After weeks of rumors and leaks hinting at the release of Fitbit’s next smartwatch, the fitness tracker brand officially unveiled the Fitbit Versa — a product it calls a “smartwatch for all.” Featuring a style reminiscent of the Apple Watch, the Versa plants its flag as the successor to the company’s previous smartwatch releases, the Blaze and Ionic. The fitness wearable company has always split opinion with its designs, so will the Versa be any different? Here’s everything you need to know about Fitbit’s next smartwatch.
Name, price, and release
Several reports over the last year hinted at what was next in Fitbit’s innovation cycle, with names like the Charge 3 and Blaze 2 among the most popular rumors. Well-known mobile leaker Evan Blass originally tweeted that the next wearable would be named the Versa and after Fitbit’s recent unveiling event in New York City, that name was officially confirmed.
Available for presale starting March 13, Fitbit’s Versa sports a price tag of just $200, some $130 cheaper than the third generation of the Apple Watch. However, those interested in using Fitbit Pay will have to shell out a bit more for what the brand’s dubbing the Fitbit Versa Special Edition, which plans to retail for $230. The company also announced the Versa would be available globally in April via Fitbit’s own website, along with retailers in North America such as Best Buy, Amazon, Kohl’s, Target, Verizon, and Macy’s, among others.
Design and features
Fitbit’s wearable designs are never conventional and the brand’s official unveil of the Versa confirmed a design many were already expecting — thanks to leaked images obtained by the publication Wareable. The lightest metal smartwatch in the United States, the Versa boasts an extremely thin anodized aluminum case with an angled and slightly tapered design perfect for small or large wrists. It’s rounded square face — a shape which Fitbit calls a “squircle” — features a colorful, touchscreen display with a brightness up to 1,000 nits.
Similar to Fitbit’s Ionic, the Versa comes packed with a variety of smartwatch features, as well as the company’s signature fitness tracking capabilities. Offering notifications which alert users to text messages, app updates, phone calls, and calendar alerts, among others, wearers will have quick access to the goings on in their smartphone without reaching for their pocket. As of now, only Android users have the ability to respond back to text messages as Apple’s ecosystem doesn’t currently allow for similar replies.
Compatible only with the Versa Special Edition is Fitbit Pay. For use anywhere that accepts contactless payment, Fitbit Pay currently supports roughly 40 banks in 14 different countries via American Express, Mastercard, or Visa networks. Fitbit plans on expanding into more countries and banks later in 2018.
The Versa also supports phone-free music — 2.5GB of the watch’s 4GB storage is even reserved solely for tunes — and even features Pandora and Deezer access. Fitbit also upped the customization ante by giving wearers the ability to fully customize the smartwatch, offering a variety of apps like Starbucks, Strava, and Flipboard, as well as a number of custom clock faces — the brand says there’s already over 550 apps and clock faces currently available.
Perhaps its most impressive new addition is the inclusion of female health tracking, including the ability to track periods and ovulation, as well as the option to log patterns in cycles. It even allows women to input symptoms they’re experiencing, predicts upcoming cycles, and stores the entirety of the data via the Versa itself or Fitbit’s companion application. The app even offers an educational aspect, providing access to the Fitbit blog where women can learn about fertility, ovulation, the menstrual cycle, and common misunderstandings.
And what would a Fitbit wearable be without fitness tracking? Like the Ionic before it, the Versa still tracks fitness stats with the best of the company’s lineup, offering users easy access to daily, weekly, and monthly fitness data, including logged steps, calories burned, and heart rate patterns. Over time, the accumulated data helps create a more personalized approach to staying active, getting more sleep, or keeping organized. The Versa even offers fitness guidance via Fitbit Coach and allows for swim tracking, boasting a water-resistance up to 50 meters.
A variety of cases and watch bands to choose from
Fitbit’s Versa comes standard in black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case. The Versa Special Edition will be available in lavender with a rose gold aluminum case or charcoal with a graphite aluminum case — this edition also comes packaged with a black Classic accessory band.
Aside from the watches, the company says accessories — such as additional watch bands — would range in price from $30 on up to $100. Upon its release, Fitbit plans to have at least four different accessory varieties available: Classic, Horween leather, stainless steel, and a Designer collection. Concerning its Designer collection, the brand teamed with The Council of Fashion Designers of America worked with the New York-based womenswear brand PH5 who will have its own unique accessory line available in the second half of 2018.
Upon launch, Fitbit is also debuting the online simulator, a program which allows developers to build apps and clock faces specifically for the Versa and Ionic — without actually owning either device. Fitbit intends for this to help budding developers improve the visibility of their apps, essentially making available its entire Versa and Ionic user community located across the world.
Fitbit added that its new OS — Fitbit OS 2.0 — will roll out with the release of Versa and that Ionic users will also be able to update to the new software.
Updated on March 13: Removed rumors and updated with Fitbit’s official press release including price, release date, features, new female health tracking, and compatible accessories.