both Apple and Android devices. You can see your notifications like text messages, emails, and incoming calls. But you can only do quick replies with android devices. You can also control your music playback, but I found myself either using the control buttons on the headphones them selves or just using the actual phone is much easier than trying to meddle around with a tiny touch screen. As a smart watch the Versa does enough to show you quick notifications at a glance so you can decide to whip out your phone or not if something important comes through. But you cant take phone calls like you can on the apple watch and you cant talk to your voice assistant though the Versa like you can on either the Apple Watch or Android smartwatches. 

But if you’re looking into a Fitbit you’re probably more interested in the fitness tracking aspect anyways. And Fitbit still has the best fitness tracking mobile app out there. And what I like most about the Fitbit app is that at a glance it is very simple and easy to read. The home page does a very good job of giving you a quick run down of your baseline stats for the day. But as you dig deeper into each category you can get a more detailed break down of your day or of your workout. And having a record of your daily activity and workouts lets you see just how much you’ve managed to progress if you actually stick to working out. And for the ladies out there, the Versa can also help you track your cycle and give you an idea of what to expect. The Fitbit mobile app also lets you track your sleep cycle so you can see when you’re in light, deep or REM sleep. But unfortunately this is one of those features that I don’t really care for. 

But now we need to talk about battery life on the Fitbit Versa. Fitbit Advertises a battery life of 4+ days but unfortunately in our testing we haven’t been able to hit that. When at a full charge and with a Monday through Saturday workout routine of 1 hour of interval training and 30 minutes of cycling and all day and night wear the Versa only managed to average 2 days and 16 hours of on time without ever being placed back on the charger. And keep in mind this is without streaming music off of the Versa and without using connected GPS. So your battery life will definitely vary depending on your workout frequency and what features you use. But we found that if you just drop the Versa into its charging cradle every time you shower for 15 or 20 minutes then the versa will have no problem keeping up with you. Unlike some other smart watches that you have to drop into the charger every night and you still risk it dying on you in the mid afternoon.

But overall I really do like the Fitbit Versa and I do think the Versa is going to sell better than the Fitbit Ionic. But I would have liked to see a bigger battery in the Versa, since the Versa is so thin I think Fitbit could get away with adding a millimeter or so without many people carrying as long as it means a longer real world battery life. I also think Fitbit should double down on the versa and have two case sizes for it. I’m a guy with not so big wrists, but the Versa still looks a little small on me. I think a larger Versa would be great for guys who aren’t really interested in the Ionic’s design or built in GPS. 

I do think there is a lot of potential for the Fitbit Versa, and I feel the Versa is a solid fitness tracker for your casual gym goer. Its going to help you track your progress, help you understand your daily activity, and hopefully help you stay consistent. The new design doesn’t scream fitness tracker and you also get some of the benefits of having a smart watch on your wrist. But the Versa isn’t the fitness tracker for your serious athlete trying to shave a few seconds off of their mile and its not the Smartwatch for a hardcore power user.