Fitbit Versa Lite Edition review: What can the slimmed-down version of the Versa do?
The Fitbit Versa celebrates its first birthday this spring. The manufacturer probably took this as an opportunity and therefore provided the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, a stripped-down version of the Versa, before. I could turn off the clockprobeer and want to tell you what I think of this one.
Jump to section
Unboxing and initial setup
The appearance of the packaging has not changed over the course of this year. It is still elongated, has a lot of white areas and shows the Versa Lite on the front. A blue box inside is accessible via a flap at the bottom, which is pulled out downwards. Once the lid is flipped to the side, you can see the wearable in the upper half and another box, which is a little smaller, in the lower half. Inside there are some instructions, a larger interchangeable bracelet and the charger, which Fitbit changed a little. From now on, this has a small cable guide on the underside so that the charging station can be stowed away better.
The initial setup takes place in the Fitbit app, which is available in the App Store, Windows Store and Play Store. After selecting the right watch, it will be searched for. Once this is done, you have to enter a unique code on the smartphone, which is shown on the Versa Lite. It is important that the GPS and Bluetooth are activated on the smartphone for this process. Before you can start using it, the gadget receives a few updates. Here I noticed positively that it was much faster than with the Ionic or the Versa from last year.
Design and workmanship
Fitbit offers several housing options for the Versa Lite. My test device is made of silver aluminum in combination with a white wristband. Then there is the same case with a lilac colored band. For the first time, the manufacturer also has two bright colors in its range: a deep purple and a deep blue with the corresponding ribbon.
At first glance, one would think that the Fitbit Versa Lite looks exactly the same as the Fitbit Versa. But that's not entirely true. The Versa has two function buttons on the right side, which are missing from this year's Lite version. I don't mind personally because I never used it anyway, but it could be a disadvantage for some. The back button on the left was retained. Same as the very good workmanship and the water resistance up to 50 meters.
On the underside, next to the connectors for the charging station, you will find the heart rate sensor, which measures your own pulse around the clock. I compared the values with other wearables and found that they largely coincide with each other. Fitbit was very good at that last year. Furthermore, I was able to determine that the bracelets of the Fitbit Versa also fit the Versa Lite Edition - and vice versa. So if you plan to switch to the newer wearable, it is possible to continue to use the tapes you have already collected.
Just a few words about the built-in display. The LCD touchscreen has a resolution of 300 × 300 pixels. Even if these are just average specs now, I was quite satisfied with the screen in relation to the price that Fitbit charges for the wearable. During my test, it turned out to be particularly advantageous that the content is still easy to read even on sunny days thanks to the high maximum brightness. Incidentally, this is automatically regulated with an ambient light sensor.
In general, I can say that I like the Versa Lite very much and how inconspicuous it is on my wrist in everyday life. In addition, it is hardly noticeable due to its compact design and low weight, which is particularly advantageous when sleeping.
Variety of bracelets
I still like the fact that Fitbit has so many different bracelets in its range for its own watches. As already mentioned, another positive aspect is that all collections of the Versa straps also fit the Versa Lite.
The range includes three different categories: leather, stainless steel and silicone. The silicone range starts at a price of 29 euros. For the most expensive category, the one with the stainless steel bands, Fitbit charges a whopping 90 euros. I can now well understand when one or the other says that that's too much money - but it's not Proproblem If you search for straps for the Versa on Amazon, you will find a lot of third-party options, which are often a lot cheaper.
The good battery life remained
Right after the first day, I noticed that I wasn't losing a lot of battery. In the end, it was always possible to get by for four to five days without loading. I am pleased that the battery life did not deteriorate, although we are dealing with the Lite version here. In return, Fitbit did not use NFC for Fitbit Pay and no GPS for recording routes. At the price it was somehow foreseeable.
Of course, the Versa Lite has an accelerometer for tracking steps and (as I said) a heart rate sensor on board - the usual things. As a special feature, there is an SpO2 sensor on top. This measures the oxygen saturation in the blood. An altimeter was omitted, which means that the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition does not recognize the floors it has climbed.
Operating system: Fitbit OS
Fitbit OS version 3.0 runs on the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, just as we know it from the Versa and the Ionic (Adidas Edition). Fitbit wants to continue to sell this operating system as a smartwatch OS, but I don't see it as that. In my opinion, Fitbit OS is a good wearable operating system, but far from being a smartwatch operating system. Features such as an integrated calendar are missing for this.
I have had good experiences with the software itself. Even if the animations are not the most fluid, everything reacts without any delays. I liked the fact that there is a whole handful of apps and clock faces again. The latter are usually very unusual, which I learned to appreciate against my expectations. The watchface, which is already active ex works, I liked best with the orange accents.
Of course, you can still view your notifications and fitness data. I was particularly pleased when I noticed that you can now add the amount of water you have consumed via the clock. I criticized the lack of this feature with the Versa.
The Fitbit app is still the interface between the smartphone or PC and the Fitbit watch. They are available in the App Store, in the Play Store and in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10. The synchronization with the latter platform only works without accessories if the end device has a Bluetooth chip. Otherwise you can find a suitable dongle on the manufacturer's website.
What I was able to feel negatively with the app this time is the lack of adaptation for devices from Honor and Huawei. When I bought my Honor 8X in October, it wasn't even possible to EVER sync my watches that I owned at the time. It's only been working reasonably well for a month, and it's been taking a long time. What, however, still does not work is sending notifications to the Versa Lite Edition. I hope that will change in the future. Appendix: I was able to find that notifications are passed through every now and then after the update to Android Pie, but only VERY rarely.
I have nothing to complain about in the rest of the app. It is still easy to use and looks very modern with the white user interface. I also like how all the data recorded by the Versa Lite is processed. Especially the detailed view of the sleep phases did me a lot again.
For me as a smartphone tester, it is also practical that the Fitbit account remembers my wearable so that it appears immediately on other devices. A feature that Google can't handle with Wear OS.
Record workouts and fitness data
Let's get to the most important question: Is the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition a good fitness tracker?
For everyday use, I can definitely confirm this fully. The device tracks steps, records the heart rate around the clock and measures the quality of sleep. In addition, a memory is received if you have not moved for a long time. One negative point: I noticed that the watch often counts steps that I actually didn't deserve. On the other hand, the recording of my sleep worked without any major errors.
The Versa Lite is less recommended for workouts, such as jogging or cycling, since the GPS is missing here. Connected GPS, on the other hand, is available. For things like running on the treadmill, on the other hand, it is again great because you always stay in the same place. Probably the biggest disadvantage here is that you have to start training sessions via your smartphone. And even if I understand that you have to save somewhere to get a Proproduct at a low price (more on that in a moment), Fitbit might have saved elsewhere.
Prices and availability
The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is available directly from the company, from Amazon, from MediaMarkt and from Saturn. As an RRP, Fibit calls for 159,99 euros, which means that the price of the wearable is on the same level as the Charge 3.
Is the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition worth it? Shouldn't it be better to use Charge 3, which costs exactly the same?
These are two questions that I have asked myself very often over the past few days and weeks. I have come to the conclusion that it depends on whether you prefer the slightly larger display of the Versa Lite over the touchscreen of the small batch. If so, then you should definitely use the watch I have tested, otherwise not. I wouldn't buy the Versa solely because of the apps, as they admittedly run as well as watchOS and Wear OS.
For the most part, I liked the wearable very much in everyday life. As I said above, I was particularly impressed with the recording of my sleep. But I can't praise the design enough either, as it is sober and simple, so that the gadget doesn't actually attract attention in everyday life. And yes, the case looks a bit similar to that of the Apple Watch.
It's a pity that you can only start workouts via smartphone, although I understand that Fitbit had to save somewhere. I also hope that the Android app will soon be better adapted to Honor and Huawei devices, as I'm already missing the notifications on my wrist a bit. Otherwise, the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is an affordable entry-level wearable that you should definitely consider if you're after Proproducts in the category is on the lookout.
Thank you for providing the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition!