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Fitbit Versa 2 review: The direction is correct

Fitbit Versa 2 featured image
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2019 TechnikNews)

Anyone who read my reviews of previous versions of the Fitbit Versa knows that I never get to 100 Prowas totally convinced. Now with the Fitbit Versa 2, I think Fitbit is going in the right direction.

The Fitbit Versa 2 is now the fourth watch in the Fitbit smartwatch range. The first came Fitbit Ionic, followed by the first versa. In between there is the Fitbit Versa Lite then a. Well joined them for IFA 2019 also the second Versa to it. The innovations include an AMOLED display, a faster one Proprocessor and various changes to the operating system. And like I said in the introduction, I think Fitbit is going in the right direction with that.

Unboxing and initial setup

On the other hand, there are no innovations in the packaging - everything remains the same here. The box is therefore mostly white and has various light blue surfaces, labels and Fitbit logos. If you remove the lower flap, the box containing the contents of the package can be removed. There is the watch in the upper part, a longer interchangeable bracelet, the charger and some instructions in the lower part.

Fitbit Versa 2 unboxing

This is included next to the clock. (Picture: TechnikNews)

The first time you set up the clock is as usual. Go to the Fitbit app in the device section and select the option to set up. Then you put the Versa 2 in the charging cradle and enter the code on the smartphone that appears on the watch. When this step is done, open updates will be downloaded and installed. Then you can use the watch, the whole thing should take between 15 minutes and 20 minutes.

Design and workmanship

The Fitbit Versa 2 looks like its predecessor once more. We still have a form factor that looks very similar to the Apple Watch and the very difficult-to-use mechanisms for attaching the bracelets. However, one thing is new, namely the microphone on the right-hand side. This means that, as with the Versa Lite, there are no longer any action buttons. I really liked this on the first Fitbit Versa, so I think that's a shame. The housing is made of aluminum and, depending on the configuration, comes in three different colors: black, gray or gold. The processing is at a known high level and water resistance is also given.

Fitbit Versa 2 Theme 1

Picture: TechnikNews

The heart rate sensor was then installed on the underside together with the pins for the charging station. This charging station looks the same as the Lite version of the Versa range.

There is also a whole range of compatible bracelets, so you can choose different styles and combinationsprocan beer. My test device came with a black silicone strap, which I unfortunately noticed is rubbing off a bit and clear signs of wear are visible over time. So I swapped it out with my Versa's gray strap. Fitbit also offers several sport, leather and stainless steel options.

Fitbit Versa 2 Theme 2

Unfortunately, there are no longer any action buttons on the right, just a microphone. (Picture: TechnikNews)

The display has grown a little and is based on AMOLED for the first time. That means better colors and an always-on display. In combination with the sufficiently high brightness, I no longer want to do without this panel when I wear a Fitbit. I find it a bit unfortunate that the watch face for the AOD is not simply darkened, as is the case with Wear OS and watchOS 6, but appears completely different. Since the release of Fitbit OS 4.0, you can at least adjust this additionally. It is also nice that the currently running timer is shown on the AOD. So you don't always have to activate the clock if you just want to check the running countdown. Apropos: If desired, the display turns on when you turn your wrist. It works very well and better than the last one tested Fitbit Charge 3.

Specs

In the Fitbit Versa 2 comes a slightly stronger one Proprocessor than in the predecessor, which is noticeable in daily use. Animations are suddenly smoother than the previous two Versas, which I really like as the overall pacing doesn't feel as slow anymore. Otherwise, there are several motion sensors for tracking movements, but no integrated GPS. This means that (e.g.) when running or cycling, you have to rely on the GPS of your smartphone.

NFC is on board, which means that the watch is compatible with Fitbit Pay. I have how that works in a separate article held. In short, I was very happy with the experience. According to Fitbit, the battery life is six days. I can also confirm this value. On a six-day excursion, I didn't have to charge the watch a single time.

The sleep is also recorded again and nicely prepared in the app on the smartphone. It works as well as usual, since an update you even get a sleep index between 0 and 100, which should provide information about how well you slept at night.

As mentioned briefly, the Fitbit Versa 2 runs Fitbit OS 4.0. I'm still not entirely convinced of Fitbit OS, but I think it's getting better with every generation. For example, you can finally change dials directly on the Versa 2, which is much more pleasant. It is also positive that the delivery of notifications works really well. Two completely new features were also integrated: Amazon Alexa (exciting and worked very well on an IFA demo that I was able to see, also great, but I never used it - but it is future-proof in any case) and a smart alarm clock. This notices when the user is in a light sleep phase and wakes them up at least half an hour before the specified time. The result: You wake up more easily and are not torn from deep sleep.

Nevertheless, I (still) do not understand some things about the system. For example, a calendar and an address book are still missing. Most of all, however, I was disappointed with the Spotify integration. In principle, I think it's good that there is such a thing, but I was deceived by this. I originally thought that, thanks to this, Spotify content could be stored on the internal memory and played on in-ears while on the move. Well ... at the IFA press conference at Fitbit, the disappointment came: The app on the watch only serves as a controller. And that just doesn't make sense with a watch that is focused on movement. The thought was nice, but the "fall" on the floor all the harder.

Sports tracking

Now a few words about my experience of doing sports. Workouts can be started and stopped via the clock in a dedicated app. In this workout app you can then choose between a maximum of seven different sports, with more in the Fitbit app. I don't know why not all of them are made available on the watch right away - another thing where you have to reach for your smartphone. Before starting a recording, the smartphone's GPS signal is searched for. I still prefer an integrated chip, but I got along with it.

During tracking, the watch records all conceivable fitness data. In the meantime, notifications are still received and calls can also be displayed if desired.

Fitbit app

Anyone who knows Fitbit knows that every wearable is also compatible with the Fitbit app. As usual, these can be found in the App Store, the Play Store and even the Windows Store.

Since I got the last Fitbit on here TechnikNews tested, nothing changed in the app. When you open it, the steps, floors and kilometers covered appear at the top, as well as the calories burned and the number of active minutes. Below is a customizable list of data such as sleep, workouts, and heart rate. Initially setting up and managing his FitbitProducts happens via the device menu, which can be accessed via the Profilbild reached top left.

Like last time, I think that the app is very logical and has a nice and modern design.

Prices and availability

The Fitbit Versa 2 can be bought directly from Fitbit, from Amazon, from MediaMarkt and from Saturn. The RRP is 200 euros.

Fitbit Versa 2: conclusion

With the Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit introduced some small, but important, changes that I believe are the right direction for the manufacturer. These little things include the ability to change the face of the watch, Alexa as a voice assistant and - yes, really - the Spotify app. I strongly assume that Fitbit will continue to develop this in the future. Fitbit Pay existed before Versa 2, but it will also play a major role in the future. As stated in the title of this review: The direction is right.

Fitbit Versa 2

Picture: TechnikNews

However, I don't understand why an "unfinished" app, like the one from Spotify on the Versa 2, is already being delivered. I also think it's a shame that the two navigation buttons that were once on the right-hand side didn't make a comeback. The implementation of the AOD leaves me with some questions, as I wonder why the software doesn't simply darken the set clock face.

And then there are the things that are still missing for Fitbit watches to become real smartwatches. For example: an address book, a calendar or a store for apps directly on the watch.

I'm generally curious how it will be now after the Google takeover with Fitbit and the Products continues. Although the press company will remain the same for the time being, which in principle means something good for the company, it is not known how long it will stay that way. I'm definitely looking forward to March, as Fitbit usually shows their next wearable there.

Thank you for providing the Fitbit Versa 2.

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David Haydl

David lives in Graz and has been there for around half a decade TechnikNews, also editor-in-chief for some time. He regularly provides the site with news, test reports and the like TechnikNews Weekly, which was his idea to launch. He likes to spend his free time outdoors, listening to a lot of music (and clearly too loud) and some podcasts on all kinds of topics, and also likes to go running. He enjoys the time that remains with his charming girlfriend or in front of the TV.

David has already written 1128 articles and left 104 comments.

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