The new Fitbit Versa is the health tech brand’s second smartwatch offering, after the release of the Fitbit Ionic last year. The thinking behind the Versa is that it’s a wearable for everyone: function-heavy yet lightweight, with a focus on holistic health tracking, and at a price that doesn’t require swearing off eating out for three months.
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Multiple Colour Combinations
Buy your Versa in either black (black rimmed screen + black wristband) or rose-gold (rose-gold rimmed screen with a peach wristband) and then play with the look by buying extra wristbands that you can mix and match. Choose from classic water-resistant bands in grey, periwinkle and white or there are leather and metal mesh and link options too. There was much chopping and changing by testers at the launch, but in the end, the favourite combinations were: black screen + periwinkle band and rose-gold screen + white band.
New Look Screen
It’s sleek if a little big screen-wise. Fitbit refers to the touchscreen shape as a squircle – combining the pixel display that works best on a square with the comfort and softness of rounded corners.
At first, I struggled to see my metrics on the screen, especially in the sunlight but changing the display settings soon sorted that. Fitbit’s claim that the watch is their most lightweight certainly feels true – after half an hour on the wrist, you barely know it’s there until it buzzes to tell you to up your step count, that is. And it’s a little frustrating that sometimes touching the screen didn’t display the clock face until I’d jabbed it a couple of times.
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Heart Rate Tracking
The Versa is all over heart rate. The tech allows for continuous monitoring whenever it’s attached to your wrist, and by measuring your rate across lots of different activities it allows the calories burned metric to be more accurate. Tell the Versa you’re working out and it shows your heart zones – fat burn, cardio and peak – so you can switch up your intensity levels based on your goals, whether that’s basic endurance, increasing muscle strength or upping your intervals performance.
Cardio Fitness Score
A post-workout summary tells you how much time you spent in each zone so you can track your improvements over time, plus the Versa also uses all this data to calculate your Cardio Fitness Score (your VO2 Max) to follow your progress on your get-fit journey. That said, I did find the watch was prone to pausing during the workout mode when I hadn’t told it to – it might have been because I paused in movement, but I need to use it more to figure this out.
Pre Programmed Workouts
One of the best things about the Versa is on-screen workouts – yes, you can select the usual run/cycle/HIIT options to record your workout stats, but there’s also fully-formed sessions on the watch from Fitbit Coach that change daily so you’ve essentially got a PT on your wrist. Every move is explained via title and image, and colour coded to tell you which body areas it targets. The functionality becomes more prescriptive the more you use it, with your daily workouts based on those you enjoyed or smashed in the past.
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Fitbit originally led the way on the 10,000 daily steps count and this is still integral to the Versa. Most of the watch face display step count and the watch alerts you if you’re not set to clock up 250 steps that hour – it’s nice that a focus on stand-alone workouts hasn’t bumped plain old walking off the pedestal.
The battery life of the watch is four days – an absolute win compared to others on the market that demand you charge the watch overnight – because not only does it take out the hassle of constant charging but it means you can wear the watch on your wrist overnight and it continues to measure your resting heart rate during sleep and also tracks your sleep metrics.
The Versa is water resistant up to 50metres so you can wear it in the shower, in the bath and to track swimming, even if you go a few dives to the bottom of the pool just for fun.
Connects to Your Phone
You can view app, call and text notifications from your smartphone on the Versa screen. Handy if you can’t be bothered/want to be discrete/limiting screen time (delete as appropriate)
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Music on the Move
Plug into your own bangin’ tunes without syncing with your smartphone with curated playlists from Deezer and over 300 songs from your own collection.
Connects to Your Bank Cards
Versa is the first Fitbit wearable that allows you to pay contactlessly; Fitbit Pay. If you’re forever taking your bank card out of your wallet to tap in or pay and then not replacing it and subsequently losing it, this feature is for you.
Fitbit is looking to launch the brand new female health tracking in May, which will help women track their menstrual cycles on their wrists and make connections between mood, behaviour, eating and exercise habits and their personal hormone fluctuations. Keep an eye on the WH website for updates.