I suppose everyone already knows Fitbit, since last year we brought you reviews of the entire range of physical activity measurement devices, such as Charge 2 or Blaze.
With the purchase of Pebble, Fitbit entered the smartwatch market presenting the Ionic, a device that sought to compete directly with the greats of the wearable industry, taking much of Pebble's legacy, and that although it is one of the better activity meters, the Ionic fell into two important aspects: its software and its price.
Today we bring you the review of the Fitbit Versa, the new smartwatch of the North American company with which it plans compete directly with the Apple Watch, trying to reach the masses at a better price, with a more sober design and with Fitbit OS 2.0, your new operating system.
The Versa has a 1.34 inch LCD touch screen and that unlike the Ionic, this time it is square, like that of the Apple Watch, watch from which borrows some aspects of its design.
Let's see if this new smartwatch improves the errors that Ionic had at the beginning and if its new software is up to its outstanding measurement of physical activity.
Manufacturer and Model
– Fitbit– Versa– Initial state: New– Unboxing: Fitbit Versa, Charging cable, plastic bracelet, Manuals.
– Three-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. – Altimeter. – Optical heart rate monitor. – Integrated ambient light sensor. – 1.34 inch LCD touch screen. – Vibration motor. – SpO2 sensor – NFC (in the special edition). .– Bluetooth 4.0.– Resistant up to 50 meters under water. – Lithium battery with unspecified capacity of up to 4 days.
Let's start with the design. No doubt The Fitbit Versa is inspired by the design of the Apple Watch, with a square finish and rounded edges that move away from the classic design of the circular-shaped watches proposed by Google with Wear OS.
It is built in one piece aluminum and we can submerge up to 50 meters underwater, so there is no problem if we want to swim with him and the truth is that it is a pleasure to use. The Versa is incredibly light and comfortable, and certainly it looks better on a woman's wrist than the Ionic.
On the left side we have a main button used to turn on the screen manually and go back, and on the right we have two others that serve to perform actions within apps, while on the back are the heart rate sensors, which work 24 hours to measure even our sleep, and the connector to charge the clock.
The buttons are not of poor quality, but the truth is they have no texture and its route is not as good as that of the Ionic, so there are a few occasions in which it happened to me that I do not know if I have pressed the button. Do not panic, it is not serious at all, only that in the Ionic they were quite good.
Something I did not like is that Fitbit has decided to remove its own band exchange system and have implemented the classic system of the clocks that don't work quite well, at least for me. It has taken me about 10 minutes to return the strap to its place after I removed it to take pictures. Fitbit has assured us that This change has been due to the clock design and that over time you get used to it and the process becomes easier, unfortunately it was not my case.
It is true that the Versa feels cheaper than the Ionic, but in no case it lags behind the competition, it is minimalist, thin, light and has, practically, everything a sports watch needs inside, with the exception of GPS, so we must take our phone if we want to use it.
Fitbit will have for sale belts of different materials, such as plastic, metal and cloth of different colors, ranging from CLP $ 26,990 to $ 64,990.
Like the Ionic, in addition to being a device to measure physical activity, we are facing a smartwatch, so the Fitbit Versa includes a 1.34 inch LCD touch screen with which we can navigate through its interface. The screen is square and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.
The screen It looks great in any light condition, reaching over 1000 nits and also has an ambient light sensor on its front that works perfectly, so I have not had any problem with the changes of light throughout the day, being nice to see in evenings in low light, and in broad daylight too.
It is important highlight that the screen works perfect, contrary to Ionic, with which I had to experience enough latency problems, false touches or problems to slide on the screen. All that has been solved here.
If the Ionic or Charge 2 were one of the best physical activity meters, the Fitbit Versa is not far behind as it has practically the same measurement quality.
Inside we have all kinds of sensors so that the measurement is accurate, such as Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor, altimeter and GPS connected to our smartphone (which is the only difference from the Ionic). The watch is smart enough to detect when we are doing physical activity, generating graphics of our heart rate, altitude and other variables through its application. The measurement is continuous and works 24 hours a day and Fitbit calls it SmartTrack.
Okay, but, What is SmartTrack capable of measuring? With this function we can automatically track the steps taken, distance traveled, minute of activity, calories burned and floors that we have climbed, in addition we use the heart rate sensor to measure the quality of sleep, graph our rhythm during the performing physical activity or sport and also allows you to track female menstrual activity, dynamically predicting menstrual cycles.
But that's not all, the Versa is water resistant to 50 meters, so there will be no problems measuring our swimming sessions, keeping track of strokes, distance and burning of calories in the water.
It should be noted that thanks to all the sensors that the device has, we can track our maximum oxygen consumption (or aerobic capacity). The above is known as VO2 Max and is one of the most efficient ways to measure a person's aerobic capacity.
Finally, although this option can be changed, by default, the watch allows you to press one of the side buttons to manually start measuring a specific activityEither Cycling, Running, Swimming, Interval training, Tennis or weight training, among others, and in the same clock screen we will be shown in real time the data of our activity. If we do not do it manually, in the application (of which I will talk about below) the activity is only registered as a sport, and can be modified to calculate more accurate statistics, and there are activities that you may not automatically detect, such as lifting Weights, since we do not take steps.
The watch store for 7 days the complete record of our activities, and for 30 days our daily summary, so if we go somewhere where there is no connection, or we do not have our phone, the information will be stored safely in the watch, until we can synchronize it in the smartphone application .
One of the most important features of Fitbit wearables is the application that we use in our smartphone to manage the measurement of physical activity, as well as view the statistics and graphics generated by it. And I say characteristic because the user experience is an important part in the pleasantness of the device for athletes.
The application works as follows, in the main part we have our main statistics that the watch takes automatically using its sensors and displays them in an organized way, but only marked as a sport, we can manually place the sport performed so that the Measurement is more accurate.
On the other hand, we can see statistics and graphs of the measurement of our sleep, determining how long we are awake, in light, deep sleep and in REM, we can also see completely our history of heart rate, our weight and height, or our Water and food ingested. All of the above is enhanced by the possibility of establishing health goals and objectives, and the application will help us through orientations and challenges to achieve them.
If we need help with our training, Fitbit offers us Fitbit Coach as an alternative to use their guided routines with videos and voice. Coach is available both on the watch and on the smarthphone, it is free with limited use and the paid version unlocks its full potential.
From Fitbit Coach I spoke in more detail in the Fitbit Ionic review.
Operating system and use
One of the points that I criticized the previous clock of the company was its operating system, and that Fitbit OS was far from the performance offered by Wear OS and watchOS, in addition to the lack of applications is notorious.
With the Fitbit Versa, the company has launched Fitbit OS 2.0, a new version that changes a couple of details and improves performance, but will it live up to its competition?
First let's talk about its user interface, which remains practically the same. We have a customizable home page with a different cover digital or analog, in which depending on which we choose our daily physical activity and heart rate information will be shown, among other things. Some are interactive, so we can even have a pet (Tamagochi type) that we must be content with our physical activity and sleep hours.
Swiping to the right no longer works, so now to access quick notification settings and music control, we have to press and hold the left side button.
If we slide down we no longer have quick access to control of the music, instead we now have the notifications, and sliding up we will find one of the novelties of Fitbit OS 2.0, since we will access the “Today” application that will show us all the activity of our day in detail, as if it were the smartphone application.
The applications section remains intact, they are located to the right of the home page and we must download them from the phone, we can reorder them as we want and although there are some novelties, such as the inclusion of Deezer for Europe and Latin America, or an application for tennis players, the list is still very limited with respect to Wear OS or watchOS. Pressing any of the two side buttons we will access our two favorite applications, in my case they are Exercise and Timers.
I would like to emphasize that the applications are well designed to work with the clock buttons and it should be noted that the performance has been greatly improved in the Versa, there is no longer any lag or synchronization problem, so now it is more pleasant to use a company clock, yes, the notification system remains as deplorable as the iOS, being very far from what is offered on Android, such as its administration and intelligent groupings.
There is a special edition, which comes with webbing and has an NFC chip to make payments through Fitbit Pay, but unfortunately Chile is not yet prepared for this type of technology due to the inefficiency of the people who govern us.
The Fitbit Versa has a lithium polymer battery with unspecified capacity and from the company they promise us up to 4 days, and the truth is that it complies.
Although the battery life has not been as spectacular as that of the Ionic, the Versa has met the expectations, giving at all times the performance it promises, with normal use, measuring my cardiac activity during the day and night .
The charging method is something they have executed differently than Ionic. That device was charged magnetically, and the Versa is charged through a “clip” type base on which we must place the watch manually, although it still remains or through induction pins. The clock takes about 2 hours to fully charge.
Fitbit again surprises us with one of the best physical activity meters on the market, if the design of the Ionic did not like everyone and their performance problems gave you a headache, the Fitbit Versa has managed to incorporate the same characteristics pragmatically (a GPS exception) in a body with a friendlier, lighter, thinner, and well, more similar design to Apple Watch.
At the hardware level, Versa complies in practically all aspects, it works smoothly, it has a very bright and good quality screen, its battery is enviable and it has countless sensors to measure our physical activity in the best way, but like that the Ionic, still has some details in its software that do not quite convince me.
IOS users may not suffer so much, but its notification system is similar to iOS, it chronologically orders all notifications, without distinguishing groups or applications and its automatic response system is slow. The applications, although now they are many more than 6 months ago, they are still scarce and some very important ones are missing, such as Spotify or any Google service.
The Fitbit Versa may not be able to compete with Wear OS regarding notifications and applications, but without a doubt that, for this price, you will not find a smartwatch with this ability to measure physical activity and sports and give you a satisfactory experience , at least on Android.
✅ Measurement of exceptional physical activity, during the day.✅ Minimalist design and very well built.✅ 4-day battery✅ The Fitbit application.✅ Very complete sleep measurement.✅ Water resistant up to 50 meters and can measure the swimming.
❌ Although it has improved, its software is still poor at the level of notifications.❌ Unlike the Ionic, the absence of GPS proves that it is a device more thought of fans than athletes.
The Fitbit Versa is available in Falabella stores at a CLP price $ 189,990 and the straps of different types of colors and fabrics range from 26,990 to 64,990 Chilean pesos.
The special edition, with NFC and cloth strap included, is priced at CLP $219,990.