Fitbit had me participate in a themed workout to see how the Versa holds up under real-life activity. The Ionic is bulky, angular, and not suitable for every size wrist - the Versa gets rid of all those pain points. The Versa is extremely slim and, according to Fitbit, it's the company's lightest metal smartwatch in the US market.
I've yet to wear the Versa so I can't vouch for the software yet, but the watch's battery life and price may put it in position to attract consumers who want the features of the Apple Watch but aren't quite comfortable with Apple prices. The other new device is the Fitbit Ace, a fitness tracker that's created to inspire kids to stay active. That's coming later this spring, Fitbit says.
The most exciting thing here is what Fitbit is doing in software. While you can install period-tracking apps on the Apple Watch, there is no app that combines and analyzes all the information women need to understand their overall health. This is all thanks to Fitbit's proprietary cycle algorithm that supposedly gets smarter and more accurate as you log your period.
You can get even more granular details in the Fitbit app, which will also feature educational content on menstrual cycles, ovulation, fertility, and more.
Fitness trackers have come an extremely long way over the years. The watch's face has a softer look with rounded edges, while Fitbit will be selling new watch bands in various styles and colors similar to Apple's accessories. After trying the Versa on, I noticed stark differences between Fitbit's new watch and Apple's offering. It also now allows you to swipe down from the top of the watch to get your notifications - the Ionic made you swipe up from the bottom. Design-wise, the Versa is a big improvement. There'll be reminders to log your food intake or take medication, celebrations for hitting goals and milestones, insights into your activity, sleep summaries, social challenges and prompts to take action on your data. Fitbit's Deezer partnership is going global, while users in the United States also get Pandora (sorry, Europe). If you're an Android user, you can respond to text messages with a pre-populated or customized reply directly from your wrist. This feature will expand to other messaging apps in the future too. You can load around 300 of your favorite songs on the device, listen to stations from Pandora, and now listen to curated playlists and Flow from Deezer. The Ace is available to preorder now in blue or purple and will ship in the second quarter of this year. All Versa watches in Europe and Asia will come with Fitbit Pay onboard, but in the U.S. you'll need to get the £229.99 Special Edition Versa to get the feature. It's hard not to think of this as a cash grab for the US market. Up until now, it's been required that you own a device powered by FitbitOS to run your apps to see what your hard work looks like as a finished product. The Versa will also include numerous health features Fitbit introduced in previous products, like its PurePulse heart rate monitor, a virtual coach that guides wearers through exercises, various exercise modes and more. The $200 model comes in three color options: black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case.
Both upgrades will be available free of charge.
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