No brand is as synonymous with fitness trackers as Fitbit — there’s a reason it’s typically the first company that comes to mind when people think about these kinds of wearables, at all. Though it’s revered in the fitness industry, the brand recently attempted to broaden its demographic by adding smartwatch-like features to its line of wearables and by shifting its focus towards women.
Typifying this shift in focus is Fitbit’s latest release, the Versa. A wearable that’s more smartwatch than traditional fitness tracker, the Versa’s diverse lineup of features is led by its ability to track women’s period cycles and fertile windows.
But can these new smarts help make it the hit Fitbit needs? Let’s take a closer look.
Lightweight, perfect fit
Designing a smartwatch for both men and women requires narrowing in on a size that isn’t too small or too large for both parties. The Fitbit Versa manages to find a happy medium with its 1.34-inch display and a 39.36 x 37.65 x 11.2-millimeter case size. We saw how it looked on both genders and it seemed to adapt perfectly to each person wearing it — regardless of wrist size.
Under the hood, the Versa packs a 145mAh battery which should last roughly four days before requiring a recharge. There’s also 4GB of storage, with 2.5GB available for music and the remaining amount for apps, activity data, and Fitbit OS.
As a woman, it’s tough to find a smartwatch with a large display that doesn’t also look massive or bulky. Thankfully, the Versa is compact enough that it doesn’t look (or feel) too big — its thin case is subtle and rests nicely on our wrist. There’s also enough notches on the silicone watch strap that it didn’t feel too loose, either.
Its rounded square display gives it a curvy and modern design.
When it comes to weight, Fitbit touted it as the lightest metal smartwatch in the United States so far — something we found hard to believe due to its larger size. But after testing it for a while, it was so lightweight that we forgot we were even wearing it at times.
While it does seem similar to the Fitbit Blaze on first glance, the Versa is a sleeker and upgraded version of its predecessor. Its rounded square display gives it a curvy and modern design that looks beautiful enough for us to want to wear for any occasion. With slimmer bezels, the information displayed on the smartwatch also looks more vibrant and free-flowing when scrolling through various apps. But it’s hard to look past the fact that it looks extremely similar to the Apple Watch.
With an emphasis on versatility, Fitbit made sure to provide a variety of customization options. We tested the all-black case with a silicone watch strap, which wasn’t as refreshing and bright as the rose-gold case with a peach-colored silicone strap — or even the silver case and gray silicone strap. For an easier transition between day and night, we preferred the stainless steel, mesh, and Horween leather watch straps. Other options include Fitbit’s special edition charcoal or lavender woven bands.
Packed with a variety of smart features, Fitbit OS 2.0 shines
While we didn’t spend too much time playing with the features, the Versa’s Fitbit OS 2.0 runs smoothly when swiping through its interface. With a new personalized dashboard, all the same metrics you’d normally access on the mobile app are now available via the display, as well.
This includes fitness data like steps, resting heart rate trends, and exercise summaries. Later this year, users will also be able to personalize their smartwatch even further with the ability to log food and mood as well as reminders to take medication. Any apps you download from the Fitbit App Gallery are also accessible from the display.
iPhone users aren’t able to reply to iMessage notifications.
When it comes to its smartwatch functions, the Versa allows you to view alerts from your smartphone — this includes text messages, app notifications, phone calls, and calendar events, among others. For instance, text messages appeared at the top of the screen as a banner with the exact message and contact before disappearing from the display.
For Android users, you’ll soon be able to send quick replies to text messages and messenger apps. Thanks to Apple’s closed ecosystem, however, iPhone users aren’t able to reply to iMessage notifications, although Fitbit says it’s working to include that feature in future.
The Versa also has a built-in NFC chip on both Special Edition smartwatches. You’ll be able to use the device to make contactless payments at locations that support Fitbit Pay.
Offers impressive female health tracking
Aside from its new smartwatch capabilities and additional fitness features, it’s clear Fitbit is using the Versa to pull more women into its demographic — and we’re here for it. With female health tracking through the Fitbit app, women will be able to log their periods, track ovulation, and discover different patterns in their cycle.
It’s no different than any other third-party app available for period tracking – you’ll still have to manually log your period start and end dates, as well as the symptoms you experience. But it does keep your information neatly organized on one device.
While the feature won’t be available until later this year, women will be able to look right at their smartwatch for reminders of their next period and fertile window. For those who don’t want the information accessible on their smartwatch for everyone to see, the feature can be switched off in your settings.
Price and availability
Fitbit Versa will cost $200 for the black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, and peach with a rose gold case, while The Fitbit Versa Special Editions — which includes Fitbit Pay compatibility — are priced at $230. The Versa is currently available for pre-order on Fitbit’s site and with global availability in April.