Google may have bought Fitbit after the launch of the Versa 2 in September, but the Fitbit Versa 2 device still represents the company’s aggressive shift in focus towards better and more health features. The predecessors of the Versa 2 are the original Versa and a cheaper version, Versa Lite.
While Versa was a huge success for Fitbit, the Versa Lite, did not do very well. The Versa 2 is a product with a mix of all the good features that both predecessors possessed. It also has some additional new features like advanced sleep tracking, Alexa, and an always-on display. The competition is tougher for Versa 2.
The Apple Watch Series 3 has the same price with more features and GPS. The cheaper smartwatch, Amazfit GTS and the outstanding Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 are packed with loads of fitness and wellness options compared to the Versa 2. Sail through the article to know more about the design, tracking accuracy, Alexa and other features of Fitbit Versa 2.
Fitbit Versa 2: Design and price
With a price of 22,000 INR, the Versa 2 is definitely cheaper compared to the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5, while it still offers many of the same features. As far as the design is concerned, the Versa 2 looks the same as the previous Versa from a distance. It has the same square face, which makes it look almost like the Apple Watch with just enough differences.
On a closer look, many subtle changes can be seen, like the Fitbit logo missing and a new curved glass display that gives it a more stylish look. This is a step away from the angular designs of the previous Fitbit watches. The CEO, James Park said at the launch that the Versa 2 was at the halfway mark for a bigger transition to a rounder shape.
So depending on whether a Versa 3 will be launched under Google, we can expect a change in the shape of the watch. The screen size of the Versa 2 is 0.05 inches more compared to the earlier models, and the LCD display has been replaced with an AMOLED display. The screen has a 300 x 300-pixel resolution and has 1000 nits in brightness.
With all these features available, the Versa 2 screen is easily visible in the sunlight. The always-on display has also been introduced by Fitbit for the first time in Versa 2. With this mode, the time, date, battery life and a few other performance stats can be viewed easily, depending on the watch face you have selected.
The Versa 2 has only one physical button on the left side compared to the three that the previous model had. The layout is almost similar to the Versa Lite. Even though that model was not a success, Fitbit has carried over the simplified input system that the Versa Lite had to the Versa 2.
The new layout seems much smoother to work with and gives space for the microphone at the spot where the two buttons used to sit. The single button allows you to turn the screen on or off and also return to the previous screen while scrolling through the menu. You can also activate the screen by raising your wrist if that feature is enabled, though it works quite inconsistently. If you flip the watch, you can see the sensors and charging portal at the back and both sit in a curved square which is more comfortable against the wrist than the older models.
Altogether, the Fitbit Versa 2 is a simpler, cleaner device. It comes in a range of colors and materials – black with a carbon case, petal(pinkish) with a copper rose aluminum case, and a stone(grey) with a grey case. There are a couple of special edition models with jazzy bands too. The bands are interchangeable within Versa models.
So if you are upgrading your device from Versa Lite to Versa 2, you need not worry about your band collection. It also means Fitbit has maintained the bands with quick-release pins which are difficult to wear and remove, particularly with the silicone bands. Versa 2 is a lightweight smartwatch, as stylish as the Apple Watch. As a whole, with Versa 2, Fitbit upped its design game while maintaining the good looks.
Fitbit Versa 2: Activity tracking accuracy
Health and fitness are the focus of the new Fitbit Versa 2 in addition to the refined design and a few new features. Health and fitness is the area expected to get even better under Google.
The Versa 2 can track your indoor as well as outdoor activities. Running, biking, swimming, and strength training are a few among the various activities for which tracking features are available. It can also track skiing and golf to some extent.
Fitbit Versa 2: Workout and Heart rate monitoring
The Versa 2 can handle numerous exercises. But it is more likely that you will settle on a few and include them in your daily routine. There is no GPS for this device but the phone still manages to give an almost accurate distance measurement. Even though the readings are not perfect, the error is negligible. But for those who are particular about precision, this is not the watch for you. The consistency in the readings of Versa 2 is commendable.
The measurements are more reliable, especially after the update in December to its PurePulse heart tracking algorithm. Fluctuations in heart rate readings depending on the exercise selected are very rare in this smartwatch. When tested for outdoor runs, the optical sensors gave an exact reading as expected. But like any optical sensor on the wrist, the readings faltered for high-intensity interval training.
During the HIIT sessions, the data on the Versa 2 was lagging behind the Polar H10 chest-strap readings — at times as much as 10bpm. But the final graphs and peaks were not too off. How much this variation matter depends on what you are looking for in the smartwatch. If you are not a rigorous fitness person, going only for a casual weekly run at a consistent pace, the Versa 2 will work perfectly fine for you.
Fitbit Versa 2: Sleep tracking
The heart rate monitor works not just during your workout sessions but also when you are asleep. It is safe to say that the Fitbit Versa 2 has the best sleep monitor in the business compared with the sleep monitors of other watches. It does an excellent job in keeping track of when you have fallen asleep, your Sleep Score, and Sleep Stages.
The readings are good to a great extent. The only issue with the Versa 2, just like any other wrist-based device, is in its ability to understand when you have woken up. The margin of error is not too much; maybe 15 minutes now and then. This error is likely because the device needs to detect some amount of movement before it ends your sleep session and starts understanding that you are awake.
Another striking feature is the new Estimation Oxygen Levels which leverages the powers of the SpO2 sensor. This feature gives an insight into your breathing pattern, like if you had small or large breathing variations during your sleep. The company is still seeking FDA approval to further develop this feature.
So at present, this feature can only measure the fluctuations in your blood saturation and is not yet ready to give insights on conditions like sleep apnea. So you will have to go into the Fitbit app to check on your sleep data and figure it out for yourself. Analyzing this data can help you figure out if there are regular massive variations and can prompt you to consult your doctor.
Fitbit Versa 2: Features
At the launch, the Versa 2 was more like a fitness tracker and less like a smartwatch. But over time, this balance has been addressed by the company through various updates. One of the top notch additions is the Smart Wake sleep alarm which will buzz you during your light sleep within 30 minutes of your set alarm.
Another addition is the ability to host multiple watch faces on the device and to switch between them. Previously, you could choose only one and stick to it until you changed it through the app. With this update, the process has become seamless and you can easily take advantage of the vast library and the always-on display option.
There are a few important things that have been left out by Fitbit that could affect the demand for the Fitbit Versa 2. One of the major disadvantages is the absence of built-in GPS. Instead of tracking the location independently, the Versa 2 depends on tethering from the GPS connection of your phone for location tracking.
The music support Fitbit has provided with Versa 2 is also not up to the mark. The Versa 2 has a native music player that can store around 300 tracks. But you will have to upload the MP3 files from a computer.
The new app that is available through the store is the Spotify app. But it is not integrated well like in Garmin and Samsung watches. So you cannot really sync music for listening to it offline. Instead, you will have to start a playlist or a “Made for” mix like Discover Weekly, Release Radar etc. when connected to your phone.
While these are the two disappointments as far as the features on the Versa 2 are concerned, Fitbit has done a decent job in improving its contactless payment service.
While it was restricted to some special editions in the past, now it is available for all the models. If you are not in the U.S., you may still struggle a bit to connect your card, for example, with no major banks supported in the U.K. still. Otherwise, it allows you to pay from your wrist with all the editions of Versa 2.
If you are in search of guided, personalized health programs, Fitbit Premium is now available in the app and targets areas like exercise, sleep and stress management at a rate of £9.99 a month. The company has said that they have plans to eventually introduce personal health coaching by connecting you with a certified wellness trainer who can give you advice according to your personal requirements. But this feature is not to be expected until it gets a green light later this year from Google who owns it now.
Fitbit Versa 2: Alexa on the wrist
While the few who tried to put Alexa into a smartwatch have failed, Versa 2 has succeeded in its attempt and demonstrates the best execution seen so far. You have to hold down the side button until the Alexa symbol appears, and once it does you can ask a question and wait for it to display the answer on the screen.
Unfortunately, Versa 2 has no speakers and so all of Alexa’s responses are text-based. The better news is that Alexa on your smartwatch can control the smart home devices at your home — just like you can command through an Echo speaker. You can dim the lights, adjust the speaker volume, and ask for playing specific radio stations on certain smart speakers.
You can also use it to set alarms or ask for the display of your fitness goals for the day. Alexa will do it all for you on your command. When it works, it works great. The Fitbit has worked on a few earlier issues it had regarding connectivity and it has also added the ability to view Alexa alarms, reminders and timers.
Fitbit Versa 2: Battery life
Battery life has been the winning point for Fitbit over Apple and other competitors for a long time. Versa 2 has proudly carried that legacy with it. According to Fitbit claims, the battery life is up to five days on a single charge and it seems to be true.
The device uses around 15% of battery every day — a day that includes round the clock heart monitoring, approximately an hour of tracking the walk, an hour of strength training or running and a full night of sleep monitoring. So you need to charge the device only once in a week if you are consistent with the routine.
With the always-on screen enabled, the consumption of battery increases to 30% per day. This will reduce the battery life to three or four days on a single charge. But after all, the battery usage will depend on how much you use the device.
If you are someone who tracks the exercise a lot using your phone’s GPS or someone who loves to have long chats with Alexa every day, you may have to charge it before the promised five-days. But the important point is that it is on a par with, if not better, than its immediate competitors.
- Great Design
- Excellent Battery Support
- Alexa Integration is great
- Best sleep monitor
- No Full music support
- No Gps
- No Offline Spotify playback
- No speakers