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Fitbit Versa (Standard)


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£199.99

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Fitbit Versa (Special Edition)


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Cheaper, sleeker, better? Have Fitbit finally cracked it and produced a worthy rival to the Apple Watch? Well, maybe. The Fitbit Versa is certainly a valiant attempt – basically picking up where the Fitbit Blaze and Ionic fell flat – but is it enough to win us over? Let’s take a look at the latest edition to the Fitbit catalogue – Fitbit Versa.

 

VERSA-tile Design

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly enthralled by the design of the Fitbit Ionic. It wasn’t terrible (not by any means), but there was something a bit off, something I just couldn’t put my finger on. Put the Ionic and Versa side-by-side at a pageant and it soon becomes evident who would win – the Ionic is just too cumbersome and a little well, meh and boxy. The proportions just weren’t right. The Fitbit Versa on-the-other-hand, has a bit of a softer (dare I say) Pebble look to it (Pebble Time to be precise)… funny that. If you’ll remember, Fitbit bought Pebble out back in late 2016 so it isn’t a massive shock to see a shift in style. In fact, I think the Versa’s design is more in-line with what people were expecting from the Ionic after news first broke about the buy-out. Cleaner, rounder and a little lighter, the Versa looks more like a timepiece you can wear at both the gym and at the office – overall a lot more VERSA-tile and discreet on your wrist.

 

Ionic Vs Versa

So does a Pebble looking Fitbit equal a noteworthy smartwatch come fitness tracker? Well first off let’s address the price. The Versa is actually cheaper than the Ionic (which is still available for sale). There’s one key reason for this however and that’s the lack of built-in GPS on the Versa. This means if you’re a runner, you’ll have to carry your phone with you to map your routes. A little disappointing, but his has its advantages in that the Versa is much lighter than the Ionic. Something that has allowed Fitbit to design a more appealing than its predecessors. I imagine this is also helps with battery life – GPS is notorious for gobbling up those power bars.

Another reason for the price difference (albeit less significant) is NFC. Like the built-in GPS, the standard Fitbit Versa is missing NFC support. So unlike the Fitbit Ionic, you won’t be able to make contactless payment using Fitbit’s digital wallet Fitbit Pay. If this is a real deal breaker for you, then you’re better off getting the Ionic or the ever so slightly more expensive Special Edition Fitbit Versa which will have this feature. The price difference is fairly minimal (approx. 20GBP at time of publication), but if it’s a feature you’re unlikely to use then you at least have the option to save a few quid.

 

Same Watch New Package?

Other than no integrated GPS, NFC and the overall design, the differences between the Ionic and Versa pretty much stop there. From the display (1000 nits), to the controls and sensors, both are almost identical under the hood. The versa even has the unutilised SpO2 sensor which will be used to track blood oxygen found on the Ionic.

 

Ionic or Versa?

The answer is simple. It comes down to what you’re looking for. If you want an attractive smartwatch at an affordable price and don’t mind the absence of built-in GPS then the Versa is for you. If you can’t live without built-in GPS then the Ionic is what you should go for. As for if the Versa can rival the Apple Watch, not quite yet. It is however one of the few smartwatches that works across multiple platforms including the notoriously difficult to pair – Windows Phone.

What’s in the Box

  • Fitbit Versa Activity Tracker
  • Large & Small Versa Wristband
  • Versa Charging Cable

Fitbit Versa
Design90%
Usability74%
Battery Life70%
Features85%
80%Overall Score
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