7 things you need to know about Fitbit's new Versa smartwatch

7 things you need to know about Fitbit's new Versa smartwatch

Yolanda Curtis
March 13, 2018

The Fitbit Versa is the fitness tracking brand's most recent attempt at a "smartwatch for all", with a modern design and affordable price tag, as well as a few new software tricks created to tempt users away from the Apple Watch.

The company is also launching a product for adults that looks like an Apple Watch clone, called the Fitbit Versa.

This is all part of Fitbit's push to expand into new demographics. The Versa is now available for pre-order on Fitbit's site and with global availability starting in April. The Fitbit Versa (short for "Versatile") comes with almost all the features its bigger sibling, Ionic has but costs only $199. U.S. or Australian pricing has yet to be confirmed, so that may be a bit different when we hear from Fitbit. READ NEXT:Google publishes new research into how neural networks "think" Fitbit's targeting the Versa at general consumers who want a do-anything all-purpose smartwatch.

At first glance, the new Versa's square display and sleek aesthetic a dead ringer for the Apple Watch.

Color choices for the body are either a light silver or pink, but while those options are limited you'll have lots of different bands to choose from. Fitbit promises it's also durable and versatile, with a thin anodised aluminium case and a variety of stylish accessories. I don't make payments from my wrist all that often, but for some buyers, the $30 premium for the special edition may be worth it.

The resolution looked good and while there are thick bezels around it the screen seemed responsive in our limited testing time flicking through apps. If you're interested in learning more about Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights, more details can be found here. And if you compare the Ionic's smart features to other smartwatches on the market, there's no contest-there are better devices out there. As with any Fitbit product, the Versa also includes a robust array of fitness options. Apart from Global Positioning System, much is the same as on the Ionic.

But if you like the svelte and versatile design and you're just looking for something that will reliably track your steps and activity, then you might not need those extra features anyway. Versa and Ionic will be able to view where they are in their cycle on-device; owners of other Fitbit trackers will still be able to track their periods via the app. The device also gives users motivational messages and daily guidances. There's even female-specific health tracking to help women keep tabs on their menstrual cycle. The more rounded design should be giving you Pebble Time Steel flashbacks (Fitbit acquired Pebble a while back).

Parents can monitor who their child connects with via the Fitbit app and they are able to view their kid's data.

For Fitbit, the feature has the dual appeal of embracing a huge demographic often overlooked by wearables and helping the company as it works to broaden its appeal to healthcare providers. It also comes with its own app store.

The Fitbit Versa resembles an Apple Watch, but that's not a bad thing. The Ace will go on sale in Q2 2018, and can also be pre-ordered straight away from the Fitbit site. The smartwatch has a touchscreen that offers 1,000 nits of brightness, and Fitbit says the Versa has a battery that can last more than 4 days on a single charge.

Stay tuned for a full review of both once we get review units in.

Fitbit's previous smartwatch - the Ionic - felt much bigger and clunkier than the Apple Watch Series 3.

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