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Fitbit Versa review: the fitness tracker with some smartwatch features

Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2018 TechnikNews)

Fitbit launched the Fitbit Versa earlier this year. A watch with Fitbit OS that tracks a lot of fitness data and also offers NFC for Fitbit Pay in some configurations. I have now taken a closer look at the Versa for two weeks.

Unboxing and first impression

The Fitbit Versa comes in an elongated box, which is in a cardboard sleeve. Fitbit printed an image of the Versa, a Fitbit logo and several smaller labels on this. If you pull the box out of the case and open it, you can immediately see the clock in the upper half. The manufacturers filled the lower half with leaflets, a quick-sart guide, warning notices, the charging station and an exchangeable wristband.

This is what the packaging of the Fitbit Versa looks like (Image: TechnikNews, 2018)

The whole initial setup takes place as with the Fitbit Ionic in the Fitbit app, for which there are additional details later in this review. To the furnishingproTo complete zess, you need to pair your watch with your smartphone, connect your Versa to Wi-Fi, and download any available updates. Overall that is Procedere is child's play and should take a maximum of 20 minutes.

Design and workmanship

Made of aluminum, the Fitbit Versa is small and light, and the most stylish watch Fitbit has ever made. The workmanship is at least as good as that of the Fitbit Ionic. With the Versa you can even dive up to 50 meters deep again. The case colors can be chosen between black, silver, gold and rose gold.

An optical heart rate sensor, which continuously measures the heart rate, and connectors for charging the watch are located on the back. The Versa is charged in the aforementioned charging station. To do this, you have to press the clamps on the side so that the watch can be inserted. It is a pity that Fitbit did not opt ​​for the connectors of the Fitbit Ionic. So you have to use two different chargers when using both watches.

The optical heart rate sensor and the charging connectors are located on the underside of the Versa (picture: TechnikNews, 2018)

There is a function button on the left side of the Fitbit Versa, just like the Fitbit Ionic. This can be used to go back in the Fitbit OS menus or to access Fitbit Pay. The two buttons on the right-hand side can be used to start the alarm and workout app on the dial, among other things.

On the front, you're greeted by the rectangular display, beneath which is a small Fitbit logo. The display is relatively small at 1,32 inches, is based on LCD and has a resolution of 300×300 pixels. This resolution is perfectly sufficient to display content clearly and distinctly. The touchscreen doesn't get as bright as that of the Fitbit Ionic, but I've never used it Prohad problem. Apropos display brightness: This automatically adjusts to the ambient light, which in turn is detected by a sensor next to the display.

The Fitbit Versa is recharged via its own charging station (picture: TechnikNews, 2018)

In addition to the buttons mentioned above, there are also holders for the bracelet on the side. From my experience, I can say that changing bracelets is extremely difficult - especially with short fingernails. Here it would have been desirable for Fitbit to use the same or a similar mechanism as the Fitbit Ionic.

Straps & Bracelets

As for the Ionic, there are numerous interchangeable wristbands for the Fitbit Versa. On the one hand, there are the third-party options on Amazon, which are usually quite cheap. On the other hand, there is Fitbit's own range, where the bracelets are a little more expensive. This includes, among other things, bands made of silicone, which are available in a peach-orange, light blue, white, gray, black and mint green. Then the company also offers bracelets made of Horween leather, which are available in dark blue and brown. The stainless steel models are available in the form of Milanese or link bracelets. The special edition of the Fitbit Versa also comes with fabric wristbands. In terms of price, the Fitbit switch options start at 30 euros and end at 100 euros.

Specifications

Fitbit promises a battery life of four days or even more for the Versa. I could always go four days without it Proachieve problems. When I once disabled showing notifications, even five days weren't Proproblem As with the Ionic, there is internal storage for music and fitness data, but unfortunately I could not find any information on its size. Music can either be brought to the Versa via the PC or you can download songs from Pandora or Deezer.

Fitbit installed a gyroscope, an altimeter and an optical heart rate sensor as sensors, which was already mentioned above. The measurements of this hardly deviate from the values ​​of the Ionic. Unfortunately, GPS was not installed. This means that the signal must always be called up via the smartphone. Then the tracking of routes works very accurately. On my favorite running route, there were only minor deviations from the recordings of the Fitbit Ionic with integrated GPS. Instead of the GPS, the Special Edition has NFC, which can be used for Fitbit Pay.

Fitbit app and Fitbit OS

At the very beginning I mentioned that you need the Fitbit app to set up the Versa for the first time. However, all health data recorded by the watch is also stored there so that it can be viewed at any time. In the Fitbit Ionic test report, I already mentioned that there is the start page with the various tiles that are like menu items. Each tile leads to a fitness area. In short: Everything stayed as I wrote it down in the Ionic review.

Also in Fitbit OS, which is the operating system of the Fitbit Versa, everything stayed the same. Basic features of a smartwatch, such as a calendar or a contact overview, are still missing. Also, pretty much every animation stutters, which makes the OS still feel very slow.

Summary and Conclusion

I can be very brief here, as a lot is similar to the summary and conclusion of the Fitbit Ionic review. The first thing I want to do is list again the things I liked about the Fitbit Versa. First of all we have the bracelets, the display and the workmanship of the case. I have absolutely nothing to complain about here. It continues with the Fitbit app, which I also really liked here because of the detailed processing of the various data.

The first negative point about the Fitbit Ionic is the charging option via the charging station. Here I would have wished that the same charger had been chosen as with the Fitbit Ionic. I also noticed the holders for the bracelet very negatively, as it is really difficult to change them. With the lack of a GPS, I didn't even have that big one Proproblem The only thing that bothered me was the long wait until the GPS signal was received by the smartphone. And I'm not really enthusiastic about Fitbit OS either, for the reasons already mentioned.

All in all, the Fitbit Versa isn't a bad one Proproduct from Fitbit. The Versa scores particularly well with me as a fitness tracker. And you can cope with the missing smartwatch features if you don't use one every day Smartwatch with Wear OS or wears watchOS. If you are with the missing GPS of the watch no ProIn my opinion, you can even use the Versa instead of the more expensive Fitbit Ionic.

Prices and availability

The Fitbit Versa is available from Fitbit in the online store, from Amazon and from some smaller retailers. The RRP here is 199 euros. The special edition with NFC for Fitbit Pay and the fabric wristbands costs 30 euros more. The interchangeable wristbands are available from Fitbit and Amazon, where prices start at around 10 euros.

Thank you for providing this test device.

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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 1137 articles and left 106 comments.

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