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Fitbit Versa Review: Simpler times

Last updated on 2018-08-15 4:52 am

Fitbit Versa – Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch is one of the best rivals to the Apple Watch, but its styling makes it feel like you’re strapping on a chunk of Soviet-era space hardware.

The Versa is about the same size, but slimmer, lighter and more rounded. It’s still a bit nerdy, but in a retro 1980s digital-watch kind of way, and comes in grey, rose gold or plain black, with a silicone strap that can be replaced with leather or mesh options.

The smaller battery lasts nearly as long, (about four days), but that’s achieved by keeping the screen turned off until you flick your wrist. It ignored our flicks about half the time, leaving us to press a

SPECIFICATIONS

1.34in 300×300 pixel touchscreen • Heart-rate monitor • 2.5GB storage • 802.11n Wi-Fi • Bluetooth 4.0 • Waterproof • One size • 10x39x38mm (HxWxD) • One-year warranty

button to tell the time – a less welcome reminder of the earliest LED watches.

When it does come on, the 300×300-pixel colour screen is sharp and clear. The case is waterproof, so swimming is among the activities you can track. On dry land, an optical sensor monitors your heart rate, as well as the number of steps you take and distance covered. A few dozen third-party apps can be added – far less choice than with the Apple Watch, but most of these are useful nonetheless.

You can download music to the Versa to play through Bluetooth headphones, but unlike the Ionic it lacks built-in GPS, so you’ll need your phone to measure distance accurately or see where you went. That’s reflected in an lower price, closing the gap.

VERDICT:

If you can live with the absence of GPS, this is a fairly functional smartwatch that’s comfortable to wear

ALTERNATIVE:

Garmin Vivosmart HR+

This heart monitor band, lacks the ability to add apps but has GPS and swim tracking

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