We have updated our Fitbit Versa 2 evaluate with details at the Fitbit OS 4.1.1 replace. Also, the Versa 2 continues to be on sale from a selection of shops for $149.Ninety five ($50 off). Hit the links beneath to grab one nowadays.
Fitbit had a hit on its fingers with the Fitbit Versa. It turned into a less expensive, extra person-friendly alternative to the cumbersome Ionic. More importantly, it confirmed Fitbit had the capacity to make a simply good smartwatch, now not just a health tracker with smart functions. The Versa wasn’t best, though, and only made our listing of advocated smartwatches after a few a great deal-wished software updates.
Now, the Fitbit Versa 2 is here, aiming to proper a number of the wrongs introduced with the unique smartwatch. It succeeds, however some pain points are left unaddressed. Find out more in our Fitbit Versa 2 assessment.
Fitbit Versa 2 assessment: The big picture
Whether Fitbit likes it or no longer, its smartwatch efforts are continually going to be in comparison to the Apple Watch. That may be a great and a awful element. Apple has been making definitely top smartwatches for years, although its walled garden and iPhone-handiest compatibility flip many humans away. And with Wear OS essentially stagnant in the interim, Fitbit has an possibility to emerge as a main player in the smartwatch space.
The Fitbit Versa 2 is inching closer to greatness, though it’s now not there but. But do its flaws even count when it fees manner less than the opposition?
Design and hardware
The Fitbit Versa 2’s layout is a subtle, but critical upgrade over the original Fitbit Versa. The unique felt very much like a first-gen product — it didn’t have a terrific display, and the overall design turned into a touch bland. The Versa 2 continues tons of the original’s DNA however refines it.
The case is still fabricated from aluminum, however this time it has smoother edges and the glass is more rounded at the the front. This makes it feel nicer even though it’s made of the identical materials. The watch case now only has one bodily button on the left facet, just like the Fitbit Versa Lite. I truly prefer this; I don’t think I ever used the alternative buttons on the first Versa.
The Versa 2 is small and light, making it smooth to put on all day and night with out it getting inside the manner. Fitbit offers a bevy of various types of straps for the Versa 2 line, all of which can be backwards well suited with the unique Versa. The general version comes with a easy silicone strap, while the unique edition version comes with silicone and woven straps (for a $30 rate). Fitbit partnered with Kim Shui and RECCO to make custom Versa 2 straps. Simple Horween leather-based straps also are available.
Despite those being “short release” straps, they’re still a pain to trade. The strap mechanism on the watch case is angled, making it difficult to insert the strap pins. It’s specially irritating in case you’re trying to use a leather strap. It simply doesn’t paintings well.
Fitbit sincerely wishes to restoration its ‘brief release’ straps.
The largest development to the design is the transfer to an AMOLED show. The Versa’s LCD panel seemed washed out, but the Versa 2’s AMOLED screen makes the complete watch look manner extra top class. It offers deep blacks and extraordinary viewing angles, which allows the display to mixture in with the big bezel surrounding it. It’s also larger this yr at 1.Four inches.
The AMOLED display additionally allowed Fitbit to encompass an constantly-on show alternative. I used to have a love/hate dating with the implementation, but Fitbit constant quite a few my court cases with the Fitbit OS four.1 replace that simply arrived. Now, a choose number of watch faces (first- and 1/3-celebration) support the usually-on display, so you’re now not just caught with the identical digital or analog layout that shipped with the watch. Not every watch face is supported, but, so builders will want to enforce this feature themselves if they need their watch faces to paintings with the AOD.
I love now not having to boost my wrist to check the time, date, and day by day stats. You can even set the constantly-on show to show off at a positive time (like whilst you’re snoozing) so you’re now not losing valuable battery. Also, with the Fitbit OS four.1 replace, Fitbit brought the carry-to-wake capability while the AOD is on.
With the constantly-on display turned off, I became able to get about 5 days of battery existence. Battery is somewhere closer to 2.Five days with it turned on. That’s not awful for a smartwatch.
The charging clasp sincerely got worse this year. It become already pretty wonky — an ungainly plastic clasp that fit across the watch — but this 12 months the charging cable juts out from the lowest of the clasp, no longer from the pinnacle part like preceding Versas. This way the Versa 2 can’t be set down flat even as charging. It’s a small gripe, I recognize, but it’s simply a weird layout desire.
Performance has been an problem with maximum of Fitbit’s smartwatches, and I’m happy to say that’s resolved with the Versa 2. Fitbit covered an upgraded processor this time around, so navigating around the Fitbit OS interface is no longer laggy. It’s now not almost Apple Watch- or Fossil Gen five-stage quick, however it’s a marked development. The only factor that’s quite slow at the Versa 2 is Alexa, however we’ll talk about that later.
Fitness and health tracking
The Fitbit Versa 2 doesn’t stray too some distance from the unique Versa in terms of health capabilities. I think that’s ok — it strikes a very good stability among too many and too few features, though there’s continually room for improvement.
The one big omission from the Versa 2’s hardware is the dearth of built-in GPS. Fitbit continues to be utilising linked GPS on the Versa 2, so you’ll want to deliver your phone with you in case you need the Versa 2 to accurately track tempo and distance metrics. I sincerely might’ve preferred to see built-in GPS on the Versa 2, particularly because the simplest different Fitbit with GPS is the Ionic. If you’re looking for another health watch with a GPS, I’d propose the Garmin Vivoactive four or Garmin Venu.
The Versa 2 will track your steps taken, distance traveled, energy burned, flooring climbed, resting and lively heart rates, energetic minutes, and sleep. Step, calorie, and ground metric accuracy all appear to be in line with my Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, which I additionally wore for some days for the duration of my Versa 2 testing period.
No integrated GPS is a unhappiness, but the Versa 2 is in any other case a fantastic fitness and fitness tracker.
The Fitbit Charge three’s aim-based totally sporting events have made their manner over to the Versa 2. Instead of in reality selecting an exercise and doing it until you attain an arbitrary intention, you may set a aim before your workout and the Versa 2 will inform you after you’ve reached that aim. It’s in reality pretty beneficial. Over 15 exercising modes are well matched with purpose-based sporting events, consisting of strolling, biking, weight lifting, and yoga.
For non-intention-based physical games, the Fitbit Versa 2 will song strolling, cycling, swimming, treadmill workouts, weight lifting, and plenty extra. There’s additionally a established “exercising” workout if you’re doing something more area of interest like stand up paddleboarding (SUP).
I examined the Versa 2’s coronary heart rate sensor against Wahoo Tickr X chest strap and Garmin Forerunner 245 Music at some stage in a 30-minute run. The results may be discovered underneath:
All 3 gadgets did a pretty true job at preserving up with each other. There aren’t any robust outliers or hiccups well worth mentioning.
All three gadgets kept up with severe sprints and lighter jogs in the beginning of the run. However, the Versa 2 dipped down to ~130bpm within the 2nd region of the run and stayed down for a lot longer, even as the Tickr X and Forerunner 245 were both able to increase up to ~160bpm at around the seven-minute mark. It took the Versa 2 until the 15-minute mark to attain that level again.
The Versa 2’s common bpm got here in at 155, whilst the Tickr X suggested 159 and the Forerunner stated 162. The Versa 2 and Tickr X also had the equal 177 max coronary heart price, whilst the Forerunner’s changed into 181.
From what I’ve observed over the past few years of reviewing Fitbit devices, the employer’s optical coronary heart price sensors have become pretty desirable. No wrist-based totally sensor can be as correct as a chest strap, however the Versa 2 does maintain its very own in opposition to a more advanced jogging watch just like the Forerunner 245 Music.
Fitbit these days launched Fitbit OS version 4.1.1 for the Versa 2, which is stated to improve the coronary heart charge monitoring set of rules. This have to make matters greater correct basic, although we haven’t observed a exchange in our review unit.
The heart rate statistics can even assist you measure your VO2 max, or what Fitbit calls your Cardio Fitness Level. Fitbit’s implementation analyzes your VO2 max, assigns quite a number to it, and offers you tips on how you might be able to enhance your rating. This is what I like to see in a fitness app — you may music as a lot statistics as you’d like, but if you don’t understand what the numbers imply or how to improve them, they’re not very useful. Fitbit does a good activity with supporting customers apprehend why they ought to care about such things as VO2 max.
Fitbit’s menstrual cycle tracking is lower back again, which allows girls to track and record their signs and symptoms, examine trends over the years, and spot how their signs affect their hobby. Some of those info are available at the watch itself, while others can be located within the Fitbit app.
Finally, the lengthy-awaited Sleep Score feature is now to be had on the Versa 2 and any other Fitbit with a coronary heart price sensor. The idea at the back of Sleep Score isn’t overly clinical: Your sleep period, exceptional, and restlessness are introduced up to create a score out of 100. The closer you get to one hundred, the better your sleep.
Sleep Score is basically a manner to recognize what all of your different sleep data manner. For instance, you can view charts in lots of health apps on how a good deal light/deep sleep you get, however what exactly does the records suggest? Assigning a score to it facilitates people better apprehend how right or how poor their sleep is.
In my checking out, I’ve found Sleep Score to be quite helpful and correct. Obviously there’s no way for me to compare sleep rankings in opposition to every other fitness trackers, however I by no means ran across a range of that regarded way too high or manner too low. In the Fitbit app, you’ll see a graph of your Sleep Scores over the past week, a timeline of each night time’s sleep summaries, and graphs showing your sleep schedules and how many hours you spend in every sleep stage. There’s plenty of properly records to dig into right here.
Fitbit remains pretty new to the smartwatch recreation, and it doesn’t have the luxurious of counting on any other business enterprise for its software like Wear OS watchmakers. So, Fitbit watches have a protracted way to visit seize up in phrases of apps and services. That’s still very a good deal the case with the Versa 2, but there are some amazing upgrades right here.
Amazon Alexa assist is baked into the Versa 2. After lengthy-pressing the side button (and once you log into your account), Alexa starts without delay listening for your voice queries. Alexa can do easy such things as answer questions from the web, turn on smart domestic devices, and provide you with your day by day stats. This isn’t the full Alexa revel in though, so there are obstacles aplenty: it is able to’t be activated with a hotword, it can’t ship texts, it can’t play song or display snap shots from the internet, and it is able to’t manipulate whatever on the watch.
I use Google Assistant on my Wear OS watches all of the time, so the concept of getting a effective voice assistant on my Fitbit is exciting. In exercise, it’s no longer that excellent. Alexa is extraordinarily slow to offer solutions — it frequently sits on the “Thinking” display for an awful lot too long — and 1/2 the time it doesn’t understand that I’m announcing something in any respect. This ended in me gazing my watch and pronouncing “What’s the climate?” more than one times earlier than giving up and asking my Google Home.
I’m without a doubt hoping Fitbit is able to optimize the Alexa enjoy in a future replace. I’m sure that’ll happen ultimately, however for right now, it’s a frustrating revel in.
When queries do undergo, Alexa will show your answers in text at the screen. It gained’t speak again to you like different smartwatches, which I like.
The Versa 2 will offer you with telephone notifications, and you may nevertheless respond to messages with quick replies. This time round, way to the built-in microphone, you may reply to messages together with your voice (Android most effective). It’s extraordinary! Just faucet on a notification, hit the voice respond button, say your message, and ship it. I have noticed some instances in which voice popularity isn’t all that accurate, however that doesn’t manifest regularly.